Special Dyad partnerships connect students to a community that cares

HISD students at NES and NES-A campuses regularly enjoy the unique experience of learning from the community members who teach their Dyad courses. Now community partners are helping enhance those experiences for students.

Volunteers from Home Depot’s Team Depot and Nike Community Ambassadors came to Atherton Elementary and Key Middle School, respectively, to support Dyad classes in a school garden beautification project and a trainer-led field day.

Atherton’s Dyad gardening class was gifted supplies, plants, and soil from Home Depot to maximize their fledgling rooftop garden while Nike facilitated games of tug-of-war and brought resistance bands, jump ropes, and soccer balls to get Key students outside and moving.

“These experiences help to connect our students to our local communities by building partnerships, making them aware of what businesses are around them, and teaching them about building relationships and partnerships so that one day, they may go on to be the manager or the owner of a business or establishment and they’ll know how to work with others, too,” said NES Dyad Director Aiesha Odutayo.

Representatives from Home Depot, many of whom were volunteering their personal time, brought enough soil for the Atherton third through fifth grade gardening students to plant a new crop of kale, mustard and collard greens, and to start melon seeds for harvesting in the summertime. The produce that the students at Atherton grow is distributed among teachers and students’ families.

“We focus on educating the kids on what’s going on around them in terms of us being in a food desert and inform them how to grow their own food and why that’s so important,” said David Johnson, gardening Dyad teacher at Atherton. “This is providing us a lot of supplies we didn’t have before, from the soil to the tools, it’s really amazing.”

Tarren Scott, a coach at the Pasadena Nike clearance story and Nike Community Ambassador, was happy to be able to impact the community as a representative of such a well-loved brand. Scott and the other Nike volunteers led Key students in a class period of games and sports interspersed with team stretching.

“It brings the community together, and everyone knows and shops at Nike, but how else are we making an impact on our community?” Scott said. “Being able to be out here and be involved with the kids and getting them involved with sports is what matters most to us.”

To learn more about Dyad specialty classes and the unique ways HISD students are connecting with their communities, visit the Dyad website, or watch the video below.