Everyday, we see Memphians step up in hundreds of different ways to help children get their best start in life. By volunteering, teaching, mentoring, and creating programs that make all this happen, we see so many of you work tirelessly to bring more equity to education. Today, we’re highlighting the work of a few students from Houston High, but there are thousands more education heroes out there!
Memphis has incredibly strong educational organizations for underserved students—and Give901 is another organization that exists to help bring funding and resources to some of those schools and programs. Jack Roberts, a student in the Houston High Honors Academy, is one of the Memphians who is stepping up: when Jack heard about Give901 Fall Learning Kits, he asked how he could help.
Give901 created the Fall Learning Kits to make it easier and more fun for students to learn from home—providing supplies, whiteboards, and STEM activities. To distribute the Kits to K-8th graders, Give901 partnered with innovative schools serving in under-resourced communities…but first they had to raise funds to cover the Kits. And that’s where Jack and his fellow Houston High classmates got involved and made a big difference.
Jack rallied the students of Houston High to raise $3,000, which went directly to school supplies for the Learning Kits. But they didn’t stop at fundraising. Jack also organized a four-hour volunteer session on a Sunday afternoon for Houston students to help assemble hundreds of the Kits. Then on Monday, they showed up again to help transport the Kits to the distribution site. And then—after all that—Jack showed up after school on Tuesday, September 15th, to help hand out the Kits to hundreds of families at the Give901 Drive-Through Pick-Up event.
Jack and his fellow students contributed dozens of hours and thousands of dollars to the effort to help make virtual school more effective for a couple thousand kids across Memphis. It’s a great story about how people of any age can make an incredible difference in the lives of fellow Memphians by getting organized, harnessing generosity, and working together to serve others in the community.
Memphis is full of stories like these, and education is a place where everyday Memphians shine. THANK YOU to volunteers like Jack Roberts—and thank you to and professionals who step up to make a difference across schools and afterschool programs. Every year, more than 200 people, mostly recent college grads, commit to becoming excellent teachers and to serving in Memphis schools, receiving training from Memphis Teacher Residency and Teach for America, among others. Every year, the Grizzlies Foundation trains and supports 2,000+ mentors across Memphis as they serve at STREETS Ministries, Grizz Prep, New Ballet Ensemble, Memphis Athletic Ministries, Youth Villages, and countless other places. And every year, more than 7,000 teachers work at excellent and innovative schools across the city, schools that have different approaches, but are each essential to their communities—like New Hope Christian Academy in Frayser, Peabody Elementary in Cooper Young, White Station Middle in East Memphis, and Compass Community Schools in neighborhoods across our city, from Binghampton to Orange Mound.
We applaud Jack Roberts and the kids of the Houston High Honors Academy—and we applaud each of you who are working to give children in Memphis the best possible start! Want to get involved? Learn more below:
Keep up with mentoring opportunities via the Grizzlies Foundation.
Consider applying for one of the outstanding local teacher training programs at Memphis Teacher Residency or TFA—or check out the program at the U of M or CBU. One look at Teach901 will tell you that there are countless opportunities to build a career and make a difference!
Want to find a way to volunteer? Volunteer Odyssey is always a good place to start, and you can use “education” as a search word, if that’s where you want to focus!
Follow Give901 on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter to learn more about local programs that are finding innovative ways to make sure every child in Memphis gets the best education possible. Support Fall Learning Kits here.
Check out this video of Give901 Learning Kit Distribution Day to see how the work of Houston High and the gifts of donors and sponsors helped support the community!