Trustees approve $2.5 million grant to fund variety of wraparound services
About 4,000 students and their families in high-poverty areas will benefit from a $2.5 million grant that will provide wraparound services, including social, medical, financial, and emotional support.
The Board of Education approved the use of grant funds from the U.S. Department of Education that will convert five HISD campuses to community schools under the district’s Every Community Every School initiative.
The five schools are Thomas Middle School and Lockhart, Benavidez, Marshall, and Robinson elementary schools. The schools serve 3,898 students in communities with high poverty rates and a demonstrated need for wraparound services and supports.
“The program will have a collective impact, and the grant is extremely rewarding because students and families will be able to receive assistance with housing, food, clothing, counseling, medical, legal and dental services,” Assistant Superintendent of Wraparound Services Dr. Rolando Trevino said. “Any issue that might keep a student from thriving academically will be addressed at these five schools.”
Key HISD partners include the Houston Federation of Teachers (HFT), Communities in Schools, City of Houston’s Office of Education, the Houston Food Bank, Houston City Schools Partnership, and Texas Children’s Hospital.
“Community schools have a strong track record of leveling the playing field and closing the achievement gap for disadvantaged children. When you can remove some of the obstacles preventing kids from learning, such as anxiety, stress and hunger, kids will thrive,” HFT President Zeph Capo said. “If we continue to focus on strengthening schools and families, we are all going to be successful.”
Wraparound services address critical issues that impact students’ ability to learn, such as mental and physical health, food insecurity, lack of stable housing, and incarceration of a parent.