April 2019
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In this edition of ConnectED:
  • HEF Board Member Dr. Joyce Haines on the Difference Between Equity and Equality in Education
  • HCPS Recognized as a National Leader in Early Learning
  • Celebrating our Mentors
  • Support Education by Visiting LEGOLAND!
  • National Volunteer Month
  • HEF Spotlight - Virginia Baker

Dr. Joyce Haines
HEF Board Member Dr. Joyce Haines on the Difference Between Equity and Equality in Education

Dr. Joyce Haines  is an experienced educator who began her career as a teacher, and later served in principal and district administrator roles. She is currently a PhD Instructor and Master's Program Coordinator in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of South Florida. Based on her extensive experience, Dr. Haines took a moment to share her thoughts on an important trending topic in the field of education - equity and how it differs from equality. 

Picture this: A group of students are each standing on a stool behind a fence to watch a ball game. The stool is the same height for all of them, but some of the students are short and cannot see over the fence, some are tall and have a wonderful view and some are medium height, just barely reaching the fence level. Everyone has equal standing area, but an equitable standing area would give them stools of different heights based on each of their heights. This way, everyone could see the game at the same eye level. 

The Florida Constitution provides for a uniform, high-quality, free, public education system - this is equality. However, there are some issues that prevent students from being able to maximize that opportunity. Dr. Haines quoted 2016 statistics from the National Children's Defense Fund, "Each day in America: 3,855 babies are born into poverty, 1,526 are born without health insurance and 1,903 are abused or neglected." 

 " With equality, you give the same thing to everyone regardless of their need. But with equity, you address those issues that might prevent people or students from being able to maximize the opportunities that are available," said Dr. Haines.  This is a concept she emphasizes to her current classes of aspiring leaders. She is a strong advocate of programs that provide free school supplies, mentoring and other forms of support that level the playing field for students in need.

In her closing statements, Dr. Haines shared that her ideal of equity in education is for every child to have an opportunity to be successful and not be subject to issues over which they have no control, such as income or their quality of home life. She added,  "A community's strength and quality of living are largely dependent on the education system... They're all our children and it's important to realize that and assume responsibility."
HCPS Recognized as a National Leader
in Early Learning

Hillsborough County Public Schools serves as a national leader for Early Learning
Hillsborough Schools Serve as a National Leader
in Early Learning

From  April 3rd-5th , superintendents and school district leaders from around the nation, visited Hillsborough County Public Schools for the AASA, School Superintendents Association Early Learning Cohort. During the 3-day event, participants visited  Potter Elementary and  Dover Elementary to learn 
first-hand some of these schools' best practices in Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten instruction. The visitors had the opportunity to observe the methods being used to implement changes in their own schools. Superintendent Dr. Summer Schultz from Dell Rapids, South Dakota shared,  "I was just in a kindergarten classroom where a student wrote two pages about a book. There are some really good things going on."

We are so proud of all the dedicated teachers whose diligent work has made our district a leader in early learning, and we are excited to see our youngest students continue to make great progress! 

Celebrating our Mentors

From left to right: Mentor of the Year Winner, Cheryl Bunting with
HEF President, Kim Jowell

On Thursday, April 25th, HEF celebrated the dedicated mentors who impact the lives of our students in the Take Stock in Children program. Each year, the TSIC team is faced with the challenge of selecting one Mentor of the Year out of hundreds of inspiring individuals. This year, we were proud to honor Cheryl Bunting with this award. 

Click here to view the full Facebook album of pictures from the event. 

Interested in becoming a mentor? Click  here to view the areas of the county where we need mentors the most. Could be right near your job or home!

Just one hour of your time per week, can make a LIFETIME of difference!

To get matched with a student, contact Anna Laird at alaird@educationfoundation.com or  (813)463-4283.

Support Education by Visiting LEGOLAND!
Hillsborough Education Foundation is excited to announce that LEGOLAND Florida has partnered with us to offer tickets at a reduced rate until May 31st. A portion of every ticket sold will benefit HEF, allowing us to further our mission in support of students, teachers and classrooms.
Be sure to purchase your tickets before May 31st for use before June 30th. Discounted tickets are limited so be sure to get yours here!

National Volunteer Month

HEF's impact would not be possible without all our dedicated volunteers across our different programs. April was National Volunteer Month and from the Teaching Tools volunteers to our dedicated Board Members, we are so thankful for each and every person who gives our Foundation the gift of their valuable time! 

To learn more about our volunteer opportunities, click here!


Virginia Baker  | College & Career Readiness Coordinator

Responsibilities include: Presenting soft skills workshops to help students prepare for plans after graduation and coordinate the summer internship program. 

Time at HEF: 2 Months

Who was your favorite teacher and why?
My 4th grade teacher Ms. McMann. She encouraged me to pursue my love of writing and helped me find my confidence as a creative writer. She also pushed me to take big chances, even when they seemed frightening.

What was your first job?
I worked as a cashier at Eikenberry's, a small, local grocery store in my hometown.
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
I would want to be able to fly. 

What was your most memorable vacation?
During a family vacation to visit relatives in Tampa and Gainesville, when I was 7 or 8, I walked through a mound of fire ants and they swarmed up my legs. I ran into the hotel and jumped on the bed, bringing the fire ants with me. The ants took over the room and we had to switch rooms.