Special to The Dallas Examiner
Mayor Eric Johnson announced Monday that the 25th annual Dallas Mayor’s Back to School Fair will take place Aug. 6 at Fair Park. The drive-thru portion of the fair will be open between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Walk-ups will be available from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Families must register online at https://www.mayorsbacktoschoolfair.com to receive school supplies. The registration deadline is July 30. All families must meet 2021 Federal Poverty Guidelines to receive assistance.
“I know that many parents in our city have depended on this program during my predecessors’ tenures and since I’ve been the mayor,” Johnson said. “Having children is a blessing, but it’s also a challenge – and yes, having kids can be very expensive. Opportunities such as this fair can make a major difference when you’re just trying to put food on the table.”
The fair – a collaborative effort between the city of Dallas, Dallas ISD, nonprofits, corporations and community volunteers – has traditionally served as a timesaving, one-stop shop that offers school supplies and a wealth of information and community resources. But like last year, the fair will have drive-thru and walk-up options and will not provide the same resource offerings because of the risk of COVID-19, particularly among children who are not yet eligible to receive a vaccine.
“The 25th annual Back to School Fair is always a great opportunity to mark a fresh start to the upcoming school year,” said Susana Cordova, deputy superintendent with Dallas ISD. “Thank you to the Mayor, the City and the community at large for showing your support for our families by ensuring that every student has the materials they need to re-enter the classroom ready for a successful year.”
To qualify for free school supplies, students must live in the city of Dallas or attend a Dallas ISD school. For Dallas ISD students, families must provide proof that the student attends a Dallas ISD school by providing a student ID number. For students who live in the city of Dallas but attend schools outside Dallas ISD, families must provide a valid photo ID, proof of residency and income verification.
After pre-registering online, families will receive a confirmation code to display to volunteers at the event to receive school supplies. Parents who are not able to attend can give their confirmation code to another individual to pick up the school supplies for their children.
The fair began 25 years ago with about 1,000 people and a dozen or so organizations but has grown significantly since then. Last year, the fair handed out more than 9,000 packs of supplies – more than in any previous year.
The plan is to give out about 10,000 supply packs this year.
“This will be a great year for our kids. I’m confident of that,” Mayor Johnson said. “The pandemic has been extremely difficult for all of us, but especially for our little ones. I’ve got two little boys at home, and it has been a real challenge for them. But we’ve pushed through the worst of it, and we’re ready to get back to building for the future here in Dallas. And the future begins with preparing our kids for the next school year.”