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The Great Community Walk

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On Saturday, August 29th, 38 Martin Middle School faculty, staff, and community members gathered at the Martin Family Resource Center to prep for a great Community Walk. Nine teams went to homes of about 150 Martin students to welcome families and to learn about their interests and needs. There was a wonderful spirit of excitement about new Martin staff, initiatives and the joy of working together to lift up a great school!

Sharing A Great Year

On May 29th, the Mendez Middle School Community School Alliance meeting celebrated the AISD Up Close team and enjoyed sharing ideas and reflecting on a successful year with school partners and parents.

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Many Are Moving Their Future Forward

There was a full house at Martin Middle School on College and Career Day on Saturday, April 25, from10 to 12:30.  Students and parent took advantage of this free public event and met with representatives from several colleges in the field of nursing, culinary arts, engineering, STEM opportunities, and law enforcement.  Thanks to our partners; Breakthrough Austin, Martin Middle School, the Family Resource Center at MMS, and Austin Independent School District for helping to make College and Career Day 2015 a great success.

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Mayor Adler Speaks at Mendez

Mayor Steve Adler was the guest speaker at the April Dove Springs Community Alliance Meeting at Mendez Middle School.  Parents, students, and residents in the community had an opportunity to discuss community school issues with Mayor Adler.   

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March Immigration Forum at Mendez
B_g7aySUcAAX2BT.jpg-largeImmigration Forum at Mendez MS coordinated by TAP FRC in collaboration with Community partners on March 7th was a success.







Martin Middle School Host a “Fall Festival”

Middle School welcomed the community to the annual Harvest Fest, last Saturday, Nov. 8th from 10 a.m.–2 p.m.  Resources for families were available, including children’s dental care, vision screening and glasses; health screenings, flu shots and immunizations; health insurance assistance; housing, employment, immigration and financial resources; gardening and green living; and much more.  CLICK HERE to view all the Fall Festival Photos.


Updated Rostow Community Catalyst Award News



2014 Rostow Leadership Award Honoree Dr. Paul Cruz

2014 Rostow Leadership Award Honoree Dr. Paul Cruz

CLICK HERE to view updated news and photos from the 2014 Rostow Community Catalyst Awards 



CLICK HERE to read, “Catching Up to College and Career Readiness: The Challenge Is Greater for At-Risk Students” – Chrys Dougherty, Ph.D.

CLICK HERE to read, “College and Career Readiness:The Importance of Early Learning” - Chrys Dougherty, Ph.D.


MOVING FROM CHILDHOOD TO ADOLESCENCE–a Parent/Youth Transition Workshop Before the Start of a New School Year

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On August 7th, The Austin Project’s Family Resource Center at Mendez Middle School hosted “Moving from Childhood to Adolescence”-a Parent/Youth Transition Workshop. Event partners include:  SafePlace, AISD, Mendez PTA, U.T. Center for Public Health, Workers Assistance League, Dove Springs Proud, Safe Routes to Schools, and Marathon Kids.  Focus was on helping youth and families build relationships with each other, school staff, and youth & family support programs.  The event also promoted the importance of healthy food and physical activity for youth and their families and introduced parents and youth to school and community leadership opportunities.

This event was made possible by funding TAP received for its Mendez Family Resource Center from AISD, A Glimmer of Hope Foundation, and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and TAP’s wonderful program partners:  SafePlace, ACE 21st Century, Mendez MS, GAVA, Workers Assistance Program, Dove Springs Proud, Safe Place Routes to Schools, and the UT Center for Public Health.

For more event details, Click Here to read the full Press Release.



On Monday, May 19th, Leonor Vargas, Director of the Family Resource Center at Consuelo Mendez Middle School, provided testimony before the Texas Senate advocating for state support of flood-affected families in Dove Springs.

To Hear Leonor Vargas’s Testimony: Click Here


AISD-LOGOThe Austin Project was recognized at the Austin ISD’s 2014 Latino Academic Achievement Award Ceremony on May 10th.   TAP was selected from a number of candidates to receive the Latino Excellence in Advocacy Award, in honor of Latino Awardsthe significant amount of service benefiting Latino students in the Austin Independent School District. The nomination came from Rebecca Ramirez, Assistant Principal at Mendez Middle School, who cited the great work done by The Austin Project’s (TAP) Family Resource Center at Consuelo Mendez Middle School, led by TAP staff member, Leonor Vargas, the Director of the Family Resource Center, in acknowledgement of the center’s contributions to Latino students and families in that school community in particular.

–The Latino Excellence in Advocacy Award is given each year to any organization, Latino or not, which has provided outstanding support in advancing Latino academic achievement and promoting educational outcomes in the greater Austin area for a minimum of two consecutive years.–



Martin Middle School Community Health Fair was Well Attended

Interim AISD Superintendent, Paul Cruz, joined The Austin Project Family Resource Center Director, Blanca Herrera and parent leaders at the Martin Middle School Community Health Fair. Special thanks to volunteers Joe Trevino, James Jones, Martin’s PTA, principal Vega for her burger building skills, and UT’s Project 2014, as well as Breakthrough Austin, and numerous other service providers who shared their time and resources with Eastside community families. It was great to have School Board Member Jayme Mathais attend the event as well!



banner3TAP staff Donna Hagey and Blanca Herrera attended the Community Schools: The Engine of Opportunity conference, April 9-11, in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The Coalition for Community Schools is a national forum that reflects the Coalition’s commitment to equal opportunity for all students and the belief that community schools, with their deep and sustained partnerships between schools and community resources, are the “engine” that will prepare young people to succeed.

The conference brought forward the growing awareness and discussion of the important of student engagement in learning, and the influence of out-of-school factors, including poverty on student achievement.  Some of the Key Speakers at the conference included, Chris Edley, Chair of the Commission on Equity and Excellence, David Johns, Executive Director, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, Ira Harkavy, Nettle Center for Community Partnerships, and California State Senator, Carol Liu.

banner2More information about Community Schools initiatives from the conference will be featured in TAP’s next Newsletter. Cincinnati Group








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Posted in Uncategorized