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Keeping Texas Schools Above Water

Keeping Texas Schools Above Water

After the storm, generosity gives Texas schools a lifeline

In August 2017, over 6 million Texans were impacted by Hurricane Harvey’s devastation. Repairing the damage done to the Gulf Coast region will require years of support. In addition to damaging infrastructure for power, transit and communications, Hurricane Harvey is estimated to have impacted over 1.4 million public school students, including 42,000 K–12 students who have been displaced across district lines.

In response, Educate Texas and Communities Foundation of Texas, along with their funding partners, quickly launched two new funds to support Gulf Coast schools and students affected by Hurricane Harvey.

One of these funds is the Harvey KIDS Education Fund at CFT, which, in addition to providing immediate relief funding to school districts and campuses to support the needs of displaced students, also provides longer-term funds to enable rebuilding and redesigning schools and the student learning experience.

To date, the Harvey KIDS Fund at CFT has raised over $1.6 million. These funds are being used to provide immediate relief as well as to support longer-term rebuilding efforts.


Harvey KIDS Funds in Action

Featured below are selected stories about how some districts are using Harvey KIDS funds:
In Pearland ISD, 414 students were forced to move into shelters outside of their regular school zones. Harvey KIDS funds are being used to provide these students with transportation to and from school, which has resulted in a daily attendance rate of more than 98 percent. Despite the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey, students are learning, and the schools are maintaining normalcy as best they can.

In Pasadena ISD, more than half of the students and staff were impacted by the hurricane and found themselves living in hotels, or with friends and relatives. Currently, over 3,300 students and their families remain displaced in temporary living situations. Harvey KIDS funds will help the district hire homeless case managers to communicate with these families to assess their social, emotional and academic needs and direct them to appropriate resources. The grant will also enable the district to hire tutors to provide additional academic support.

East Chambers ISD was hit with 60 inches of water during Hurricane Harvey and many families who faced substantial losses due to the flood 
are still struggling with home repairs. Harvey KIDS funds are helping East Chambers ISD support an after-school program to help students with their homework and studies by providing access to teachers, computers, textbooks and other resources, as well as transportation back home.

In Vidor ISD the potential relocation of up to 50 teachers and maintenance and transportation personnel has been a big concern since the hurricane. In order to help keep vital human capital in the district that serves nearly 4,000 students, Harvey KIDS funds are being used to offer two daily meals to staff as well as to replace lost technology.

Taft ISD faced extensive damage and classes for the district’s more than 1,000 students were delayed an entire month. To support students and teachers who must now catch up in their coursework, Harvey KIDS funds are being used to hire education consultants who will assist with curriculum and plan development to adjust for lost instructional time.

In Port Aransas ISD, Harvey KIDS funds are being used to offer licensed professional counseling services to 425 students, many of whom experienced much loss due to Hurricane Harvey. They are also using funds for medium-term student assessment and interventions.

In Aransas County ISD, the impact of Hurricane Harvey included collapsed buildings and caved-in roofs, resulting in three weeks of instruction time lost. As a result, the district and its students struggled with a lack of adequate classroom space and equipment. Harvey KIDS funds are being used by the district to replace lost technology and provide necessary items for special-needs students.

To learn more about the Harvey KIDS Fund or Communities Foundation of Texas’ and Educate Texas’ Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, please visit www.edtx.org/harvey.

Nation's First District-Wide STEM program

Nation's First District-Wide STEM program

Educate Texas teams up with Texas Instruments Foundation to impact STEM in Lancaster ISD


A community rallies together and receives a substantial grant from Educate Texas and Texas Instruments Foundation that will change the way Lancaster ISD teaches STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

Time for Tier 1

Time for Tier 1

Swift Action Raises $4.245 Million to help UTD Advance to Tier 1


Through the use of government matching funds, we helped raise money to advance University of Texas at Dallas to a Tier 1 university in Texas.

Jan Pruitt Compares CFT to a Kitchen Table

Jan Pruitt Compares CFT to a Kitchen Table

Jan Pruitt, CEO of North Texas Food Bank, shares her perspective on CFT’s role in the community


North Texas Food Bank Executive Director, Jan Pruitt, gives a nonprofit angle on our impact and involvement with the community.

Giving Day Success: A Nonprofit’s Appreciation

Giving Day Success: A Nonprofit’s Appreciation

Giving Day sure beats hosting an event!


Bill Farrell, Development Director at Mercy Street, tells how his organization spend thousands of hours working on a fundraising event and raised the same amount as they did during North Texas Giving Day—with a small percentage of the effort.

Meeting Needs: Building for the Future

Meeting Needs: Building for the Future

Mabel Peters Caruth Center Opens in 2003


Mabel Peters Caruth wrote a new chapter in the family’s legacy of giving when she announced her bequest of $34 million to CFT, among the largest single charitable donation ever recorded in Dallas.

$15M to Dallas Police Department (DPD)

$15M to Dallas Police Department (DPD)


A $15 million grant from the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Fund at Communities Foundation of Texas to the Dallas Police Department (DPD) was the largest ever made from the foundation created by Will Caruth and entrusted to CFT, and also the largest grant on record made through a public foundation to a police department anywhere in the country.

The Ultimate Gift: Organ Donation

The Ultimate Gift: Organ Donation

Transplant Immunology Research Grant


In 2002, CFT honored the memory of Will Caruth with a $5 million gift from the W.W. Caruth Jr. Foundation Fund to establish a Basic Science Research Program in the Immunology of Solid Organ Transplantation at Baylor Research Institute.

Overflowing Gratitude: A Wave of Generosity

Overflowing Gratitude: A Wave of Generosity

Rosine Foundation Fund of CFT expedited the design and construction of SMU's Calatrava Fountain


Calatrava Fountain – 2001 In 2001, a $1.5 million gift from the Rosine Foundation Fund of CFT expedited the design and construction of a sculpture-fountain outside Southern Methodist University’s Meadows Museum.

Entertaining New Ideas: Cultural Change

Entertaining New Ideas: Cultural Change

Eisemann Center for Performing Arts opens in 2001 thanks to CFT fund holders


Eisemann Center for Performing Arts – 2001 Charles and Ann Eisemann are longtime supporters of the cultural arts in Richardson, especially the symphony orchestra. The Eisemann Foundation Fund of CFT granted $2 million to the city of Richardson to support a new performing arts venue.

Building Goodwill

Building Goodwill

Many CFT fund contribute to Goodwill Industries campaign


Goodwill Industries – 2001 When Goodwill Industries was in the midst of a $16.7 million building campaign in 2001, CFT decided to help. Goodwill’s capital campaign sought to raise money for a new facility that would triple to 3,000 the number of people served at its west Dallas facility.

Wings of an Angel: Transformed by Philanthropy

Wings of an Angel: Transformed by Philanthropy

Texas Discovery Gardens Butterfly Garden gets wings thanks to Rosine Foundation Fund for Texas Discovery Gardens at CFT


Texas Discovery Gardens Butterfly Garden 2001 Her mother’s passion for butterflies as well as education and conservation, inspired Mary Anne Sammons Cree to recommend a $2.5 million grant from the Rosine Foundation Fund for Texas Discovery Gardens.

In the Line of Duty: Honoring Fallen Heroes

In the Line of Duty: Honoring Fallen Heroes

CFT funds Dallas Police Memorial


Dallas Police Memorial – 1999 Dallas police officers, who have lost their lives serving the city’s citizens are honored at the Dallas Police Memorial. A grant from CFT was used to build and dedicate the memorial to our Dallas Police fallen heroes.

Dog Gone Generous: Pet Project

Dog Gone Generous: Pet Project

Phoebe Perry honors her husband with gift to SPCA of Texas


SPCA of Texas – 1998 The SPCA of Texas has a tough job -- caring for animals without the support of government funding. Generous contributions from CFT donors like Phoebe and Russell Perry help make the SPCA’s job easier.

Concerted Effort: Music to Our Ears

Concerted Effort: Music to Our Ears

Perot Fund at CFT gives Dallas Symphony Orchestra grant


Perot Fund Symphony Grant – 1985 Thanks to H. Ross Perot’s $10 million donation through a fund established at CFT, the community foundation became a player in the construction of the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, named in honor Perot’s friend and business associate.

Little House in the Piney Woods: Making Philanthropic History

Little House in the Piney Woods: Making Philanthropic History

Millard’s Crossing is a mini-city filled with 19th century homes in Nacogdoches


Millard’s Crossing – 1982 Born and raised in Nacogdoches, Lera Millard Thomas married a lawyer-turned-congressman and became a congresswoman herself in 1965. When her term ended, she returned to her birthplace and began to restore old homes and antiquities in the town.