All DVISD elementary students receive free school supplies from TEXAS YES Project
Del Valle ISD elementary school students were surprised on Monday with free school supply kits that include all the materials they’ll need to have an awesome start to the school year.
TEXAS YES Project, a nonprofit that works to close the gap for educational equality, has partnered with DVISD since 2018 to bring “Box of Dreams” to all the district’s elementary students. Kindergarteners through fifth graders received the kits on Monday, bringing smiles, cheers, high-fives, and hugs.
“We want to ensure that every student has the same starting point and that everyone gets the same amount of school supplies so no one is left out. No one will be underserved, and we look at education as a hand-up, not a handout,” Texas Yes Project Program Director Marissa Moreno said while giving out the supply kits.
A total of 7,000 kits were distributed across the district, for every single primary school student, including additional kits in case students were out the day they were distributed or need more supplies as the school year progresses.
At Baty Elementary, Chase, the police dog from Paw Patrol and the Baty Bobcat, greeted students as they picked up their free box of supplies. A number of little ones ran up for hugs, high-fives, and photos from their favorite mascots before heading back to class.
“It's really, really rewarding. We look at it like our own Christmas,” Marissa said. “This is our favorite time of the year, and we're not just saying that. We love the kids coming in. They have big smiles on their faces, they give Chase a big high five and a hug.”
“At the last school, Newton Collins, a student actually asked, ‘Can I give you a hug?’ I was like, ‘Yes, yes, you can.’ And it was just really, really rewarding. They were super excited,” she added.
DVISD Director of Student and Family Community Engagement Lydia De La Garza coordinated the massive donation along with Marissa. For months, the two have worked together to set a delivery date for pallets of supply kits, gather volunteers, and set a date for the distribution for all nine DVISD elementary campuses.
“Taking this load off our families is a great thing and a good start to the year where kids can have things to use for their class work and not be worried about not having a notebook or not having a pencil or pen. They have those materials with them on the very first week of school,” Lydia said.
Lydia was joined by Texas Yes volunteers and DVISD employees at Gilbert Elementary, where they handed out hundreds of supply kids to students to the seen of smiles and “Thank yous” from students. Volunteers made their way across the district throughout Monday to ensure all received the kits.
“It’s awesome to see that organizations can accomplish something like this in the district. When you think about it, there's a lot that goes into it. So there are a lot of students that get their school supplies this way, so it's great that they're able to provide this support,” Lydia said.