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November 2018  
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In this edition of ConnectED:

  • Referendum Passage! Thank You For Standing With Students
  • EDspaces - $200,000 In Furniture Upgrades For Achievement Schools
  • Excellence in Education Awards -A "Night In Paris" Honoring Our Top Educators and Support Staff

  • HEF Giving Back on Giving Tuesday
  • Check out the Newly Designed Support Education Specialty Plate!
  • Change a Life - Mentor a Student
  • Get Involved - Volunteer at the Teaching Tools Store
  • HEF Spotlight -  Samanatha Gray
Thank You - We Appreciate Your Support!

We would like to express our thanks to our community for voting YES on the Education Referendum.  We are so proud of all the support that was shown to our teachers and students! 

EDspaces - 
Over $200,000 in Furniture Donated to Achievement Schools

We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to partner with Paragon Furniture and facilitate the donation of over $200,000 in educational furniture to 
our schools that need it most! Check out the short video below and many thanks again to Paragon and Edspaces.


Join us for a Night in Paris Honoring Our Top Teachers and Support Staff!

Mark your calendar for the  2019 Excellence in Education Awards on
January 24th, 2019 at the  Straz Center for the Performing Arts . In honor of Hillsborough County Public Schools' top educators and support staff, this Night in Paris will celebrate the nominees, finalists and winners of the Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year, Instructional Support Employee of the Year and Teacher of the Year awards. 

Click here for more information or to purchase a ticket.
HEF Giving Back on Giving Tuesday

This year on  Giving Tuesday , we decided to do something a little different- in keeping with the spirit of giving, members of our staff personally volunteered at 5 of our Achievement schools throughout the day. Our projects at each site were based on the individual needs of the school as communicated by the principal and ranged from landscape work to painting. 

HEF President Kim Jowell reading to students at Dunbar Elementary

For more pictures of the staff members and their volunteer projects, click here.
We would like to thank everyone who supported our efforts and helped us not only reach, but exceed our goal!  Whether it was through a direct contribution or by spreading awareness through word of mouth, email and/or social media, we could not have done it without you!

In total we raised  $4,750  which was  $1,250 higher than our goal!

Thank you again for all your support!

Purchase of a Newly Designed License Plate Means Support for HEF!

New tag design, same great cause! With the purchase or renewal of one of these Support Education
specialty  plates, $20 goes directly back to support students and teachers in our community. 
Some of the education programs that will benefit include: 
  • Classroom innovation
  • Education enrichment programs
  • Teacher support and recognition
  • Additional support and mentorship for at-risk students
  • School supplies for students in-need
  • Student scholarships 
Click here to learn more! 

Change a Life - Mentor a Student

Looking for a way to give back? 
Consider becoming a mentor to an HCPS middle or high school student!

Take Stock in Children pairs at-risk students with caring, responsible adults who will provide emotional support and foster a positive self-image

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 for the 2018-19 school year, contact Anna Laird  at  or (813)463-4283.

Get Involved - Volunteer at the 
Teaching Tools Store

We love our volunteers and we couldn't do it without you!

To schedule a time  to volunteer, contact Joan  Torres-Lopez

Samantha Gray | Program Support Assistant

Responsibilities include:  Reception and general support of programs - Teaching Tools Store and Take Stock in Children

Time at HEF: 2 months

Who was your favorite teacher and why?
My favorite teacher was my 11th and 12th grade English teacher, Ms. Hilley. She has the most passion for teaching I have ever seen in a teacher. She dedicates herself to making sure students succeed and always made the class fun.

What was your first job?
My first job  at a milkshake shop in the mall. I was 15 at the time, and I remember feeling like such an adult having my first real job. It was also the beginning of my customer service experience and learning how to work under pressure.
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
If I could have any super power, it would be to fly. I love to travel and eventually want to make it to all 50 states, and as many countries as I can. Flying would make that dream 100% easier!

What was your most memorable vacation?
My most memorable vacation was a trip I took to Europe. My best friend and I flew to Europe the day after we graduated high school. We stayed with her family in England for a month, and drove around Europe for two weeks, visiting seven different countries.