Founded eight years ago, the Community Awareness for Youth (CAFY) organization was established to serve children and families in the City of Huntsville, City of Madison, and Madison County through monthly student recognitions and a free annual back-to-school event. This year’s CAFY event, July 28, features a backpack giveaway, live demonstrations, youth-talent showcase, along with a wide range of exhibitors offering information on community-based youth and family services. We sat down with Kenneth Anderson, CAFY director and City of Huntsville Multicultural Affairs Officer, to further discuss CAFY 2018.
The start of a new school year can be both exhilarating and overwhelming, full of heightened responsibilities for families and children. It’s a period in Kenny Anderson’s life that he remembers quite fondly.
“The beginning of a new school year is always an exciting time, and families need resources to be successful,” said Anderson. “Something as simple as a backpack full of school supplies can make all the difference.”
The 2018 CAFY family event on July 28 at Calhoun Community College will give away about 700 free backpacks to help children get the academic year off to a good start.
CAFY’s goal is to support the development of children and youth, strengthen families, and show children and families just how much they are valued in the community. The upcoming event empowers children and families by providing supplies and resources they need for the upcoming school year. It also supports their future endeavors in four key areas of life: careers, education, finances, and health.
Anderson believes that the driving force of the annual CAFY event is the young people in the community. He recalls the youth-talent showcases in previous years and the sheer pride and motivation he, along with other members of the CAFY committee, experience when observing the pure talent and gifts that the young performers express. “It actually motivates us to keep going, to keep doing this type of thing,” said Anderson.
CAFY has continued to grow since its inception and this year is partnering with Calhoun Community College. By focusing on the academic success of students, holding the event at the “premier two-year college in Alabama” is expected to bring more resources to families. In addition to CAFY’s wealth of resources, Calhoun will be providing information regarding their Instant Admission Day and other academic programs.
CAFY 2018 will be held from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Calhoun Community College-Huntsville Campus, 102 Wynn Drive. This free event is designed for children in grades 7 through 12, but is open to the public.