The seventh annual Back-to-School Expo broke records and showed continued growth in the event, as 6,138 patrons and guests were served Aug. 10 at the Berry Center. The expo gives all who attend a one-stop shop for resources, answers and assistance for incoming students, parents and prospective employees.
The total figure marks the fifth year the expo has seen 3,100-plus guests in attendance, with this year's total topping the previous best from 2017 (more than 4,300). The 682 new students who registered for the 2019-2020 school year also set a new expo record.
The expo provided 113 athletic physicals from Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital and 377 vision screenings by CFISD Health Services. In addition, immunizations required for public school attendance were administered by the Harris County Health Department utilizing the Texas Vaccines for Children program.
The event was enriched by support from numerous business and community partners. They included Xerox, who provided 11 copiers to help registration run smoothly. Walmart Neighborhood Market (8208 Barker Cypress Road) continued its support in giving away fresh fruit, school supplies and water to expo patrons.
"To be able to get involved, not only personally, but at a Walmart level, has been a great opportunity for me as well as my store and the company," said store manager Laddie Trainer. "It's a great opportunity for us because we know that what we're doing is helping the community. We're able to change people's lives simply by giving them a bag of school supplies and smiling at them."
Student volunteers from numerous CFISD high schools provided support, including the distribution of 1,200 backpacks. The CFISD nutrition services department supported the event by providing blender bikes, an entertaining and teaching tool for health and exercise. CFISD Health Services provided CPR demonstrations and training.
"I'm really happy that the district offers this type of event," said Laura Posada, who visited the expo with her son Daniel Valencia, an incoming sixth-grade student at Cook Middle School. "It was very helpful and there were a lot of vendors here so we could get more familiar with things around here and the district. Any little thing helps and it's always helpful for a family."
The Back-to-School Expo was graciously sponsored by Harris County Health Department, Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital and Walmart Neighborhood Market.
"CFISD appreciates the continued relationships with our business and community partners," said Ify Ogwumike, assistant superintendent for student services. "They serve a tremendous role in helping facilitate an opportunity-filled Back-to-School Expo for our community members."