Back to School Bash set at park

A Back to School Bash will be at 10 a.m. Aug. 8 at Hampton Park on Rutledge Avenue in downtown Charleston.

One hundred volunteers from 10 local churches will provide a party, entertainment, prizes, horse rides, games, food and more to the downtown community. The activities will continue, rain or shine, until all the supplies have been distributed. No identification is needed.

The first 500 children ages 4-13 will receive a free bag of school supplies and a free uniform.

Call Gordon Cashwell, event coordinator, at 568-8962.

First Day Festival planned Aug. 16

To celebrate the first day of school, the Mayor's Office for Children, Youth and Families will hold the seventh annual First Day Festival on Aug. 16 at Liberty Square at the S.C. Aquarium and at the Charleston Maritime Center.

The festival, 1-4 p.m., will focus on providing school supplies for students and will feature exhibits, food vendors, mascots and entertainers.

The school supply drive for the festival is ongoing until Aug. 7. Lowcountry Food Bank will accept donations of non-perishable food items at the event.

Festival organizers also are seeking volunteers.

Call 965-4190 or visit www.charlestoncity.info/mocyf.

Academy starts new year Aug. 23

The Charleston Academy of Music will kick off its eighth year on Aug. 23.

The academy is starting a special after-school orchestra program at Meeting Street Academy geared to inspire children to learn and enjoy playing an instrument.

The school offers music instruction for all ages and skill levels in piano, violin (including Suzuki classes for age 4-5), viola, cello, voice and classical guitar.

The Honors Program provides talented students who demonstrate financial needs to audition and study with international professionals.

The academy also welcomes new faculty members Javier Orman (violin) and Janai Brugger (voice). Orman will be directing orchestra program as well.

CAM is accepting registrations for fall 2009. Visit www.charlestonmusic.org, call the office at 805-7794 or e-mail at CAM746@yahoo.com.

FunSaver offers fundraising help

Schools, nonprofits, sports teams, daycares and church groups have a way to raise money with the Lowcountry FunSaver, a coupon book.

For the second year, WEZL and Channel 5-WCSC have partnered up to offer an extra dollar for every book sold.

There are individual and group incentives for selling the book, and more is available at www.lowcountryfunsaver.com. Call Buzzy Green at 425-2106.