MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - For five years, a celebration has been held at the Hollywood Community Center to promote a positive beginning to the new school year.
"We want to bring something positive to the neighborhood and for something that people can just say, ‘Hey, we're not doing these negative things. This is not us -- let's represent the neighborhood in a positive light,’” said Kevin Bernard, event coordinator.
The tradition of this event has carried on for five years, honoring Dorothy Bernard and De-Andre Jackson -- two people close to organizer Kevin Bernard's heart.
"It's named after my mother and we added another person because we had my god-son. He actually passed in June. His name was De-Andre Jackson,” said Bernard.
Families who came received a free meal, free school supplies, and information from local organizations.
Karla Lewis, a therapist in the community, also stopped by to speak to the kids entering the new school year.
"I just want them to know that no matter what happens, if they experience difficulty in the classroom or challenges at home make sure they reach out to adults within the community or in the school and just know that they can make it no matter what's going on,” said Lewis.
The goal is to start the year on the right foot... and honor the legacies of those who put education first.
"They believed that education was the key to success. The motto my mom always said was, ‘an educated mind is a gold mind,’” said Lewis.