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River Gate hosts backpack giveaway

Staff photo / Emily Scott Zayden Runion, 3, left, and Kaydence Nutter, 8, both of Austintown, tie-dye shirts during the River Gate School community event Tuesday on Courthouse Square in Warren. The event included a backpack giveaway and other activities.

WARREN — An alternative high school committed to dropout recovery held a backpack giveaway and community event Tuesday, where several dozen backpacks were donated to local students.

River Gate High School hosted the event on Courthouse Square in Warren. The event lasted three hours, but all backpacks were gone within 45 minutes. They were donated by Vallourec, a company with a large presence in Youngstown that designs pipes for the energy and industry sectors.

Several community organizations were at the event boasting various programs. Vallourec advertised entry-level jobs, Eastern Gateway Community College had information on its most popular programs, Help Me Grow gave out information on its home-visitation programs for parents and the Warren City Health District advertised its Cribs for Kids program, which helps new mothers learn about crib safety.

“We’re here to enroll kids, but also just to give back to the community,” River Gate community liaison Christina Young said. “We want people to know that, even if your child doesn’t go to our school, we are here as a community hub.”

Along with the giveaway, there was face painting, shirts to tie dye, several raffles and snow cones, all at no cost. A DJ from LOUD 102.3-FM, a hip-hop radio station, also provided entertainment.

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