According to Rainbow Days Development Director Justin Eatherly,
“Just one year after the pandemic forced school districts to close campuses, delay the start of the new school year and shift to remote learning, students are now preparing to return to the classroom. However, children’s experiences during the pandemic and their needs upon returning to school — academically as well as emotionally — vary greatly. Rainbow Days recognizes the importance of supporting students’ social, emotional and mental health as well as equipping them with the tools, such as school supplies, they need to be successful this school year. These needs are particularly critical for the thousands of students within Dallas ISD experiencing housing insecurity, poverty or homelessness. To address these needs, Rainbow Days’ Back-to-School Celebration will provide new backpacks, school supplies and uniforms to over 1,100 pre-K through 12th grade homeless and at-risk children and youth across Dallas.
“This August, Rainbow Days will host our 30th annual Back-to-School Celebration at the Dallas Market Center for homeless and at-risk children and youth so they can celebrate going back to school with positive mentors, carnival games and delicious refreshments. Children and youth who will benefit from this project attend one of Rainbow Days’ partnering schools in Dallas ISD and/or reside in one of 30 different local motels, transitional living sites, and homeless and domestic violence shelters. By providing each child with the supplies they need for the new school year through this event, Rainbow Days is not just meeting a basic need, but we are sending them positive messages that education is important, someone cares about them and we believe they can succeed in school.
“In addition to meeting homeless children’s tangible needs, the Back-to-School Celebration evokes excitement and builds confidence as each child will leave the event with a new backpack filled with school supplies, a new uniform and a new after-school outfit. Since 1992, the Dallas Market Center has partnered with Rainbow Days to host this celebratory event by donating space and services each year. Additionally, each child attending this year’s event will get to ‘shop’ for a fashionable new after-school outfit generously provided through Rainbow Days’ partnership with Kidbox/Delivering Good.
“To meet the needs of these children and youth, Rainbow Days is collecting monetary and in-kind donations of the following selected school supplies until Friday, August 6, which can be purchased and shipped directly to Rainbow Days via our Amazon Wish List: Backpacks, colored pencil sets, composition notebooks, construction paper, dry erase markers, folders, glue sticks, hand sanitizer, index cards, erasers, notebook paper, markers, notebook dividers, pencil boxes, pencil sharpeners, pens (black and red), Post-it Notes, sharp scissors, tissues, wet wipes and Ziploc bags.
“Rainbow Days would be grateful to count on your financial support of these critical back-to-school efforts during this school year. To make a financial gift and help Rainbow Days prepare students for success this year, donate here.
“The 30th annual Back-to-School Celebration will be co-chaired by Regina Bruce and Dr. Carla Russo and hosted in partnership with Title Sponsor Captrust and Presenting Sponsor MoneyGram Foundation. Numerous individual and corporate donors, as well as over 400 volunteers, will help make this entire project possible. Rainbow Days would also like to recognize Dallas Market Center, Kidbox/Delivering Good, New Hope Compassion, Bank of America, BDO USA, LLC, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Dallas Police Association, Holy Smokers Men’s Group, Young Men’s Service League, National Charity League and more for their support.
“The Back-to-School Celebration is a program of Rainbow Days Inc, a 501(c)(3) Dallas-based nonprofit organization. Founded in 1982, Rainbow Days has a mission to help children and youth in adversity build coping skills and resilience to create positive futures. Through social-emotional learning (SEL) support groups, presentations, camps, mentored events and tangible items, Rainbow Days serves more than 9,000 at-risk children and youth in the Dallas area annually. For more information about the Back-to-School Celebration or Rainbow Days, please visit www.RainbowDays.org or call 214.887.0726.”
* Graphic/photo provided by Rainbow Days