Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Eyes on Arlington: Superintendent to report on Arlington schools at Aug. 5 luncheon

Arlington school district Superintendent Marcelo Cavazos talks to educators and business people during the 2014 State of the District address.
Arlington school district Superintendent Marcelo Cavazos talks to educators and business people during the 2014 State of the District address. Star-Telegram archives

Always a popular event for local residents, the annual State of the District luncheon set for Aug. 5 will be especially important this year as school district officials talk about the bold initiatives in the district’s five-year strategic plan along with updates on new facilities opening in the coming school year.

Hosted by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, the event is open to the public and is typically a sellout.

“The chamber is honored to host this extremely important annual event showcasing the significant accomplishments of the Arlington ISD,” said CEO Michael Jacobson.

Earlier this year, the district approved a five-year plan that calls for all students to graduate “exceptionally prepared” for college and the workforce by giving them the tools they need to pursue what they are interested in.

Keynote speaker Superintendent Marcelo Cavazos will highlight achievements of the last school year before he gives a progress report on the 2014 bond projects along with new initiatives from the district’s five-year strategic plan.

“I’m excited to share some highlights of the new 2016-21 Achieve Today–Excel Tomorrow strategic plan. As a district, we’re intentional about ensuring that our students receive an exceptional education, and there are new opportunities in store for our students in the coming school year,” Cavazos said.

In addition to two new elementary schools this fall, the district will open six multipurpose activities centers — one at each high school. Work is underway for a new career tech center and an agricultural center set to open next year where students will be able to learn specific skill sets in a variety of areas. Elementary dual-language academies and a fire academy for high schoolers are already operating.

“Our business community is proud to support the progressive initiatives of Dr. Cavazos and the board of trustees. Business and educators working together is an optimum path for providing a bright future for our students,” Jacobson said.

Tickets are $45 for nonmembers of the chamber, $35 for members and $20 for school district employees. Register at or call 817-275-2613. The luncheon venue is the Professional Development Center at 1111 W. Arbrook Drive.

Berry Elementary students enjoy summer enrichment program

A grant that provided funding for a unique and innovative three-week enrichment program for students at Berry Elementary School culminated in a fun theatrical performance last month in the school cafeteria. More than 100 students participated in the program geared to enhance literacy in the fine arts along with improving math skills.

Faculty member Nora Berry wrote in an email that the program is geared to “strategically engage the learner by teaching them the very close link between math and music and reading and theater.”

The entertaining program — A Star Is Born — included delightful dances and performances by the students called “The Three Little Pigs” and “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs.”

Berry said program aims to address the “summer setback” in reading and math achievement that many children experience, which is believed to be a more acute problem for children from low-income families.

Faculty at Berry are enthused about the learning opportunities the program provides for the students in this nontraditional setting and believe it helps students draw parallels between pop music and math concepts “while using a strong mental hook to keep students’ attention.”

To learn more about the program, contact Berry at 817-891-2299.

At a glance

  • A big shoutout for First Christian Church for providing scholarships for 60 students from Blanton Elementary School to attend Tarrant County College’s College for Kids program. Church member Betty Thomas writes, “This community partnership between First Christian, Blanton Elementary and TCC has been going on for seven years. It is such a wonderful opportunity for these students to broaden their dreams for their futures.”
  • It’s Christmas in July for Arlington Urban Ministries. Look for a box during July at your church where you can donate toys that will be given to clients of the charity during the holiday season. Or you can drop a new toy or a Wal-Mart or Target gift card by the charity’s office, at 701 Dugan St. Contact for more information.
  • Arlington Chamber Young Professionals luncheon is at 11:30 a.m. July 28 at the chamber office, at 505 E. Border St. Guest speaker is former Arlington Mayor Richard Greene, who will talk about “Arlington’s History, Current State & Future.” Tickets are $20 for nonmembers and $15 for members. Register at, or call 817-275-2613.
  • Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation is accepting neighborhood grant applications through July 31. This grant program is available to local nonprofit organizations in the neighborhoods where Sprouts Farmers Market operates. Applicants must demonstrate mission alignment with at least one of the foundation’s giving areas. Applications and guidelines at or send an email to

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