With less than 30 days until Alief students return to the classroom, the Annual Heads UP Houston Alief Community School Supply Drive, is underway. The drive runs through August 12. Heads UP Houston has partnered with community organizations and 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.

Heads Up Houston is collecting 100 backpacks locally to serve under-supported apartment communities identified by Alief Independent School District.

“Having connected with several thousand families over the last year allows you a very intimate understanding of the many, varied needs of the students of Alief,” said Alief Sports Academy CEO, Coach JB Sithole. “Providing a child with the tools they need to succeed in the classroom can be a life-changing experience. Alief Sports Academy and Heads UP Houston are proud to prioritize extending the school day, serving the under-supported and under-represented and providing engagement opportunities of high value to serve families so children start the school year with confidence in their foundation and momentum towards their dreams.”

Some specific goals and outcomes for the 2017-18 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 values-rich programming in Alief apartment communities.
  • Improve student commitment to education and reduce 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.