Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson is gearing up to host the 26th annual Mayor's Back to School Fair this summer.
The event provides Dallas students and families with essential school supplies, valuable services, and other resources free of charge.
Johnson announced the details on Wednesday morning, alongside Dallas ISD children and mascots like Big Little Tex, Champ from the Mavericks and the Dallas Police Department’s McGruff the Crime Dog.
For the first time since 2019, the fair will be held fully in person. The last two years have been through either a drive-through or hybrid walk-up format due to the pandemic.
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The Mayor’s Back to School Fair will be held on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, at Fair Park. Families need to pre-register by July 29 in order to attend and receive supplies.
The city has created a website, mayorsbacktoschoolfair.com, with a link to register and learn more details.
Johnson said this year will be especially crucial due to inflation and rising costs. He also highlighted a record-breaking increase in school supply costs that's happening right now.
He said he has confidence in philanthropic donors and the business community to secure enough supplies to help families.
"I'm a living witness to what an education can do to change someone's life,” Johnson said. “And I believe as leaders, it's our job to provide hope and opportunities for all of our families, particularly for families who are living in underserved and overlooked communities like the ones I grew up in West Dallas.”
The fair is open to all families who live in the city of Dallas and/or attend a Dallas ISD school, grades Pre-k through 12th.
New incoming Dallas ISD Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde appeared at the event with the mayor Wednesday, urging families to register and seize the opportunity for assistance. She said the district will be making robocalls in July to remind Dallas ISD parents about the fair.
"We don't have an achievement gap, we have opportunity gaps. And this is one of those opportunities that our mayor is helping lead. Let's close those opportunity gaps,” she said.
Families will need to meet certain income requirements and the federal poverty level guidelines in order to qualify to register.
Supplies will be limited and on a first come, first served basis.
The other big push the city is working on right now is finding more sponsors and donors to get more supplies because they said the need will be bigger than ever this year.