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Back2School Rally set for Aug. 21 in Arlington


File Photo

Keidi Cameron, second from right, gets a new backpack at the 2015 Back2School Rally on Aug. 16, 2015.

Free backpacks, as well as a variety of activities for kids, will be available again this year at Arlington's annual Back2School Rally on Aug. 21.

This year's rally is at Presidents Elementary at 505 E 3rd St., Arlington.

The rally provides free backpacks to local students and is run by a group of local churches and other organizations.

It was started nearly a decade ago by a former children's pastor from Arlington Assembly Church.

"It started because she saw a need in the community because quite a few students were on the free or reduced lunch plans," said Brianna Johnson, part of the leadership team that organizes the rally.

"She wanted to help with the costs of going to school, which can be quite high at the beginning of the year and especially for families with many children," she said.

Backpacks are available to kids in the Darrington, Lakewood, Arlington or Stanwood-Camano school districts.

Students who will be attending Shoultes Elementary in Marysville can also come to the rally for a backpack.

Last year 400 backpacks were given out and Johnson said this year they are on track to give away round 500.

"We ask what backpack they want and try to match them to the best of our ability. We don't want this to just be random supplies," said Johnson.

"My favorite part is when the kids receive backs in their favorite color or with a character they like on them," she said. "It's always fun when you get them something they're really excited for."

The event also provides a number of activities for kids besides the backpacks.

"It's also just a fun event for the kids," said Johnson.

Local organizations and businesses will be bringing out their booths with many activities for kids.

Johnson said they were looking to grow the rally this year.

"There is quite a bit more to the rally this year than just the backpacks," she said.

The Arlington Fire Department and Arlington Police Department will be bringing out their vehicles for kids to explore at the event.

Local martial arts programs, dance studios, libraries and PTAs will also bring activities for the kids, such as free health and dental screenings provided by Community Health Center.

All of the activities are free, said Johnson.

"It's a great way to get the word out on different resources available to families," she said.

Hot dogs, popcorn and water bottles will also be available.

Registration is still open. To register, or for more information about the Back2School Rally, go to


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