May 7, 2020
Serving Students' Needs during the COVID-19 Crisis
The past month has brought out the best in people in our community, coming together during this difficult time when our students, families and educators are struggling with the effects of COVID-19.
 
Thanks to the generous contributions of our business and community partners, we’ve provided school supplies to 20,000+ at-risk students   and raised more than $250,000 to help close the digital divide and support our mission to strengthen public education.
 
Through all these changes, we know our teachers are foundational to our students’ success. This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. Now more than ever, it’s important we celebrate our teachers who have gone above and beyond their already exceptional work to rise to the challenges of eLearning and transitioning to a virtual classroom. We thank our teachers for their dedication and amazing work to help our students thrive whether learning from home or the classroom!

With the help of our incredible partners, we’re living our core belief of ensuring every student has access and opportunity to benefit from a high-quality education and making a difference in the lives of students and families in Hillsborough County.
 
We hope you enjoy this newsletter highlighting our work and shining a spotlight on the outstanding community collaboration we’ve experienced during this crisis.
 
With gratitude,
Teacher Appreciation Week 2020
Celebrating our School Superheroes
This year, Teacher Appreciation Week has looked a little different because of COVID-19 restrictions. Now more than ever, teachers deserve our admiration and gratitude as they continue to find innovative ways to educate students from a virtual classroom.

We've been celebrating our school superheroes on social media all week with daily giveaways of supplies and gift cards, a special HEF Facebook frame, interactive posts and sincere "thank yous" from our staff and students.

On Friday, one lucky teacher will win a $500 Classroom Enrichment grant in our grand prize giveaway!

Please join us on our social media platforms to share your love for our Hillsborough County Public Schools teachers!
Bridging the Digital Divide for Successful eLearning
HEF Helps Students Without Internet Access
In collaboration with Hillsborough County Public Schools,  Hillsborough Education Foundation has been working to distribute Wi-Fi hotspots to hundreds of families  who lack the critical internet access needed for students to successfully connect with their teachers and eLearning from home.

With the support of generous donors, we've also been able to provide families with unlimited data plans through the remainder of the school year.

We've been coordinating the distribution from our HEF office and school sites, including Potter Elementary, which recently received 30 hotspots for students in need.

Our initial focus has been on supporting the d istrict’s 50 highest needs Achievement Schools - that has now expanded to help students in Hillsborough County's Title I schools with the goal of serving more than one thousand students.

Our work to bridge the digital divide is expected to continue in the coming months to help prevent the "Summer Slide" with our most vulnerable students at risk of losing achievement gains made during the school year.
HEF Teams Up with Community Partners to
Foster a Love of Reading for Students
Many young students enjoy listening to an adult read a good book to them. Unfortunately, not all students have books at their fingertips, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and learning from home.

That’s why we’ve partnered with the Tampa Bay Chamber, Hillsborough County Public Schools and Scholastic to expand the Storytime Online initiative , originally launched by School Board Member Dr. Stacy Hahn last year.

This early childhood literacy initiative allows business and community leaders to sign up to read a book to students—virtually! Students can access the recorded stories online until June 30th.
Lightning Hockey Player's T-shirt Sales Benefit HEF
100% of proceeds from Killorn's Dock Talk t-shirt sales benefit HEF!


Get yours today: bit.ly/tbsdocktalk .
Tampa Bay Lightning player Alex Killorn has selected Hillsborough Education Foundation as the beneficiary of sales of his Dock Talk t-shirts!

Alex is a Harvard graduate and son of a teacher. We are grateful for his commitment to strengthening public education and helping us provide COVID-19 support for Hillsborough County students in need.

Check out Alex Killorn's interview with WDAE where the winger explains why he created Dock Talk and reveals that sales have topped $30K!
Families receive emergency food assistance from HEF, Feeding Children Everywhere & Chick-fil-A Tampa Bay
As families continue to struggle with the economic impacts of COVID-19, many must now deal with heightened levels of food insecurity.

We know our students need nutritious meals to help keep them energized and focused on learning, so we were proud to help provide emergency food assistance to Hillsborough County Public Schools students and families in need!

Thanks to a generous donation from Feeding Children Everywhere and Chick-fil-A Tampa Bay, we recently provided families with more than 600 meal kits that can last over an extended period of time and feed the entire family!
Hillsborough Education Foundation volunteer Laura Gage demonstrates how to prepare transparency sheets to be used for face shields.
HEF Donates Transparency Sheets to Create Face Shields for Medical Personnel
When one of our volunteers asked us to donate transparency sheets to  Tampa Hackerspace  to make face shields for medical workers—we jumped at the opportunity and supplied 8,200+ sheets!
The transparency sheets were originally donated to our Teaching Tools Resource Center by  3M Company  through  Kids In Need Foundation  for school supplies, but now with these volunteers and some 3D printers, the transparency sheets are helping keep some of our community's superheroes safe!
Our Take Stock in Children Mentoring Program Goes Virtual
Armwood High School Senior Receives 4-year Scholarship from HEF, Tampa Bay Seminole Club
Here’s some good news for one of our Take Stock in Children scholars! Lizett, an Armwood High Collegiate Academy senior, got quite a surprise thanks to the generosity of the Tampa Bay Seminole Club!

Watch as she’s overcome with tears of joy and financial relief.

Congratulations, Lizett! We are proud of you!
Online Mentoring Opportunities for our TSIC Students
In adapting to  COVID-19  restrictions, we've taken our entire mentoring operation online—allowing volunteer mentors to connect with students as well as offering topic-based group mentoring sessions including a COVID-19 Q&A, a resume writing tutorial and more!
Starting next week, check out our Facebook page for our Senior Spotlights honoring our TSIC graduates!
Florida Prepaid Extends Enrollment Period to May 31st
While COVID-19 is top of mind for everyone, it will not last forever. Our partner, Florida Prepaid College Savings Plan, is dedicated to helping families keep their savings dreams alive and plan for their child's future after graduation by extending the open enrollment period until May 31, 2020 and delaying plan payments until July 20, 2020.

To explore this year's plan pricing, visit  bit.ly/2rRqeg7 . Use promo code HILLS1920 to waive your application fee!