COVID-19

Our most vulnerable students are at the highest risk of falling behind in their studies as education continues to adapt to COVID-19 challenges.

But your support can help us ensure all students have what they need to be engaged in their learning, whether they are in the classroom or eLearning .

CEO Kim Jowell explains how you can make a difference:

During this unprecedented time in education, we are unwavering in our commitment to serving students and teachers in Hillsborough County.

Two out of three students in Hillsborough County rely on free or reduced-price lunch at school—that’s an estimated 150,000 students who are at or below the poverty line. As a result of the economic slowdown, the number of students who need assistance continues to increase.

With your help, we are working to ensure our students have the technology, online access and supplies they need for academic success.

We are all in this together. Thank you for your partnership and continued support of our mission.

We wish you and your family good health and safety.

Hillsborough Education Foundation building

Office Hours

While the work of our mission to strengthen public education in Hillsborough County continues, we are limiting guest visits to our office based on the CDC’s recommendations for COVID-19 to help protect the health and security of our community.

Our team is working remotely but still staffing the office during normal business hours on a rotating basis. We are available to assist you by email or by phone: (813) 574-0260.

Updated information will be shared on our website and social media channels.

Digital Equity

Closing the Digital Divide for our highest needs students has been a top priority for HEF, since inequities first surfaced during the pandemic. Our most vulnerable students are in jeopardy of falling further behind in their studies because of a lack of technology and Wi-Fi preventing them from connecting with their teachers and accessing their learning platforms.

We launched our new initiative called Tech Connect in October 2020 to continue our work to create equitable access to resources and opportunities for all students in Hillsborough County Public Schools. The program, funded by a grant from The Children’s Board, will support nearly 300 families of elementary school students who are participating in eLearning.

Families are referred to our free program by a student’s school social worker, instructional staff or administrators. Based on need, families may receive a computer, one year of internet access and/or guidance in using eLearning programs, as well as ongoing support and training.

For more information, email Mindy Taylor, Director of Digital Equity Initiatives at [email protected].

Child writing at desk with another child working in background

Donate Now

As we continue to adapt to COVID-19, help us ensure the achievement gap doesn’t widen for our most vulnerable students in Hillsborough County.

If you would like to help support students and teachers in Hillsborough County, your gift can help Hillsborough Education Foundation provide:

  • Digital resources and online access for at-risk students
  • Vital school supplies for students and teachers

Click here to donate to Hillsborough Education Foundation.

Literacy Initiatives

STORYTIME ONLINE

Hillsborough Education Foundation is concerned about our students, some who are already struggling with reading, now have less access to books than before this pandemic. That’s why Hillsborough Education Foundation partnered with the Tampa Bay Chamber, Hillsborough Schools and Scholastic for a special edition of Storytime Online. Business and community leaders signed up to read a book to students virtually as part of the early childhood literacy initiative. It expanded on the Storytime Online program developed by Hillsborough County School Board Vice Chair and HEF Board Member Dr. Stacy Hahn in 2019.

School Supplies & Resources

SAME MISSION, DIFFERENT DELIVERY METHOD

While we have temporarily closed our Teaching Tools Resource Center—an onsite store at HEF where Hillsborough County Public Schools Title I teachers can shop for supplies for free throughout the school year—that isn’t stopping our work.

When the pandemic first impacted our district, we cleared our shelves and distributed the bulk of our supplies to more than 90 of our highest needs schools to support 19,000+ students learning from home.

For the 2020-2021 school year, teachers at our 191 eligible schools can place an order for free supplies online twice per semester to be picked up at HEF.

MAKE A DONATION

Click here to help Hillsborough Education Foundation provide digital resources and crucial school supplies to students and teachers with a donation.

Take Stock In Children

To ensure we are meeting the needs of students in our Take Stock in Children mentoring and scholarship program while adhering to the CDC’s recommendations for social distancing, Hillsborough Education Foundation has implemented virtual mentoring sessions.

Our program provides a unique opportunity—offering deserving students a caring volunteer mentor, college success coach and a Florida Prepaid college scholarship.

For questions regarding our Take Stock in Children program, click here to email the TSIC team for assistance.

Back of students facing teacher at a white board

Senior Scholarships

Though we are saddened that the Class of 2021 has not experienced the senior year they imagined or deserved, we are pleased to support their dreams of pursuing higher education after graduation with our cash scholarships from Hillsborough Education Foundation. Senior Scholarship recipients will be announced this spring.

Events

Hillsborough Education Foundation continues to follow the CDC’s recommended guidelines and safety protocols for our events.

Please monitor our News & Events page for updates regarding any changes to our events.

Men showing off catches during fishing tournament
Volunteers load supplies and packets for students

Volunteers

With the transition to online ordering for our Teaching Tools Resource Center and changes to our events, our need for volunteers has shifted. Currently, we are offering volunteer opportunities for individuals or groups smaller than 5. We also have options for volunteer experiences that can be done remotely or virtually.

Please check out our volunteer page and our volunteer portal for opportunities.

For questions or concerns, please contact:

Hillsborough Education Foundation
Phone: 813-574-0260
Email: [email protected]