Category Archives: Volunteers and partnerships

Real Men Read volunteers passionate about reading to students 

Real Men Read is a mentoring program in which men volunteer at least one hour a month to read to students in third grade.

“Real Men Read is not just a program, it’s a passion,” said Read Men Read volunteer Bill Turney, who reads to Askew Elementary School students once a month. “My objective is to transfer to the children my love of reading.” He said that reading to young children not only keeps him young but allows him to experience the joy of being a child again.   Continue reading

Invest in Houston’s future by joining the Friends of HISD  

If you believe in HISD and want to support the critical work the district is doing for Houston’s children, consider becoming a Friend of HISD.

No, not a Facebook friend. This is a new group of generous community members who want to make a direct, meaningful impact on the lives of children.

Superintendent Richard Carranza introduced the Friends of HISD in his address at the 2017 State of the Schools.

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Foster ES unveils newly built reading nook, thanks to partnership

Foster Elementary partnered with the Barbara Bush Literacy Foundation, Quanex, and EWI on on Wednesday for the school’s “Jungle Book Reveal.”

These organizations helped the school build a jungle-themed reading nook in the school library and also provided second-grade students with free books, backpacks and school supplies.

“The creation of this Jungle Nook is aligned with the Literacy by 3 initiative, as well as our push to ensure that all students become literate on our campus,” said Foster Elementary School Principal Eric Tingle.

Neil Bush was on hand address the second-graders, and speakers from each of the organizations also participated.

All second-graders also received a free copy of the book “The Day the Crayon Quit,” which was signed by Texans Cheerleaders in attendance.

School volunteers must renew registration, screening for new school year

Volunteers from PricewaterhouseCoopers, Target and the Houston Symphony work with students at Benbrook Elementary School during a summer literacy camp sponsored by the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, July 19, 2016.

Volunteers from PricewaterhouseCoopers work with students at Benbrook Elementary School.

A brand-new school year brings multiple opportunities to volunteer at HISD campuses, but whether you’re a veteran HISD volunteer or you’re interested in becoming a new volunteer, your first step is to get clearance through an annual background check.

VIPS-Logo-ColorVolunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) recruits thousands of parents and community partners to donate their time, resources, and knowledge to help HISD children succeed. VIPS opportunities include tutoring on campuses, participating in the district’s Read Houston Read program, chaperoning field trips, fundraising, library assistance, and supporting campus staff.

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Volunteers help students fight the ‘Summer Slide’

Music and reading merged Tuesday at Benbrook Elementary School in northwest Houston as volunteers from Target, the Houston Symphony and PricewaterhouseCoopers helped students take part in the 2016 Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation Summer Reading Challenge Camps.

The camps, with the support of the Houston Area Urban League, aim to prevent the ‘Summer Slide,’ when students lose some of the academic gains made the previous school year. Activities include music lessons and exercises that combine math, science, reading and critical thinking.

Camps were also held at Kashmere Gardens and Atherton, and next week students at Highland Heights will participate.

Codwell ES students benefit from summer partnership 

Tutors/mentors work with students, develop meaningful relationships

Camp counselors from Camp Fuge celebrated the end of their three-week program with a summer part at Codwell Elementary on Wednesday, June 29, 2016.

Camp counselors from Camp Fuge celebrated the end of their three-week program with a summer party at Codwell Elementary on Wednesday, June 29, 2016.

The heat and humidity wasn’t about to slow down students at Codwell Elementary. They had earned this party. As summer school was nearing its end, students gathered for an afternoon celebration with their new friends, a group of middle, high, and college students from Fuge Camp, who spent the past three weeks tutoring and mentoring them.

Kristy Love, principal at Codwell, said she was amazed how quickly bonds developed between her students and the camp counselors.

“We’re a ‘Leader in Me’ campus, and one of the principles we follow is, ‘Working together, and together is better,’” Love said. “It’s been crazy to see the benefits. These are kids who don’t have a lot of communication with people from other backgrounds. So it’s been great to see them develop these relationships.”   Continue reading

HISD recognizes top volunteers for being “shining stars”

The Houston Independent School District honored its top volunteers today during the annual Volunteers in Public Schools Recognition Reception.

Each year, the Volunteers in Public Schools program — more commonly referred to as VIPS — enlists thousands of parents, community members, business professionals, and youth who are willing to dedicate their time to support HISD students. Volunteers help in classrooms, libraries, media centers, clinics and school offices, serving as tutors, mentors, teacher partners, speakers, security patrols, chaperones, interpreters, and even cafeteria monitors.

The theme of this year’s reception is “Volunteers are Shining Stars.” Volunteers were nominated for awards in four different categories. Winners were selected from 12 finalists. Continue reading

Rocket’s support of #BestSchoolDay campaign to benefit HISD’s Literacy By 3 movement

HISD’s efforts to have students reading at or above grade level by the third grade got a huge boost on March 10, when launched a surprise “flash-funding” campaign to support teachers’ classroom projects.

Hundreds of HISD educators stand to benefit from the #BestSchoolDay campaign, as Houston Rocket Dwight Howard announced his intent to fund every Houston-area, Pre-K-through-grade-2 teacher’s existing request for books or reading materials during an appearance he made on the Stephen Colbert Show Thursday night.

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Smithsonian science study promises long-lasting benefits for HISD students

HISD just completed a five-year study with the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC), and the lessons learned from it will be benefitting HISD students for years to come.

The study evaluated the effectiveness of the SSEC’s Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER) model of science instruction in three states, using an Investing in Innovation (i3) grant from the U.S. Department of Education. In HISD, the study followed approximately 9,500 students at 26 schools whose academic performance was monitored from 2011 through 2016.

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Five HISD schools recognized for their efforts to fight hunger

Five different HISD schools were recently named “Champions off the Field” by the Souper Bowl of Caring for their efforts to fight hunger.

This annual food drive and fundraiser, which ran from Jan. 20 – Feb. 7, generated more than $9.9 million in donations nationally this year, a portion of which came from the 33 HISD schools that participated.

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