Mayor Eric Johnson announced that the 24th annual Dallas Mayor’s Back to School Fair will take place Aug. 20 and Aug. 21.
The fair has traditionally served as a time-saving, one-stop shop that offers school supplies and a wealth of information and community resources. This year, the fair will look different and will not provide the same resource offerings because of the need to practice social distancing and limit potential exposure to COVID-19.
But families will still be able to receive necessary supplies and resources they need ahead of the upcoming school year. For those without a car, the fair will be set up as a two-day event. Walk-ups will be allowed Aug. 20. The next day, the fair will be a drive-through event, during which parents of Dallas students who meet certain income requirements will be able to have school supply packs placed in their vehicles.
“The Mayor’s Back to School Fair is a critical annual event for thousands of families in Dallas,” Johnson said. “No matter what school looks like this year, our children deserve to be set up for academic success. While this year’s fair will be different, it will be even more important to our families. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased need in our city, and the fair is another way to help those who can’t afford the added expense of school supplies right now.”
The walk-up event is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 20, from 5-7 p.m. The drive-through event is scheduled from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Fair Park. Volunteers will wear masks throughout the duration of the drive-through fair.
Families must pre-register online by Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2020, to receive school supplies. 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 kids.
More information is available online at mayorsbacktoschoolfair.com.
Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said he welcomes the event as a message to students that it’s time to get ready to learn — whether that happens in person or virtually.
“With so much about this school year up in the air, the back to school fair encourages students to start thinking about learning,” said Hinojosa. “It signals that learning is still important and possible even during a pandemic.”
The fair began 24 years ago with about 1,000 people and a dozen or so organizations. Now, thanks to the continued support of mayors, local community partners, sponsors, and nonprofits, the event has grown and attracts about 35,000 people and more than 130 organizations annually.
The fair is a collaborative effort between the City of Dallas, Dallas ISD, nonprofits, corporations, and community volunteers.
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. All families must meet 2020 Federal Poverty Guidelines to receive assistance.