Harris County School Districts Bolstered During Pandemic with $200,000 in Grant Funding from Education Foundation of Harris County

Supporting Harris County School Districts is the primary mission of the Harris County Department of Education (HCDE). In keeping with that goal, the Education Foundation of Harris County (EFHC), the philanthropic arm of HCDE, recently announced grant distributions of $207,013 to local school districts  focused on helping area districts cope with COVID-19 related resources.

The “Partners in Education Project” grant awards range from $5,000 to $15,000 to assist school district with needs varying from technology to pandemic health products to school supplies.

The grants were made possible by the HCDE Board of Trustees, who in April voted to appropriate $500,000 in funding to support Harris County districts during the 2020-2021 school year.

“The Harris County Department of Education prides itself on filling the gaps in public education in our county,” said County School Superintendent James Colbert Jr. “At the beginning of COVID-19 we saw the unprecedented needs of the school districts we serve. Our board took immediate action to ask the foundation to administer grants to provide additional resources to directly support these needs.”

The 16 districts receiving the initial disbursement of grant funding are:  Aldine, Alief, Channelview, Clear Creek, Crosby, Galena Park, Goose Creek, Houston, Humble, Katy La Porte, Pasadena, Sheldon, Spring, Spring Branch and Stafford. Applications were collected from district administration or the education foundation affiliated with each district.

Pasadena Independent School District and its PISD Education Foundation was the first district to announce its Partners in Education Project grant award from HCDE through the EFHC.

“Pasadena ISD is very appreciative of Harris County for its generous support of our students,” PISD Associate Superintendent Dr. Troy McCarley said. “This grant means more than just providing resources for our virtual learners. It also means helping many students to accomplish virtual instruction.”

Pasadena’s grant project helps underserved students with MiFi devices and monthly Internet services so that students may complete virtual learning online assignments.
HCDE Board of Trustee Amy Hinojosa shared the good news of the grant with PISD administrators. She supports PISD as HCDE’s Precinct 2 trustee and resident of Pasadena.

HCDE Trustees serving on the EFHC Board include Hinojosa, Andrea Duhon and Michael Wolfe.

Colbert noted the grants supplement HCDE’s other services to districts including four special schools, professional development for educators, school safety, teacher certification programs, Head Start, school-based therapy and adult education.

“HCDE serves our districts in so many ways and we are thrilled to find yet another means of partnering with districts to support students and staff,” Colbert said.

Photo: Pasadena Education Foundation’s Andrea Nguyen, PISD Assistant Superintendent Dr. Troy McCarley and HCDE Board Member Amy Hinojosa


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