We are starting up our Food Pantry (in partnership with the Houston Food Bank) next week. All the information is on the attached poster, please share with your community. I am also looking for student and adult volunteers (Adults must be VIPS approved) to help with the distribution. High school students will be able to receive community service hours for their time. Thank you.
For students to succeed in life, basics must be met and our area schools have identified a serious need for food and household items. Many of the area HISD schools are classified as Title 1. This means that the students come from low-income family at poverty levels. A school with a Title 1 designation requires that 35 percent of students residing within the school’s boundaries qualify for the free and reduced lunch program. Many of our Chamber area schools have 100 percent of students meeting these criteria.
The need is urgent and we must be persistent to help give these students a foundation for success! The Chamber is beginning a food and supply drive to help alleviate this shortfall and give students a positive learning environment. Helping this noteworthy cause is easy and will be greatly appreciated. The following items represent foods that students can cook, open as well as clothing. Please consider collecting the following items:
Easy-Mac, fruit cups, apple sauce, peanut butter and jelly, granola and protein bars, cereal, oatmeal, baby formula and wipes, winter coats and jackets. There is also a need for warm clothing, gently used is good or new, all sizes from new born to 18. Another way to help is to make a donation to the Chamber’s Community Fund; it is tax deductible as the Community Fund is a 501c3. This is the Chamber’s charitable arm to help our community. Donations of all types can be delivered to the Chamber offices or brought to events.
Although single donations are greatly appreciated, consistency is essential to make a difference. If you have a desire to partner with a specific school all you have to do is ask and the Chamber’s Education Committee will set it up. Our students need your help, and donors can reach out to Cindy Reibenstein at rcreibenstein@aol or Willie Diefenbach-Jones at Willie_Diefenbach@yahoo.com. This program will provide benefits to Title 1 elementary, middle, and high schools. Our chamber is known for our community outreach and with your donation we can make a difference in our students and schools.
Our annual Education Luncheon honors high school seniors who have been awarded Chamber scholarships as well as those area seniors who are entering the military. We will also honor the Teacher of the Year, Staff Person of the Year, and Educator of the Year. And we are pleased to welcome Jonathan Horton, two-time Olympic Gymnastics Champion and Houstonian, as our special guest and keynote speaker.
The goal of the luncheon is to provide as many scholarships as possible to deserving students. Donors are being solicited as we would like to continue our $1,000 per scholarship but other levels will also be awarded. The number of scholarships and amount is determined by your donations. Donations of any amount are welcome and groups can combine donations toward a full scholarship. A variety of sponsorship packages are available: Summa Cum Laude are $2,500, Military are $2,500, Magna Cum Laude are $2,000, Cum Laude are $1,500, Valedictorian are $1,000, and Salutatorian are $500. The final deadline for inclusion in the event program is May 9.
Non attendee sponsors are welcome and for $100 businesses can be the sponsor of a lunch for a scholarship recipient’s parent or school performer.
The members of the Education Committee are over 70 strong with schools and businesses who meet monthly to work towards making our community education strong at all levels, Elementary through high school, public, private and parochial. Donations or sponsorships can be obtained by contacting Jill Johnston at the Chamber, firstname.lastname@example.org. All sponsorship levels are Tax-Deductible and are the only annual Chamber event to provide this opportunity. The Greater Heights Area Chamber of Commerce Community Fund is a 501c3. Since the inception of the scholarship program, the Chamber has awarded scholarships representing over $350,000.
The School Year is underway and lots of activities going on with each one: festivals, fun runs and the prom is coming up. Can you help a guy or a girl with a tux, a dress, shoes, accessories etc.? If so, let us know and we can coordinate with you and help students enjoy this special day. Also we have scholarships and honoring of the students entering the military at our May Education Luncheon along with hearing and seeing our elementary and middle schools students perform and entertain us. Multiple schools in the area participated in the parade and festival; everyone had a great time! The Education Committee meets the second Thursday of the month at Baptist Temple at 10 am in the Heritage Room. Come join us and get involved! See you March 8, 2018 and/or on April 12, 2018.
Education Committee Chair
A Big Thank You to Baptist Temple for hosting our monthly Education meetings; come the second Thursday of the month to the Heritage Room and you will find many schools and businesses ready to partner and help each other. HITS Theatre has field trips available to their Miller Outdoor productions this Spring and a Raffle you will want to support—Hamilton tickets with dinner and hotel etc…. May 4; Harmony STEM MULTICULTURAL Festival is Feb. 24 from 10-2pm—support this endeavor—visit! Kenworthy School on 28th and Durham needs a music teacher! HCC NE continues to deliver educational programming at their campuses. Garden Oaks Montessori has their FREE Pancake Breakfast Feb. 3 from 8-10:30 with their Silent Auction to help raise funds for educational needs and on Feb. 26 the students present their Black History Program at 9, 1 and 2. Waltrip continues to grow and enrollment will cap out soon with the school being an AP Capstone school next year.
St. PiusX has their Academic Rally coming up for Middle Schools to participate in while Washington High School will have students going to Washington D.C. in late February. Harvard Elementary has STEM night and programs on bullying—check them out! Northside High School is now in part of their renovation and is slated to be a Pre AP Top 100 in the nation for a pilot program. Arabic Immersion is getting ready for their Silk Road Festival and businesses such as Send Out Cards with Willie DJ and State Farm with Ms. Garza the schools are building partnerships! Financial Reality options with curriculum and workshops with Houston Highway Credit Union are being built her as well. The Parade entries and Crawfish Festival Entertainment from the schools continue to build—sign up soon! Come join us! See you at 10 am on February 8, 2018.
Cindy Reibenstein, Education Chair
A Goal of the Education Committee is to build partnerships among the businesses and schools! This year we are emphasizing more education with ways to make it mutually beneficial for both parties. Businesses—you have a marketing opportunity with the PTO, events hosted by the schools that gets your name associated with parents, teachers and kids (your customers now or in the future)! Businesses you can support endeavors through time—by reading (less than an hour) to elementary students. Role model! Give of yourself. And yes, donations can donate help with Festivals, Fun Runs and Equipment. Schools can call businesses to be a vendor at one of their events or PTO meetings. Maybe light snacks are provided—more people come and this helps your statistics with school rankings, grading etc… so let’s build partnerships! We started in the meeting… High School Ahead is partnering with Farmers Insurance for Lemonade Day!
Schools overall are reaching out to the community to help Post-Harvey victims. Harmony Schools and Houston Community College have an event every other week from October 18 through mid-December… so spread the word. Women of Waltrip group need women to speak to a small group of high school girls–share your experiences so they benefit from your knowledge. Many Career Days are coming with a need of businesses to share aspects of the world to students from elementary to high school level… Scarborough is growing and will have several fundraisers to help with their needs, especially the band.
St. Pius X has their Learning Center opening and had their Fly Over the School with Channel 13 and their football stadium was named for their alum, Gary Kubiack. Garden Oaks Montessori has Read for the Record coming soon and will need volunteers as well as Kathryn Smith Elementary–read to kids … enrich the future… Hartz Chicken is ready to help schools with their fundraisers—call Naro! He spoke about Veteran’s Day at K. Smith. American Legion Post 560 can help by making all those history lessons come to life–a veteran (young and older) are available to visit your classroom or business and talk–think about it: history; you can support the Post by coming to their Steak Night which is the 3rd Friday of the month ($15 gets you Ribeye, Potato and Salad) or the 4th Friday of the month is Fish Night….proceeds go to help them build a community facility on the location. Northside High School will have their Financial Night and programs beginning in the Spring and Houston Highway Credit Union is coming to assist in this! Houston Heights needs a gym to practice and play in!
How can you partner more with the Chamber? Coming up we have the Crawfish Festival and Parade on March 3, 2018 and a Food Truck fair in April. Noteworthy that we have an Art Car from Garden Oaks along with the Singers, an Eco Car from Harmony along with choir, cheerleaders and more as well as St. Pius X cheerleaders and band, the Scarborough Band and Waltrip for the festival and parade! Arabic Immersion’s group will play. We are off to a good start… see how your school can participate; we are celebrating Harvey Hero’s! Let me know as soon as you can as there are many details to work on.
Scholarship applications are on the website and the Education celebration for May was discussed. In December the Education Committee will begin meeting at Baptist Temple (the chamber moved and Baptist Temple keeps us central for all the schools); it is about 2 blocks from the bank….The church is located at 230 W. 20th Street between Yale and Rutland. Our parking lot is located behind the church and accessible from 19th Street. The main entrance to the building is located on the west side of the building (near the covered drop-off area), and it easily identifiable from both 20th St and 19th St. parking lot. It will likely be in the “Heritage Room,” which is located on the first floor of the building. They are providing coffee! See you Thursday, December 14, 2017 at Baptist Temple at 10 am.
Cindy Reibenstein, Education Chair
The Education Committee consistently attends to the needs of the schools and businesses and it is through building those partnerships that each finds success. Houston Highway Credit Union begins their financial curriculum instruction at Sinclair Elementary and many other schools are exploring their calendars so they can have the financial reality experience for their students. Many of the schools were assisted with cleaning supplies as well as some school supplies in order to start the year off but each school could use your experience in the form of mentors, readers, coming to present your business to the PTO–just getting involved!
Washington High School has 10 students going to Zimbabwe in November—they are building the water filtration system and the wind turbine they designed for another education community. Can you help with making this trip possible? Contact Washington High School today! We would love to have you come and engage with our group; it is a great group of professionals who come together to see how we can help each other for the good of all. You can make a difference in the lives of students, educators and your business; from this our community will be the better for it. Come the second Thursday of the month to the Chamber office at 10 am. See you….
Education Committee Chair
Well, we are off to another great year for the Education Committee! Our first meeting for this academic year will be Thursday, August 10, 2017 at 10 am at the Chamber office. Come check this committee out. Great connections for businesses and schools and we have great opportunities for each group, schools and businesses, to utilize their strengths. Businesses, this is an opportunity to reach parents through the PTO’s and organization involvement and/or mentoring of students at all age levels. Schools it is a great opportunity for you to partner with businesses! Last year we made good connections and helped the schools with some of their Fun Run’s, Festivals, Yard Sales, Career Days as well as recognized 36 students entering the military upon graduation and we gave 30 scholarships to help with college expenses. Growth options for all! This year we have many ideas to incorporate and help our community. Come and become part of this group; you will make a difference!
Cindy Reibenstein, Education Chair
Another academic year in the books… This year the Education Committee continued to grow in business participation and schools joining the Chamber! The Goddard School is our newest addition! We are sad to see Kate Adams, Principal at Arabic Immersion Magnet take a new position but we look forward to a new leader at the school becoming involved with us! We had a new business join the committee: Zombie Walks… they give out scholarships so look them up! April Petronella is transitioning her new owner of Kumon, Tony Wong, into becoming involved with the Chamber as well. This month we examined ways business partnerships can be built with the school systems… These suggestions are easy to implement and I hope many businesses will incorporate them into their buildings, space, website, etc. Identify the schools you support in some way (through volunteers, speaking, financial etc.) and post it where the public can see—this enhances the perspective education is important and you are on board! Recognize Teachers, Administrators, and Staff at various schools; offer field trips to your business (a few students to a class) have them view your real world experience (elementary through high school), shopping centers and grocery stores post signs of support of education, teachers, etc….
If you can employ or have an intern do so! Being a role model is very important. Overall enrich the students’ lives with real world experiences! Another note, Nia Moves is now a partner with Center for Success, a teenage residential facility in our area. St. Pius X is hiring a director for their Cultural Activity International Program and they are in partnership with UT for Engineering in Your World; they also have numerous summer camps—check them out! Houston Community College Northeast Campus is set to open their Acres Home Campus—education continues right in our own backyard! And Hartz Chicken will have a free meal day coming up! Watch for that! We made great progress this past year so recharge in the summer. See you soon!
We met two great businesses and a new school joined our group! These two businesses have the passion in helping our students and educators. So say hi to Brannon Lloyd of The College Money Guys; he can help elementary parents in preparing for furthering the education of their children and ways to help not only parents with limited means gain funds to help their children’s education, but also the parents with assets and income. He has instructional plans, tutoring to prepare for interviews… lots of avenues. And then meet Amber Autrey with Camp Gladiator! Their company is exploding with trainers to help us at all levels with fitness, but their passion is giving back to the education system, raising funds for schools etc… So I know you all could use this boost…. Check them out…. The College Money Guys email: Brannon@thecollegemoneyguys.com; Camp Gladiator is AmberAutrey@campgladiator.com We are also proud to welcome, Katherine Smith Elementary School, Principal is Queinnise Miller, Ph.D. and Parent Engagement Rep. Brenda Espinoza. They became more aware of our group through Rachel Holcombe, LMSW at Waltrip and from Naro Mak, Our Chicken Guy with Hartz Chicken on Pinemont! Thank you! Sinclair Principal, Mrs. Abby Taylor made them feel very welcome!
May 18, 2017 is our Education Luncheon at the Brookhollow Sheraton. We will be celebrating our educators, our students and the business partnerships to help further education and those that are helping the schools at this time. Ed Gonzalez, our Sheriff, will be assisting in the acknowledgement of all these achievements. You can “Make a Difference” by being there! Purchasing a table, sponsoring lunch for student performers, donating to the scholarship fund, donating items for the educator and student gift bags—“Make a Difference”; we are also recognizing all the students entering the military service or reserves — this day is special. Please come out and support this luncheon. It is a tax-deductible contribution. “Make a Difference” in the future of our community, your business! Support Education!
Cindy Reibenstein, Education Chair.