Each month, State Fair President Mitchell Glieber publishes his thoughts on initiatives important to the organization.
As I have previously mentioned, the mission of the State Fair of Texas is to celebrate all things Texan by promoting agriculture, education and community involvement through quality entertainment in a family-friendly environment. In this month’s letter, I would like to share more information with you on our commitment to education. With a focus on educating visitors about Texas history and agriculture, the Fair offers a unique experience that is both informative and entertaining. With education at the core of our foundation, we strive to provide valuable educational opportunities for all fairgoers.
We are proud to support the individual missions of our Fair Park neighbors. Home to the world’s largest collection of Art Deco exhibit buildings, Fair Park houses some of Dallas’ most prominent museums and cultural centers. Fairgoers have access to a number of science and nature discovery programs that are here year round, from stingray feedings at the Children’s Aquarium to butterfly releases and learning effective ways to restore, conserve and preserve nature at the Texas Discovery Gardens. Each year the State Fair partners with the Dallas Historical Society to create a special exhibit that features different elements of Texas history, displayed in the Hall of State. In addition, fairgoers can learn about Hispanic culture at the Mundo Latino exhibit in the Women’s Museum, or take a tour of the African American Museum, home to one of the largest collections of African American folk art in the country.
Through a series of hands-on exhibits and activities, fairgoers have the opportunity to learn all about agriculture and its impact on our great state of Texas, whether it’s the importance of farming and ranching or the process of raising and caring for animals. The State Fair of Texas offers a TEKS-based program, Farm Day at the Fair, intended to raise awareness on the importance of agriculture. This program provides six in-classroom lesson plans culminated by a learning excursion to the livestock barns at the Fair, specifically developed for 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders. Suitable for toddlers to eight years old, the Fair presents another hands-on approach to learning with Little Hands on the Farm. Kids can plant seeds, gather eggs and drive a tiny tractor before harvesting crops, all on a miniature farm where they can then take them to market. With the earnings from the crops they grow and sell, they can even purchase a snack in the General Store.
In hopes of incorporating our passion for education into more classrooms, we recently announced a new partnership with Big Thought, a leader in community-centered educational programming in the Dallas area. In conjunction with the already 1.7 million free admission tickets we give to students and teachers throughout North Texas, we look forward to connecting classroom learning with student experiences at the Fair. Big Thought is hard at work developing lessons in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, to help inform students on the rich tradition of the State Fair of Texas and its importance not only in the Dallas community, but also throughout the state.
This is just a highlight all of the educational opportunities the Fair has to offer. I hope you come to this year’s Fair to visit your favorite educational exhibit or discover something new. Thanks to the continued support of loyal fairgoers like you, the State Fair of Texas is able to provide a diverse assortment of educational opportunities for all ages.
See you at the Fair!
Mitchell Glieber, President
State Fair of Texas