5 Ways to Show Up for Students This Holiday Season

Think of someone who supported you growing up. They could be a teacher, next-door neighbor, parent, mentor, family friend, or coach. Whoever they are, when you look back on time in school, the people who showed up for you and believed in you stay with you long after a diploma.

That’s certainly the case for Drew Dubcak, a school counselor and mentoring volunteer. Her first-grade teacher, Ms. Stevenson, instilled in her a love of learning. “She made school fun and was a “you can be anything you want to be” kind of teacher,” Drew says. Fifteen years later, Drew returned to Ms. Stevenson’s classroom—this time to learn how to be an effective teacher. “She became a mentor to me, letting me go into her classroom,” Drew says. “I got to see what it’s like to be a strong role model for young kids and not only be a teacher but have a lasting impact.”

Drew believes that showing up is key to having impact on students, much like Ms. Stevenson has done for her. “You have to be someone who sticks around, because what impact are you going to have on a kid’s life if you take off?” Drew began mentoring Tabitha six years ago, which she was in the sixth grade. Now, she’s a junior in high school, beginning to plan for college. By consistently showing up, Drew has established a close bond with Tabitha and says she’s taught her a multitude of life lessons along the way. “You learn a lot from your mentee,” Drew says. “It’s more of a privilege to be in their life than it is for you to be theirs.”

At APIE, we’re privileged to impact the lives of hundreds of Austin ISD students each year through our programming, but none of this would be possible without YOU! Here are five you can show up for students:

  1. Donate to support our work. Consider giving in honor of an individual who showed up for you when you were a student. Even small gifts can add up quickly!
  2. Run and/or fundraise for our Austin Marathon team. Whether you’re a runner or not, we’d love to have you sign up for our team, spread the word, and fundraise with us! We’re happy to share tips and templates to help make this easier. When we hit certain numbers of runners and donations, we become eligible for more money as part of the Austin Gives Miles Charity Chaser program. To learn more, email our development coordinator, Rachel Thomson, at rthomson@austinpartners.org.
  3. Tell your family, friends, and network about APIE. Help increase awareness about the work we do by sharing our mission with those in your work and personal circles. We’re always looking to get connected with the Austin community, so we also appreciate introductions to potential supporters, volunteers, sponsors, or donors.
  4. Show support on social media. Liking, commenting, and sharing our posts on social media helps increase the number of people who see our posts and learn about our work.
  5. Volunteer with us. If you aren’t already, volunteering is a great way to turn your passion for students into meaningful action. Just an hour of your time each week makes a big difference for Austin students. Have questions or just want to learn more? Visit our website or email our volunteer recruitment coordinator, Ashley Yeaman, at ayeaman@austinpartners.org.

This holiday season, we hope that you’ll show up for the causes and people you care about. Consider giving to APIE—whatever that looks like for you—in honor of the people who have showed up for you. We also encourage you to share with us on social media your person and how they impacted you. Tag us @austinpartners and use the hashtag #APIEshowsup. Together, we can ensure that caring individuals like Drew are showing up to support Austin students!

Post by: Rachel Thomson, Development Coordinator, and Ashley Yeaman, Communications & Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator

November 2019 Newsletter: A Slice of APIE

The weather is getting cooler and soon we’ll be kicking off the holiday season. We invite you to take a moment for a quick slice of APIE before you fill up on holiday treats next week! We are thankful for the continued support from our volunteers, donors, and friends. Keep reading for APIE updates, including the latest statistics from our annual program evaluation and how you can use your Target shopping to support Austin ISD students!


Program Updates 

Math Classroom Coaching (MCC)

For the 2019-20 school year, the MCC program is working with 6th and 7th graders at six middle schools, including Burnet, Covington, Dobie, Martin, Sadler Means YWLA, and Webb. We currently have almost 200 volunteers serving 669 Austin ISD students! We’re always looking for more volunteers, especially at the start of the new semester in January. To register to be a Math Classroom Coach, visit our website. For more information, email Ashley Yeaman at ayeaman@austinpartners.org.

College Readiness

This year, APIE’s College Readiness program added Burnet Middle School to our roster, and we’re now serving students at 11 middle and high schools across the district. We have already worked with nearly 200 8th, 9th, and 10th graders, and we’re excited to support more students looking to participate in Early College High School and Career Launch/P-TECH programs. By participating in these programs, our students will have the opportunity to earn an Associate’s degree and industry certifications by the time they graduate high school!

Mentoring

We currently have more than 300 mentors serving students across Austin ISD, and we’re always working to increase that number—especially at the middle and high school levels. We have a high need for mentors at the following schools: Navarro and Northeast Early College high schools; Burnet, Mendez, and Lively middle schools; and Cowan, Pease, Metz, Sims, Norman, and Mills elementary schools. To register to be a mentor, visit our website. For more information, email Ashley Yeaman at ayeaman@austinpartners.org.

GEAR UP

The GEAR UP Program is in its third year, and our students are now 8th graders! We are serving the class of 2024 at 11 middle schools, including Bedichek, Burnet, Covington, Dobie, Lively, Gus Garcia YMLA, Martin, Mendez, Paredes, Sadler Means YWLA, and Webb. This year we have 21 tutors working across the GEAR UP campuses. There are more than 130 unique classes with a GEAR UP tutor. We look forward to increasing the support both teachers and students are receiving in class and small group settings, along with providing additional support at lunch and after school.


Back-To-School Happy Hour

Despite the dreary weather, we had a great turnout at our Back-To-School Happy Hour at Contigo on October 29, which was sponsored by Bumble Bizz! We hold appreciation events like these to recognize all of our incredible volunteers. Our work wouldn’t be possible without you! If you missed this event, stay tuned to your email and our social media accounts for updates on the next one.


Volunteer Spotlight | Drew Dubcak

Photo courtesy of Drew Dubcak. Used with permission from Tabitha’s family.

Drew began working with her mentee, Tabitha, six years ago as a 6th grader. This year, Tabitha is a junior, beginning to plan for what comes next after graduation. In this Q&A, Drew shares more about her mentoring experience and why people shouldn’t be hesitant to get involved.

 

Q: Who or what inspired you to start mentoring?

A: My dad has mentored for ten years and still mentors now. I thought that it would be really awesome to do that myself. Since I had time in college, I signed up and got partnered with Tabitha. I met her when she was 12, and she turns 18 in December.

Q: How has your experience mentoring been generally? How has it changed over the years?

A: It’s been a wonderful experience. Working with Tabitha has shown me that you don’t have to put in hours upon hours to see a great change. When I first met her, she didn’t really trust me. But since I’ve been around for so long, when I show up I get this big hug. It’s been great to see her grow up. The funny thing is that Tabitha did not want to grow up. So it’s been awesome to kind of work with her and be with her along the way. She was not happy to go to middle school, and then later she didn’t want to go to high school. I feel like being there to support her was a really good experience overall.

Q: What do you think are some of the benefits of working with the same mentee on a more long-term basis?

A: I think with mentoring, consistency is key. You have to be someone who sticks around and stays. I feel that the benefit of that is that you’re seeing the works of your labor materialize.

Q: Over the years working with Tabitha, are there any stories that stand out to you?

A: Well, I know the family and I know her mom now. It’s a trusting relationship. And so last year I took her and her sister to the Trail of Lights. They’ve lived in the Austin area their entire lives, but I got to go with them to do that for their first time. It was just the most exciting thing seeing them. They were 16 and 17 years old, and they were jumping around like kids seeing all these lights. It was beautiful.

Q: Does Tabitha have an idea of what she might like to do after she graduates high school?

A: We’re in the workings right now. We’re working on getting her volunteer experience and getting her ready to go to college. She loves history and astronomy, so if Tabitha had it her way, she would be a history and astronomy professor at a college somewhere.

Q: Why should someone volunteer to mentor?

A: It’s a blessing to get outside of yourself. I mean, it doesn’t take a lot of time to go and do this. I think a lot of people get stuck in the me, me, me. Being able to work with Tabithayes, I’ve helped her, but I’ve also helped myself because she’s taught me a multitude of life lessons, including don’t take things so seriously. She often asks me “Why are you on your phone al the time?” That’s my favorite question from her. “Why does it matter?” She’ll tell it like it is. You learn a lot from your mentee, and it’s more of a privilege to be in their lives than it is for you to be in theirs.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who was hesitant to mentor?

A: I think there might be hesitations around not knowing how to handle harder conversations, but there’s a lot of support with APIE. If I had needed it, I could have reached out. I got emails about trainings. I could reach out to Dawn [Lewis, APIE’s school connections manager] if I needed help. And support staff is key. There’s a lot of support, so you’re never alone. And if you don’t fit with a child, there is probably another child that you could work with as well.

Q: What lasting impact do you hope to have on Tabitha?

A: I hope that she grows up to be that strong, independent lady that I know she is on the inside. I want her to know that she can do whatever she wants on her own. We’ve been kind of instilling that she can do things on her own. She can be that awesome history and astronomer professor that she wants to be and go to college. She can travel on her own. She can do things on her own. She doesn’t have to have someone behind her. She doesn’t have to be scared. Hopefully she’ll grow up to be an independent lady that goes for what she wants.


Support APIE’s Marathon Team

APIE is one of very few nonprofits chosen as an official charity of the Austin Marathon and last year we raised over $30,000! Our 2020 goal of $30,000 can provide tutoring for 60 math students, mentoring for 120 students, or college readiness support for 30 students. This campaign is APIE’s major annual fundraiser and you can help by:

  1. Running: If you’re a runner and running the Austin Marathon, ½ Marathon, or 5K, please consider leveraging your athleticism and fundraise for APIE in support of your run! Visit our GoFundMe page here and click on “Run for Charity.”
  2. Joining Our Team: Not a runner? No problem! You can still join the team to fundraise and share APIE’s story with friends and family (there will be prizes involved!). We challenge you to post or send out just one email and see the generosity of your network. Visit our GoFundMe page here and click on “Run for Charity.” (This will make you a part of our team and able to fundraise, but you don’t have to run in the marathon.)
  3. Donating: If neither of the above options work for you, you can donate in honor of the students you show up for each week. You understand that APIE’s programs change lives, that APIE is a nonprofit, and that we can’t do this without community support. Visit our GoFundMe page here and click on “Support a Charity,” then select “Austin Partners in Education.”

If you have any questions, please email Rachel Thomson at rthomson@austinpartners.org.


Your Target shopping can help support APIE

We are honored and excited to announce that we have been chosen to participate in a special charitable giving campaign, sponsored and funded by Target. And you have the chance to help direct a portion of Target’s donation to us! A vote is earned each time you shop at Target, online and in store. Now through January 5, vote for us through the Target Circle program to help determine how Target’s donation will be divvied up. Click here to learn more about Target Circle.


Annual Evaluation Report, 2018-2019

We’re proud to share some of the findings from our Annual Evaluation Report! Last year, our Math Classroom Coaching program worked with middle school students. The 582 8th graders that participated in the program had significantly higher academic outcomes than a matched comparison group. In 2019, 79% of APIE 8th grade math students met the STAAR passing standard, compared with 61 % of the comparison group.

APIE’s College Readiness program supported 583 students in 8th through 12th grades. The 254 seniors who participated in the program performed better on the state’s college readiness assessment, the Texas Success Initiative Assessment, compared to a matched comparison group and district seniors. Fifty percent of APIE participants met college readiness criteria on both subjects on the assessment, followed by 21% of the matched comparison group.

The full report and executive summary are available on the APIE website, under the “Results” tab.


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Help Us Make Math Less Scary

What scared you when you were a kid?

Maybe you were afraid of the dark or the monster potentially lurking under your bed. Or maybe you saw a horror movie that made you terrified of clowns, dolls, or monsters.

But childhood fears can also be less sinister. Maybe your anxiety creeped in whenever you had to give a presentation in front of your peers, take a test, or work out challenging math problems that you could never seem to get right.

Someone experiencing math anxiety does not necessarily lack the ability in mathematics, but they are unable to perform at their full potential because their fear impacts their ability to succeed. Studies suggest that highly anxious math students will avoid situations in which they will have to complete mathematical calculations. Unfortunately, math avoidance leads to less competency, exposure, and math practice, which only increases students’ anxiety—leaving students unprepared to achieve.

We see the lasting impacts of this fear firsthand when recruiting for our Math Classroom Coaching (MCC) program. People’s demeanor often changes with just the mention of the “m” word. We hear things like: “I’m not good at math. I’m just not a math person. I couldn’t possibly tutor students.”

But that couldn’t be further from the truth! Here are three reasons why you can still help, even if you’re scared of math.

  1. You’ll always have support from the classroom teacher and one of our MCC coordinators. Our MCC program works with sixth and seventh graders, which means you won’t need to help students solve complex equations. You’ll receive the lessons in advance, so you’ll have time to refresh yourself on the concepts beforehand. If there’s ever anything you’re unsure about, the teacher and one of our MCC coordinators are on hand to help.

 

  1. You can model good behavior when things get tough. MCC works to increase students’ enjoyment of math and decrease their fear. Often students shut down when something gets too challenging. Having some fear of math means you can relate to students who freeze when they can’t quickly figure out the answer. You can model good behavior—showing that it’s okay to be unsure, ask questions, and even get things wrong sometimes. When students recognize that there’s nothing wrong with not having all the answers and making mistakes, they’re more open to trying—and that practice helps them learn to succeed.

 

  1. Math is just part of the equation. Our primary goal of MCC is to raise students’ confidence in their math abilities. Volunteers like you help student’s better understand math, but also provide individualized feedback that students can depend on this week. Math classroom coaches focus both on reinforcing math concepts and forming a positive connection with students. We want students to know that members of the community genuinely care about them and their success.

There’s a lot of things to be afraid of, but math doesn’t have to be one of them. Join us in helping students become less fearful of math—you might lose some of your own math anxiety in the process!

To learn more about our Math Classroom Coaching program and to sign up to volunteer, visit https://austinpartners.org/classroom-coaching. We have more volunteer opportunities open in the spring semester, so stay tuned to our website if we currently don’t have openings that work with your schedule.

Post by: Ashley Yeaman, Communications & Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator, Austin Partners in Education

September 2019 Newsletter: A Slice of APIE

August Newsletter 2019

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Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year from our Executive Director, Cathy Jones:

 

Cathy Welcome Letter Revised

APIE in the Classroom | Register Today! 

MCC Covington

Interested in volunteering? Registration is now open for our Math Classroom Coaching and Mentoring Programs!

This year, our Math Classroom Coaches will be assisting students in sixth and seventh grade at six middle schools -Burnet, Dobie, Covington, Martin, Sadler Means YWLA, and Webb.  Our mentors will continue to create and sustain meaningful relationships with K-12 students across AISD schools.

Click here to support Austin students by becoming a Math Classroom Coach or Mentor today. For more information, please e-mail Volunteer@austinpartners.org.

 New Board Chair | Rick  Whiteley

Rick Whiteley Photo

Austin Partners In Education (APIE) is pleased to announce Rick Whiteley, Executive Director of Cushman & Wakefield, as its new Board Chair. Whiteley was unanimously selected as the APIE Chair by the Board of Directors of the Austin Chamber of Commerce.

Whiteley brings over 35 years of experience in Austin’s commercial real estate sector and a long history of civic and professional engagement.  Rick is also a Board Member of The Greater Austin Economic Development Corporation (Opportunity Austin) and was named The Austin Chamber of Commerce’s Volunteer of the Year in 2008 and again in 2016. Whiteley is a proud graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and remains a lifetime Longhorn with involvement in the Texas Exes and other UT related programs.

“I am honored to be selected to lead the APIE Board and be involved in the important work that the Chamber does in partnership with the Austin Independent School District to provide AISD students with additional resources to help them succeed in the classroom and in life,” Whiteley said.

Summer Recap | Fun with APIE

Summer Recap revised

 

2020 Austin Marathon | Join Our Team!

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The 2020 Austin Marathon, Half-Marathon, and 5K will take place on Sunday, February 16th, 2020.  Registration is open, and we hope you will join our team! For updates, insider stories, and increasing price notifications follow Austin Partners In Education on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

 

APIE: 15 Years of Social ImpactSocial Impact Slide

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April Newsletter: A Slice of APIE

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Happy Volunteer Appreciation Month! We’re endlessly grateful to you, our dedicated volunteers. Without you, APIE wouldn’t be … APIE!

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Our students love when you take time out of your day to work with them!

“They help me and they’re nice and they give us extra help.” – Judy

“They take the time to explain it to us step by step.” – Samantha

“We still do work but it’s a little bit of a break because it’s fun work.” – Gerardo

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And it appears that you love your time with the students, too!

“The students keep me young!” – Joan

“I like giving back to the community. If you give a person an education, it’s like teaching them to fish.” – Dave

“I walk away from every volunteer opportunity with such great fulfillment.  It is great to do something for the kids and the community.” – Kalandra

 

Andrew DurhamVolunteer Spotlight | Andrew Durham

Hi Andrew! How has your experience as a Math Classroom Coach been so far?

It has been great. The students are very respectful, willing to learn and always very happy to see us when we walk in the door. We have a great group of tutors and the classroom teacher is very welcoming – a positive experience all around.

Why did you decide to become a Classroom Coach?

I used to tutor High School math whilst at University, and I wanted to get involved again and offer any help to encourage the next generation. When I heard about the opportunity at APIE and the experiences of other tutors it compelled me to sign up. My sons are a similar age to these students I help tutor, so it also gives me an up-to-date refresher for our homework time!

In general, what do you like about volunteering – what keeps you coming back?

I like seeing someone having that “lightbulb moment”, when a concept sinks in and they are able to repeat and master the new ability. Each person can take a slightly different length of time to pick up new theories or ideas, and sometimes we as tutors can offer that little extra one-on-one attention that is the encouragement to realize the concept.

Do you have any favorite stories about your students so far?

One girl was struggling with ratios for the majority of the lesson. Finally, it clicked right as the bell rang. As the others packed up, she finished the problem herself and seemed very proud that she figured it out (and wouldn’t have to complete it for homework)!

As a volunteer, what lasting impact do you hope to have on your students?

My goal is to offer a familiar face, giving them an opportunity to ask questions and progress each week. I aim to encourage them to stick with math, keep trying and it will start to make sense. As an engineer – I like to offer them proof that math really is used in the real world.

Why should someone volunteer as a Classroom Coach?

It is a great way to get out of the office and have a change of scenery that is 100% different than the rest of the work-week. Sitting in the classroom is by far the fastest and most enjoyable 45 minutes of my week. It is also important that students see people (other than parents and teachers) care about them and perhaps it may also inspire them to volunteer in the future.

Donor Spotlight | Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation

Cathy & Norma IICF reception

Executive Director Cathy Jones with IICF Board Member Norma Essary

Special thanks to the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) for their recently awarded grant to APIE’s College Readiness program.  IICF Board member, Norma Essary, also CEO of Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas, recommended APIE to IICF and we are deeply grateful.

The IICF is a unique organization that helps communities and enriches lives by uniting the collective strength of the insurance industry through grants, volunteer service, and leadership. The IICF has served as the philanthropic branch of the insurance industry for more than 25 years. During their annual Week of Giving,  IICF member, The Zenith Company, has supported APIE over the past two years during its annual Week of Giving and has also provided volunteer support several other times.

“I look forward to our volunteer experiences with APIE because it helps me learn and understand the needs of our community. I know how important it was for me to grow up with an education and I want every kid out there to have the same opportunity, regardless of their circumstances.  The work that APIE is doing for our community will have far-reaching implications and I’m happy to be able to partner with them to make a difference.” Lisa – The Zenith Company

Thank you, IICF!

Join us at Salute!

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Save the Date!  APIE is hosting a Volunteer Appreciation Event on Wednesday, June 5th!

Picnic in the Park!

Pease Park – 4:30 pm – 7:30pm

Refreshments provided

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January 2019 Newsletter: A Slice of APIE

January Newsletter

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Welcome back, volunteers! In this issue, we share our program results, spotlight several of APIE’s supporters, and kick off the new year celebrating National Mentoring Month.

National Mentoring Month

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Americans are overwhelmingly crossing racial, economic, and other bridges to mentor young people outside their families. As reported by the National Mentoring Partnership, one-in-three young Americans are growing up without a mentor to offer real-life guidance, leading to possible disconnection from school and work.

With a Mentor, a child is:

  • 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school
  • 55% more likely to be enrolled in college
  • 46% less likely than their peers to start using drugs
  • 81% more likely to report participating regularly in sports extracurricular activities
  • 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities
  • 130% more likely to say that they held a leadership position in a club or sports team

-As reported by the National Mentoring Partnership

Refer a Friend | Spread the Word About APIE

thank you notesSpring semester has begun, and we are looking for caring adults to join us in the classrooms. Have you asked your friends, coworkers, or neighbors, “Do you like working with students?  Can you give one hour a week to enrich the education of  a young learner?”  We would love for them to join APIE! Click here to register.

Listen to more testimonials about volunteering with APIE here.


Volunteer Spotlight | Rick Schumacher

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Rick Schumacher, APIE Mentor

Rick Schumacher has been an APIE mentor since 2010. As a military veteran, Rick recognized volunteering with APIE aligns with his passion for providing service to the community.

Why did you decide to become a mentor?

I am a Tillman Scholar. The Tillman Foundation provides scholarships to military veterans and spouses. Part of our ethos is a dedication to service. Mentoring seemed like a great way to provide service to my community.

Additionally, I was lucky enough to have a mentor when I was a kid. He had a big impact on where I am today. I want to pay it forward.

What activities do you do with your mentee?

Mostly we eat lunch and talk about school, life, and video games. We also like to play board games. I am in a unique position in that I have two mentees, one in second grade and the other in seventh. It is interesting to contrast the two. I have mentored the seventh-grader since he was in kindergarten. Back then, we started playing with simple toys; and now, we are playing chess. It has been great to see him progress over the years.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a mentor?

Sometimes there are issues that have come up that are just too big for me to handle. Maybe it is a situation at home or maybe there is an issue of bullying. It is great to know that I am not alone. The counselors and teachers have always been available.

Have you had a specific “breakthrough” moment or story where you’ve shared a positive session with your mentee?

When you go into the mentoring relationship, you usually get some background on the mentee, home life or particular concerns at school. I had one mentee for two years and it was half-way through the second year when he finally opened up about his background. It was just like any other conversation we had ever had, easy and without hesitation. I was so happy that I was able to bridge that gap and become someone he could just talk to without the filters.

What advice do you have for mentors in the future?

  • Meet the kids where they are. You have to tap into your inner 8-year-old.
  • Be honest and open. They will know if you are trying to sugarcoat something.
  • Set goals with your mentee. All A’s or no behavior problems? Wear a clown wig to lunch. Get creative!

Program Results | Annual Evaluation Report 2017-2018

The results are in and you helped make a difference! Thank you for being a part of APIE’s initiative to connect the community and the classroom. We know our volunteers increase students’ self-confidence and improve their test scores, too.

Math Classroom Coaching Program

Eighth-grade students from seven middle schools participated in APIE’s Math Classroom Coaching Program to prepare for Algebra I in high school. In 2018, our strongest results were with our Hispanic students, who make up 76% of our math program and met the STAAR Math passing standard at significantly higher rates than did their matched peers. APIE participants also developed greater awareness of math-related careers.

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College Readiness Program

Overall, 487 seniors from 10 AISD high schools participated in APIE’s College Readiness Program. Significantly greater percentages of APIE CR program participants than of a matched comparison group met college readiness criteria on college admissions tests (i.e. ACT, SAT, and TSI) and completed college admissions and financial aid applications

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Donor Spotlight | Patty Steinwedell

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Patty Steinwedell, APIE Supporter

Patty works for the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) and has been an active APIE donor and volunteer with the Middle School Math Classroom Coaching program for two years. We asked her a few questions about her experience as an APIE Volunteer, and about her reasons for giving back.

Why do you get involved in the community? 

In order to feel at home in a place, it’s important to make a contribution.  Contributions include time, talent, and resources.  Involvement in the community gives me a chance to learn new things, to share some things I’ve learned, and to feel grounded where I live.  Getting involved creates a common history that binds us together and makes a place feel like home.

What inspired you to volunteer with Austin Partners In Education and what have you enjoyed most about it?

I work at the Teacher Retirement System of Texas and they offer a program giving TRS employees time to go volunteer with APIE.  It was an easy decision to take part! Volunteering with APIE is a great opportunity to give back to the community TRS serves.  I chose to be a Math Classroom Coach because of my various careers in insurance, as a stay at home mom, and in finance, all required a strong foundation in math.  Without strong math skills, I would not have been successful in any of these careers.  I’m not the first one to say this, and I believe it completely: The only investment with guaranteed returns is an education.

What’s one of your favorite stories from your time volunteering with APIE?

One group I worked with included four students who had a lot of fun with each other, but sometimes their attention to math wasn’t a high priority.  For any age, it’s hard for math to compete with phones and paper football and sports and social conversations, but maybe especially for 8th graders.  I sometimes wondered if any of the lessons were sinking in, but then at the end of the year, I received a handmade card from all of them that was heartfelt and proved they had been listening more than I knew.  And Shakira’s card was so honest it brought a chuckle:  “Thank you for working with me and helping me.  Even though most of the time the group was loud and playing, I appreciate you sticking with us and not leaving.”

Austin Marathon | Sam & Grace Dowd

The 2019 Austin Marathon is quickly approaching! On February 17th, runners will compete in the Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K while fundraising for their favorite nonprofit organizations. During last year’s race, Sam and Grace Dowd raised over $6,000 for Austin Partners In Education. Here’s an inside look on their experience!

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Sam & Grace Dowd, Austin Marathon Participants and APIE Supporters

“We were nervous at first about soliciting donations, but after we drafted a letter together and sent it out we received an incredible response! There are so many people looking for great organizations to support in Austin, and we were thrilled to tell people more about the scope and scale of APIE’s work. The outpouring of support served as tremendous motivation to run hard for APIE. We cannot wait to start the process again.”

APIE will be returning to mile 22 to hand out water and cheer Austin Marathon runners on! Volunteer to join the fun during this city-wide event. On February 17th, two shifts are offered: 7:30AM to 11:00AM, and 10:30AM to 2:00PM. To sign-up, please e-mail Andrea Panter – apanter@austinpartners.org. See you on race day!

2019 Marathon Banner (2)

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