Necessity is the mother of invention, and few things can shine a light on unmet needs quite like a global pandemic. Nearly two years of digital and hybrid learning forced everyone to adapt, and HISD school libraries were no exception. In year two of their three-year library improvement and refreshment project, HISD Library Services has adapted to the new digital needs of students and educators by establishing community partnerships and working to increase the equity of library education with digital and online resources.
“Libraries in general, and Houston ISD campus libraries in particular, are engines of equity,” said HISD Library Services Director Len Bryan. “We help level the playing field for students who might not have access to learning materials outside of their classrooms. Books, eBooks, academic databases, makerspace equipment and materials, and most importantly, a caring and professional library staff help our students realize their potential and follow their dreams, regardless of their zip code.”
Looking for a way to help HISD’s students? The district is resuming its popular “Read Houston Read” and “Real Men Read” programs this year. HISD recognizes the need to provide ongoing literacy support to students and is once again asking the community for volunteers to read to children.
Read Houston Read volunteers will work with the same student one hour each week for an entire year, either in person or virtually on the Microsoft TEAMS platform.
Houston Real Men Read is a mentoring program in which men volunteer at least one hour a month to read to students in third grade.
Parked under the summer sun in front of R. Martinez Elementary School, the bus could be mistaken for the typical mode of transportation seen across the district.
But after a second look, you will spot the bright colors, logos, and artwork that give it away: this isn’t your typical bus. Step inside, and the differences are even more obvious; gone are the seats and center aisle, replaced by Astroturf and hundreds of books for the taking.
This is the Literacy Bus, a partnership between HISD, the Astros Foundation, the Houston Public Library Foundation, and Occidental Petroleum. It’s a mobile interactive unit that encourages reading with the entire family, going to some of the most in-need neighborhoods throughout Houston.
HISD students from
across the district gathered at the Hattie Mae White Educational Center this
week to show off their reading comprehension skills during the annual Name that
Book competition finals.
At the high-school
level, the top three competitors were Carnegie Vanguard High School, The Kinder
High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and Bellaire High School. T.H.
Rogers, Garden Oaks, and West Briar Middle Schools earned bragging rights in
grades 7 and 8, while Bush, Condit, and Horn Elementary Schools took the
highest honors at the finals held for grades 3-6.
HISD students from across the district will gather to show off their reading comprehension skills next week during the annual Name that Book competition finals.
Coordinated by the HISD Department of Library Services and sponsored by professional services network KPMG, the contest serves to acquaint HISD students with classic literature, as well as contemporary award-winning books, representing a variety of genres.
Fourth-grader wins $1,000 prize for original speech inspired by civil rights leader
Crespo Elementary School fourth-grader Brandon Curbow tackled the timely topics of school safety and gun control while presenting his winning speech at the 24th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Oratory Competition.
Curbow was awarded first place for his original speech that walked the audience through the feelings a student grapples with during an active shooter drill.
The event was held Friday at the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Christ in downtown Houston. Curbow was among 12 HISD students to participate in the final round of the competition sponsored by Foley & Lardner LLP.
While most people dream of becoming published authors in their adulthood, students at Cornelius Elementary School celebrated the unveiling of their first published books with an exclusive signing and reading on Tuesday.
Surrounded by family, friends and classmates, it was hard to miss one student—fourth-grader and MLK Oratory Winner David Ozuzu, who wore a smile that filled the room as he officially signed one of his three books that would reside in the campus library.
“I’ve been writing since kindergarten, and it’s really exciting to see all of my ideas come to life in my very own book,” David said.
Music, fun and laughter filled Minute Maid Park On Thursday as HISD kicked off summer school for thousands of students, ushering in the district’s second year of “Camp Lit” for literacy.
“We have 5,000 students here today that are representing over 70 HISD schools,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “Not only will our students leave here with books for their own personal library, but we have a number of students here that have never been to Minute Maid Park, so it’s a wonderful learning opportunity for them.”
It doesn’t take long for students to lose some of the academic progress they have made during the school year by sitting idle over the summer, so HISD is challenging second-graders to use the power of reading to combat the dreaded “summer slide.”
HISD is providing all second-grade students with a summer backpack filled with six books, a reading journal, graphic organizers, at-home family activities, reading log, colored pencils and a postcard. Experts agree that children who read during the summer months keep their reading skills sharp and are better prepared for the challenges of the next grade level.
Summer is the perfect time for students to hone their reading skills, and thanks to a partnership with the Houston Public Library, they can have fun while doing just that.
HISD is encouraging students to join the Houston Public Library’s summer reading program for kids and teens called “Explore the Unknown,” which kicks off June 1 and runs through Aug. 1.
Students can receive a free book and lanyard simply by registering. At each prize level, students earn another book and pins to decorate their lanyards and show off their success. They can earn pins by reaching their reading goals, attending library activities, and being an active member in their communities.