Mayor Annise Parker
Mayor, City of Houston
1.The Fifth Annual Back to School Fest (BTSF) will take place at the University of Houston and will provide 25,000 economically disadvantaged Houston Region ISD elementary students with the following free of charge:
' School Supplies
' Vision Screenings
' Dental check-ups
' Hair cut vouchers
' Case Management
' Other services
2.For a third year in a row, the festival will be held at the University of Houston. Mayor Parker specifically sought a university campus venue for the event in order to introduce students and families to a college setting and encourage them to start preparing and planning for college. For many of the children and their families, this event will be their first introduction, and steps into, the City of Houston's premier 4-year college.
3.The festival will continue to feature informational exhibits showcasing City and community resources and services from organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, the United Way, Harris County Social Services, METRO, and Neighborhood Centers Inc., as well as University of Houston programs. Attendees will have the opportunity to interact with elected officials and sponsors as well. The goal is to connect families to year-round services.
4.Due to limited school supplies, this event is only open to pre-registered elementary school students (K-5th grade) who reside inside the City of Houston. Families must pre-register for admission. Once registered, they will receive a confirmation letter. All services and offerings are provided free of charge.
1.Students from over eight school districts and nearly 150 zip codes were represented at last year's BTSF
2.An estimated value of $85,000 were donated in health-care related services: Blue Cross/Blue Shield Care Van serviced 776 children by administering vaccines while the University of Houston's College of Optometry and the City's Health Department administered vision screenings to 938 children. Of those screened, 182 qualified to receive vouchers to see a physician and obtain glasses free of charge.
It is estimated that the Fourth Annual Back to School Fest saved each family $60.00 per child in back-to-school expenses (school supplies, haircuts, and clothing).
Produced by: Houston Newsmakers Team