Every year since 2001, the Kinder Foundation has honored a handful of Houston’s most distinguished teachers with the Kinder Excellence in Teaching Award in recognition of their commitment and innovation. The honors are given at an awards dinner each Fall, where current and past winners share their stories and are shown gratitude by their peers, administrators, and Rich and Nancy Kinder.
The pandemic forced the Kinder Foundation to cancel the Kinder Excellence in Teaching Awards this year. Nevertheless, we still wanted to meaningfully connect with those doing the heroic work of educating Houston’s kids and highlight the challenges and adjustments teachers are making in this new normal.
To nurture the camaraderie past winners have built over the years, we invited all KETA educators to a virtual call organized by our director of education and community projects, Patra Brannon-Isaac. Of the 154 past winners, approximately 40 joined us on October 27. It was a privilege and opportunity to hear from these amazing teachers who are so committed to their craft despite the present circumstances. Their reflections helped us keep a pulse on what educators are experiencing in this moment and how they are adjusting. Continue reading “Connecting with Excellence: Kinder Excellence in Teaching Awards 2020”→
Guy Hagstette, Kinder Foundation vice president of parks and civic projects and Buffalo Bayou Partnership board member, joined Scott McCready, principal at SWA Group, on September 24, 2020 to host a webinar in celebration of Buffalo Bayou Park’s fifth anniversary. Reunited five years after the completion of the park they both helped make a reality (Hagstette served as project consultant; McCready as lead designer), their presentation addressed the careful thought and planning that went into the realization of Buffalo Bayou Park. You may watch the full conversation below or by clicking this link.
From plastic water and soda bottles, to takeout containers and coffee cups, and even a rare basketball, the debris and litter which finds its way to Buffalo Bayou is an ongoing and nearly overwhelming problem.
Houston’s stormwater drainage system runs in such a way that following any rain event, litter from the streets is swept up in currents of water which travel into curb catch basins. From there, the debris journeys through an underground system, ultimately finding its way to the bayous, where it floats along as unsightly trash. If not managed properly, the rafts of litter, which can grow to be quite large, carry on to Galveston Bay and beyond.
Kinder Foundation believes in Houston’s ability to rise to a challenge. Despite these trying and uncertain times, we encourage every Houstonian to stay positive, calm, and follow the direction of our County Judge and Mayor.
Rich and I have witnessed, time and time again, Houstonians’ collective grit and resiliency. Together, we will emerge a stronger and more united city.
To learn about the Kinder Foundation’s COVID-19 relief efforts, please click here.
Justin Dyer is the director of the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri. He is responsible for leading a vibrant, diverse community of scholars who share an academic interest in rigorously unpacking the complex history of constitutional democracy in the U.S. and around the globe. He is also one of the nation’s leading experts on the United States Constitution.
Dyer was recently featured on the Our Voices Matter podcast, hosted by Houston journalist Linda Lorelle. By coincidence, his episode was recorded on December 10, 2019, the same day the United States House of Representatives unveiled two articles of impeachment against U.S. President Donald Trump. Per the episode description, “during the conversation, he helps put the current political landscape into historical context and shares his hopes and fears for post-impeachment America, based on the document our founders created.”
Take a listen to the episode here or watch it below:
Over the past six months, we have highlighted the progress made along each of Houston’s Bayou Greenways as part of the Houston Parks Board’s Kinder Foundation-supported Bayou Greenways 2020 project. This is the sixth in the series of posts, all of which can be found here.
More than six years ago, the Houston Parks Board announced a $50 million catalyst gift from the Kinder Foundation to support the ambitious Bayou Greenways 2020 initiative. Construction began at the end of 2014, and since then, Houston Parks Board (HPB) and its partners Houston Parks and Recreation Department and Harris County Flood Control District have made remarkable progress.
In a series of blog posts throughout the year, we will highlight the progress made along Houston’s Bayou Greenways as part of the Houston Parks Board’s Kinder Foundation-supported Bayou Greenways 2020 project. This post focuses on the Parks Board’s Bayou Greenways-related conservation and maintenance efforts.
By the end of next year, 150 miles of trails will weave through 3,000 acres of Greater Houston’s greenspace, connecting residents to nature and each other. The Houston Parks Board has spent the past five years designing and constructing this network of trails which comprises the Bayou Greenways 2020 initiative.
But the work does not stop when the last trail is christened. The Houston Parks Board has and will continue to invest significant resources toward routine maintenance and conservation, ensuring the highest standard of safety, beauty and ecological integrity of the trails and bayou system’s riparian zones.
In a series of blog posts throughout the year, we will highlight the progress made along each of Houston’s Bayou Greenways as part of the Houston Parks Board’s Kinder Foundation-supported Bayou Greenways 2020 project. This is the fourth in the series.
Houston Parks Board began construction on the missing links of White Oak Bayou Greenway at the end of 2014, and since then, Houston Parks Board and its partners have made remarkable progress. In fact, this first Bayou Greenway is nearing completion.
White Oak Bayou Greenway spans 16 miles. Starting at the bayou’s confluence with Buffalo Bayou at Allen’s Landing, the greenway heads upstream past UH Downtown, the Lionel Castillo Community Center, Stude Park, historic Olivewood Cemetery, TC Jester Park, and out to the Hollister Detention Basin at the city limits. It was the first Bayou Greenway trail to start and to ultimately be completed, in part because nearly 10 miles of existing trail by other entities had already helped set the Bayou Greenways precedent. To complete the greenway, the Houston Parks Board constructed the additional 6 miles of new trails – as well as 2 new bridges including a bridge over White Oak Bayou that connects the existing Heights Hike & Bike Trail to the Greenway. Funding for that bridge and part of the greenway was provided by the Memorial Heights Tax Incremental Zone. Major contributors to White Oak Bayou Greenway also included the Houston Endowment, Brown Foundation, Wortham Foundaton, Fondren Foundation, and a federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant. Continue reading “Building the Bayou Greenways: White Oak Bayou”→
Over the weekend, twelve Houston-area school teachers received the prestigious Kinder Excellence in Teaching Award (KETA) and a gift of $25,000 each in recognition of their outstanding work as educators.
Teachers from KIPP Texas Public Schools – Houston, YES Prep Public Schools, Teach for America Houston and Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Galveston – Houston were inducted into the KETA Hall of Fame alongside more than 250 other area educators. To date, Kinder Foundation has gifted over $3.7 million in grants since the program was established in 2001.