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United to Learn hosts two events on March 23 to address education: hundreds of volunteers transform 24 Dallas ISD schools with education-focused makeovers, and high school students present education ideas in a "Shark Tank" competition.

On Saturday, March 23, Dallas non-profit organization United to Learn hosts two events to help improve education:

Community Campus Day

8:30 a.m. Kickoff (Walnut Hill Elementary)

10:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Campus Projects (various campuses)

The first event is a Community Campus Day bringing together more than 400 volunteers from local businesses, high school students and the community to provide campus improvement projects to 24 Dallas ISD elementary school campuses. All projects provide the resources, supplies and improvements that are not covered in the Dallas ISD budget. The event will provide $120,000 of instructional tools, classroom or campus resources and project supplies that will ultimately benefit more than 13,000 students who attend these schools. Specific projects include painting murals, creating a butterfly garden, improving outdoor playground areas and more.

Shark Tank Competition (not open to public)

2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. 

Remarks by Big Thought President and CEO Byron Sanders and judge, followed by high school team pitches.

The second event is a “Shark Tank” type competition with United to Lead high school students who have participated in a year-long program to learn about education in their community and to have a voice. Selected from public, private and charter schools, these students have listened to leaders talk about educational issues such as early learning, literacy, opportunity gap, social/emotional learning, teacher retention and more. Applying design thinking, they’re examining these issues and brainstorming solutions. Now, it’s their turn to present their best ideas for solving a specific issue. They will give their “pitch” in front of four judges: Byron Sanders, Dustin Marshall, DISD trustee; Jeloni Shabazz, assistant vice president of Global Mobility Applications & Security, AT&T; and Christopher Wagley, chief operating officer, KERA. The winning idea will receive funding, and the entire student group will execute the idea.

Community Campus Day was created as a hands-on opportunity for volunteers from local businesses, high schools and the community to get to know the Dallas ISD schools in their neighborhood and to form a lasting relationship. The end result goes far beyond just a physical transformation of the campus. All projects are intended to support the social emotional health of students and faculty, advance literacy efforts on campus, or create a more inspirational school environment that will lead to higher academic performance, reduced teacher turnover, fewer disciplinary programs and higher attendance.

United to Learn is a coalition of public elementary schools, private institutions and engaged community members who have come together to create meaningful learning opportunities for every student to learn and lead. In North Dallas, where great privilege and poverty coexist but rarely overlap, many of the city’s most prestigious private schools and wealthiest neighborhoods are concentrated alongside public schools, where 9 out of 10 students qualify for free and reduced lunch. United to Learn builds relationships across our community and forges bonds to share resources and eliminate gaps in opportunity and understanding. For more information call 214.951.0160, visit, Facebook at, Twitter or Instagram @unitedtolearn, or email

(Contact JulietteDC for specific details).

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