MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Monongalia County students are preparing to head back to school. 

On Saturday, at the Mountaineer Mall, students picked up free school supplies. The back-to-school bash is an annual event to give students books, backpacks, clothing, haircut coupons and more. 

The event was started four years ago by Natalie Webb, the principal of North Elementary School. Webb wanted every student in the county to be prepared going into the new school year.  

Cars lined up for the back-to-school bash

The event also had the Mon Health Department Smile Express truck there. The Smile Express sees kids for dental checkups that don’t have a primary dentist.  

“Statistics show that over 50% of school-age children have dental decay and the things that, that causes is decreased academic performance,” said Tiffany Summerlim, Smile Express coordinator. “They’re not able to learn because they’re in pain and so what we’re able to do is provide a con to it to get them out of pain so that they can be better learners and just be a better part of the community.” 

Smile Express serves counties. If parents are interested in the Smile Express, they can fill out a form through their child’s school.  

If students didn’t get a chance to visit the back-to-school bash the school will still provide supplies.  

“Monongalia schools will always provide for kids that come to school without any supplies, but we just know that students like to come with their own things,” Webb said. “So, if a student hasn’t been able to come to the back-to-school bash, we have supplies that we can give them at the school level just reach out to the principal, reach out to the school and we will give them out everything they need.” 

The Monongalia County Health Department was also at the event offering covid vaccines to anyone 12 and older.  

“One of the things that we’re really trying to accomplish right now through our covid vaccination programs is that we’re trying to have events that are convenient to people and allow them ample opportunities to get the shot whenever they’re ready for it,” said Jamie Moore, Mon Health Department program manager. “If we want covid to go away, we all need to get our shots. That’s the easiest, best, fastest way to get back to normal.” 

To schedule a vaccine with the Monongalia County Health Department visit here or call 304-598-5119.