Wednesday, August 07, 2019
by Isabelle Chen
It is perhaps the warmest month of the year and what elementary children want to do is to enjoy their summertime and cool off in swimming pools, especially in Texas. However, the “new school year waits for no children”. It is also about time for them to be back at school.
During the first Saturday of August, inside the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, staff working at Taiwan’s representative booth weren’t sure if they heard correctly. A parent told them that her youngest son’s name is “Taiwan”! And her oldest son is called “Thailand.” These two boys’ mother said that she wanted her kids to know it’s a big world with many countries outside the United States. She hopes that Taiwan and Thailand will have opportunities to travel to their namesakes when they grow up.
This is the 9th anniversary for the Houston City Mayor’s Back 2 School Fest. Each year, the City of Houston holds the event to help K-5 students from economically-disadvantaged families before the new school year begins. Participants receive free backpacks, sponsored by Shell Oil Company, with school supplies distributed by exhibitors. The event also provides health screens, vision checks, immunizations, etc. Pre-registration is required and should be applied for by school teachers.
This year, the event had an estimated 25,000 students from the greater Houston area. An estimated 100 exhibitors and vendors attended the event. The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Houston attended this event for the first time. To promote Mandarin language education opportunities in Taiwan, the Education Division of TECO in Houston designed handmade phonetic boards as giveaways along with Study in Taiwan stationery such as folders, pens, and pencils.
Among event sponsors and exhibitors, United States Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Houston City Council Members Jack Christie, and Carla Cisneros, Houston City Education Director Juliet Stipeche were present to support Mayor Sylvester Turner’s “Back 2 School Fest-Houston 2019”.
|PHOTO: Attendees are in front of the Taiwan booth|
|PHOTO: Handmade phonetic boards designed by the Education Division of TECO in Houston|
|PHOTO: Handmade phonetic boards with illustrations created by the Study in Taiwan Program|