DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Like kids across North Texas, schoolchildren in Dallas and their families are preparing to head back to class and today thousands of those young people are expected at the Mayor’s Back to School Fair.

The back to school fair is a kind of “one-stop shop” for students. Those attending can take advantage of free health, dental and vision screenings. In addition to free school supplies for eligible students, families can also get the latest information on education, health and social services.

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Organizers say the goal is to make sure kids are prepared to head back for their first day.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings was out at the event before sunrise and was excited. “This is a big day,” he said. “We’ve got tens of thousands of people coming out.”

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The Fair is free and open to families with school-aged children from pre-K through 12th grade, but the families must live in the City of Dallas or attend Dallas Independent School District schools.

To qualify for the backpack filled with free school supplies parents need to bring a photo ID, proof of residency and proof of income.

Besides being able to help Dallas student prepare for the start of school Mayor Rawlings said there’s something else he looks forward to. “Meeting these kids up close and personal is the best part of being mayor, because that’s our city 15 years from now. We can fight over the issues right now, but getting these kids ready to take over and be great citizens and have great families is so inspiring to me.”

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Some 35,000 people are expected to attend this year’s fair. The event runs from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. and is being held at the Centennial Building at Fair Park located at 1001 Washington Street in Dallas.