Category Archives: Volunteers and partnerships

HISD honors top volunteers at annual VIPS ceremony

The Houston Independent School District on Wednesday recognized the efforts of thousands of volunteers and honored the top volunteers of the year during the annual Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) Recognition and Awards Ceremony. 

“It’s a privilege for me to honor our volunteers that give so much of themselves to our district,” said HISD School Board Trustee Sergio Lira. “You may never know the profound impact you’ve made on the lives of students in our district.” 

The theme of this year’s reception was “Impacting Lives Through Service.”  

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Strong sense of dedication to school community prompts Gallegos ES mom to spread the word

The rain held off just long enough this past Saturday for one Gallegos Elementary School parent to complete her mission of promoting her beloved neighborhood school.   

“I have loved this school ever since my oldest started here in pre-K. It feels like home,” said Amy Ortega, who has four children enrolled at Gallegos. “My kids are always happy to come school.” 

Ortega and group of parent volunteers and staff from Gallegos Elementary School came together for a door-to-door effort to help regain students whose parents have chosen non-district schools and to encourage first-time enrollment at the campus.  

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Resource Allocation Advisory Committee accepting applications for community members

The Houston Indepenedent School District’s Resource Allocation Advisory Committee (RAAC) is inviting members of the community to serve on the panel.  

RAAC, which was created by Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan last year, functions as an advisory committee to create recommendations on HISD’s funding model and expenditures at the campus level.

The committee consists of HISD principals, parents, community leaders and staff. The administration is open to recommendations from the public and views of the community as a critical partner in the decision-making process of reimagining HISD.  

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HISD Foundation dinner spotlights national conversation on importance of public education 

Event raises nearly $300,000 to fund strategic initiatives for HISD students

About 1,500 public education advocates, HISD educators, supporters and students attended the HISD Foundation’s first-ever Public Education Matters Benefit Dinner, which raised
nearly $300,000 to fund strategic initiatives for HISD students.

The highlight of the evening was a fireside chat between Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan, CEO of Teach for America Elisa Villanueva Beard and Harlem Children’s Zone Founder Geoffrey Canada. The discussion was moderated by ABC’s What Would You Do? host John Quiones who recalled his childhood as a migrant worker and a defining moment when his father asked if he wanted to do that kind of work the rest of his life or get a college education.

“Public education levels the playing field,” Lathan said. “I want people in the community to reach out to elected officials and encourage them to increase funding for our school district so that our students can continue to grow and thrive academically and compete with their peers worldwide.”

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Mexican university offers HISD students higher education opportunities

HISD high school students interested in studying abroad attended a college information session on Friday led by Dr. Luis Ernesto Derbez, the president of Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP). 

The university is one of the most prestigious in Latin America. It is one of the few accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the same organization that endorses major universities like the University of Texas at Austin, Rice University and Tulane University.  

“Universidad de las Américas Puebla is one of the most beautiful universities in Mexico,” Derbez said. “UDLAP is a multi-cultural community that offers many on-campus activities to international students.” 

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Win-Win Program at Scarborough HS builds bridge between law enforcement and youths

More than 140 Scarborough High School students joined law enforcement officers from the HISD Police Department, Houston Police Department and the Metro Houston Police Department in a program on Wednesday to reduce the number of hostile encounters between juveniles and law enforcement officers. 

The Win-Win Program, developed by the Houston Health Department’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, imparts conflict-resolution skills through interactive workshops and candid group discussions. 

Participants gathered together for a general assembly in the Scarborough High School auditorium, where they discussed the importance of strong student and peace officer relationships, which, according to Principal Roderick Trevino, Scarborough students are prepared for.  

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Northside HS senior wins student emcee contest 

Flanked by balloons and holding an oversized check, Northside High School Senior Tren’kell Reeves could not hide her excitement after discovering she had been named the winner of the student emcee contest for the HISD Foundation’s 2019 Public Education Matters Benefit Dinner.

“I am so happy that I am shaking,” Reeves, who goes by the nickname “TK,” said. “I have four younger sisters, and I just can’t wait to tell them!”

Along with hosting the event, Reeves earned a $2,500 college scholarship. Over 100 prospective emcees sent in audition videos, but according to HISD Chief Development Officer Ann Best Scott, Reeves’ video stood out.    Continue reading

HISD Foundation to host Public Education Matters Benefit Dinner on March 5 

The Houston Independent School District Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises funds to support HISD’s strategic initiatives, will hold its Public Education Matters Benefit Dinner on Tuesday, March 5.

The event will highlight the importance of community investment in public education and focus on the social and economic impact that results when public school students receive a quality education.

The evening program includes a one-on-one conversation with HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan and John Quiñones, host of ABC’s “What Would You Do?” That conversation will be followed by a “Fireside Chat” moderated by Quiñones with distinguished panelists, featuring Lathan, Teach for America CEO Elisa Villanueva Beard, and education advocate and founder of Harlem Children’s Zone Geoffrey Canada. 

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HISD collects record number of toys for Toys for Tots campaign 

The spirit of the season was in full swing as more than 1,000 toys were collected for HISD’s annual toy drive for the United States Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots campaign – the most toys collected in district history.

Over the last several weeks, 1,092 toys were collected throughout the district. Collection boxes were placed in the administrative building and at several schools, including Scarborough High School, whose Cheer Team and BPA Organization collected 400 toys for the effort.  Continue reading

HISD’s Ascending to Men Project to host winter ball fundraiser 

HISD’s Ascending to Men Project (ATMP) will host its first winter ball, Journey to Brilliance in Manhood, on Wednesday, Dec. 12 at Minute Maid Park.

Under the umbrella of HISD’s Equity and Outreach Division, the Ascending to Men Project is a mentorship initiative that seeks to provide positive role models and advocates for students who need guidance and opportunities for educational, social, and professional growth to underserved young men of color in the district. The program has been in place since the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year, piloting in 28 campuses. Continue reading