Tuesday, September 10, 2013

When we work together anything is possible!

Students Head Back to Class Prepared Thanks to SBISD Community

Sometimes something as simple as a pencil and piece of paper can bring a smile to the face of a child. For many families in Spring Branch, the back to school season marks a special milestone in the year. Along with the excitement and thrill of starting class with new friends, teachers and endless opportunities, some families face the very real struggle of paying for school supplies.

While most parents wonder what supplies to buy, some wonder how they are even going to fund such a purchase. Well, area families don't have to ask themselves that question this school year. The Spring Branch Education Foundation's (SBEF) School Supply Project and SBISD Good Neighbor partners like CITGO, CINCO Energy Services, Nexen, and Metro National put their respective corporate and personal philosophies into action.

From binders to backpacks, calculators, notebooks, paper, pocket folders, highlighters and just about every other school supply you can think of, Foundation supporters and area leaders delivered on their promise of responsibility to the community, and stewardship for our future, in the form of much needed school supplies for area children. The Spring Branch Education Foundation's School Supply Project, now in its eight year, delivered big in 2013.

Generous corporate and community support, combined with the hard work of over 60 volunteers including students from the SBISD Dual Language Program, resulted in the Project delivering 21 pallets of materials to 28 schools in the district. More than 8,000 students headed back to class with the supplies they so desperately needed thanks to the project, its organizers and volunteers.

The expanded outreach of the project for the 2013 year is a direct result of School Supply Project organizers' ability to maximize donation funds. By ensuring each dollar is stretched to its full potential, more students were able to start the new year with the critical supplies they needed. Project volunteers took time to sort supplies and assist with delivery. The monumental effort of providing supplies to thousands of students is an inspiration to the entire SBISD community. In 2013, the Spring Branch Education Foundation celebrates twenty years as a leader in supporting student and educational programming in SBISD. 

The Foundation provided close to $700,000 during the 2012-13 school year to fund programming in SBISD. Foundation members are committed to harnessing the generosity of the community for the benefit of its children. Thank you to the SBEF School Supply Project for their continued support of our students and outstanding leadership in our community!

Like the Spring Branch Education Foundation, countless individuals, educational organizations, corporations and local faith and community groups are actively engaging as members of the SBISD family through participation in a wealth of community engagement opportunities, including SBISD's Good Neighbor Program.

Good Neighbor members, through select partnership activities such as mentoring or other community engagement initiatives, make positive impacts for students in our schools daily. The work and support of our SBISD Good Neighbors are examples of how combining great ideas and great people yield great results. CINCO Energy Services employees collected supplies as part of establishing their 2013 Good Neighbor designation for the year.

In past years, CINCO staffers earned their designation by hosting a mentee at their work site as part of the Mentoring Program as one of their Good Neighbor activities. This hands-on opportunity to support the district initiative of T-2-4 is a great learning experience for both mentor and mentee. Students benefit from the real-world work experience with professionals in the field, pivotal for their college and career planning, and businesses and their employees experience first-hand how their active participation impacts student achievement and T-2-4 in Spring Branch.

Nexen and Metro National both began partnerships with SBISD this year, and are engaging their employees in supporting our schools and students through donations to the SBEF and as participants in Good Neighbor and Mentor Program activities.

In addition to providing support for the Spring Woods High School musical and Stratford Academy of Science and Engineering, Nexen employees will begin mentoring students at Woodview Elementary this year.  Their support of district programming with a $10,000 donation to the J. Landon Short Mini-grants Program to fund STEM and Literacy projects in SBISD ensures students will have the skills necessary for career and college success. 

Metro National has partnered with Shadow Oaks Elementary to leverage their expertise to help support Shadow Oaks’ goals, particularly around literacy.

When asked why her organization felt so strongly about participating in a school supply drive this year, CINCO's Leah Vann shared her insight on how community engagement will shape our collective future in Spring Branch.

"We feel it is our responsibility to engage in community building and service projects. And what better way to help build our community than to support our future through the kids of Spring Branch ISD. Cinco Energy Services fully supports the Mentoring Program of Spring Branch ISD. We encourage our employees' participation in the program and allow time each week during the work day for mentors to visit their mentees. "

From our Education Foundation and the work done by its committed board of directors, to our phenomenal collection of Good Neighbor members who give their time and talents in so many ways, to our outstanding mentors and volunteers, the student of SBISD benefit daily from your tireless support. Thank you!  When we work together anything is possible!

For information on how you or your organization can get informed, engaged, connected, visit the SBISD website: www.springbranchisd.com

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