February 3, 2022
A Note from CEO Kim Jowell
During this month celebrating love, my heart is filled with gratitude for you and all you do to help us strengthen public education in Hillsborough County.
 
You show us love through volunteering your time; donating supplies; funding scholarships, technology and classroom grants; supporting our mission; liking and sharing our social media posts and so many other ways, so we can support teachers and students in need in Hillsborough County.

With the many challenges facing public education and our community, we know a little bit of love goes a long way. Thank you for generously giving your financial resources and personal time—you are the heartbeat of HEF!
Making an Impact on Students and Teachers
Congratulations to our CEO Kim Jowell!
We are incredibly PROUD to share our CEO Kim Jowell is being recognized as a 2022 BusinessWoman of the Year honoree by Tampa Bay Business Journal!
 
Kim is an innovative and courageous leader who works tirelessly to ensure our nonprofit is fiscally responsible with donors’ dollars and our initiatives provide the resources and support students need for academic and personal success.

Since joining HEF in 2017, Kim's vision has transformed our nonprofit culturally, programmatically and financially—strengthening our financial health to the best it's been in the history of our organization. All while she has grown HEF's impact and presence in the community that serves as an example for other nonprofits.

Out of nearly 500 nominees, Kim and 33 other honorees are being recognized for demonstrating “business success, community involvement, leadership ability and influence on the region, public policy or quality of life.”
 
She will be featured in Tampa Bay Business Journal's BusinessWoman of the Year special publication and celebrated at a ceremony on March 11th. Please join us in congratulating Kim on this well-deserved honor!
Winners named at our 2022 Excellence in Education Awards
It was a memorable evening honoring Hillsborough County's top educators and support staff at Hillsborough Education Foundation’s 2022 Excellence in Education Awards, in partnership with Hillsborough County Public Schools.

This year, our “Let’s Glow Crazy” themed event was held at the Straz Center on January 20th, where we celebrated 675 nominees, 13 finalists and three winners across three categories: Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year, Instructional Support Employee of the Year and Teacher of the Year.
If you weren’t able to Glow Crazy with us, we hope you will enjoy the recorded show. You can also check out our digital program on our website.

We thank everyone who joined us and appreciate our sponsors who made this special celebration possible!
Advocating for Education: 2022 Florida Legislative Session
Funding education and Florida's K-12 education system are top priorities in this legislative session, according to the Governor's proposed budget and legislation that's been introduced. The 60-day session, which kicked off January 11th, is now in full swing. The Governor is calling for increases in per student funding, teacher salaries and student mental health programs, as well as another round of $1,000 bonuses for teachers and principals.

Following HEF's Advocacy Priorities, we believe a large investment in K-12 public education is long overdue and in a thriving economy now is the time.

A team from HEF traveled to Tallahassee to talk with lawmakers about the issues impacting our school district and how our elected officials can help strengthen public education this session. We appreciate legislators spending time with HEF CEO Kim Jowell, Chief Program Officer Anna Corman and Director of HEF's Take Stock in Children Program Joanne Sandoval.
Rep. Fentrice Driskell,
FL House District 63
& HEF Board Member
(Second from the left)
Rep. Susan Valdes,
FL House District 62
(Center)
Aide to Sen. Janet Cruz,
District 18
(Left)
One way you can get involved is to sign up for the House and Senate Tracking system to follow specific bills and the issues you care about. The Florida Education Association is another great resource to stay up-to-date on the issues impacting students, teachers and public education. March 11th is the last day of this year's regular session.
Black History Month: Celebrating Diversity in Books
We are proud to celebrate Black History Month and honor the many achievements of African American pioneers in the education system and those who are making a difference today!

One way HEF supports diversity in our schools is by providing grants for teachers to purchase culturally relevant books for their libraries and classrooms. HEF believes all students should be able to see themselves reflected in their learning, characters and books that incorporate students' identities, cultures and experiences.
Limona Elementary: "I See Me!"
"Students will become more fluent readers when they have higher interest in a more diverse collection of books," said Jean-Marie French, Media Center Specialist.

The $977 grant from HEF is helping to increase the diversity of the school's library collection with 68 new books.
Symmes Elementary:
"Shake Up the Shelves"
A $400 grant funded by the Spurlino Foundation allowed Media Center Specialist Amanda Kovach to buy 30 new culturally relevant books.

"These books have been flying off my shelves. It's nice to see students excited about reading."
Blake High: "An Oasis of #OwnVoices & High-Interest Books to Vanquish the Book Desert"
"#OwnVoices books expose students to diverse viewpoints and enhance empathy," said Joshua Newhouse, Media Center Specialist. "This selection helps our students not only see themselves in books, but also view the world beyond their doors and even step into other's shoes."
Blake High purchased 600 new books, that students have the opportunity to keep, with a $2,000 grant from HEF.

"We want to embed our readers with tolerance, community, strength, knowledge and better communication," said Newhouse.
Our work doesn't happen without the generosity of our donors. That's why we dedicate a section in our monthly newsletter to showcase the individuals and companies making our mission possible.
For this month’s feature, we are celebrating the Economic Club of Tampa (ECOT)!
Since its inception in 2014, ECOT has been supporting HEF and students in need in our community. The Club is comprised of business, professional, elected and community leaders with a mission to “identify and assist upcoming young leaders as the torch passes from one generation to the next.”
President Betsey Hapner says the goals of the two nonprofits are perfectly aligned—focused on supporting students today to develop our future leaders.

“Our leadership has always been passionate about education. Fundraising is the chief way for us to drive that impact,” said Hapner. “HEF was chosen to be the beneficiary organization after a rigorous selection process and ECOT is very pleased with the partnership.”
For years, proceeds from ECOT’s Florida Economic Forum luncheon have benefitted HEF’s Take Stock in Children mentoring program, which provides low-income students with a caring mentor, College Success Coach and opportunity to earn at least a 2-year college scholarship. To date, ECOT has provided funding for 65 scholarships.

Not only do ECOT members generously give of their financial resources, but also their time with several members volunteering as mentors and on HEF committees.
“ECOT is a huge supporter of HEF, will continue to do so, and encourage others to as well. Whatever you can give: time, talent or treasure, we encourage others to support such a great organization,” Hapner said.
We are proud to shine a spotlight on the Economic Club of Tampa's investment in public education and are grateful for the club's continued support!
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