Category Archives: Volunteers and partnerships

Personal stories exemplify how HISD is rebuilding, reimagining education

‘We could be anywhere, and we would still be Robinson’

If anyone could find a silver lining amid the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey, it’s Robinson Elementary School Principal Paige Fernandez-Hohos. After being flooded with more than a foot of water, Robinson was relocated and students split between two adjacent campuses. Though not ideal, the situation made Fernandez-Hohos determined to give students a sense of normalcy. Vacant rooms and hallways sprung to life with decorations. Auditorium and gym spaces were transformed into cozy classrooms to accommodate more students. Fernandez-Hohos trekked back and forth between the two campuses. If she started the day welcoming students at one school, she ended it saying goodbye to students at the other. It was important, she said, that every class see her every day. Robinson students returned to their home campus in January, but Fernandez-Hohos said the storm taught her a valuable lesson about the spirit of her school: “When everything else is stripped away, all you’re left with is the bond between teachers and students. We could be anywhere, and we would still be Robinson.”

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Best Buy donates $160,000 in technology, support to Fleming MS 

Donation is part of $580,000 gift to HISD and the surrounding community in wake of Harvey

Best Buy representatives stopped by Fleming Middle School on Friday for a special reveal, handing over a donation of $160,000 in technology and support – part of the company’s larger investment in HISD and the surrounding community following Hurricane Harvey.

The donation will provide more than 5,000 of the district’s students with the opportunity to learn the skills to be prepared for tech-reliant jobs of the future. Best Buy is donating a total of $580,000 to greater Houston’s storm recovery effort.   Continue reading

Volunteers needed for Special Olympics Field Days 

Annual event scheduled for Nov. 14 through 16

Volunteers are needed for the fifth annual HISD Special Olympics Field Days scheduled for Nov. 14, 15, and 16 at the Joe Kelly Butler Fieldhouse (13755 Main St., 77085).

About 1,700 volunteers are needed throughout the three days to help with setup and breakdown, athletic events, escorting students around the facility, serving lunches, and other tasks. Volunteers will be provided with on-site instruction and modeling for their specific assignment so they are prepared to work with the students, who range from elementary to high school age. Continue reading

Volunteer to help HISD families and students recover from Harvey 

Volunteers help sort donated items at Delmar Fieldhouse.

Individuals and local organizations have an opportunity to help HISD students and families impacted by  Hurricane Harvey by volunteering at the district’s designated donation site.

Delmar Fieldhouse (2020 Mangum Road, Houston, TX 77092) will be receiving donations the week of Sept. 11 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Anyone interested in volunteering will need to sign-up by clicking hereand select the day and time they can volunteer.  Continue reading

Read Houston Read volunteers needed for 2017-2018 school year 

HISD’s Read Houston Read program will soon kick off its fourth school year, and volunteers are needed once a week to read to a first-grade student — either in person or online.

The goal of Read Houston Read is to instill a love of reading in children, while giving Houstonians an opportunity to give back to their community. The program is part of the district’s Literacy by 3 movement, which aims to have all students reading at or above grade level by the end of third grade.

If you have friends or family who might be interested in volunteering, encourage them to sign up at this link. All volunteers are required to pass a background check each year and attend a training session, which is online. From there, volunteers can pick a participating school and schedule weekly sessions with a student.

Optional Experienced Volunteer Refresher Trainings will be held on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017. Please click here to sign up for the 1:30-2:30 p.m. session or the 3-4 p.m. session. Volunteers will receive an email as soon as campus volunteer opportunities are available, which should be the beginning of October.

Houston Real Men Read leads to lasting mentoring, friendship 

Scholastic President Greg Worrell first met Bradford Tanner when Tanner was a fourth-grader at Young Elementary School.

As part of Houston Real Men Read, Worrell read the book “Wings” to Tanner’s class shortly after former HISD Trustee Paula Harris established the program in partnership with Scholastic in the spring of 2009. During that visit, Worrell told the students about his background and asked them what they wanted to be when they grew up. Tanner raised his hand and said, “I am going to be the president of Scholastic one day.” Worrell was so moved he gave Tanner his business card and asked him to keep in touch. And then Tanner gave the man who would become his mentor a thank-you note that Worrell carries in his wallet to this day.   Continue reading

HISD recognizes top volunteers as key to district success

Volunteers in Public Schools VIPS honorees are recognized by Trustee Anne Sung during a Board of Trustees meeting, April 13, 2017. (Dave Einsel/Houston ISD)

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. Continue reading

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.