Dallas ISD team members end the year giving from the heart
Dallas ISD team members continually embrace a Core 4 culture that includes the tenet that highlights friendliness—Make Memorable Moments. In Dallas ISD, not only do we build respectful relationships grounded in professional communication, but we also embrace the positive and expect the best of each other. At no time is this truer than during the end of the year when campuses and departments come together to make sure that the season’s celebrations are a little brighter for others. Here are some examples of team members’ generosity.
Rocking horses for Ronald McDonald House families
Led by teacher Terry Stotts, students from Career Institutes this year continued a long-standing tradition that started at the Multiple Career Magnet Center of building festive rocking horses to donate during the holidays to families at the Ronald McDonald House. Not only do students learn important skills doing this work, but also develop a sense of community.
Delivering 800 gifts to Scottish Rite Hospital
George Peabody Elementary School students and teachers have truly embraced the season of giving, gathering an impressive collection of more than 800 art supplies and toy donations for children at the Scottish Rite Hospital.
Communication Services adopts a school
All of Communication Services got together to make a tradition started by its Translation Services Department years ago a little bigger this year by adopting several students from H.I. Holland Elementary School. The “adopted” students will receive toys, clothing and other items on their wish lists.
Spreading joy in the community
Isabella Calvillo, of th Dual Language ESL Department, who also is a lash technician, decided to get together with another lash technician to give back to her community by doing a toy drive where the clients who bring an unopened toy/gift receive $15 dollars off their service.”The toys will be donated to my local church just before Christmas,” Calvillo said
Sunset High School adopts an elementary school
When Erika Bonilla was a liaison at an elementary school in the Moisés E. Molina feeder pattern, the liaison at Molina sponsored her elementary school so students could receive Christmas toys. That liaison then sponsored all the other elementary schools in the feeder pattern. Now that Bonilla is at Sunset as the school’s community liaison, she found herself at the giving end of the spectrum and is sponsoring one of the feeder pattern’s schools—Anson Jones Elementary School. Sunset teachers and other team members are sponsoring a student or more each from Anson Jones and giving them a new toy for Christmas. They will then wrap the gifts and deliver before school lets out for winter break. With the holidays coming and many families in Dallas ISD facing hard financial times, it’s a beautiful moment for everyone to give to those in need and to simply enjoy the smiles of gratitude, Bonilla said. Everyone is excited!
Elisha M. Pease Elementary School holds a food drive
The National Elementary Honor Society and Student Council at Elisha M. Pease Elementary School collected over 800 cans of food for the community in South Oak Cliff. The NEHS does several community service activities throughout the year, and the school’s advisor decided to team up with the Student Council to do a food drive in the school’s community. They used the house system to create a competition to see which house could collect the most cans. The only challenge was finding space to store the cans! The students enjoyed being able to contribute to the drive and help their house win.
Giving to the community
Angelina Perez, from Student Transportation Services is also the secretary for a nonprofit organization. She and her organization meet every other month to plan and organize their events. They give scholarships to high school students in the Fort Worth community, and every year for Christmas adopt more than 260 children to give their families a gift box and a jacket, shoes, and presents for each child. Juntos Se Puede–Together We Can is not just another nonprofit organization for Perez; her sister is the president.
Stephen C. Foster Elementary School shares food and culture
This year, our school welcomed over 40 students to the United States in grades third through sixth. As our school’s newcomer teacher, Brynne Mendonca wanted to invite her students’ families to a traditional Thanksgiving meal after school. Thanks to the support of the school’s PTA and community partners, they were able to serve over 60 turkey dinners and share a culturally significant holiday with students.
Family and Community Engagement Office celebrates with a purpose
FCE hosted a mid-year mixer for community liaisons, parent instructors and vendors who partner with the department during the year. Each participant was asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to The Family Place.
D.A. Hulcy STEAM Middle School partners up for good
During the month of November, the school community participated in the first Panther Cares Project. Panther Cares is an initiative started by the school counselors to ensure that the school is involved in efforts focused on building community and displaying empathy. Since November was Homeless Youth Awareness Month, they chose Jonathan’s Place, a nonprofit that provides safe spaces for abused and neglected children, teens, and young adults. Jonathan’s Place, led by Allicia Frye, allowed the school to partner with them in collecting donated goods and resources that will assist in continuing to make a positive impact on the populations they serve.
School of Health Professions goes for the toys
The Kines Club at the School of Health Professions has partnered with WFAA’s Santa’s Helpers in collecting new, unwrapped toys for children in the DFW Metroplex. Collected toys during the month of December and delivered them to the WFAA studios. The goal was to collect at least 50 new toys to donate.
Fourth-grade team at Louise Wolff Kahn Elementary School gets together
The fourth-grade team decided to organize a toy drive for their students. The school is a Title 1 campus, and the population it serves is primarily low income. The teachers knew that many of our students may not have a wrapped toy under their Christmas tree this year. As a grade level team, the teachers decided to bring cheer, smiles, and warm fuzzies to students this holiday season. The goal was to collect 60 toys, wrap them, and deliver them to the students right before the winter break to ensure that every student had a memorable Christmas this year. They reached out to close friends, family members, local business, and companies to support the toy drive. Little by little the toys began to arrive. The biggest challenge was competing with larger more established organizations that businesses had already committed to helping. Thankfully, the teachers were able to reach their goal with the support of companies like Equitable and Ferguson Waterworks, teachers on campus and even district central team members. They also had lots of help from the campus librarian and a second-grade teacher, who helped with wrapping and storing the toys.
Multicultural Club at North Lake Early College High School competes to donate
The students decided that along with setting up a holiday display with elements of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza, the Multicultural Club should host a toy drive. In order to increase engagement, the students planned the toy drive to be a competition between advisory classes, with the winning class getting donuts and hot chocolate as a prize. All toys were donated to the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center. There were over 30 toys donated, along with other much needed items such as clothing and supplies.
Hillcrest E-TECH gives all year long
Adrianne Hanks, affectionately known as Coach Hanks, and her exceptional Collegiate M.A.P.S class at Hillcrest High School teamed up with the nonprofit organization Rise IPL, which introduced the empowering Future-Prenuers program to 153 dedicated students. Under Coach Hanks’ guidance, this initiative focuses on connecting youth to efforts that nurture productivity and passion for their future endeavors, including putting together packed care baskets for Lullaby House Dallas, filled with essential items for women and children; a Diversity and Inclusion Friendsgiving Potluck, where the M.A.P. class celebrated diversity through a heartwarming Friendsgiving Potluck, fostering a sense of unity and understanding among students; a canned goods collection where they collected 300 canned goods for the Salvation Army; a letter-writing campaign for deployed soldiers in partnership with Kroger and 96.3 New Country Radio Station through which students expressed their gratitude and support for deployed soldiers; also coordinated was gift wrapping for a children’s shelter.
William Lipscomb Elementary turns lesson into action
The kinder class turned an activity in the farm unit where the class analyzed the food items in the cans of food they brought into a canned food drive for those in need.
Human Capital Management supports homeless youths
Human Capital Management was able to support the district’s Homeless Education Program this year by donating food, clothing, and hygiene items during its annual event. The only challenge HCM faced was finding enough boxes to prepare for HEP’s donation pickup. Every year, HCM leaders show appreciation and give thanks to their employees by hosting a family-style meal in November. This is the first year HCM has supported students through the Homeless Education Program during the annual event.
Doing Zumba for a good cause
Mayra Rangel, Dual Language Department, will join Zumba instructors and dance to help make dreams come true with toys for kids and feed families in need this Christmas. The event will be hosted by the lead Zumba instructor at The Epic Fitness and Recreational Center in Grand Prairie. Attendees will contribute by having fun dancing for a $15 entry fee and a new unwrapped toy. All toys will be donated to Dalworth Recreation Center in Grand Prairie.
Victor H. Hexter Elementary School sets up an Angel tree
The first step was identifying families in need and giving them the option of completing their wish list of gifts, both needs and wants. The school then made the angel tags, keeping students and families anonymous. They set up the tree, then as a school community came together to provide gifts for all children. Gifts were offered to all children 18 and younger in the household, whether or not they were students currently attending the school. It is inspiring and amazing to see the school community come together to support families!
George Herbert Walker Bush Elementary supports families
George H. W. Bush Elementary always has prioritized supporting families, and this year is no different. The food drive began as a friendly competition between Houses and ended up being a great way to help families in need. Ultimately, the drive brought everyone together and reminded all of the importance of friendship, love, and compassion for neighbors. Also, the school is participating in Toys for Texans. Students will give toys and books.
Jerry Junkins Elementary School hosts a winter drive
The winter drive that the school hosted will benefit the homeless and less fortunate in the South Dallas area. The school gathered warm winter clothing, shoes, blankets, hot hands, and other winter necessities and will donate them to the MLK Center in South Dallas. The only challenge was navigating the locations for gathering the items, but the school was successful with the help of the Dallas District Chapters of Essence of Benevolence Grand Chapter, OES. Those chapters included Elements of Grace #5, Queen Nefertari #1, and Keturah #3.
Thomas C. Marsh Preparatory Academy collects coats
The school hosted a coat drive for students because two student advisors realized that students were trying to bring blankets to school due to lack of warm winter coats. Students in need can now request a jacket through the school’s student pantry efforts.
Woodrow Wilson High School gives back to Head Start
The school’s chapter of National Art Honor Society is holding a toy drive for David’s Place Head Start. This effort was put in place by the student members of NAHS because they wanted to help their community for the holiday season and many of the students attended David’s Place when they were younger. This is the first time the school does this new chapter of National Art Honor Society, and the students want to start a tradition of giving throughout the years.
Career Institute East brings the toys
Career Institute East team members started with an in-house toy drive. Then it became even bigger when they added an industry partner, Excell Electric. This is the third year that Excell has helped sponsor the toy drive, and it keeps getting bigger and better every year. A huge thank you to our partners and employees at Excell Electric for making a difference in children’s lives each holiday season.
Interact Club at Skyline High School helps their own
As the new club on the block, the school’s Interact Club decided to create a project to give back to the community. The president came up with the idea to do holiday care kits for five students and their families that could use a little of Santa’s help this holiday season. Our club mentor and sponsor, The Rotary Club of Dallas, pitched in and donated five $200 Walmart gift cards. The intent was to match the monetary amount of $1000 in donations that ranged from toiletries to toys. Having to narrow it down to just five families was the most challenging, but, in the end, the group exceeded the goal and was able to provide Holiday Care Kits for six Skyline Raiders and their families this holiday season.
Stephen C. Foster Elementary School invites Santa to class
The end goal is to give every child a wrapped toy to take home for the holidays. This year there are 649 scholars who will benefit from the toy drive. It takes a great community effort, a lot of sharing and spreading the word. There is always a challenge, not knowing if there will be enough toys, but the community always comes through. Teachers host wrapping parties with community members, PTA moms, and many other volunteers to wrap the donated toys based on a color-coding system. On the last day of school or the day before, Santa makes a visit to every classroom and delivers the toys.
Gifted and Talented students at Bayles Elementary School collect cans
The group holds an annual food drive prior to the winter break to support some of the campus’ families. The idea came from a student about 10 years ago and it has continued ever since. Any canned food that is left over after helping families goes to the White Rock Center of Hope.
David W. Carter High School partners with community to bring joy
The counseling team at David W. Carter High School and community partner Business Jet Cares teamed up to give clothes, shoes, bed, mattresses, kitchen items, basketball hoops and many more times to students who were chosen by their teachers. Families picked up their gifts at the school before the holiday break.