The Learning Link allows students to access library resources at school and home
The Houston Independent School District announced on Monday with the Houston Public Library that every HISD student can now access numerous library resources at school and home through a new virtual library card known as the Learning Link.
Through the Learning Link, students will have free, 24/7 access to the Houston Public Library’s assortment of books and resources at any library location, and at school and home through the district’s HUB, HISD’s online teaching and learning platform. Students can use a laptop, tablet or smart phone to access more than one million books, e-books, magazines and research materials, as well as online resources and complimentary Wi-Fi. All HISD students will be automatically enrolled in the program and can use their student ID as their library account number to access these resources. Continue reading →
The Texas Education Agency on Tuesday awarded the Houston Independent School District a $9.2 million grant to enhance its early childhood education program.
HISD is among 578 school systems across Texas to be awarded a grant as part of Gov. Greg Abbott’s high-quality prekindergarten initiative. The $116 million grant program allows districts and charters to receive funding for qualifying pre-K students in addition to the half-day Foundation School Program funding that is already received for each eligible pre-K student. To receive the grant funding, a district or charter must meet certain enhanced quality standards related to curriculum, teacher qualifications, academic performance, and family engagement.
The multi-purpose room thumped to the sounds of hip hop music, provided courtesy of DJ GT Mayne and 97.9 The Box radio station, as students showed off their dribbling skills, shot hoops at the portable basketball nets, and challenged each other with the latest dance moves. A lunch of chicken fettuccine, fresh fruit, and garlic bread was served by HISD Nutrition Services.
Third-grader Karla Gonzalez received a brand new bicycle from CYCLE Houston for having read the more than any of her classmates at Dogan. CYCLE donated the bikes to every top reader in each of the 68 participating schools.
Her favorite book during the competition? “I really liked ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’,” said Karla, grinning.
The NCAA Read to the Final Four Literacy competition, which supported the HISD Literacy By 3 initiative, challenged HISD third-graders to read at least 30 minutes a day and attempt to read more books than other competing schools. Nearly 6,800 third-graders participating in the literacy competition logged a total of 9,128,176 minutes of reading time.
“This group of third-graders has worked extremely hard. And for many of them at home, reading wasn’t always a priority,” said Dogan coordinator/teacher specialist Ben Gibb. “But they really teamed up together to work hard and win the competition.”
Dogan students were also presented with t-shirts, pencil cases, cups, notepads and other goodies thanks to sponsors NCAA Final Four, and the Houston Public Library.
“We really wanted to give them a chance to enjoy their win,” said Gibb. “How often in life do you get a chance to have hard work pay off in such a concrete way as what they’re getting right now?”
Carrillo Elementary School students learn they are in the lead for the Read to the Final Four challenge in November 2015.
Nearly 10,000 HISD elementary school students will fill NRG Stadium (Reliant Parkway, 77054) on Friday, April 1 for the district’s announcement of the winner of the NCAA Team Works Read to the Final Four Literacy Program at Reese’s Final Four Friday event.
The program begins at 11 a.m., but prior to that, Waltrip HS’s band will play as students arrive, and Atherton ES’s drum line will perform before the announcement of the winning school at 11:40 a.m., which will receive a $5,000 cash prize, Final Four trophy, and campus celebration. The final four elementary schools in the competition are Browning, Carrillo, Dogan, and Janowski. Additionally, the top readers from each of the 68 schools will receive a bike from CYCLE. Attendees are welcome to stay for the remainder of the day and watch special practice games and tributes. The day’s activities are free and open to the public, including parking in the stadium’s Blue Lot beginning at 9 a.m. Anything brought into the stadium during all Final Four events must be in a clear bag, due to security. Some 125,000 clear bags are being given away at Houston hotels and the George R. Brown Convention Center, as well as on METRORail platforms. Find full details here.
The Houston Independent School District this week received its third national Magna Award, an honor designed to recognize school districts and their leaders for taking bold, innovative steps to improve the lives of students and their communities.
The district received the first-place Magna Award for its Literacy By 3 program, which strives to have all students reading and writing fluently by the end of third grade. HISD is one of five first-place winners in the over 20,000 enrollment category. Continue reading →
A generous donation from a community member has led to a unique professional learning opportunity for HISD teacher development specialists and school support officers.
Jill Carter’s $5,000 donation was enough to bring noted authors Kylene Beers and Bob Probst to the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center to host a very unique training centered on literacy. The donation also highlighted the amazing impact donors and the community can have on the education of our city’s students.
A big part of getting secondary students excited about the idea of reading for pleasure is finding the right incentives.
That’s why East Early College High School’s (EECHS) librarian and principal invited popular young adult author Rosemary Clement-Moore to be the keynote speaker at the campus’ second annual Literacy Day celebration on Sept. 25. It’s also why they awarded a free autographed copy of the author’s latest novel to senior Alejandra Guerra, the student who read the most books over the summer.
“A lot of our students come from neighborhood schools that don’t have budgets to invite authors to come speak, so this is a new experience for many of them, particularly the freshmen,” said EECHS librarian Cynthia Ramos. “Events like this build enthusiasm among students for wanting to read, as opposed to being required to read. Hopefully, that will lead them to texts they wouldn’t normally have chosen. This is only our second author visit, but last year, students told me they really enjoyed the talk.”
Personalizing instruction will be a key aspect of the support provided to secondary students this fall through HISD’s Literacy By 3 movement.
“We want to meet students where they are,” said Mechiel Rozas, the district’s director of secondary literacy, “so a big part of the proposal we’ll be making to the superintendent and Board of Education will deal with continuing the personalized aspect of the curriculum as students move into middle school, because that’s what they have come to expect. We want there to be multiple ways to engage with the content, so we can meet the needs of all students.”
The Houston Independent School District announced Thursday a partnership with the Houston NCAA Final Four Local Organizing Committee, Houston Public Library and the University of Houston on a bracket-themed reading challenge that encourages students to read at least 30 minutes a day.
Nearly 6,800 third-graders will participate in the reading challenge known as the NCAA Team Works Read to the Final Four Literacy Program leading up to the 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four that will be held in Houston April 2-4 at NRG Stadium. Continue reading →
About 1,000 new and veteran teachers attended HISD’s ongoing teacher professional development recently, which included a heavy dose of Literacy By 3 training.
The sessions were designed to help teachers learn effective methods and classroom management techniques that lead to students reading on level by the third grade.
Charity Smith, a manager for elementary literacy training development, said the training ultimately benefits students by creating teachers who can implement hands-on learning in the classroom and provide critical-thinking exercises, all of which help build Global Graduates. Continue reading →
At those camps, volunteers read with children, discuss the books, and then guide the children in answering questions and writing out reflections. Each child takes home a packet of books to add to their personal libraries. Many of these children come from homes that do not have a surplus of reading material. Continue reading →