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Whole Child


Every student deserves to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged at school. 

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Today, schools across the U.S. are under tremendous pressure to provide a high-quality academic experience to all students. While reading, writing, and arithmetics are clearly very important, so are mental, social, creative, and physical development. In today’s world, students need to be able to think critically as well as creatively, evaluate vast amounts of information, solve complex problems, and communicate well. Additionally, as children are exposed to a variety of stressors – including natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey, bullying, school shootings, and other tragedies – students, especially low-income students, need access to mental health services in order to succeed and thrive. In fact,70% of students with mental health disorders do not receive adequate treatment. HISD is therefore committed to educating the whole child, and the HISD Foundation is committed to funding the following priority programs to support this effort.

Stephanie Blow teaches reading to her Pre-K students at Fonwood Early Learning Center, April 15, 2014.

Mental Health Support Initiative

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Partnership with University of Houston Graduate School of Social Work to provide direct counseling and social services to students by placing UH Graduate students at HISD campuses

Series of training for HISD Wraparound Specialists, administrators and educators led by industry experts on topics that include: crisis, trauma, abuse, and suicide prevention

Enhance Fine Arts programming at 28 campuses

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Increase student access and engagement in instrumental music programs by replacing and repairing instruments, furniture, and uniforms in 9 elementary, 10 middle school, and 9 high schools 



Students need a variety of supports in order to reach their full potential. 

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Houston’s diversity is a tremendous asset. As Rice University demographer Stephen Klineberg has observed, “It is a big part of what will make Houston a world city. How we invest in the education of Latino and African-American communities will determine whether ethnic diversity increases our competitiveness or tears us apart. Here, more than anywhere else, the future depends on education.” 

Research shows that mentoring and family engagement are two powerful ways to support students and remove barriers to success. Mentors not only help young people achieve social-emotional well-being and reduce risk behaviors but also achieve academically and acquire the skills that help them pursue their goals. Intentional efforts to engage families in their children’s education – for example, by expanding their access to information about district programs and resources – also yield long-term rewards. 

HISD believes deeply in expanding students’ access to mentors and families’ access to district supports. The HISD Foundation is supporting these efforts by dedicating significant resources to fund projects that address barriers to equity and empower all students to pursue their dreams. 

Students need a variety of supports in order to reach their full potential. 

Week of the Young Child activities at the Hattie Mae White Building, April 15, 2014.

ascending to men

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Mentoring program for boys of color within HISD middle and high schools with focus on developing character and leadership skills; as well as providing students with academic advocates who will support their educational aspirations 

HISD Parent university

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Increase student access and engagement in instrumental music programs by replacing and repairing instruments, furniture, and uniforms in 9 elementary, 10 middle school, and 9 high schools 

College & Career Readiness


We must do more to help students on the path to the college and career of their choice. 

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At a time when obtaining a postsecondary degree or credential is more important than ever, many students struggle to reach this goal. Lack of money to pay for college is one of the top reasons, as college tuitions continue to escalate. Many students not only need more financial assistance; they also need the opportunity to explore potential career interests and understand the necessary milestones for achieving their career goals before deciding which program to attend. Additionally, they need to develop “empowerment skills” such as self-confidence, effective communication, persistence, and self-management to navigate challenges along the way. High-quality out-of-school programs can help them develop these essential skills. 

The HISD Foundation is committed to eliminating barriers to college and providing students with opportunities to expand their skillsets and explore postsecondary and career opportunities.

Washington High School seniors participate in a graduation ceremony at Wilkins Pavilion, May 31, 2014.

extended learning opportunities

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Expand DiscoverU to Achieve 180 campuses by providing students with high-quality college and career programming, out of school programming through “FLOs” (Fantastic Learning Opportunities), and direct support to college and career pathway programs 


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We must provide the resources that students and schools need to turn new ideas into reality. 

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Innovation is crucial in a rapidly changing world; it is what keeps businesses thriving and helps solve our world’s most pressing challenges. Students and teachers therefore need opportunities to formulate promising ideas and develop new ways to address pressing real-life challenges. In the process, they gain an array of valuable skills, such as problem solving, project management, budget management, and the ability to work effectively in teams. In today’s difficult fiscal environment, it is a challenge for school districts to fund the materials and resources associated with innovation at scale. HISD is committed to making innovation a core part of students’ education experience, and the HISD Foundation is supporting these efforts by providing vital resources for innovative projects. 

Houston ISD EMERGE students tour Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the MIT Museum, June 3, 2014.
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Invest In Every Child

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