Pre-K 4 SA students line up outside of their bus at the San Antonio Food Bank. Photo by Scott Ball.
Pre-K 4 SA students line up outside of their bus. San Antonio voters will get to decide in May whether Pre-K 4 SA deserves to maintain its eighth-of-a-cent sales tax funding for eight more years. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

Few events signal the end of summer more than tax-free weekend. From Aug. 11-13, standard school supplies, clothes, and footwear will be sold free of sales taxes. Both retail and online shoppers can take advantage of marked down prices.

Several City districts, educational institutions, and other organizations are simultaneously hosting their own back-to-school events during tax-free weekend, where San Antonio children can receive free school supplies, meals, and more. A list of these events and other tax free weekend offerings has been compiled below.

  • San Antonio ISD begins Aug. 14
  • Alamo Heights, Ft. Sam Houston, Lackland, and South San Antonio ISDs begin Aug. 21
  • East Central, Edgewood, Harlandale, Judson, North East, Northside, Randolph Field, Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City, Southside, and Southwest ISDs begin Aug. 28.

District Events

Eastside Promise Zone and Alamo Colleges District Back to School/Back to Work Bash
Thursday, Aug. 10, 4-7 p.m.
4551 Dietrich Rd.

Councilman William “Cruz” Shaw (D2) and the Office of EastPoint will host the first Back to School/Back to Work Bash at the Alamo Colleges’ new Eastside Education & Training Center. Health partners will provide free or low cost vaccinations to prepare children and adults for school and work. Backpacks and school supplies, as well as a mobile food pantry, raffle and door prizes, plus information and freebies from various vendors will also be available while supplies last. Parents will be given opportunities to enroll in free job training programs for high-demand jobs such as construction, welding, IT, and nursing, or apply for jobs at the Workforce Solutions’ mobile application bus. Entertainment for all ages will be provided by the San Antonio Zoo Education Department, the Magik Theatre, 98.5 The Beat, and others.

12th Annual Back 2 School Jamboree
Friday, Aug. 11, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Claude Black Community Center, 2805 E. Commerce St.

Councilman William “Cruz” Shaw (D2) is also partnering with the Claude W. Black Advisory Board for the center’s 12th annual celebration. Families will receive backpacks, school supplies, and a variety of other resources to prepare for the beginning of the school year. Organizations such as H-E-B, The RK Group, Coca-Cola, and SeaWorld will be on hand to engage with community members. Shaw will address attendees between 12:30 and 1 p.m.

For more information, contact Celeste Brown at (210) 207-7278 or via email.

District 1 Back to School Wellness Fair
Saturday, Aug. 12, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Edison High School, 701 Santa Monica St.

Councilman Roberto Treviño (D1) and Telemundo 60 will provide 2,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to San Antonio students at the third annual Back to School Wellness Fair. Other community and wellness partners will be at the event to provide light medical services such as flu shots, asthma screenings, dental screenings, and more. Each student in attendance will also receive two free meals thanks to generous donations from the San Antonio Food Bank.

District 5 Back-to-School Fair
Saturday, Aug. 12, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Collins Garden Library, 200 N. Park Blvd.

Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales (D5), her staff, and volunteers will give away 600 backpacks filled with school supplies to families of elementary and middle school students in District 5. Community partners such as the San Antonio Spurs, Port San Antonio, Dance Therapy, and the City’s Parks and recreation department will have tables and booths to provide parents and children with information and resources. The San Antonio Food Bank will provide refreshments.  

District 4 Back-to-School Fair
Saturday, Aug. 12, 8-11 a.m.
CentroMed Palo Alto Clinic, 9011 Poteet Jourdanton Fwy.

Councilman Rey Saldaña (D4), partnering with CentroMed, invites families to attend the District 4 Back-to-School Fair where more than 2,000 backpacks and school supplies will be given out while supplies last. Free immunizations will be provided to the first 200 children entering either kindergarten or the seventh grade. Students must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and come prepared with immunization records. The San Antonio Food Bank will also provide a light breakfast and lunch for children in attendance.

More information is available through Yojani Hernandez at (210) 207-0880 or via email.

Councilman Perry’s (D10) Back to School Bash
Saturday, Aug. 12, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Toyota Field, 5106 David Edwards Dr.

Councilman Clayton Perry (D10) will be distributing free backpacks filled with notebooks, pens, pencils, and more at his back to school bash. The offer is valid while supplies last, and backpacks will only be distributed to parents who arrive with their school-aged children. Moreover, free family entertainment, grilled meats, and other goodies from local vendors will be provided. Interested constituents without school-aged children may still enjoy the festivities, and chat with Councilman Perry, as well as San Antonio Fire Department, San Antonio Police Department, CPS, SAWS representatives.

The event will be located under the Thousand Oaks bridge in the Toyota Field parking lot. More information is available via email.

Area Organization Events

Autism Community Network Backyard Social
Thursday, Aug. 10, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
10106 TX-151

The Autism Community Network and United Way will host a backyard social for children and families affected by autism and other developmental delays, for whom evening outings can be daunting. Families will receive two free meals and children will have access to a variety of sensory-friendly activities. The first 50 people to arrive will receive free passes to Splashtown, and at 6:30 p.m. Autism Community Network employees will host a question and answer session.

Hemisfair’s Back to School Bash
Saturday, Aug. 12, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
434 S. Alamo St.

The Hemisfair Coalition and Whole Foods Market will host a back to school bash for families with children in grades K-5, including first-come, first-served school supplies, tote bags, interactive art, and food and drink samples. Teachers with valid identification will have access to treats and a raffle contest. Entertainment and food will be provided by a variety of local organizations.

Back-to-School Locals Week at the San Antonio Zoo
Sunday, Aug. 13 through Friday, Aug. 18
3903 N. St Mary’s St.

For one week before school starts, the San Antonio Zoo is cutting the price of standard admission in half to just $7 in order to give more families and children interactive, educational experiences outdoors before students have to return to the classroom. The zoo will be open late until 9 p.m. Friday for a special cumbia-themed Jungle Boogie Night.

SAMMinistries Back-To-School Bash
Thursday, August 10, 6 p.m.
SAMMinistries’ Transitional Living and Learning Center, 5922 Blanco Rd.

Homeless students enrolled in SAMMinistries‘ housing programs may attend a back to school shopping event whereby 200 kids may each select two new outfits (or uniforms), a new pair of shoes, and a backpack filled with school supplies. The annual bash offers these items along with an opportunity to receive a free back-to-school physical and vision screening.

San Antonio Food Bank Summer Meals Program
Through Friday, Aug. 18
All Food Bank Donation Sites

The end of the summer can be a time when resources are stretched thin for low-income families preparing their children to go back to school. Join Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Food bank in fighting child hunger around San Antonio by collecting 9 million meals for children in need. To help out, simply donate online or drop off non-perishable food items at one of the Food Bank’s donation sites. Locations can be found here.

FitPass Finale 5K
Saturday, Aug. 19, 8 a.m.
10700 Nacogdoches Rd.

The City of San Antonio’s Parks and Recreation Department will close out its interactive summer fitness and wellness series FitPass with a 5K walk/run at Lady Bird Johnson Park. The race is free and open to all ages. Register online here.

Other Offers

AACOG Tax Free Weekend Shopping Shuttle
Friday, Aug. 11 & Saturday, Aug. 12
Various Pick Up and Drop Off Locations

The Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) is offering free shuttle rides for residents of nearby cities interested in traveling to some of San Antonio’s shopping locations during tax free weekend. Residents in Bandera, Boerne, Devine, Floresville, Fredericksburg, Hondo, Kerrville, New Braunfels, Pleasanton, and Seguin may be picked up and brought to one of several San Antonio shopping centers, such as the Forum Shopping Center, Ingram Park Mall, North Star Mall, Rolling Oaks Mall, Rim Shopping Center, South Park Mall, or Westover Marketplace. Riders will have three hours to shop before being returned to their pick up location.

Additional information is available here. Individuals are encouraged to reserve seats early, and may do so here, or by contacting 1-866-889-7433.

Disclosure: CPS and H-E-B are Rivard Report business members. For a full list of supporters, click here. 

Jeffrey Sullivan is a Rivard Report reporter. He graduated from Trinity University with a degree in Political Science.

Tom Bugg is a San Antonio native and student of English at Colorado College.