The 14th Annual Citywide Back to School Rally will be held on Wednesday, August 24th, 1:00-4:00PM, at Library Park, Grand Street, Waterbury. This year’s theme is RESPECT.  Noting a need for increased respect between teachers, staff, and students as well as among the students themselves, a special emphasis will be placed on this theme by all presenters at the Rally.

   The Back to School Rally focuses on helping kids prepare to return to the classroom by offering information about after-school programs, healthcare support, community resources, school supplies, raffles and much more. The annual event will be broadcast live by HOT 93.7 and will include entertainment, and refreshments. Talented youth from the community along with local Gospel singers will perform.

   The purpose of the Rally is to get kids pumped up and enthusiastic about learning during the new school year, which begins the following Monday, August 29th. Waterbury Youth Service System, Inc. (WYSS) along with the Mayor’s office, the Department of Education and other local organizations coordinate the rally, which takes place rain or shine, is free and open to Waterbury schoolchildren and their families.

   Award-winning author, Felix Manuel Rodriguez is volunteering his time to be this year’s guest speaker. His book, Dad, Me and Muhammad Ali, is the heart-warming story of a special afternoon that a father and son share. A truly motivational story for children, youth and families, this tale models positive family relationships and respectful conflict resolution. Vendors who provide information on after-school programs, child health and safety, etc. are welcome to contact Glenis Vialva at WYSS (203)573-0264 for further information.