March 5, 2020
We're Still Delivering On Our Mission During These Unprecedented Times
Meeting the Needs of Students:
Bridging the Digital Divide
The COVID-19 pandemic has created some challenging times for families and businesses. It has completely changed how our students will continue to learn and how teachers are providing lessons. Schools are critical for our at-risk children. They go beyond education: they provide nourishing food two times a day, they provide structure, play, friendships, and for some safety. Our most vulnerable students are in jeopardy of falling behind in their studies because of a lack of technology and Wi-Fi preventing them from accessing their learning platforms. HEF is working hard to make sure that doesn’t happen!

Here's an example of how digital inequities could be detrimental to students in the long run:

Third grade has been identified as one of the most decisive years in a child’s education. Children who cannot read by third grade are four times less likely to graduate than students who can read by that age. In our district’s 41 highest needs elementary schools, 95% of students or more are at or below poverty level and 68% of third grade students are below grade-level reading on average. Without technology and access to their eLearning, they will not continue learning at the level and speed they should and lose skills that teachers have helped them develop.
In collaboration with the school district, we’ve determined that a critical number—thousands of students are without a computer or are unable to access free Wi-Fi services because they are outside of service areas or don’t meet other requirements. In living our core belief of ensuring every student has access and opportunity to benefit from a high-quality education, we have adapted our work and created a Digital Equity Team who is laser focused on bridging the digital divide.
During these uncertain times, we are asking for your continued support to help us carry out our mission and fulfill our promise to empower every student to achieve both academic and personal success. Our students and teachers need us now more than ever before. 

With gratitude,
Changing the Way We Provide Supplies to Students
As Hillsborough County Public Schools continues to adapt to changes surrounding COVID-19, Hillsborough Education Foundation has remained dedicated to ensuring teachers and students have the resources they need to finish the school year strong!

With help from community partners, volunteers and staff from Hillsborough County Public Schools and Hillsborough Education Foundation, we provided supply kits to 47 elementary and middle Achievement Schools and more than 50 Title I schools, resulting in more than 19,000 students in need being served.
COVID-19 Relief Package Provides New Incentives For Charitable Giving
We appreciate everyone who has given in support of our mission, as well as to other non-profits that are working tirelessly each day to provide hope and resources during this trying time.

As a result, we wanted to share some information on an important tax break opportunity included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) that was passed on March 27th.   We encourage you to read up on the entire package for more details, but below is a brief summary of the highlights relating to charitable giving:

  • All individuals are eligible to claim a charitable deduction for cash donations up to $300 through the end of the year; even those who currently do not itemize their deductions.
  • Adjusted gross income limits on charitable deductions have been suspended for cash gifts made by individuals and corporations. As a result, the cap for individuals has increased from 60% to 100% and the cap for corporations has increased from 10% to 25%.
Before COVID-19 social distancing requirements went in to place, seven students from Adams Middle were joined by their parents as they signed on to participate in our Take Stock In Children Program.
HEF's Take Stock in Children Program Signs on 40 New Students
We were excited to sign on 40 new students to our Take Stock in Children mentoring and scholarship program! These students will have the opportunity to receive a two-year Florida Prepaid scholarship and support from a mentor and college success coach to help them with their academic pursuits!

As we continue to adapt to changes surrounding COVID-19, we are introducing virtual mentoring to ensure our students still have the opportunity to regularly connect with their mentors and remain on the pathway to academic success.
HEF in the News!
Thank you iHeartMedia Tampa Bay for creating this PSA to help spread the word about our work and let listeners know how they can support students in need.

Tune in to hear it on their stations several times each day!

NewsRadio WFLA and Mix 100.7 also hosted CEO Kim Jowell on their morning shows to talk about how HEF is responding to COVID-19!
Thank you, Amgen, for your $50k Donation!
Thank you to our incredible partners at   Amgen  Foundation for their $50,000 donation to support Hillsborough Education Foundation as we work to provide students in need with digital resources and online access to support their eLearning from home!
In response to COVID-19, this generous contribution will help us get vital technology into the hands of our most vulnerable students and help keep them connected
for continued success in school.
Enter Our Contest for a Chance to Win $25!
We want to keep you informed! Stay ConnectED with HEF, by liking and following our Facebook page!

All followers who like our contest post on Facebook will be entered to win a $25 gift card and swag from Suncoast Credit Union. A random drawing will be held and a winner will be announced on Facebook on April 9th!
Congratulations to our
March Winner!
Thank you to everyone who participated in last month's Twitter contest! Congratulations to @OfficialJenDano, who won a $25 gift card and swag from Suncoast Credit Union just for following us on Twitter!