School Takes Center Stage

The La Palmera Shopping District preps for back-to-school time and the Texas sales tax holiday weekend.

By: Sarona Winfrey

As parents and students count down the days until school begins – for different reasons – many are also planning to take advantage of tax-free shopping from Aug. 7 to 9 to purchase back-to-school items, including clothing, shoes and accessories.

“Back-to-school time and the Texas sales tax holiday weekend is always one of the busiest of the year,” said La Palmera General Manager Fred Walters. “Families now plan on these weekends to save money, particularly those buying for more than one student.”

Mother and kid becoming a student buying school satchel or bag in store

Select La Palmera retailers will have extended hours and officers for the event. Officers from the Corpus Christi Police Department will be onsite Friday through Sunday to assist with traffic control, making it easier for customers to navigate their way in and out of parking areas. Valet parking is also available at the main entrance near P.F.

Chang’s, and for added convenience, shoppers can now call in or text their valet claim number to 361-238-0777 and have their car waiting for them.

Tax-free items once again include most basic school supplies, as well as backpacks, clothing, shoes and many accessories priced under $100 used by elementary and secondary students. Shoppers will also find special deals at many stores whose merchandise does not qualify for tax-free status. More information on the sales tax holiday, as well as links to lists of included items, can be found at http://comptroller.texas.gov/taxinfo/taxpubs/taxholiday/d/.

And while the back-to-school activities traditionally focus on elementary- and secondary-level students, many are preparing for their education beyond high school. Since May 2013, La Palmera has partnered with Coastal Compass, a not-for-profit educational and career resource center providing free assistance to high school students and adults, including information on college enrollment, General Education Development (GED) diplomas and certification sources, as well as literacy classes, and connecting them to the appropriate resources.

Located at the front of La Palmera, the 2,200-square-foot center is an initiative of Citizens for Educational Excellence, a local nonprofit education organization working to improve education in the area. Since opening at La Palmera, Coastal Compass has assisted more than 4,000 individuals and hosted numerous events, including a special “signing” ceremony held at La Palmera at the end of the 2015 school year as part of Generation TX Decision Day, a statewide event celebrating high school seniors and their post-secondary plans.

Nearly 300 Coastal Bend-area students participated in the La Palmera event. Following the ceremony, students and parents were invited to Coastal Compass to learn more about the services that will help them on the path to post-secondary education. Many of the students will soon be heading off to two – and four-year institutions, while others plan to join the military or attend the Craft Training Center of the Coastal Bend.

“We are so proud to partner with Coastal Compass,” Walters said. “They provide an amazing service to Coastal Bend students and residents without charge, and we are pleased to assist them in that process.”

For more information on Coastal Compass, go to www.coastalcompass.org, or call 361-906-0703. And to learn more about La Palmera and The Shops at La Palmera, go to www.lapalmera.com, or call 361-991-3755.

 

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