West Rehoboth program prepares kids for back to school

Lt. Michael Nelson of Delaware State Police talks to students of the West Rehoboth Children and Youth Program about bus safety during a back-to-school kickoff event Aug. 29. BY RYAN MAVITY
September 12, 2013

West Rehoboth Children and Youth Program rang in the new school year by providing students with supplies donated to the youth center.

The Aug. 29 event at West Side New Beginnings in West Rehoboth allowed students to not only get stocked up for school, but also to enjoy pizza from Grotto Pizza and outdoor games. It wasn’t all fun and games; the 25 students and parents in attendance also heard a talk from Delaware State Police Lt. Michael Nelson on bus safety.

“It’s so important kids get a good start,” program director Diaz Bonville said.

The biggest prize for the students was one of the 51 backpacks. Supplies included pencils, ear buds, composition books, paper, binders and personal care packets, among other things. The West Rehoboth youth program has been giving away supplies for back-to-school since 2010. Students in the program range from second grade to eighth grade.

West Side itself is also getting ready for the school year, as the center is expecting to add its own library in October. Bookshelves will be installed, and placed on them will be gently used books donated by the Village Improvement Association. VIA member Roxanne Nelson said the library will also include a dictionary and encyclopedias.

“I hope you will find books that you love,” she told the students.

Donations to the center came from, among others, the Freeman Foundation, Epworth United Methodist Church, CAMP Rehoboth, the Village Improvement Association and New Life Thrift Shop.

"If we expect our children to succeed they have to have the necessary supplies to do their school work," Bonville said.  "The things that gave me the most satisfaction was to see smiles on our children faces as each of them receive their own book bag with their own supplies.  Some of our families only work during the seasonal month.  They rely on us to help them with basic supplies all year long."