: views from the Hill

Friday, September 09, 2005

Houston Independent School District in need of help

The younger younger guy has been spending time on another Katrina-related project, after hearing from his friend beri, who is from Houston.

beri told him that HISD is one of the fastest growing school districts in the US and also one of the worst. "how they are going to properly educate these kids is beyond me," beri said.

(One of the worst? Really? I thought. But wasn't HISD Rod Paige's school district? The school district that was touted as the model for No Child Left Behind?)

Well, perhaps the miracle of Houston was not so miraculous.

The younger younger guy came up with a plan. He decided students at his university should gear up to collect school supplies for school districts that will be educating the children evacuated from the Katrina-ravaged Gulf region. Next he started contacting people in different schools around the United States, telling his contacts they should start similar drives at their schools.

So far his posse includes students from two small schools in Rhode Island, one at San Jose State, one at Santa Clara, and one at Saratoga High School. Next up: Stanford, Berkeley and NYU. He's talked other people at his school into contacting their friends and their parents (seeing as some are educators around the state). Viral fund-raising, eh?

He's partnered up with the head of the student body and the head of a group called Help Now. Help Now was set up to raise money and gather supplies for victims of Hurricane Katrina but, he says, had no idea yet what sort or for whom. He offered to combine efforts so they all could focus on the evacuated kids and their school needs. (Appropriate for university and college students, wouldn't you say?)

The drive might move beyond HISD to other schools in need, but the basic groundwork is still in process. He's contacting HISD to make sure they're ready and willing to take supplies collected. I suggested he contact DHL, UPS, FedEx and others to provide comp'd shipping. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, got Matson and APL (you see their container ships coming into Oakland from our perch) to donate trucks to haul the donations collected in Oakland over the weekend.

As part of his project, he asked me to post the HISD link and I promised I would.

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