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.
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].
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.
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.