True Bethel hosted back to school rally
By Ashley Hassett
Buffalo, NY – Buffalo School students are being encouraged to attend school.
A back to school rally was held Thursday at True Bethel Baptist Church in Buffalo to excite children about going to school everyday this school year.
The city school district struggles with low attendance rates. But organizers of the event believe this year will be different.
The rally was focused on exciting students and parents about going school with a positive attitude.
True Bethel Pastor and Ellicott District Common Council member Darius Pridgen organized the rally. Pridgen said school should not be an option. He said unless the child is sick, students should be in school.
"Our focus this year is on kids being there, and having the right attitude. They might not be an honor roll student, they might not be a merit roll student, but half the battle is showing up," said Pridgen.
Buffalo School board member Sharon Belton-Cottman joined the rally. She said parents have to reinforce the importance of education with their children. Belton-Cottman noted children will go to school and succeed if parents are encouraging them.
"I just want to encourage all parents to get their children out on the first day of school. We are at a new day and True Bethel as always is one of the leading forces. We are starting a momentum in the church and we're starting it in the homes, and we are proud of that. Do your best and be the best, and that's what we are about," said Belton-Cottman.
Local businesses donated back packs, school supplies and books to students who attended the rally. Free hair cuts were also provided to get kids ready for the new school year.