HISD partners with Rockets, military to upgrade Blackshear ES book rooms

On the heels of Veterans Day, volunteers with the Houston Rockets and U.S. military spent a day at Blackshear Elementary transforming several book rooms for students and teachers.

The day of service is in partnership with the NBA’s Hoops for Troops program that puts teams to work alongside military members with the goal of helping to better communities.

“We are thankful for our partnership with the Houston Rockets as well as servicemembers and veteran volunteers who helped to transform spaces at Blackshear Elementary,” said Najah Callander, Executive Director of Family and Community Engagement with HISD. “Their efforts on this project helped to make a meaningful impact for students that further enhance the learning environment at Blackshear.”

Tuesday’s project involved reorganizing several book rooms stacked high with outdated material. Three dozen volunteers brought the muscle—and the height—needed to get old books cleared out and sent off to be recycled in order to make room for new books and materials. One of those volunteers was Rockets forward Jae’Sean Tate.

“We’re doing some real good work today,” said Tate. “Kids are everything, and to be alongside some of our military members is a humbling and blessed experience for me. I come from a family that has some military background, so I’m just grateful to be able to be in this position.”

In total, the volunteers helped to repurpose four rooms: one for textbooks, one for math resources, one for reading resources, and one for Dyad classes. Once the new materials are in place, students will be able to utilize the spaces and take the supplemental resources and books home.

“The kids love to read, they love books, so being able to go into the room and pick out whatever book it is that they want to use, I think that will be very impactful,” said Assistant Principal Christina Mitchell. “We can get them books and send them home for them to do little projects with their parents or read to their parents.”

Next week, the Hoops for Troops volunteers will return to Blackshear to do some landscaping and paint the outdoor basketball court.

For more information on HISD’s community partners, visit the Community Partnerships Department website or follow along on Twitter @HISD_Partners.