First-grade students at Bruce Elementary School are getting new help achieving their reading goals. The United Way of Greater Houston is partnering with the school in a new literacy mentor program.
The program will pair a volunteer and a first-grade student together for the entire year. During that time, the volunteers will read a book with the students and will later help them complete a literacy exercise.
United Way President and CEO Anna Babin presented books to all of the first grade students along with a $5,000 check to principal Trealla Epps. Both Babin and Epps said they believe the initiative will encourage the volunteers to develop positive relationships through mentoring and literacy.
District kicks off new initiative with HPD and Metro police while celebrating fifth year of Real Men Read
Having a male role model can make a significant impact on the academic and social well-being of a child. Sadly, many students at HISD lack a prominent male figure in their lives.
Fortunately, HISD has several longstanding and new partnerships within the Houston community that are helping to give students a male mentor. On Tuesday, Oct. 16, officers from the Houston, HISD, and Metro Police departments gathered at Peck Elementary to kick off a new initiative that provides male police officers as role models and mentors for students.
Houston Independent School District Superintendent Terry Grier today introduced a new breakfast and lunch initiative with the HISD Police Department. Dr. Grier made the announcement during his visit to Billy Reagan K-8 Educational Center to kick off the first day of classes for the 2012-2013 academic year.
Beginning Tuesday, August 28, HISD police officers will eat breakfast and lunch with students at various elementary and middle school campuses. The officers will participate in the program during their normal patrol hours when time permits. While on campus the HISD police officers will also meet with administrators and will conduct safety and security checks.
River Oaks Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram President Alan Helfman initially approached HISD Police Chief Jimmy L. Dotson about the idea and is pleased the program is becoming a reality. “I have been passionate about this idea for several years and I’m pleased that it is finally coming to fruition. It’s wonderful that the officers will have another way to serve as role models and mentors for our children,” said Helfman.
Chief Dotson believes the officers’ presence will also boost the sense of security at HISD campuses. “The Houston ISD Police Department is committed to keeping our students safe and this new innovative program will provide a unique opportunity for our officers to continue to protect our campuses while reaching out to the students” said Dotson.
Dr. Grier also invited law enforcement officers from the many agencies operating within HISD to grab lunch or breakfast inside the schools in the neighborhoods they serve. “In HISD we are committed to providing every child with a rigorous education in a safe environment. Children learn best when they have been fed a nutritious meal and when they feel safe,” said Grier.
The Crime Stoppers Safe School program is also lending its support to the new initiative. The program will be funded by the HISD Police Association.