Newly appointed Roger Q. Mills principal Latonya Clark beamed at her school gym’s transformation into a department store where Dallas ISD parents and students were able to have a family shopping experience while interacting with new teachers and staff as they gathered new uniforms.
“Not only were they able to receive a new uniform, they were able to see all of the amazing updates to our building: new landscaping, updated flooring, fresh coats of paints and so much more,” said Clark. “This event offered a sense of pride in our updated school and in themselves as they shopped for brand-new school clothes.”
Pat and Emmitt Smith Charities, Belk, and Fossil among others, collaborated to make the experience possible for the families in attendance.
Several hundred people gathered in the small auditorium at Mills as they received messages from district and donor representatives including Pat and Emmitt Smith, former Dallas Cowboy.
Smith encouraged parents to support their children in schools through encouragement, helping with homework and providing structure to their children. The former footballer went on to challenge students to give their best each day, to work hard and become “productive citizens.”
“Events like this offer an opportunity for our community to realize that we are rallying together around a united vision to strengthen the quality of education for our students,” said Clark. “It sent a message that we care about our school’s existence, our students, parents and staff. We want the Roger Q. Mills community to know that we will work tirelessly to ensure our students’ success and we are committed to being partners to help our students achieve.”
Pat and Emmitt Smith visited Billy Earl Dade Middle School later in the day to host an identical experience for students and parents in that community.
“This event communicates that we are invested in our students’ learning,” said Clark. “Whether it’s a new uniform, additional academic support or a meal in the evening, we will do whatever it takes to accelerate their opportunities to achieve success in the classroom.”
To date, Pat and Emmitt Smith Charities, in conjunction with Belk, have donated more than 1,600 uniforms to Dallas ISD students, totaling more than $94,000 in apparel.