COVID-19

OUR MOST VULNERABLE STUDENTS ARE AT THE HIGHEST RISK OF FALLING BEHIND IN THEIR STUDIES AS EDUCATION ADAPTS TO COVID-19 CONCERNS.

But your support can help us ensure all students have what they need to be engaged in their learning.

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 145,000 students who are at or below the poverty line. As a result of the economic slowdown, the number of students who need assistance will only increase.

With your help, we are working to ensure our students have the technology, online access and supplies they need to successfully finish the school year.

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 have closed our office to guests 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

One of our biggest concerns is digital equity for our at-risk students. 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.

In a collaborative and coordinated effort, we are working with Hillsborough County Public Schools to assess the impact of the digital divide. We are determining how many 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.

The school district is doing what it can to help narrow the gap by providing 50,000 computers for students to use at home. Unfortunately, it is still not enough to meet the needs.

That’s why we need the community’s support to help us ensure students have adequate technology and internet access for continued success in school. 

Hillsborough Schools families, for more information about how to connect our Wi-Fi hotspots to the district’s computers, please check out these videos:

Connecting the Verizon 5510: click here to watch.
Connecting the Verizon 6620:click here to watch.

Child writing at desk with another child working in background

Donate Now

As we 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 most vulnerable students, some who are already struggling with reading and now have less access to books than before this pandemic. That’s why Hillsborough Education Foundation is partnering with the Tampa Bay Chamber, Hillsborough Schools and Scholastic to launch a special edition of Storytime Online. It’s an early childhood literacy initiative that allows business and community leaders to sign up to read a book to students virtually and expands on the Storytime Online initiative developed by Hillsborough County School Board Member Dr. Stacy Hahn in 2019.

Storytime Online will provide a sense of normalcy for students who are lacking these reading experiences typically provided by their teachers, help them continue their academic progress and ultimately foster a love of reading.

Hillsborough County students and families will be able to access the recorded sessions through the school district’s online learning platform Clever, on Hillsborough Education Foundation’s YouTube channel, the school district’s YouTube channel and the social media sites of the Chamber, Foundation and school district until June 30th.

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 once a month throughout the school year—that isn’t stopping our work. So far, we’ve delivered supplies to more than 90 of our highest needs schools to be distributed to 19,000+ students to use while learning from home. We will continue to get supplies to students who need them most.

All previously scheduled shopping visits and volunteer opportunities have been canceled and we are not making any future appointments at this time.

MAKE A DONATION

During this time of great need for our students, we are currently seeking funding, rather than donated supplies, so we can ensure the prompt and safe delivery of supplies without risking the health and safety of staff and donors.

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.

We are excited to welcome 40 new students into our program who signed on before Safer at Home restrictions were put in place. 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 seniors will not be receiving the end to their school year that they imagined and deserve, we are pleased to announce that 189 seniors will be receiving cash scholarships from Hillsborough Education Foundation as they continue to pursue their academic goals.

Congratulations!

Events

Hillsborough Education Foundation has decided to cancel or postpone several upcoming events, as we continue to follow the CDC’s recommended guidelines for large gatherings.

If you have registered for or planned to attend an upcoming event, please monitor our News & Events page for updates regarding cancellations or the rescheduling of events.

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

Volunteers

With the closure of our Teaching Tools Resource Center, and postponement of numerous events, our need for volunteers has shifted. Currently, we are exploring various options for volunteer experiences that could be done remotely or virtually.

Please continue to monitor our volunteer page and our new volunteer portal for upcoming opportunities.

For questions or concerns, please contact:

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