Reach One Teach One UCA to Host Fourth Annual “Back to School Bash” for At-Risk Youth

Boys Group of Reach One Teach One (ROTO) prepare for activities. ROTO Girls proudly display backpacks filled with school supplies donations from 2020. (Donated photos)

CHATTANOOGA, TN – Reach One Teach One Uca will hold a school supply fundraiser on August 14 at Hope City Church, located at 7 N Tuxedo Ave. In preparation for the fall school semester, Executive Director Reginald Yearby is asking the community for donations of school uniforms, backpacks, paper, binders, folders, pens and pencils, and crayons. The public is encouraged to drop off physical and monetary donations from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on August 14.

Reach One Teach One Uca, or R.O.T.O is an Early Intervention Program for children ages five to 14. R.O.T.O is organized with the mission of providing Chattanooga’s underserved youth with opportunities to explore insight on community and careers and develop a positive outlook on the rest of their lives. Reginald Yearby considers himself a mentor to local youth in this vulnerable age group who need positive role models and a deeper understanding of personal accountability. Yearby says many of the children in his program are at risk of falling behind academically because of the pandemic. “Most of our kids had to go to summer school because they couldn’t keep up with virtual learning and everyone will return to in-person learning this fall. Because of that, we want to give them everything needed to keep up with the rest of the class and that means providing them with the tools for academic success,” said Yearby.

Shanta Price is a parent of four who participated in the “Back to School Bash” last year. She says most of the children in this program can’t afford basic school supplies. “I think it’s important for all children to have access to the same resources. Some minorities go to school with nothing, so how can we expect them to get the same education as those with the right tools? Students need book bags to carry their school items and school supplies to complete their homework,” said Price. This year’s school bash will have music and bounce houses.

More about the event: Reach One Teach One Uca has partnered with Kids Art Box, Cricket, Brainerd Baptist Church, Silverdale Baptist Church, Access Point, and Hope City Church for the “Back to School Bash.” If you are interested in partnering or donating, contact Reginald Yearby at 423-260-2309.