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UH Initiative Helps Turn A Dream Into A Reality

UH Third Ward Initiative helps make one principal’s goal of parent engagement become a reality.

Alicia Lewis, a native of Houston’s historic Third Ward, understands the struggles many long-term residents in the community contend with, including poverty, and schools lacking in funding and resources. For Lewis, education is a passion – one that led her to become principal of Blackshear Elementary, a school in the Third Ward whose performance ratings have, in the past, struggled or failed to meet the Texas Education Agency metric.

The University of Houston, located in Third Ward, wants to enhance the quality of educational opportunities in the neighborhood by targeting six area schools; the schools include Blackshear Elementary, Foster, Hartsfield and Thompson, Cullen Middle School, and Yates High School. The University’s College of Education has set up the Third Ward Community Schools Partnership an initiative that will aid in raising the performance of students in the community through student/teacher engagement, technology resources, and health and family resources.

Principal Lewis is eager to engage in community outreach aimed at building a school that will not just meet Texas educational standards, but will exceed them. She wants to encourage parents to get engaged with their children’s studies and invested in their educations. Recently, UH Third Ward Task Force Chair, Wayne Luckett and UH Board of Visitors Chair, Jack Moore presented Principal Lewis with funds to help her goal of engagement become a reality. This check will cover the costs to bring parents and educators together for an evening to interact and engage in students’ studies. Principal Lewis wants to see Blackshear Elementary, “…become the school of choice in HISD.”

Wayne Luckett, UH Board of Visitors, Third Ward Initiative, Task Force Chair; Alicia G. Lewis, Principal, Blackshear Elementary; and Lisa Shumate, UH Board of Visitors, Third Ward Initiative, Task Force Member & General Manager, Houston Public Media.
Wayne Luckett, UH Board of Visitors, Third Ward Initiative, Task Force Chair; Alicia G. Lewis, Principal, Blackshear Elementary; and Lisa Shumate, UH Board of Visitors, Third Ward Initiative, Task Force Member & General Manager, Houston Public Media.

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Laura Lucas

Laura Lucas

Senior Producer

As senior producer Laura works on arts & culture features for radio, television and digital.  Laura serves as the Arts & Culture reporter for 88.7 and produces segments for the weekly television program, Arts InSight.  In addition, Laura produces the weekly political series, Red, White and Blue and the podcast,...

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