HISD opens first Sunrise Center for wholescale student support

HISD opened its first of seven Sunrise Centers in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the West Orem YMCA on Wednesday, Sept. 6. Together with community partners, these centers will help support students outside the classroom and connect families with local services and resources.

Superintendent Mike Miles was joined by representatives from the YMCA of Greater Houston, Houston Food Bank, Communities in Schools, Clothed by Faith, and Books Between Kids to take a first look at the center that will serve Madison High School and surrounding communities.

“I just did a quick tour, and it’s just phenomenal,” said Miles. “The food bank, the clothed by faith closet, the health services that we’re going to be providing—all of these things are just incredible.”

The centers will be hosted in communities where HISD data shows there is the greatest need, and community partners are selected based on the needs of students in that community.

“We’ve focused our early work and energy on making sure every student receives the instruction and support they need to be successful in the classroom,” said Miles. “It is just as important that we address the challenges our students and families face outside the classroom as well.”

The West Orem YMCA site will offer a host of resources to students and families including case management services, a mental health wellness center, a workshop and learning hub, an intake office, medical privacy suite, food pantry, and a fully stocked clothing closet suited for kids of all ages and sizes.

“We are proud to join with HISD to support students and families in our neighborhood,” said Stephen Ives, YMCA of Greater Houston CEO. “We believe the entire community has vested interest in ensuring HISD students are successful, supported, and safe inside the classroom and out, and we look forward to the opportunity to be a part of that work.”

HISD will launch six more centers by November 2023.