Sabrina Michaels and her daughter Leah moved to the Heights area last week, and Michaels describes her daughter’s feelings about her first upcoming school year in town as “nervous.”

She is entering the eighth grade at Union Grove Middle School when classes start Aug. 26.

“New town, new school,” Sabrina Michaels said. “It’s crazy for any child.”

All of that changed when the Michaels came to the My Tutor and More Back to School Bash at Carl Levin Park on Friday.

“Leah has just met four other kids who will be attending the same middle school as her,” Sabrina Michaels said. “So I guess she won’t be nervous come Aug. 26.”

More than 450 students and their parents attended the Back to School Bash. Tina Capito, director of My Tutor and More, said they plan to annually host the event to raise school supplies and funding for the Killeen Independent School District’s Homeless Awareness Response Program.

“We are a tutoring company, and we serve the KISD mostly,” said Sibyl Sheppard, who helped organize the event. “So as a company, we decided to do this event because giving back to the community is crucial, especially during these hard times.”

The Back to School Bash was filled with events such as face painting, bounce houses, sports training sessions and a 3-on-3 basketball tournament sponsored by the Central Texas Ballers, an AAU sport organization.

More than 40 vendors participated in the bash. Each vendor had donate supplies and backpacks to HARP in order to participate.

Crystal Kendall, of the Killeen Patriots, said the event is a win-win situation for everyone.

“It’s actually been good,” she said. “We’ve sold a bunch of drinks and our cheerleaders are a hit with their bake sale. We had a great turnout. Plus I think it’s great the community is doing events like this.”

Capito said some monetary donations were also made during the bash, along with other contributions.

“Some of our sponsors are giving not just monetary donation, but services as well,” she said. “For example, we have some photographers giving free senior pictures sessions to the HARP students.”

Sheppard said the turnout of people at the bash was like a “sea of HARP’s angels.”

“That’s what I call everyone who has made a wonderful contribution, whether big or small, to the program.”

Monique Brand - Herald correspondent​

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