This story will continuously be updated with future events.
It's the start of a new school year! And as students, parents and teachers gear up for another year during the uncertainty of the COVID pandemic, city leaders and organizations are hosting free back-to-school events to help ease the cost of buying school supplies across the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
"We have notebooks, pencil packs, pencils,” said volunteers with For Oak Cliff in Dallas.
“Our festival is now drive-thru. It important for us to still get the resources to the kids,” said Unesha Wells.
The gymnasium at For Oak Cliff has become a make-shift warehouse. Volunteers, interns, and staff are working around the clock. They are getting notebooks and other essentials ready for students returning to school.
“I remember a time when I didn’t have enough money for school supplies,” a worker shared with the others.
Easing the burden on families is what the group and other organizations are trying to do.
“Well, last year was a wild one. You know, the first of its kind,” said Taylor Toynes, of For Oak Cliff.
His team knows the pandemic is still hitting some families hard. For Oak Cliff is preparing to host its seventh annual Back-to-School Festival. This year, the nonprofit expects to helps about 3,000 families with school supplies.
The organizers say there is a certain sense of uncertainty in the air as students transition back to class and back to full in-person instruction.
“COVID made issues way worse than they already were in our community. And as kids are going back to school, we know supplies are needed. Shoot. We still need to provide food. We’re still providing bill assistance. Like, the needs are still there,” said Xavier Henderson, director of development at For Oak Cliff.
For Oak Cliff’s drive-thru Back-To-School Festival is being held Saturday, Aug. 14, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Glendale Shopping Center, 4478 S. Marsalis Avenue in Dallas -- and the same hours at Thurgood Marshall Rec Center at 5151 Mark Trail Way in Dallas.
MLK Center Back to school Drive-thru festival
The MLK Center is hosting a drive-thru back-to-school festival on Saturday, Aug. 14.
All Dallas ISD are eligible to attend and must be present to receive school supplies, vouchers and information about the upcoming school year.
The event will be held at Martin Luther King, Jr. Center, located at 2922 MLK, Jr Boulevard from 10 a.m. to noon.
For more information, click here.
Church of the Incarnation last free immunization clinic, sports physicals
This weekend, the Church of Incarnation is hosting a free immunization and sports physical clinic for children as they head back to school.
The free event will take place Saturday, Aug. 14, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Church of the Incarnation at 3966 McKinney Avenue.
The Meningitis, HPV and whooping cough vaccines will be included in the vaccines offered. Participants will need to bring their immunization records.
Also, student sports physicals will also be given. It's open to the public, so first come, first served, event officials say.
DCHHS Back to School immunization, COVID vaccines
Dallas County Health and Human Services is holding a back to school immunization event Saturday, Aug. 14.
The event will be held at the DCHHS building at 2377 N. Stemmons Freeway in Dallas from 8 a.m. to noon.
DCHHS says children up to age 18 are eligible to receive free immunizations, and parents are required to make an appointment for the clinic by calling 972-692-2780.
For more information, click here.
Free shoes drive-thru event
St. Phillip’s School and Community Center is hosting a free shoe drive-thru event Saturday, Aug. 14.
Event organizers says at least 700 people will receive a new pair of shoes, socks and hygiene kits in a "Hope Tote" drawstring book bag. The event is open children, teens and adults.
The event will take place at the community center parking lot located at 1600 Pennsylvania in Dallas, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Fire Station Community Center back to school event
The Fire Station Community Center is hosting at back to school event that will include wellness screenings, COVID vaccines, free backpacks and library card sign-ups for children Saturday, Aug. 14.
Event organizers say JPS Health Network will be conducting the wellness screening from children ages 5-18, which include sports physicals. JPS will also be administering the Pfizer vaccine for eligible students.
The Seminary South Library Branch will sign up kids for library cards and give out prizes, and Volunteers of America will be hosting games and activities.
Fire Station Community Center says it will be giving away backpacks filled with school supplies on a first-come, first-served basis.
The event will take place at the center at 1601 Lipscomb Street in Fort Worth from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Dream Center Dallas back to school event
Dream Center Dallas is hosting a back to event Saturday for families in Oak Cliff.
The organization says they will backpacks, shoes and school supplies for children. Also, food and games will be provided.
The event will take place in the parking lot of Dream Center Dallas at 1900 S. Ewing Avenue Saturday, Aug. 14 from 10 a.m. to noon.
Mountain View Church of Christ back to school fair
Mountain View Church of Christ is partnering with Web City Properties to host a back to school fair Saturday, Aug. 14.
The church says there will be fun for the whole family and that backpacks, school supplies and prizes will be given to children.
Also, vaccinations will be provided by Texas Malone Healthcare from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The event will take place at 7979 E. RL Thornton Freeway in Dallas from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Children on the Mend back to school giveaway
Children on the Mend is hosting a back to school event at Sunrise McMillan Elementary in Fort Worth Saturday, Aug. 14.
The nonprofit says there will be free backpacks and school supplies available for children from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Tanger Outlets Fort Worth back to school bash
Tanger Outlets Fort Worth is hosting a back to school celebration Saturday, Aug. 14.
There will be plenty of activities for families, music and deals.
The event will take place from noon to 2 p.m.
Back to School Brigade
The national nonprofit Operation Homefront is hosting its annual Back-to-School Brigade, giving away over 300 backpacks filled with school supplies to military children at Naval Air Station Fort Worth this Thursday, Aug. 5.
The program was started in an effort to help alleviate the costs of school supplies, “allowing military families to app those funds to other critical needs and ensuring they start strong and stay strong this back-to-school season and beyond," the nonprofit says.
And this year, the nonprofit will celebrate a milestone by giving away its 450,000th backpack since 2008, saving families more than $50 million in back-to-school expenses.
The drive-thru event will take place from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Fort Worth Lone Star Center, located at 2570 Desert Storm Road.
For more information, visit OperationHomefront.org.
25th Annual Dallas Mayor’s Back-to-School Fair
The 25th annual Mayor’s Back to School Fair will take place Friday, Aug. 6 at Dallas Fair Park.
Supplies for about 10,000 families will be provided this year — more than in any previous year of the event, the mayor’s office says.
Mayor Eric Johnson also announced that in partnership with the Texas Military Department and the Texas Division of Emergency management, COVID-19 vaccinations will be offered at the event.
The vaccine will be available during the drive-thru portion of the event between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. The walk-up portion of the event will take place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., where Walmart will offer vaccines.
All three vaccines — Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson — will be available.
“I am incredibly grateful for our latest partnership with the state as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mayor Eric Johnson said. “The highly contagious Delta variant is spreading rapidly, and vaccines remain the single best tool we have in our fight against this deadly virus. I hope the Mayor’s Back to School Fair will allow us to vaccinate hundreds of people and help us better protect parents, educators, and students during our upcoming school year.”
The mayor says the fair only provides supplies for families who meet federal poverty guidelines and either live in the City of Dallas or attend a Dallas ISD school.
Registration for the event closed last Thursday after all slots were filled.
On Saturday, Aug. 7, Dallas ISD Trustee Pastor Maxie Johnson is hosting Shake Dallas at South Oak Cliff High School. The free event will include an opportunity fair for teens, a community health fair for the community, and a concert with Grammy winning gospel recording artist Dorinda Clark-Cole.
Johnson said the event will take place at the high school at 3601 Marsalis Avenue from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and you can register on Eventbrite.com.
Baylor Scott & White is also partnering with Shake Dallas Health Fair to offer the Pfizer vaccine to residents age 12 and older from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. at South Oak Cliff High School. A parent or legal guardian must accompany any minors who get the vaccine.
Arlington ISD back to school kickoff
Arlington ISD is hosting its seventh annual back to school kickoff Saturday, Aug. 7.
The district said the community-wide effort is set to help at least 10,000 students and their families prepare for the upcoming school year by distributing backpacks filled with school supplies.
Students will also receive information on free eye, dental and health screenings, as well as details for free immunizations, the district said.
The drive-thru event will take place at AT&T stadium from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“This is always one of the highlights of the year,” said Cavazos. “It’s the unofficial start to the school year. Working with great community partners throughout the process makes things easier,” said Arlington ISD Superintendent Dr. Marcelo Cavazos.