Texas Association of Partners in Education Honors Project GRAD Houston and its
Innovative Partnerships with the Alley Theatre and Shell Oil
Partnerships Improve Educational Outcomes for Public School Students
Houston, TX – The Texas Association of Partners in Education (TAPE) honoured Project GRAD Houston, the Alley Theatre, and Shell Oil as leaders in developing innovative partnerships serving students from low-income communities in Houston Independent School District (HISD). The GRAD/Alley Theatre and the GRAD/Shell Oil partnership were both Crystal award winners, the highest award level.
“Partnerships with the Alley Theatre, Shell, and others help us create new possibilities for students by leveraging resources together. Students gain insight into areas of study that many may have never considered. The ultimate goal is to better prepare students for the rigors of college and help them successfully navigate the new world of higher education,” said GRAD Executive Director Ann B. Stiles. Ms. Stiles goes on to say, “The Alley and Shell provide outstanding examples of collaboration to benefit Houston’s children. Both have resulted in quantifiable differences in academic outcomes for children.”
“The Alley Theatre’s Education & Community Engagement Department is grateful to be recognized by TAPE. We strongly believe in the critical importance of arts experiences and arts learning for students of all ages and in the irreplaceable value of partnerships like the one we have with Project GRAD and the schools in the Davis High School feeder pattern. Our work together to transform the development of a character and the production of plays into key lessons in creativity and collaboration is invaluable for the students engaged in the program,” said Joe Angel Babb, Director of Education & Community Engagement for the Alley Theatre.
Shell Oil provides an incredible opportunity for minority and low-income students from GRAD’s college access and scholarship program in HISD to study advanced mathematics during the summer on campus at Rice University. These kinds of opportunities would not be possible without Shell’s support.
“The experience gives relevance to rigorous high school math courses and enables students to develop a deeper understanding of career possibilities. The project is a win for everyone involved in the partnership,” notes Frazier Wilson, VP Shell Foundation and Manager of Social Investment.
In addition to the Crystal Award, the GRAD/Shell Oil partnership received the Outstanding Partnership of the Year award.
The TAPE award winners exemplify the highest commitment to the students attending public schools in Texas. The mission of TAPE is to provide leadership to schools, businesses and communities, and to assist public schools in building partnerships to enhance student success.
Project GRAD Houston currently works with five high school feeder patterns which serve 64 schools and approximately 44,000 students. Since its inception, GRAD has enrolled 5,000 HISD students from Houston’s low-income communities into college with their scholarship offer. For more information about Project GRAD Houston, please visit our web site at: www.projectgradhouston.org or call 832-325-0467.
The mission of Project GRAD is to ensure a quality public education for all students in economically disadvantaged communities so that high school and college graduation rates increase.