San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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January 26th, 2012
Education fair slated Saturday in San Marcos

STAFF REPORT

Parents can learn about how to help their children avoid drug abuse, live healthier lives, be prepared for college, and develop a love for reading at the SOAR Education Fair this weekend.

Scheduled for 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Jan. 28 at the San Marcos Conference Center, the event will feature booths with information on early childhood development; elementary, middle, and high schools in the area; college admission information and adult and continuing education opportunities. Attendees of the fair who visit a minimum of six booths and attend one education session can enter a drawing to win door prizes including gift cards, bicycles, and brand new laptop computers.

The education fair is intended to help families become more involved in their children’s education and connect them to social service agencies. Information about the new STAAR standardized test will be available at the event, which is made possible by a partnership with United Way of Hays County.

UWHC will host 30-minute workshops and children’s activities during the fair. UWHC partner agencies and other partner organizations will supply experts for the free workshops.

The workshop sessions include: 10:30 to 11 a.m., Hays Caldwell Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, “Drugs, Statistics and Media Influences;” 11:15 to 11:45 a.m., “Resolute Health – Staying Healthy and Preventing Type 2 Diabetes;” noon to 12:30 p.m., “Head Start – How to Grow a Reader;” 12:45-1:15 p.m., “Clem Cantu, Goodnight Middle School – What Parents Need to Know about the STAAR test;” and 1:30-2:00 p.m., “Texas State Community Relations – Everything You Need to Know About Getting into College.”

Also featured in the United Way section of the Education Fair will be a Celebrity Readers Corner. Local leaders and celebrities, including, Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Texas State University Head Football Coach Dennis Franchione, Captain Live United, UWHC Board Chair Kim Porterfield, and San Marcos Police Chief Howard Williams are among readers scheduled to participate.

“Parents are a child’s first teacher, and need concrete, easy tools to help their children succeed,” said Michelle Harper, UWHC executive director. “An investment into educating parents is an investment in the future of our community.”

Donations are now being solicited from area businesses for the door prize giveaways. Business owners wishing to support the event may contact the San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce SOAR Liaison Margaret Lindsey at (512) 393-5910.

SOAR is a collaboration of the San Marcos Educational Partners including Texas State University, San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District, the San Marcos Education Foundation, the San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce, UWHC, Austin Community College, Gary Job Corp, the City of San Marcos, and the San Marcos Baptist Academy.

Porterfield said UWHC’s mission is to advance the common good by investing in and developing programs that address Hays County’s critical needs in education, income/financial stability, and health, with the help of community partners.

“These are the building blocks of a good life: a quality education, enough income to support a family through retirement, and good health,” Porterfield said. “By bringing together people and resources to address these issues, and by attacking their underlying causes, we hope to make lasting, fundamental change–for everyone.”

Fifteen programs UWHC funded in 2011 include Boy Scouts of America-Capitol Area Council, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Burke Foundation, Camp Fire USA-Balcones Council, Combined Community Action-Meals on Wheels, CASA, Early Childhood Intervention-Hays County Homespun, Greater San Marcos Youth Council, Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center, Hays Caldwell Council on Alcohol & Drug Abuse, Hays County Food Bank, Retired & Senior Volunteer Program, San Marcos Housing Authority Resident Services, San Marcos Youth Service Bureau, and Southside Community Center.

For more information about UWHC, visit. www.unitedwayhaysco.org or call (512) 353-1420.

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