The State Board of Education (SBOE) announced that 16 Texans, who provide hundreds of hours of volunteer service to Texas public schools, were honored with the Heroes for Children award at a SBOE meeting in Austin.
The Heroes for Children honorees were selected by State Board members and recognized for volunteering their time, talents and skills in support of public schools in their communities a release read.
One of the recipients of the award was Julie Enlow of Weatherford ISD - SBOE District 11.
Enlow spent the last two summers ensuring students were provided a hot lunch during the summer by implementing the Weatherford Healthy Kids Summer Lunch Program. In 2015, the program provided more than 8,500 meals for children.
“I’m honored and humbled to be receiving recognition from the Texas State Board of Education as a Hero for Children,” Enlow said. “Texas is third in the nation for child food insecurity. One in five children in this state faces hunger. Weatherford’s rate of students qualifying for free and reduced lunches is nearly 50 percent.
She said through a collaboration between the Texas Department of Agriculture, Weatherford ISD, and the generous community of Weatherford, her vision of feeding children during the summer months is being realized.
“The food served is vital but is only the beginning,” she said. “The relationships built through this program provide children with positive role models, access to a traveling library, academic support, health education, spiritual enrichment, and much more.”
She said the children of Weatherford are being told, through the action-based efforts of citizens, that their community cares about them; they are not alone; they matter.
Enlow said 8,500 meals is a significant number of meals to be fed to a community of children during the summer months, but there are a great number of children who still cannot access this program.
“The Hunger Free Summer for Kids Act of 2015 is a bill that was introduced into the U.S. Senate this summer,” she said. “It would bring improvements to the current Healthy Kids program, and allow us the reach even more hungry children in our community and around the nation. I’m encouraged to see the bipartisan support for this bill nationally and hope to find support in Texas.”
Each Hero received a certificate of honor, a copy of the resolution scheduled for board approval and photographs commemorating the ceremony. Each Hero will also had his or her name engraved on a plaque which is permanently displayed at the Texas Education Agency
The board recognized these school volunteers in a ceremony Friday, Sept. 11, at the William B. Travis State Office Building, 1701 N. Congress Ave., in Austin.
Location of Lunches Served
▪ Curtis Elementary 5,527
▪ Seguin Elementary 496
▪ Cherry Park 1,558
▪ Lake Country Acres Pool 443
▪ Vine Street Park 937
▪ McGratton Park 578
▪ Horseshoe Bend 2,039