Grant to fulfill technological needs for the district’s Achieve 180 schools
HOUSTON – Sept. 18, 2020 – The Moody Foundation is granting $1 million to the Houston Independent School District (HISD) for the purchase of more than 2,000 computer devices. The grant will cover devices for pre-K through 5th grade students in the district’s Achieve 180 schools, which are underserved and underperforming HISD feeder pattern communities.
As children return to school remotely, reports have shown Texas leading the country with the widest digital divide among students and teachers. As the 7th largest public school system in the nation and the largest in Texas, HISD found that at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic about 35% of its 209,000 students lacked internet at home and about 40-45% lacked a computer device. Thousands of students who reside in Houston’s most impoverished neighborhoods still require devices.
“The pandemic has only further magnified the digital divide,” said Ross Moody, trustee of the Moody Foundation. “The Moody Foundation has a long history of supporting early childhood education to build opportunities for student success. Everyone deserves and should have the same level of access to education.”
Based on the district’s recent data, the Achieve 180 students scored lower than non-Achieve 180 students at the Approaches Grade Level on STAAR and were less engaged during remote learning.
“Our focus remains on increasing student achievement and educational equity across the district, particularly at our Achieve 180 schools,” HISD Interim Superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan said. “Achieve 180 has made incredible gains since its inception, and the Moody Foundation’s generous gift will provide these students with access to the technology and connectivity needed for remote learning and positive academic outcomes throughout the school year.”
Since March, the Foundation has granted over $10 million in COVID-19 funds to over 100 nonprofits needing immediate relief. In addition to HISD, recent grants to support remote learning have also been awarded to schools in Galveston and Austin. The Foundation plans to continue allocating resources across the state to assist with this timely cause.
“Bridging the digital divide will provide educational benefits to our youngest and most impressionable citizens, positively influencing the vitality and prosperity of our communities,” continued Moody. “We have a duty to support early childhood programs and resources for remote learning to continue bringing more equitable educational solutions to the table.”
About the Moody Foundation
The Moody Foundation was established by W.L. Moody, Jr. and Libbie Shearn Moody in 1942 to share their good fortune and make a difference in the lives of the people of Texas. Since then, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.8 billion in grants throughout the state to organizations that have educated, healed, nurtured and inspired generations of Texans. The Moody Foundation continues with a board of three trustees: Frances Moody-Dahlberg, Ross Moody and Elizabeth Moody. Learn more at MoodyF.org and follow the Foundation on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates.
About the Houston Independent School District
The Houston Independent School District is the largest school district in Texas and the seventh largest in the United States, with 280 schools and more than 209,772 students. The 333-square-mile district is one of the largest employers in the Houston metropolitan area with more than 27,000 employees.