More than 120 high school students will have a happier winter break thanks to holiday sponsorships through the Round Rock ISD Families in Transition program.
The students received gift cards from community members as well as small gifts, like snacks. Two families at Grisham Middle School and Westwood High School received full sponsorships for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner as well as gifts for their students.
Families in Transition, also called FiT, is a federally funded program that serves Round Rock ISD students with housing issues. The high school holiday sponsorship program is now in its sixth year.
“When you look at the blue and brown santa requirements, they stop at the age of 14, which is eighth grade,” said Cal Lopez, Round Rock ISD State and Federal Programs coordinator. “There wasn’t really anything for high school students and a lot of the times these older siblings are like another parent to the younger siblings.”
The program also serves as a team builder for many Round Rock ISD departments who come together to further serve the district’s students. The transportation department served more than 10 students.
“A lot of the teams in the district donate together as their holiday giving campaign,” said Laura Segers, Round Rock ISD State and Federal Programs director. “We don’t ever get to see the children receive the gifts because of confidentiality, but it’s so lovely knowing that we are giving back to students in our district.”
Apart from the holiday program, FiT students are also identified and assisted throughout the year. Students are given free breakfast and lunch, backpacks, school supplies and transportation to school if needed. While home life may be unstable, the FiT program is available to keep stability in the student’s lives during school.
There were 873 students served during the 2013-2014 academic year. There are currently 600 students served by the FiT program.
“The Families in Transition program, while operated under a federal grant, also relies on the kindness and donations from the community to help enrich the lives of our homeless families in the district,” Segers said. “While giving through the holidays is a wonderful thing, through the Families in Transition program, our families are served year round.”