On Friday, August 24, Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities gathered 3000 students from seven high need Dallas ISD elementary schools to the Ellis Davis Field House for a back to school experience that included free uniforms from title sponsor, JCPenney, dental screenings and services from DECA Dental; vision screenings and free glasses from Essilor Vision, age-appropriate literature to encourage reading at home from KPMG; and Albertsons/Tom Thumb provided all students school supplies, a new backpack and a bag of groceries to take home.
“Five years ago, two amazing boys wrote to ask Emmitt and I to match the $300 they had earned by doing summer chores, to help some classmates who were being teased because their uniforms and shoes were worn and tattered,” said Pat Smith. “We knew we could do better than that, so we partnered with Dallas ISD to aid as many students as we could who were in financial need. That first year, we helped 400 students. Today’s Back to School experience is now hosted annually in partnership with Dallas ISD and key Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities partners. We are so thrilled that this year we will touch 3000 students and help them start the school year off the right way – feeling confident and ready so that they can focus on learning.”
From the podium, Emmitt Smith spoke to students, “Stay focused and stay around positive people who care for you. The principals, teachers, volunteers and sponsors who are here today have shown up because we believe in each and every one of you, we believe that you deserve to start the school year off right and we want you to know that each one of you is special and has unique talents.”
Entertainment for students was provided by Rock-T with The Ricky Smiley Morning Show, DJ Astronaut, the David W. Carter High School Band, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and mascot, Rowdy and an arts and crafts station hosted by Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities Creative Partner, Axxess and IKEA. Uniform delivery services were led by Two Men and Truck.
ABOUT PAT & EMMITT SMITH CHARITIES
Pat and Emmitt Smith have a passion to help young people by providing them with opportunities to reach their fullest potential, even when there may be barriers in front of them. Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities is committed to providing resources to children to help them see and dream beyond the restrictive opportunities of their environment or the limitations others have placed upon them by supporting high quality programs in North Texas through grants, scholarships and partnership efforts. In this way, their efforts are amplified throughout the community and allow them to impact thousands of children each year. Pat and Emmitt Smith personally mentor a group of high potential, high performing, students from the Dallas area through their flagship program, TEAM 22. In order to nurture their growth into confident young leaders they host unique educational experiences, send them to a leadership camp, pair them with mentors and require that they give back through community service. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/SmithCharities/.