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, is 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, 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 of pre-K and elementary school students will receive a colorful backpack in addition to their school supplies. Also, as the official transportation provider of the Mayor’s Back to School Fair, DART will offer free bus transit service to and from the Highland Hills Library to the Fair Park station on Friday, Aug. 5. Buses will depart from the library at 9, 10 and 11 a.m. and noon, and return trips from Fair Park will depart at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30 p.m.
“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.
IMPORTANT: Free school supplies are available ONLY to those who meet specific eligibility requirements (must be public school students pre-K through 12th grades who reside in the City of Dallas or attend a Dallas ISD school and meet the 2016 Federal Poverty Income Guidelines). A PHOTO ID, PROOF OF RESIDENCY AND PROOF OF INCOME ARE REQUIRED TO QUALIFY.
Picture ID includes state driver’s license, state identification card, military identification card, or foreign consulate-issued identification (i.e. Matricula Consular). City of Dallas proof of residency includes June, July or August 2016 utility bill (electricity, water, phone or gas) showing applicant name and current address or letter from landlord or apartment management company, on company letterhead, indicating proof of residency during June, July or August 2016.
Proof of Income may be verified using paycheck stubs from June, July or August 2016 or a letter dated in June, July or August 2016 on agency or company letterhead from an employer, welfare office, caseworker, or Social Security Administration Office indicating annual income and signed by an agent of the company or agency. Letter must include contact phone number for verification. Other qualifying documents include a Medicaid letter, Lone Star Program Card and a Dallas ISD letter indicating qualification for free lunch program.
Admission is free. Parking is free, or visitors can take the DART Rail Green Line to the Fair Park or MLK, Jr. stations. Fair Park is located at 1300 Robert B. Cullum Blvd. in Dallas.
For more information, please call 311 or go to mayorsbacktoschoolfair.com.