Nearly five hours before the School is Cool event began Diane Jackson was already in line, hoping to receive a backpack voucher for her children.

The back to school rush takes a particularly heavy toll on those with fixed incomes, such as Mrs. Jackson. Thanks to the event, she will be able to get all the supplies necessary for her two children to start the school year off right.

“It’s hard on a fixed income,” she said. “This really is a blessing being able to get this help.”

Thousands of people were expected to make their way to Harvey Convention Center on Thursday afternoon for the City of Tyler’s annual School is Cool event.

The event, which has seen heavy growth since its inception three years ago, helps provide local families with everything they need for their student to start the school year.

Attendees will receive backpacks full of supplies, haircuts, eye and dental examinations and even immunizations.

The city has collected more than 2,000 backpacks, doubling the amount on hand in 2015. The event is expected to easily surpass the 5,000 attendees last year.

City of Tyler Public Relations Specialist Caroline Sanchez said the event has brought out more than 100 vendors and hundreds more volunteers.

School is Cool kicks off at 4:30 p.m. at Harvey Convention Center.

--Cory McCoy


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