Category Archives: Volunteers and partnerships

Curbside pickup service to be available, social distancing required at district food distribution sites

The Houston Independent School District and the Houston Food Bank will offer curbside pickup service at all 36 food distribution sites districtwide beginning March 16 to help promote personal health and social distancing.

Families who do not have transportation and must walk to the site can continue to stand in line but will be required to stand six feet apart from each other. HISD Police and staff volunteers will be on site to enforce these measures and help with crowd control.

“Social distancing is a key measure we must implement to prevent the spread of COVID-19, so adding curbside pickup and keeping lines spaced out are important steps,” said HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan. “Thanks to our partners at the Houston Food Bank and our police and staff volunteers, we are able to safely distribute meals to our families in need during this time.”

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Bastian ES to host free community health fair

Students, employees, and the community are invited to attend the free Smart Scholars Foundation Community health fair on Saturday, Feb. 29 at HISD’s Bastian Elementary School.  

The event, which is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., is sponsored by the Houston Food Bank and will feature free dental, health, vision and hearing screenings for the community, as well as enough food to feed more than 300 families.  

Hope Farms, a Recipe for Success Foundation dedicated to combating childhood obesity, will also be on hand doing culinary demonstrations to teach the community how to incorporate healthy vegetables and fruits into their diet.  

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact 832-367-9688. 

HISD Foundation to host Public Education Matters Benefit Luncheon on March 6

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 Luncheon on Friday, March 6. 

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. 

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Wesley ES students gifted with free shoes for Giving Tuesday

Santa arrived early at Wesley Elementary School on Giving Tuesday, as students in all grade levels received a free pair of shoes, courtesy of Communities in Schools of Houston.  

Right on time for the holiday season, CIS partnered with Soles 4 Souls and Skechers, Gordmans and Macys to donate more than 350 pairs of shoes to students during the internationally recognized holiday. 

“As an underserved campus, it’s beautiful to watch organizations and people donate their time and gifts to our students, who may not always have everything that they need or desire,” Principal TJ Cotter said. 

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HISD school leaders, business executives pair up for ‘Project Principal’

Nine HISD schools give business leaders an opportunity to shadow school principals

It was 8 a.m. on a typical morning at HISD’s Benavidez Elementary School, and Principal Zabeth Parra-Malek was on the go. After making the morning announcements, she stood at the front door greeting late arrivals, making sure they were fed and ready for the day. By 8:45, she landed in a PALS pre-K classroom for a drop-in observation with the school’s therapy dog, Lucy.  

What made this morning different was that she had a “shadow” – Kristie Ketron, an executive with Ernst & Young. Parra-Malek was one of nine HISD principals who hosted visitors like Ketron for Project Principal, an opportunity for business leaders to walk a mile in principals’ shoes. 

And they did plenty of walking, in and out of classrooms and meetings, highlighting the main message Parra-Malek wanted the community to hear: schools, teachers, and students are more than test scores and accountability ratings. 

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HISD Foundation accepting applications for Innovation Fund program

The HISD Foundation is now accepting applications for its Innovation Fund program, which provides funds for teachers and schools to develop innovative projects that lead to increased student success.

The Foundation is funding projects that will:
  • Inspire students, teachers, and parents to think differently about school
  • Enhance the student experience and lead to improved academic outcomes
  • Implement district initiatives in innovative ways
  • Find a new solution to combat barriers of success for students
  • The program, which is in its second year, will allow teachers in grades pre-K through 12 to apply for a $3,000 – $7,000 grant. Two or more teachers from the same school can also apply for a Teacher Collaborative Grant ranging from $5,000 – $10,000.

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    HISD’s Back-to-School Extravaganza helps families prepare for new school year

    A line of bustling people wove its way through the parking lot of Delmar Fieldhouse on Friday as they anxiously waited for the start of the district’s second annual Back-to-School Extravaganza. 

    As the doors opened, district parents and students were greeted by hundreds of smiling volunteers, a welcome chant from Waltrip High School’s cheerleading squad, and a special message from Interim Superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan. 

    “We are so excited to kick off the 2019-2020 school year,” Lathan said. “To everyone here, thank you for supporting HISD – one of the top school districts in the state of Texas!” 

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    Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation donates thousands of books to HISD students

    There’s nothing quite like the excitement of a new book, and students at HISD’s Browning Elementary School on Thursday got to experience that thrill thanks to the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation.  

    Every student at Browning received six new books as part of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation’s My Home Library program, which aims to build home libraries for economically disadvantaged children.  

    “To see the children finally receive the books that they have chosen is so heartwarming,” said Julie Baker Finck, President of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation. “They are so excited to start reading, and that is what it is all about – helping empower children to have a choice in what they read and helping them to have the tools and resources to read more often.” 

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    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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