Sunrise to You initiative brings resources to neighborhoods in need

Representatives from HISD’s Sunrise Centers visited Augustana Lutheran Church in Third Ward on June 28 to distribute resources to local families as part of the Sunrise to You initiative.

HISD’s seven Sunrise Centers are powerful assets to their local communities, and as the program grows in its second year, HISD is committed to making them accessible to all students and families, no matter where they live. 

In partnership with the St. James Family Life Center and the YMCA, Sunrise Center Analyst Chaun Geters and his team brought tote bags full of enrichment items to Augustana Church where many local students attend Camp Hope, a summer day camp. Most of the students are taxied to camp by HISD’s partners at the YMCA so they can reap the benefits of summertime activities. The YMCA stresses the importance of socialization outside of school, and the enrichment kits provided by the Sunrise Centers contain tools and toys to promote problem solving and healthy brain development to combat the summer slide—the period in which students forget what they learned in school over the summer break. 

“It’s the avoidance of summer learning loss and socialization,” said Robert Rivera, Director of the St. James Family Life Center. “The most important thing is that families have access to and know how to connect to resources. The more we have people out here, the better it is for families to be able to get the things they need for their children over the summer.”

Depending on the day, Sunrise Center representatives travel to these community hubs to provide food, clothing, information and other resources to help students and families who may previously have been out of their reach.

“We try to find areas of need, and we bring our resources to them,” Geters said. “We have accessibility through vehicles and support with our staff, and we go into those neighborhoods where transportation is an issue. We only have seven centers right now, and although they were placed in high-need areas, there are still more areas of need that we’re not in yet. We’re working through different organizations to meet them where they are and provide services to the families that they serve.”

Sunrise to You is a team effort that benefits each organization it includes by spreading visibility in more isolated communities. 

“HISD connects with us and other organizations like us to help provide those resources that families need,” Rivera said. “Without that partnership, we would not be able to provide them that support that they’re asking for.”

For more information on HISD’s Sunrise Centers, visit their webpage here. To claim a summer enrichment kit that can be picked up at your local Sunrise Center, fill out the form here.