University Named Outstanding Partner to Hill Country Elementary School
KINGSVILLE - May 25, 2011
Every year, Round Rock Independent School District--a Texas Hill Country school district north of Austin--honors those that have aided the district's students through donations, volunteer time, tutoring and mentoring. Among the 2010-2011 Round Rock ISD helpers--termed Partners--was Texas A&M University-Kingsville, listed as an Outstanding Partner to Voigt Elementary School. How did the out-of-area university become a Partner to Voigt Elementary?
It started in fall 2009, when Voigt Elementary wanted to have a representative from a university talk to the students about higher education. One of the school's teachers, Jeanette Chavez, is married to 1992 A&M-Kingsville alumnus Edward Chavez and knew all about the university and what it had to offer. An invitation was made and on December 11, university president Dr. Steven Tallant paid a visit to Voigt Elementary.
He spoke to the school about the value of education and where it can lead you in life, shared some Javelina backpacks and other items, and started a relationship between the university and the elementary school that continues today.
The Round Rock ISD stated at the 2010-2011 Partner Appreciation event that the university president and his staff members "send gifts for every celebration, and Dr. Tallant has not only provided video messages of encouragement and recognition, but has actually visited Voigt to share his story and ideas with students and staff.
"He demonstrates such dedication to his students and future students. Dr. Steven H. Tallant has gone above and beyond to instill in each Voigt child that they will go to college, and can pursue any career they choose."
For Tallant, meeting and keeping in touch with Voigt Elementary has been something that has meant just as much to him as it has to the Hill Country school.
"It has been a joy to talk to the students of Voigt and share with them what higher education can mean in their lives, and in their future careers. Many of the students attending Voigt won't hear about college outside the classroom setting, so this is an important opportunity. Data shows that the earlier you talk to a student about going to college, the greater the likelihood they'll want to learn more about college, talk more about it and plan to go.
"I'd love to see some of them become Javelinas someday, but the real goal is to tell students at an early age that learning doesn't have to stop when high school is over."
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