Parents & Caregivers 

The Center of the Healing of Racism is celebrating the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr with two extraordinary women discussing how we can internalize Dr. King’s message of hope and healing.  A facilitated dialogue will follow.

This is a free event but donations are welcome.

  • When is the event: Monday January 18th
  • Time of event: 6pm – 8pm
  • Register by Sunday January 17th.
  • Speakers: Dee Gardner, founder of Gardner Counseling Services, is a licensed psychotherapist, a professional speaker, educator, workshop facilitator, trauma treatment consultant and author. And Sally Bartolameolli, M.Ed., M.F.A., is a certified Shadow Work facilitator, transformational coach, author, speaker, teacher, and founder of LORA Bridges – Building Bridges for Transformation

Learn the basics of policy & advocacy during this 16-week paid part time experience

I am writing to you to share a PAID opportunity for current youth leaders to be part of an initiative to promote healthcare access and economic justice. We are seeking passionate youth leaders, ages 18-26, who are looking to become involved in youth activism to join our young advocates program.

We are especially interested in welcoming young people of color, opportunity youth, young people who are parenting, young people in apprenticeships/work based learning and first generation college students into our spring cohort. We have positions open in Austin, Houston, and East Texas. 

Young Advocates Would: 

  • Participate in weekly Friday 4-hour virtual training and design meetings throughout the Spring (February-May 2021)
  • Participate in smaller team projects for an additional 6 hours per week
  • Receive $15/hr for 10hrs per week
  • Connect, partner and network with key organizational leaders and young advocates
  • Contribute their voice to our policy work

Spring 2021 Youth Advocates Program Application

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RISE! program will have an 8-week long program this spring for high school junior girls to prepare for college with a financial literacy lens.

Click the link in the document to get more information and sign up!

Click here to register.

Having financial aid can make all the difference in whether you are able to pay for college tuition, buying books and other expenses.

Learn everything about the financial aid application process and the types of programs offered to help you with paying for your college education leading to a certificate, associates or 4-year degree.

This workshop is also offered in Spanish.

  • When: Tuesday Januray 12th
  • Time: 5:30 pm

Link to register here.

Tyto Online is a STEM game that is designed around helping students build science and engineering skills while they solve authentic types of science problems. Here’s a <100 second video summary you can watch.  We’ve had a foundation fund us providing a number of free licenses to school districts, and now we also want to expand to selected after/summer-school partners for Spring + Summer 2021.

The benefit for the out-of-school time (OST) partner will be a free, engaging product that can be used to deliver STEM programs during programming, which could be particularly helpful during COVID19 challenges. Our purpose of making these grants available is to learn and figure out what additional modifications or supports are needed to use Tyto Online in OST contexts. We’ll therefore be true partners in these microgrants: in addition to PD and coaching/support, we’ll help with curriculum ideas, create teacher guide modifications/suggestions, etc. based on the needs of our partner organizations.  Read more here:

Ideathon for High School Students

Promoting Education Across the Country (PEAC) has partnered with the UNICEF, the MOE and the COH Office of Sustainability. to host a city-wide High School Ideathon. The event aims to create a platform for youth to learn and engage with community challenges and propose solutions to city leaders. The Ideathon will held virtually on Saturday, January 16th from 9am – 5pm

Students and young people are invited to:

  1. Discuss the community challenges brought upon COVID-19, Climate Change and among others, that have impacted their communities.
  2. Conduct research on the impact of these issues 
  3. Work in teams to construct and present solutions to city leaders. 
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Mentors from colleges and professional industries will be advising student groups. Teams will gain recognition from PEAC, UNICEF, and the City of Houston.  PEAC is a Houston-based nonprofit that aims to empower youth to solve issues within their local community.  

Please share this opportunity with your students and respond for more event information. The registration can be found on UNICEF’s website here.

Special Education & COVID-19 Survey

The COVID-19 pandemic has abruptly changed the way students learn, communicate, and engage with their fellow peers and teachers. Students with disabilities are experiencing additional barriers in accessing e-learning platforms, supports and services that enable them to fully participate in these virtual environments. To assist school administrators and policy makers better respond to future emergencies, we have developed the COVID-19 and Special Education Survey. By participating in this survey, your experiences will assist us to highlight the most common barriers students with disabilities are facing throughout the Houston region.

The survey results will be used to shape policy recommendations that will be shared with local, state, and federal policymakers to better serve students with disabilities during emergencies such as a pandemic. These policy recommendations will be incorporated into a white paper that will be available at

Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey. Please feel free to share the survey with colleagues, family members, neighbors, advocates, and friends.

This survey is made possible with the support of our partners:

  • The ARC of Greater Houston
  • The Office of Council Member Karla Cisneros
  • The National Federation of the Blind of Texas
  • Family to Family Network
  • Houston Council on Disabilities
  • Mayor’s Office of Educations

Adolescence is a time for young people to have a healthy start in life. The number of adolescents reporting poor mental health is increasing. Building strong bonds and connecting to youth can protect their mental health. Schools and parents can create these protective relationships with students and help them grow into healthy adulthood.

What Schools Can Do to Protect Adolescent Mental Health

Schools play an important role in good adolescent mental health. Establishing safe and supportive school environments is an effective way to help youth by connecting adolescents to networks of caring peers and adults. Research shows that students with someone at school who cares about them have better academic performance, health, and behavioral outcomes.

A safe and supportive school environment should:

  • Provide ongoing development and training to teachers on how to manage classroom by reinforcing positive behaviors and establishing rules, routines and expectations.
  • Support student led-clubs, like gay-straight alliances, so students have a safe space to socialize and connect with supportive school staff.
  • Facilitate positive youth development activities, like mentoring programs, volunteer opportunities, and programs that connect them to a network of supportive adults.
  • Provide parents and families with resources that support positive parenting practices such as open, honest communication and parental supervision.

What Families and Parents Can Do to Protect Adolescent Mental Health

  • Communicate openly and honestly, including about their values.
  • Supervise their adolescent to facilitate healthy decision-making.
  • Spend time with their adolescent enjoying shared activities.
  • Become engaged in school activities and help with homework.
  • Volunteer at their adolescent’s school.
  • Communicate regularly with teachers and administrators.

For more information on adolescent and school health by the CDC, follow this link.

Have you ever wanted to ask an astronaut a question. Well, there is an AMAZING OPPOTUNITY for afterschool youth to speak with astronauts on the International Space Station. On Jan. 7, 2021 youth will have a chance to have their questions answered by astronauts Kate Rubins and Shannon Walker

The Challenge – NASA students asking the astronauts questions about their experiences. The videos will be played during the Q&A session and answered live, from space! The video questions are due to NASA by December 28.

If you are interested, NASA has provided guidelines and a release form from each student (both are below). The question may be recorded on a phone, but must be done in landscape format or won’t be included in the Q+A. 

We hope that you can record a question and send it to Chris Neitzey from the Afterschool Alliance,