School supplies. Clean uniforms. A working computer. Much of what we take for granted can be a barrier that keeps some students — in our own community — from learning.
In an effort to unite the classroom and community, HPUMC is partnering with United to Learn, a non-profit committed to accelerating student achievement. Together, through Classroom Connect, our goal is to give students and faculty at KB Polk Elementary, an economically disadvantaged school in Dallas, what they need to succeed — from school supplies to dedicated tutors to financial support.
“The mission of our work here is to make sure that our students have the same opportunities and educational experience of excellence that any other student that may not have some of their challenges experiences,” said Kourtney Billups, the principal of KB Polk.
In fact, Principal Billups believes Classroom Connect can bridge gaps that so many KB Polk students have, “Whether that be social, emotional, or academic.”
Abigail Williams, CEO and Founder of United to Learn and member of HPUMC, works to close these opportunity gaps across over 50 DISD Elementary schools. Because research has identified third grade literacy as one of the most critical indicators of a child’s long-term success, United to Learn prioritizes getting children reading at their grade level.
“Dallas ranks third highest in the nation for childhood poverty,” said Williams. “By securing a student’s ability to read by third grade, we are securing the literacy skills necessary to read, to learn, and to persist in college.”
These children are our future. Many of them simply want to feel heard, seen and know that they matter. “They deserve the best that we all have to offer them,” said Principal Billups. “We have to invest in them. The return is too great, and we can’t miss that opportunity.”
However, the partnership between HPUMC, KB Polk, and United to Learn doesn’t just impact the students — it affects the lives of everyone involved. After all, each one of us lives in the Dallas area, which is why Williams believes that “We can all come behind one single vision of student success.”
“We need you,” Principal Billups said. “It will mean so much to our students to know that there is somebody who cares enough to do something.”
If you would like to help support these students and teachers, click here to give today or sign up to become a tutor.