‘Boots and Bling’ Celebration Raises Funds for Humble ISD Educators, April 22

Don’t wear a suit. You might feel out of place. Instead, dust off your boots, don the bling, and get ready for a fun night celebrating teachers and classroom innovation with the Humble ISD Education Foundation at its annual Boots and Bling Gala.

This is not the typical seated banquet with banquet food or long exhausting speeches. Humble ISD Education Foundation executive director Jerri Monbaron promises it will be a celebration.

“There will be dancing, ax throwing, corn hole, jenga, billiards and more,” she said.

Not typical.

The Foundation, which celebrates its 23rd anniversary this year, has awarded more than $15 million in grants to Humble ISD teachers.

“The sole purpose of creating the foundation was that parents just wanted to make sure teachers had the resources they needed, when they had big ideas on how to engage their children in learning. and get them excited about learning,” Monbaron said.

“That’s a lot of extras that sometimes fall outside of a district’s operating budget. But that’s really what makes school enjoyable, fun and prepares children for a successful future,” she said.

Throughout the year, members of the foundation work to raise funds through three major campaigns: the gala, the Humble Rodeo & BBQ Cook-off and a golf tournament.

Teachers earn the grants when they apply through the Foundation by applying for funds for their creative and innovative ideas that go outside the box.

“Then the committee looks at all those applications and chooses the best of the best, and then we award the funds,” the executive director said.

The Foundation also uses a creative way to award grants.

“We call it Prize Posse Day where we have a group of community members riding around in three school buses and literally bursting into classrooms with the big check and the balloons with the excitement of telling a teacher that they’ve won a grant,” she said, similar to how other companies show up at the door to reward an unsuspecting entrant, they’ve won a huge prize.

The whole process is encouraging for classroom teachers who need help.

“It not only gives them financial support, but also support from others that says, ‘what you do matters,'” Monbaron said.

“It’s been a struggle lately, and we really appreciate you for being willing to get creative and find ways to reach all of these kids. That and they make learning fun for them when they get to school, something they want to do and love to do. It’s just a great way to show that support,” she said.

Monbaron said the grant award was also special for her.

“At the end of the price posse, and I’ve been doing this now for over 20 years, I had several teachers at the end, who will be so amazed that people they didn’t even know, said yes to their big idea, gave them some money, then took the day off to come and share the good news with this teacher,” she said. Many say, “I don’t even know these people. so amazing. I have never felt love and support.

The cheerleaders join the group and help lead the celebration.

“It’s the best day of the year for all of us. It takes about five hours to go to all the schools and award the scholarships, but it’s definitely the best day,” she said.

The teachers know nothing about the celebration, only the directors are sworn to secrecy.

Monbaron said student reactions vary.

“The younger ones see this big check and these big dollars and wonder if she can keep all that money and take the big check to the bank,” she laughed. “It’s always fun explaining that to them.”

College kids are a little different.

“We find that many of them already know what the teacher asked. It’s nice, they’re going to come and give the mistress a big hug and say how proud they are of her. And I think that really shows the kids that these teachers really care about them, they’re doing something, they’re writing this grant application in their spare time, often on the weekends, in the evenings, to find a way to make something to make learning more fun,” the general manager said.

What makes it really happy for the teacher is knowing that the kids know the money will come in at the end of the year and that the new curriculum won’t be implemented until next year.

“These students won’t be in the same classroom, but they’re so happy that this big thing has happened for their teacher,” she said.

The gala was moved from the Humble Civic Center during the pandemic.

“We wanted people to move around comfortably and not feel so stuck in a room with masks on,” she said.

Stampede Houston is located off Interstate 59 and is a two-story building that can accommodate up to 4,000 people and has one of the largest dance floors in northeast Houston.

“We want to make it a fun night for everyone who comes out to support our teachers when they buy a ticket and bid at the auction,” she said.

The only program is the announcement and recognition of the top 10 finalists for Teacher of the Year in the district. With 46 campuses, each campus nominates a teacher of the year. Then these teachers submit essays and go for interviews.

“A committee decides who our top 10 finalists are. We take them on stage at the gala, and then our superintendent or school board chair announces our Elementary Teachers of the Year and Secondary Teachers of the Year. Then they announce the sole winner and there’s cheers and confetti,” she described.

There are also cash prizes involved and this is sure to lift everyone’s spirits.

“We did cash prizes for a while and a teacher said to me last year, I wasn’t even a finalist that didn’t make it. But to stand there and watch those finalists on stage , see you announcing teacher of the year and then they get a cash award. It’s lifted the spirits of all the teachers because it means our community values ​​teachers and the work they do,” said Monbaron.

The event is Friday, April 22 and open to the public, but they ask for registrations in advance to guarantee enough food.

Tickets are $125 for the general public and $75 for district employees.

“You get an amazing meal with grilled chicken and breast and there is no charge for other events once you enter the space to play all the games or join the activities,” said she declared.

Tickets and sponsorship available at Humbleisdfoundation.org

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. with the presentation on stage at 8:45 p.m. The Houston Stampede is located at 11925 Eastex Freeway, Houston.

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