Mayor’s Back to School Fair to celebrate 20th anniversary

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This summer, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and dozens of community partners and organizations will celebrate a major milestone in one of the city’s most popular and beneficial school-readiness programs. The 20th anniversary of the Mayor’s Back to School Fair, presented by Walmart and Sam’s Club, will be Friday, Aug. 5, from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., at the Automobile and Centennial buildings at Fair Park.

“We’ve come a long way since Mayor Ron Kirk launched the first Mayor’s Back To School Fair back in the 90s,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “There were about a thousand people in attendance and a handful or so community groups on hand for that inaugural event, so it’s amazing to see the tremendous growth and support that has elevated the Fair to be among the largest of its kind in the nation.”

With an expected attendance of 40,000 this year, the Fair is a one-stop-shop complete with all the back-to-school basics. Parents and children can find everything they need to prepare for the school year – from free school supplies for Dallas schoolchildren (who meet eligibility requirements); to free health, dental and vision screenings; to immunizations and haircuts plus the latest information on education, health and social services. The Fair also will feature musical entertainment, kids activities, games, interactive demos and more. New this year, families who pre-register pre-K and elementary school students will receive a colorful backpack at the Fair.

“Walmart is proud to once again be the presenting sponsor of the Mayor’s Back to School Fair,” said Kellie Duhr, Walmart’s Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations. “Our 177 stores across North Texas are helping families live better, especially when it comes to getting students ready for the school year.”

Walmart will conduct free vision screenings and offer general health screenings, including blood pressure and glucose checks, for all family members. Texas A&M Baylor College of Dentistry will provide free dental screenings and oral health information for everyone, plus fluoride applications, toothbrushes and toothpaste to students. Dallas County Health & Human Services will provide free immunizations. And Cedric B’s Barber and Beauty Salon and Ogle School of Hair, Skin and Nails will offer free haircuts to students. In addition, Half Price Books will give away 7,000 books.

Dallas ISD will have a large area with bilingual staff on hand to provide information on magnet schools, scholarship and alternative programs, psychological and social services, parenting, and family literacy.

Additionally, educational information and services, in English and Spanish, will be offered at hundreds of community resource booths on crime prevention, fire safety, college readiness, housing, transportation, personal finances, health, nutrition and literacy.

Eligible families who qualify for free school supplies are encouraged to pre-register by mail or in person at one of the remaining pre-registration events (see list of events below).

For more information, please call 311 or go to mayorsbacktoschoolfair.com.

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