For 50 years, Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) has provided the Houston Independent School District with invaluable support and commitment that supports student success. That partnership was celebrated at a virtual ceremony on Friday, honoring 50 Years of Volunteers in Public Schools.
As Interim Superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan opened the program, she noted that VIPS boasted more than 44,000 volunteers in HISD schools. That makes it one of the largest volunteer groups in the city, putting it alongside such organizations as the Houston Food Bank and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
“And just like those organizations, we could not do what we do without volunteers,” Lathan said. “Many, many students would not be where they are today without your tireless efforts. During those five decades, you’ve shown Houston the power of public education. Time and time again, you showed up and worked hard, believing in HISD students every step of the way.”
As the Houston Independent School District gears up to honor its volunteers with a virtual celebration, Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) is taking the entire week to recognize the hard work of volunteers throughout the district.
VIPS recruits thousands of parents and community partners every year to donate their time and efforts in supporting HISD students. Volunteers contribute in areas such as mentoring, tutoring, fundraising, career education, enrichment programs, extracurricular and community service activities, and office and classroom assistance.
The Houston Independent School District has been disinfecting schools daily in order to combat the spread of COVID-19, and a $200,000 donation from locally based international energy company Phillips 66 is now supporting those efforts to protect students and staff.
HISD has utilized the donation to outfit schools with state-of-the-art electrostatic cleaning supplies and equipment. The Phillips 66 donation is designed to assist with safe continuation of in-person instruction on district campuses.
“There is no doubt that this generous gift is making our campuses safer,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “We deeply appreciate Phillips 66’s desire to help HISD keep our campuses clean and safe.”
With homemade thank-you cards in hand, Tonya Middleton’s class at
Southmayd Elementary School eagerly awaited a visit from a surprise special
When Houston Astros all-star third baseman Alex Bregman burst
through the school’s library doors on Monday with a smile on his face and gifts
in his hands, a collective gasp could be heard from the group of students, all
of whom are on the autism spectrum.
“It is a blast and an honor to be here,” he said while juggling a
box of iPads for the students. ““Hopefully,
these iPads help the students because it is a fun way to learn.”
HISD has partnered with Rice University’s Houston Education Research Consortium (HERC), a program of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research and School of Social Sciences, to conduct a comprehensive study on educational equity across the district.
Recognizing its responsibility to continually improve
academic achievement for all students, HISD and HERC will examine equitable
access to educational programming, resources, supports, facilities and
opportunities for students by race/ethnicity, economic status, English-learner
status and other factors.
“Conducting a districtwide study on educational equity
— at this scale — is remarkable, and truly unprecedented in many ways,” HISD Interim
Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “We know that for some of our students,
simply having equal access to opportunities and resources may not be enough of
the support they need to achieve their greatest academic potential. This study
will inform critical decision-making relating to equity and closing achievement
gaps across the city.”
The Houston Independent School District has partnered with the Houston Dynamo to provide students with virtual soccer lessons during summer school.
Beginning Monday, June 8 through the Clever Portal, Kindergarten through 6th-grade students can access Diesel’s Skill Builders, presented by Tom Byer’s Soccer Starts at Home. The program will offer daily video lessons featuring Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash players and coaches demonstrating various soccer skills.
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education
has issued a proclamation designating April 20 through April 24
as Volunteers in Public Schools Recognition Week in the district.
Every year, thousands of parents, businesses, and community
partners support students and teachers in HISD by donating their time,
resources, and knowledge through the district’s Volunteers In Public Schools
HISD’s VIPS program was started in 1970 by longtime HISD
educator Jean Davis Myers, who passed away in 2015. Myers served as executive
director of VIPS for 20 years and under her leadership, the program became an
award-winning national model.
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.”
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.