New School Year Welcomes SuperMENtors

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October 18, 2019 by HCDE Communications

Students at the Fifth Ward Head Start Center greeted their favorite SuperMENtors with smiles and hugs as their adult volunteers came to ready “Bear’s Big Day” to them Oct. 9.

The four men volunteer for the REAL SuperMENtors Read program, a mentoring program in which men from the Houston community commit one hour of their time to read, once a month. The program is a part of the ongoing HCDE Head Start Significant Male Initiative formed in 2002 to encourage male involvement throughout the HCDE Head Start centers.

The program works by recruiting, selecting and assigning mentors to each school. Mentors commit to at least one hour, once a month between October and May to read to students. During the month of May children celebrate their SuperMENtors.

Chris Frey, Bank of Texas vice president of commercial banking, is in his fourth year of participating in the SuperMENtor program and is one of three from the bank to mentor at the Fifth Ward Head Start Center. Bank of Texas also donated to the program this year to supply books.

“It’s always great getting to know the new students,” he said. “They were super engaged and eager as they are every year. I love doing it and look forward to it the mst every month.”


Frey also said the great thing about the program is that he gets to see the same students throughout the year and by the end of the year they all know his name.

“I find that part very rewarding especially being able to see them progress in the learning experience through the school year is a great feeling and they definitely make my day,” Frey said.

SuperMENtor volunteers come from a multitude of businesses and are community members from across the greater Houston area. Additionally, through corporate sponsors, participating students receive a copy of the book read to them each month to grow a home library.

Reading dates are the second Thursday of each month beginning in October through May. Each school site will work with its mentor, as needed, for scheduling reading dates.

To sign-up to be a mentor, fill out the form at and email to

For more information on the REAL SuperMENtors Read program at HCDE Head Start, please contact Armando Rodriguez at 713-696-2179 or e-mail

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