Parents in Hampton Roads prepare for the first day of school

HAMPTON, Va. - Jonetta Ashby's boys are ready for the first day of school. Her oldest is going to kindergarten.

"This will be their first year getting on the bus," said Ashby.

She stopped by a back-to-school giveaway Monday at the Boo Williams Sportsplex in Hampton to make sure her sons have everything they need starting with school supplies.

"The more kids you have, the more expensive it gets," she adds.

The annual event is hosted by Greater Emmanuel Temple and Bethel Temple in Hampton.

"I've had parents pull me to the side and tell me, 'I just didn't have it this year,'' said Pastor Michael Golden Jr., the pastor at Greater Emmanuel Temple.

But Monday, every child left with brand-new school supplies. Pastor Golden says it's all about uplifting children.

"We are making sure our young people go back not just empowered with resources, but with esteem so they can be the best version of themselves," he adds.

To help with that, Pastor Golden called on Cuttin' Up Barber Shop to give students free haircuts and styles from ponytails to braids.

News 3 also talked to some parents who were at local department stores getting last-minute school supplies. One mother has some advice for other parents. She was buying supplies for her high school senior.

"Don't wait till the last minute. When you wait, the shelves are empty," said Dorene Jean.

Parents who spoke to News 3 all brought up one of their biggest concerns for the new year: Safety.

"Just be safe," said Jean.

"As much as is going on in this world, safety first," added Ashby.

Pastor Golden says that's something he's already praying for "their protection."

Click here for more tips on how to win the school year.

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