Community members and HISD employees gathered at Booker T. Washington High School on Saturday, September 10, to take part in the annual Grads Within Reach Walk. The event took volunteers to the doorsteps of students who had withdrawn from school due to various personal challenges to encourage them to go back and earn their diplomas.
As of August 29, there were 5,730 students within the district who did not return for the new school year. Staff from nearly 30 high schools visited the homes of these students to offer support and resources.
The Houston Independent School District will hold its annual Grads Within Reach Walk on Saturday, Sept. 7 to encourage students to who have not enrolled for the 2019-20 school year to come back to their respective campuses.
District administrators, community leaders, principals, and volunteers will set out from 22 high schools across the district to knock on doors and personally encourage students to return to school. Students will receive information on the many support systems and resources HISD offers to help them graduate.
More than 200 volunteers canvassed the city to encourage students who had not returned to school this year to continue their education. The volunteers knocked on 1,400 doors and chatted with about 500 people. Continue reading →
Taking time off from supplying the Houston area’s energy needs, 25 CenterPoint Energy employees spent Wednesday calling HISD students who have yet to report to school this year. The Grads Within Reach volunteers reminded the students how important it is for them to complete their education and encouraged them to return to school. Continue reading →
Hundreds of volunteers at 24 HISD high schools spent Saturday morning knocking on doors across Houston encouraging students who have not returned to school this academic year to re-enroll. The outreach effort was part of the 10th Annual Grads Within Reach Walk which led to 47 HISD students deciding to return to school immediately and many more promising to give school another try.
What: HISD’s Department of Dropout Prevention will lead visits to the homes of hundreds of students who did not return to school for this fall semester during the 10th annual Grads Within Reach walk. The purpose of this walk is to let the students know about the programs HISD offers to help them graduate such as the Grad Labs online credit recovery program and the Twilight High Schools around the city which offer flexible night and weekend hours. The volunteers will set out from 24 high schools across the city to knock on the doors of students’ homes to personally encourage them to return to school.
Media are invited to Sam Houston Math, Science & Technology Center for video of the walk and interviews with administrators and volunteers.
Who: HISD Department of Dropout Prevention, principals and volunteers
Help HISD get dropouts back in school by volunteering for the 2013 Grads Within Reach walk.
This year’s event will be held at 24 high schools from 8 a.m. to noon on Sat., Sept. 7, 2013. Volunteers will be placed in teams and fan out across the city, based on the school to which they are assigned, and visit the last known address of students who dropped out or didn’t show up for the first weeks of school.
Hundreds of volunteers spent Saturday morning knocking on more than 1,300 doors across the city encouraging students who have not returned to school this academic year to re-enroll. The outreach effort was part of the ninth annual Grads Within Reach Walk, which led to 45 HISD students deciding to return to school immediately and many more promising to give school another try.
HISD Superintendent Terry Grier kicked off the walk at Austin High School by motivating dozens of volunteers and administrators. “We know the factors that drive these students to make the difficult decision of dropping out of school vary,” Dr. Grier said. “That’s why we’re here today — to let them know about the programs HISD offers to help them graduate. But more importantly we want them to know HISD cares about them and wants to help them get back in school.”
Dr. Grier later led the volunteers as they knocked on the homes of various students at Austin High School. HISD Board of Education Trustee Juliet Stipeche and Austin High School Principal Jorge Arredondo were among those volunteers encouraging students to re-enroll.
“I’m excited we have the opportunity to reach out to these students to help them get their diploma,” Stipeche said. “We want them to know HISD is going to do whatever it can to help them succeed.” Principal Arredondo said he is invested in this effort, and it’s his privilege to be involved with the Grads Within Reach Walk. “We know this community. We are from this community, and we deeply understand its challenges,” he said. “We also realize as adults who work with the youth of Houston, we are very often these students’ last best chance.”
Among their successful visits was Imelda, 18, who only needs credit for one course to graduate and says she is now going to re-enroll. “My dad has been encouraging me to finish high school,” said Imelda. “I do want to complete my course work so I can get my diploma, especially since I’m only one credit shy of graduation.”