More than five dozen HISD science, technology, engineering, and math teachers took part in a summer institute recently that was designed to help boost students’ math and science scores by incorporating more fun into their lessons.
The educators came from 23 HISD elementary and middle schools that received part of a TIF4 STEM grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant also provides resources such as equipment and technology, and participating teachers will receive additional training opportunities throughout the school year and share what they have learned with other faculty members at their campuses.
Ministers Alliance to support HISD’s Literacy By 3 program at Burrus, Kennedy
Almost 20 faith-based organizations in the Independence Heights community have joined forces to lend their support to HISD’s Literacy By 3 initiative at two neighborhood elementary schools.
Members of the Independence Heights Greater Houston Ministers Alliance (IHGHMA) met with HISD Board of Education President Rhonda Skillern-Jones, Curriculum Specialist Carley Colton, and representatives from Scholastic, Inc., and the Bush Houston Literacy Foundation on April 9 to discuss plans for “Lifting Through Literacy,” a summer reading challenge that will benefit students at both Burrus and Kennedy elementary schools—and possibly serve as a model for other struggling communities.
“Illiteracy gives birth to dropouts, joblessness, crime, and teen pregnancy,” explained Reverend Ray Mackey, who serves as chairperson for the IHGHMA. “I envision this pilot as a program that will show how faith-based organizations can get involved to make an impact. And if it’ll work in Independence Heights, then it’ll work in Acres Homes or Hiram Clarke or Sunnyside or Kashmere Gardens.”
Guests at HISD’s 2015 State of the Schools luncheon got a side order of entertainment with their meal. Westside High School’s Wind Ensemble of 35 students provided music throughout the program under the guiding hand of Conductor Joey Brunson, and students from 19 HISD elementary schools sang the national anthem.
HISD is expanding its successful dual language program to 21 more campuses in 2015–2016, launching thousands of additional pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students on the road to learning a second language. Currently, 31 HISD schools offer a Spanish dual language program.
Starting in August, kindergarten students — and pre-kindergarten students, at some schools — will be learning in both English and Spanish. One grade will be added to the program each year until it reaches school-wide.
Last year, HISD’s Nutrition Services department launched a pilot program at a handful of campuses to increase the selection of fresh fruits and vegetables available to students in the cafeteria at lunch.
That program was so successful that the district has expanded it this year, and a total of 26 HISD schools now regularly offer a fresh fruit and vegetable bar. Continue reading →
Amari Venzor of Cornelius Elementary School took home top honors in the 18th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Oratory Competition sponsored by Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP in Houston.
Every year since 1996, fourth- and fifth-graders from two dozen HISD schools have competed in this annual contest, which challenges students to write and present a short original speech on a subject related to the slain civil rights leader. The topic this year was, “If Dr. King were speaking at a March on Washington today, what would he say?”
“If Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was speaking at a March on Washington today, he would say: As I consider the past 50 years of progress, I can’t help but wonder if for every two steps we have taken forward, we have taken three steps back,” Amari said. “Have we fought so hard to instill that pride that we fail to include words like integrity, self-respect, and even a simple hi? Have we allowed economic and social status to lull us into a crippling complacency and a sense of entitlement? Simply meaning, are we putting $200 sneakers on our children who can barely read or solve basic mathematical equations rather than teaching them how to invest the same $200 into the actual shoe company? Have we been so busy trying to give our children what we didn’t have that we forgot to give them what we did have?”
Byron Roberson of Dodson ES won second place and Bruce ES student Chrystyna Haywood won third place.
If you’ve never seen the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Oratory Competition sponsored by Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP in Houston, you’re in for a treat.
Every year since 1996, fourth- and fifth-graders from two dozen HISD schools have competed in this annual contest, which challenges students to write and present a short original speech on a subject related to the slain civil rights leader. The topic this year is, “If Dr. King were speaking at a March on Washington today, what would he say?”