July 23, 2021 – Do you remember what it was like starting a brand-new school year with a fresh set of school supplies? Without the help of our community, many of the children we serve will not be starting their school year with that same excitement and support.

Each year, our Back-To-School Fair equips hundreds of children who are clients of Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County or Child Protective Services for the new school year by providing them with brand new backpacks and school supplies.

Historically, this event provided a family-friendly carnival for our clients, full of interactive games, on-site haircuts, shoe and backpack stations, refreshments, and much more all packaged together with a fun theme. Little did we know how much this event would have to change.

In Spring 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, we saw a significant decrease in reports of child abuse; however, we knew that it wasn’t because abuse had stopped. At that time, there were children in our community who were being forced to quarantine with their abuser. We were deeply concerned for the safety and well-being of these children.

The summer of 2020 was clouded with uncertainty, but we knew one thing for sure. No matter what type of classroom setting children would be presented with come Fall, they were very much in need of supplies and resources to set them up for a successful year of learning, albeit virtually. The event certainly looked different as a drive-thru and 100% contactless, but we were still able to achieve our goal of safely providing resources to prepare our clients for the upcoming year.

After Back-to-School Fair 2020, as quarantine lifted and children began regularly attending school, we saw our numbers begin to increase. In April and May 2021, we set record-breaking numbers for the number of forensic interviews conducted in a month.

We recognize the importance of education for the children of our community, and the vital role educators play in the lives of children. Teachers are the number one reporters of child abuse, keeping countless children safe each year. We are only beginning to see the dramatic effect that COVID-19 has caused in our community. It is important that we ensure the children we serve are well-equipped for the new school year, no matter the setting.

This year we are excited to host a hybrid Back to School Fair event that will be a drive-thru event, but also include an outdoor mini-festival for those who are interested. We will feature activities such as face painting, games, snacks, strolling characters, and more! For more information, or to support our Back to School Fair, please visit our event page by clicking HERE.