Community-fueled event continues giving

The 14th-annual Health Fair and Back-to-School Rally featured 13 community organizations partnering to provide free activities, goodies and services to district families. Though months have passed since the one-day extravaganza, the successful event continues to impact Garland ISD—thanks to a reserve of a generous donation. Several campuses received Backpack Booster kits in January, providing students with much-needed school supplies.  

“Backpack Boosters is a program that presents [Kroger] customers and employees an easy way to help local students succeed in the classroom," said April Martin-Nickles, public affairs manager for Kroger. “Having the proper school supplies is important to a student’s emotional health and academic progression. Regardless of a student’s socio-economic environment, no child should have to go without the essential tools we collect during this initiative.”

Kroger initially donated 4,000 packs, or $461,522 worth of school supplies, for the Rally. More than 2,700 individuals attended the August affair, which resulted in a residual supply of sets. Garland ISD Case Manager Emily Jandrucko saw this as an opportunity to extend the event’s impact.

“[My department] covers the entire district and works with families on a daily basis. Because of Kroger’s support, we have been able to reach more families and provide assistance for a longer period of time,” she explained. “We are grateful to have such wonderful community partners, and hope to have their support in the future.”

“We are blessed to have community partners who are committed to serving our families,” added Director of Family and Community Engagement Ramona Aguilar. “The Health Fair and Back-to-School Rally was a great celebration of our diverse community and shared vision of serving families. Next year, I hope we are able to impact even more families and additional community partners get involved.”

The 15th-annual Health Fair and Back-to-School Rally is scheduled from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, at the Curtis Culwell Center.