Representatives from the TSU College of Agriculture distribute packages on healthy living to visitors at the festival. Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations

By Emmanuel Freeman

NASHVILLE, TN (TSU News Service) — Tennessee State University recently partnered with several organizations to help hundreds of youngsters get school supplies and advice on educational opportunities and healthy living as they prepare to go back to school.

The effort was to support Love’s Healthy Start Festival that took place July 28 at Hadley Park. It was the sixth year of the festival, started by State Rep. Harold Love, Jr., a TSU graduate.

More than five hundred youngsters attended the festival. They received free backpacks and school supplies, along with educational information and free health tips and screenings. They were also treated to free food and entertainment. Food items at the festival included roasted corn harvested from the TSU farm.

Associate Vice President for Administration and Chief of Staff, Dr. Curtis Johnson, represented TSU President Glenda Glover, who was away on a previous engagement.

He said the university was excited to work along with other organizations and institutions to provide information and resources to the students.

“Representative Love and his team are doing an excellent job by providing these gifts to students to get them ready to go back to school,” Johnson said.

Love said the event is a way for the community to support educational success, physical health and safe communities for Nashville’s children and youth.

“I’m so grateful for the participation in today’s event,” he said. “We should all feel good about the number of students and families who benefit from this. This will definitely give the students a healthy start.”

Cayli Wilson, a 5th grader from Rose Park Elementary School, attended the festival for the first time with her mother, Tesia Wilson. Cayli was surprised at the amount of fun at the festival.

“I thought I was just coming to get my backpack and school supplies, but there is a lot of fun here,” Cayli said.

Her mother, who is assistant principal at Alex Green Elementary School, agreed.

“This really helps to prepare the students and gets the community and parents energized to help the students have a successful school year,” said Tesia.

TSU’s College of Agriculture, represented by the Cooperative Extension, the Early Learning Center, and the Bio-Diesel program, set up tents and displays at the festival. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs was also among the many organizations that participated.