August 11, 2012. The City of Houston and Houston Independent School District (HISD) joined forces today to present the Back to School Fest 2012, in partnership with presenting sponsors Shell Oil Company and Motiva Enterprises LLC. The event helped 25,000 students and their parents prepare for the new school year by providing them with supplies, services and information for a positive start of the new school year.
The students received backpacks, school supplies, school uniforms, free immunizations and hair cut vouchers from Texas Barber College and Hairstyling Schools. Students and their families took advantage of free health screenings provided by the City and other local health agencies. They also received provisions of fresh produce donated by the Houston Food Bank. In addition, parents had the opportunity to stop by numerous informational booths staffed by the City, HISD and other entities to learn about community services and resources.
The opening ceremony featured comments by following fest partners and supporters: City of Houston Mayor Annise D. Parker; HISD Superintendent Dr. Terry B. Grier; Shell Oil Company Foundation Vice President Dr. Frazier Wilson; HISD Board of Education President Michael Lunceford; and Houston City Council Member, District K, Larry Green.
¡°On the first day of school, we want all of our students to walk into the classroom eager to learn and equipped with the tools that they will need to perform their lessons and succeed academically,¡± said Mayor Parker. ¡°The City of Houston is proud to, once again, join forces with HISD and partner with Shell Oil Company and Motiva to see that no child lacks the supplies, school uniforms and immunizations they need for a great start of the new school year.¡±
Dr. Grier acknowledged the work and support of dedicated volunteers and business partners. ¡°I want to personally thank our business partners and everyone who has donated their time and resources to make this event a success," said Grier. "Because of your extreme generosity, we can help thousands of students get the possible best start to the new school year.¡±
For the second year, Shell Oil Company and Motiva Enterprises LLC were presenting sponsors of the event. ¡°Shell and Motiva are proud to return as a partner for this worthy event," said Wilson. "It is important to launch teachers and students off to a good start. Together with our community partners, Shell and Motiva are committed to improving education, expanding knowledge and helping to build a brighter future by enhancing the education experience.¡±
¡°The students are the reason we¡¯re here,¡± said Lunceford. ¡°We want all children to be successful in school and being prepared is the first step. I¡¯m pleased we can help families receive the basic requirements their children will need to start the school year off right.¡±
¡°I am very pleased to see that the City of Houston as well as our corporate community is allowing Houston-area students to start school equipped for success,¡± Council member Green stated.
The following corporations joined Presenting Sponsors Shell Oil Company and Motiva Enterprises LLC in support of the fest: Title Sponsors - Association Management Incorporated, Kroger and Reliant an NRG Company; Platinum Sponsor - Summit Dental Center; Gold Sponsors - Amerigroup, Atlas Commodities LLC, Fiesta, KelseyCare powered by CIGNA, TAM INTERNATIONAL, Target and Yellow Cab.
The City's sponsorship of the fest was coordinated by the Mayor's Citizens' Assistance Office, a division of the Department of Neighborhoods. The following City departments participated in the event by providing informational booths and community outreach staff: Department of Neighborhoods, Houston Police Department, Houston Public Library, Health and Human Services Department, Houston Parks and Recreation Department, Houston Fire Department, Solid Waste Management Department, Public Works and Engineering Department, Housing and Community Development Department and Office of Emergency Management. City of Houston guests representing IBM's Smarter Cities Challenge initiative were also in attendance to greet parents and students.
For information about City of Houston departments and services they offer, visit www.houstontx.gov. To learn more about the Department of Neighborhoods, visit www.houstontx.gov/neighborhoods.