SAISD Field Trip Adventures Grow
Field Trips create unique learning opportunities for students to connect their lessons and on-campus learning experiences with real-world examples. Students from Hillcrest Elementary’s Safety Patrols recently took a trip to experience the San Antonio Municipal Court. Mrs. Monju, a counselor at Hillcrest, shares, “They enjoyed numerous presentations from police officers, lawyers, and even a judge. Thank you so much for assisting us with the cost of the bus. We couldn't have done it without you.“
Just $100 funds bus transportation for an SAISD class to experience museums, art installations, workplaces, and educational and historical sites across San Antonio that provide free experiences for our schools. Learn more about field trips and help us reach our goal of involving 20,000 students annually.
SAISD Recycling Contest Winners Announced
The 2nd Annual Recycling Contest is a wrap! Over the five-week contest, a whopping 507,862 pounds of recyclables were collected by the 23 participating SAISD schools. That’s over seven times the total poundage collected last year! Participating schools were invited to attend the award ceremony on Wednesday, November 15 at Cotton Academy in conjunction with the Texas Recycles Day outdoor recreation revamp project and workday.
- 1st Place: $10,000 Grant | Green
- 2nd Place: $5,000 Grant | Mission
- 3rd- 6th Place: $2,500 Grants | Baskin, Douglass, Hillcrest and Japhet
- 7th- 10th Place: $1,250 Grants | Cotton, Rogers, Tynan and Woodlawn Hills
11th- 20th Place: $1,000 H-E-B Gift Cards | Ball, Briscoe, Fenwick, Highland Hills, JT Brackenridge, Maverick, Madison, Riverside Park, Schenck and Woodlawn Academy
Winners were determined by pounds per enrolled student collected. Japhet Academy collected the highest overall at 163,477 pounds of recyclable materials and was awarded an additional $2,500 grant!
Partnering with H-E-B & Unilever on Outdoor Revamp
Just before the awards took place for the Recycling Contest, volunteers from H-E-B and Unilever came bright and early to enhance the outdoor recreation areas and learning spaces at Cotton Academy. Assembling new benches and tables made out of recycled material, they worked together to build equipment for Cotton Academy scholars.
The outdoor area was transformed with AstroTurf for a soccer field. A large shade structure, musical play elements, plants, an outdoor rock garden and outdoor chalkboards were added along with new paint for four square, hopscotch and a basketball half-court brought new life to the space. The Cotton Academy administrators were excited to show the new space to students. “They haven't had that outdoor area where they can play and now they do and it makes a difference because every child deserves to play and enjoy themselves. We’re extremely grateful for that.” shares Rawan Hammoudeh, Cotton Academy Principal.
Thank you H-E-B and Unilever for making the recycling contest and Cotton's outdoor renovation project possible. We couldn't have done it without both your investment and your volunteer time. Together, our second Texas Recycles Day event was a huge success!
In-State and Out-of-State College Tours Return
In partnership with the SAISD Department of Postsecondary Initiatives, we are excited to bring back college tours in full force! As we continue to fund college tours to our strong local, and in-state colleges and universities, we are again funding out-of-state college tours which had been paused since the pandemic. These tours concentrate on exposure to top tier colleges with high affordability and high graduation rates to set our students up for success.
Andrew Campos, a senior at Young Men's Leadership Academy shares, “What I appreciate the most (about college tours) is just the opportunity to compare certain campuses that I go to and get a general idea of where I want to go. Not only that but I get to experience it with my peers which means a lot to me.” These experiences are important for students to be able to make the best college match. Research and our own student experiences demonstrate that a student’s sense of belonging in their learning space is essential to ensuring students persist to college completion.
While we have continued to support SAISD seniors on enrollment trips where they and a parent or guardian visit a campus where they have been accepted with at least 90% of their tuition covered before they make a decision to attend, this is the first year we are bringing back larger out-of-state college tours for juniors focused more on exploration and determining their best college match. This move is also a result of news from students from our past out-of-state tours having graduated from college debt free and thriving in careers in San Antonio and beyond. You can read more about our full college tour programs here.
Inspired Again! 2023 Event Recap
We were honored to host the community and proud SAISD alumni at our recent Inspire Awards. Together, we celebrated honorees Minnie Abrego-Sanchez (Highlands), Richard Goldsmith (Jefferson), Peggy Drake Holland and Leon Holland (Wheatley) and Friend of the Foundation, Patti Radle. We hope you were as inspired and energized by their stories and remarks as we were!
If you missed the event, you can review our inspiring 2023 honoree videos and see more highlights below. You can also view our generous sponsors listed there who, along with our guests, were essential in raising $154,000 from this event.
Each year an increasing number of SAISD alumni and past honorees join us as sponsors and guests. In recognition, all alumni are adorned with a gold cord to honor having built their foundation in SAISD schools as they enter the event.
As we are look ahead to next year, consider nominating SAISD alumni who we should recognize at this event in the future on our website. You can also commit to the 2024 event today.
As we enter the season of thanks and the season of giving, we are reminded of how thankful we are to the individuals, companies and organizations who choose to make an investment in students and teachers with a gift to the SAISD Foundation. We are especially thankful to our annual repeat and monthly donors who make contributions without restrictions. When we receive a gift without a designation, these contributions are considered donations without restriction. This type of gift allows the SAISD Foundation to be nimble and to respond to the both highest needs and greatest opportunities to positively impact our community in real time.
These critical needs don’t always fit in our educator grant timelines and with the knowledge that we have donations and gifts in hand, we are able to say yes - and come closer to reaching our vision where all students and teachers in San Antonio ISD public schools thrive.
Making a gift without restriction to an organization demonstrates trust in the staff to utilize the donation in the best way. Know that we take the responsibility of stewarding all gifts seriously no matter the method or the amount: from donors who give $5 a month to donors who make annual gifts of varied amounts through their Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) and their established family foundation. We are proud that our donor retention (those making a second gift after their first) continues to increase each year.
If you would like to explore donation strategies this giving season beyond mailing a check or making a gift or recurring gift on our website, we are here to assist. Gifts of stock, distributions from IRAs and other methods may also provide tax benefits. Please contact Judy Geelhoed at email@example.com to help match your passion with purpose.
The SAISD Board of Trustees approved an updated resolution for rightsizing earlier this month resulting in a number of school changes. Read about the plan and learn more about the next steps for the community on the SAISD Rightsizing Empowerment page.
The SAISD Foundation is working with SAISD and the receiving schools to see how we can best support this transition through “empowerment grants” for joint activities on the campus for current and receiving students.
Families impacted by rightsizing are encouraged to reach out to SAISD's Empowerment Hotline at 210-244-0845 where specialized and dedicated staff are trained and ready to assist with any questions. They are available Monday-Thursday from 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m. and Friday from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
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