Mayor Sylvester Turner welcomed thousands of students and their families to the 12th Annual Mayor's Back to School Fest presented by Shell on Saturday, Aug. 13. After two years as a drive-through, no-contact distribution due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event returned to an in-person event at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
The annual fest presented by Shell USA, Inc. is designed to help economically disadvantaged Houston-area elementary school students and their families as they prepare to return to school.
"With the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Houston families simply cannot afford backpacks and school supplies. My administration is focused on creating equity, particularly when it comes to our children. Families have been hit hard by health issues or unemployment, so this event is intended to provide them some relief,” said Mayor Turner.
"I thank our sponsors for stepping up to the plate to help. Due to their generosity, thousands of kids will have the tools they need for a successful start to the school year."
In addition to distributing 25,000 backpacks with school supplies, the event featured on-site health screenings to include: dental screenings and sealants, vision screenings, routine immunizations and COVID-19 vaccines.
The event also connects families to a wide range of health and social services offered by community agencies. With one in four Texas children living in poverty, the Mayor's Back to School Fest presented by Shell is focused on changing the future, one child at a time.
“Shell is proud to return as founding and presenting sponsor for the Mayor’s 12th Annual Back to School Fest,” said Gretchen Watkins, Shell USA, Inc. President. “We believe supporting the communities where we live and work helps make positive, lasting social and economic impact. The Back to School Fest is a great example of one of the educational initiatives we sponsor that improves student performance and embraces diversity across the city we all call home.”