Each year, the Greater Heights Area Chamber of Commerce awards scholarships to outstanding high school seniors in the area. Those students are honored at a luncheon to be held in May. Since the inception of the program, the Chamber has awarded over $350,000 in scholarships to area students. Those scholarships are made possible through generous donations by our members. We are pleased to continue that tradition this year and are currently taking applications for the 2018 scholarship program. Deadline to apply is March 1, 2018. To apply, please read and complete the 2018 scholarship application
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.
The Catwalk to Success Fashion Show is April 29 so let’s see which school wins the prize for the most attendees and let’s also see which business wins for their support! In reviewing the end of the school year we all acknowledge that testing is here! Need a job—call April Petronella at Kumon! Waltrip has WOW meetings on Thursday after school and Teen Mom group as well; these two groups address the needs and dreams of at risk young women. Heights High School has a Community Service organization and they are a UH partner for the lighted Bull Dog. Sinclair has their Yard Sale April 29 …set up and sell your items. Hamilton Middle has their Fundraiser is April 22 with Rides and Festival… need sponsorships and vendors; June is Summer Bridge Camp and need cardboard for this camp… Garden Oaks has their Spring Fling on April 28 from 3-6 pm, need vendors and Externship week is May 15 and need companies for 8th graders to shadow.
Education Luncheon is May 18 at 11 am at the Brookhollow Sheraton and we will honor high school seniors with scholarships and those entering the military. We also honor teacher of the year from every school along with a Staff Person of the Year and Educator of the Year! Black and Hamilton Middle school along with Sinclair Elementary and Garden Oaks Montessori will also have a part in making this event special. Get your table now…. You don’t want to miss this event!
Cindy Reibenstein, Education Chair
The Crawfish Festival enjoyed the students from all over the area involved in the parade to the entertainment! We also thank many of the students who volunteered their time to help with the set-up and clean-up! Thank you… it means a lot! So off we go to the next phase of the school year as schools prepare for testing and celebrations. Our Education Luncheon will be May 18 and we are working on this venue with student entertainment and awarding of scholarships and honoring the students entering the military upon graduation. Our businesses have a number of great opportunities to help the students serve the community through ‘Service Days’ and through internships. Northside High School is looking for summer internships for the ‘Rising Seniors’ and Garden Oaks Montessori is looking for three days of non-paid internship for their 25 eighth graders during the week of May 15. Black Middle School is having their Color Run on March 31…run that 5K and support education!
We want to recognize the Houston Heights Charter High School that won district Basketball! Naro Mak can help with school/organization fund raisers! We can all clean our closets and help the area seniors with Prom! Heights High School is having their Prom Boutique Day April 7 and here is where students come and shop for that special day! Need help you can call Tiffany with Space Savers and she will help you organize your now clean closet! Hamilton is having Math and Science night and Washington High School has 48 engineering students from Zimbabwe from March 20-28 and need help with transportation for them from their hotel to the school. Can you help with money/donation or a vehicle/bus? Sinclair PTO is having their Auction Night at SPJST on March 24, attend or donate an item to the cause. Hogg Middle will have their Dinner Theatre Murder Mystery on March 24… lots of fun… find a way to help make a difference and we look forward to you becoming involved with the Education Committee.
Please remember that there are so many ways businesses can partner with our schools. Businesses can sponsor events and there are many other opportunities as well. Upcoming events include: Waltrip Montessori has a Service Day to be done in the spring, and service will be a culture of the school. Gateway Academy needs businesses to help students with mock interviews (10) seniors and internships. Student Services is the focus for the spring semester for HCC. St Pius X’s science café program highlights science and needs professionals to present students with facts about science and its ramifications. Student Service Soldiers is a drive during February for clothing and toiletries for homeless veterans. Reynolds & Associates, a CPA firm is ready to help students understand the importance of finances.
Houston Heights Charter is growing and having partnerships happen for their gymnasium needs, plus they have working partnership for uniforms with T-Shirt Works. Heights High will celebrate their 90th birthday with a celebration. Their Day of Service is coming so many opportunities there. Arabic Immersion holds its Festival, complete with camel on April 22.
HITS Theater – 30th performances at Miller Outdoor have seats for students to see performances on March 30, 31, April 1 or April 6, 7, 8, and sponsors are invited. Northside’s Activism Day was a great success –Social Justice Fair. Chamber member NIA Moves , a fitness studio, offers a program “Love Your Body, Love Your School” which can be a fundraising opportunity because they will give back 20% from a package workout.Washington: February 17 is Engineer Day and needs volunteers.
Women of Waltrip’s at-risk women students are looking for Chamber business women to speak at their meetings. The Chamber Fashion Show is April 29 and the Crawfish Parade deadline is approaching. Kumonhas education assistance and student work here. The Education Luncheon is May 18. The next Education Committee meeting is February 9 at 10 a.m. in the Chamber offices.
Cindy Reibenstein, Chair