HOUSTON – Texas ranks 3rd in the nation for food insecurity, meaning that 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 4 children in our state are hungry. October 16, is World Food Day. Heads UP Houston is committed to building awareness around healthier food access, healthier eating and healthier lifestyles as a critical key to breaking many of the generational curses that plague families who lack awareness of the implications of a healthy life. The 1st Annual Alief Community Healthy Lifestyles Fall Festival will be held Saturday, October 29, 2016 from 10 AM – 1 PM at Alief First Baptist Church located at 12001 Moonmist, Houston, TX 77072. Heads UP Houston has set a visionary goal to support Alief and all local Houston communities maximize the capacity of all people through all things.

Alief is one of Houston’s most densely populated communities. Of the total 48,000 Alief ISD student population, many live in apartment communities; there are over 250 total apartment communities in the AISD service area. Alief ISDs student population consists of approximately 32% African American and 50% Hispanic/Latino. Of the AISD student population, 83% come from economically disadvantaged homes. Alief and Southwest Houston are subject to high gang activity and considered unsafe areas by the Houston Police Department. Research shows that “youth from low-income families engage in more risky behavior, i.e. truancy, sexual relations, and drug use.” Children are influenced by gang members, involved in drugs, crimes and other dangerous behaviors. Our focus is community support through engagement focused on Academic Improvement, Family Involvement, and Wellness for Alief students, parents, and families residing in apartment complexes.

“There are still many communities with a disproportionate lack of access to education, empowerment and engagement strategies that we have seen work in many varied communities,” said Heads UP Houston CEO, Kevin Kebede. “Providing access, support and expertise within the local community shows the residents that in many cases, by building community, we truly have more resources and tools than we realize when we operate outside of silos and disconnected from our neighbors. Building a consolidated vision that aligns to many of the values that we all hold true leverages us for net gains in all that we do together. Heads UP Houston is proud to prioritize the Choice to CHOOSE which emphasizes Community Healthy Out Of School Enrichment (CHOOSE) with a focus on extending the school day, serving the under-supported and under-represented and providing engagement opportunities of high value to serve families which build confidence in their foundations and momentum towards their dreams.”

Some specific goals and outcomes for the 2016-17 school year include:

  • Help youth develop confidence and set high goals.
  • Prioritize youth education through creating optimal support and development environments aimed to maximize student effort towards academic improvement and achievement.
  • Emphasize the critical need for full family engagement and support systems.
  • Increase access to value-rich programming in Alief communities.
  • Improve student commitment to education and reduced out of school time delinquent behavior.
  • Use best practice youth development strategies to promote building positive social, emotional and behavioral competencies.
  • Create opportunities to support the less fortunate with access to resources, meals, school supplies, holiday need items and clothing.

COMMIT TO IMPACT THROUGH DONATION

To support the Alief Community Fall Festival October 1-29, feel free to donate healthy snacks, prizes, and festival related items through several community locations or make financial contributions or sponsorship to underwrite cost of festival. Please connect with to us via www.headsuphoustontx.org for drop off locations and details on how to make financial donations.

COMMIT TO IMPACT THROUGH SERVICE

Business Vendors and Community Partners as well as Individuals who would like to volunteer to support local community development should contact Kevin Kebede at 832-607-6557, or Kevink@headsuphoustontx.org.

COMMITTED TO A SPIRIT OF APPRECIATION

Many thanks to Azteca TV51, Legacy Health Clinic, the NBA Retired Players Association, 5Works, Alief ISD, and the Kingsley Foundation for their lead contributions and support. Follow our Commit to a Spirit of Appreciation Campaign on Facebook. Friend, like or love us on Facebook or Instagram @headsuphouston.

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