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Fresh start to school for B'ville students

Tnaviah Wilson, 5, who entered kindergarten at McNamara Elementary School this week, giggles as Ann Czyz brushes stray hairs away from the child's face. Czyz is a professional hairdresser who volunteered her services to PEACE's Back to School Giveaway held last Saturday through Word Of Life Church in Baldwinsville.

Tnaviah Wilson, 5, who entered kindergarten at McNamara Elementary School this week, giggles as Ann Czyz brushes stray hairs away from the child's face. Czyz is a professional hairdresser who volunteered her services to PEACE's Back to School Giveaway held last Saturday through Word Of Life Church in Baldwinsville.

— PEACE has made many children smile.

The county resource center held a back to school giveaway event last Saturday in Noble’s Plaza where PEACE, also known as County West Family Resource Center, is located.

“The purpose of this event is to assist low income or no income families with back to school supplies,” said Joanne Wynings, a family advocate for PEACE.

“This event is not only important for the parents, but for the children as well. We want the children to return to school feeling prepared,” Wynings said. “I'll never forget my first days of school with my brand new colorful back pack, freshly trimmed hair, the stiffness of my new school clothes and my shiny new sneakers. My own wonderful experiences and memories drive me to continue to support and fundraise and reach out for assistance for our back to school program. All children deserve a fresh start.”

PEACE gave away backpacks, haircuts, clothes, school supplies including "Snacks In Packs," a program in which lunch pails are filled with a variety of kid friendly snacks, and other miscellaneous items.

“We are so happy that we are able to provide such services to our families in the community,” Wynings said, adding that PEACE is able to provide these services thanks to the support from local churches, community members and CWFRC funds.

Prior to Saturday’s event, PEACE was providing local families with backpacks and school supplies, as well as taking orders for the Pennies for Sneakers Program, which allows the organization to purchase back to school sneakers for children of all ages. Children are asked for their shoe size and favorite color then representatives shop for the shoes at Payless in Great Northern Mall. The shoes were distributed to the children through last Saturday.

“Although we are not able to assist everyone at this time, in regards to this particular program, we are hoping that next year we will have additional funding for more kids,” Wynings said, adding that the entire Back to School Giveaway Program has grown every year.

PEACE is located at 93 Syracuse St., Baldwinsville. For more information or to donate items to PEACE, call 638-1051.

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