On Saturday, September 13, Fallbrook Union Elementary School District chaperoned 200 kindergarten through fourth grade students to the Wal-Mart in Mission Valley.
The Smart Start Program started in 2005 with Phil and Amy Mickelson. The purpose is to provide deserving, underprivileged elementary students with new clothes and supplies in advance of the school year so they are ready to learn, excited about school and prepared to Start Smart.
For the past three years this program has been held at the Mission Valley Wal-Mart with Phil, Amy and their kids in attendance. They personally handed each student their new school supplies.
The students were transported by school buses paid for by the Mickelson Foundation. Wal-Mart and San Diego County Office of Education employees volunteered their time to help students pick out their clothes, shoes and backpacks.
Live Oak Elementary School personnel escorted 50 students and their parents on the school bus to Wal-Mart. Each student was able to shop for two new pairs of shoes, four pairs of pants/shorts/skirts, four tops, undergarments and a new backpack full of school supplies.
The Mickelson family sponsored the event for eight school districts this year. Since 2005, 24 San Diego County school districts have participated.
The event left lasting memories for the families involved. It was a day filled with excitement and gratitude.