As the summer draws to an end, it’s time to prepare you and your child to go back to school. Being prepared is key to having an optimal learning environment. Here are some tips and reminders to make this school year a great one.
- Be cautious when driving through school zones. When you see a school bus, use extra caution and watch for darting children.
- Make sure your child knows his/her name, home phone number and address.
- Go over safety and stranger danger rules- If you don’t have a “code word” establish one now and teach your child about only going with adults who know the code word.
- Get to know your children’s friends.
- Make sure your child knows playground etiquette as well as being patient and taking turns.
If you are a parent with older children:
- If your child is staying home for the first time, talk to your children about rules for staying home alone and establish guidelines for when it is acceptable to answer the door or telephone.
- Reinforce to your child to remain aware of their surroundings when alone.
- Talk to your child about their day, classes, activities and friends.
- Teach your child about setting goals and time management.
For more “Back to School Safety Tips”, visit
It’s Going to be a Busy Fall . . .
This fall is shaping up to be a busy time for District J!
Coming up within the next few weeks, the City Council Quality of Life Committee meeting will address proposed changes to the food truck ordinance. Your District J office will keep you informed as to the location and time of that meeting. The public will be invited to attend and share comments with the Committee.
As always, our District J parks will be at the forefront of community activity. Stay tuned for more information about an upcoming Town Hall meeting to inform the community about the proposed $1 million improvements to Crain and Lansdale Park that are being designed. The next phase of the Gulfton Skate Park project at Burnett-Bayland Park is about to take off. You will want to help with that project. And the Friends of Lee LeClear Tennis Center are preparing an upcoming inaugural gala designed to kick-off its major fund-raising activities. Additionally, we will be working closely with the Westwood community to begin the visioning process for upgrading Forum Park.
Finally, there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the Bellaire Reconstruction Project. The entire project is scheduled to be completed this fall. I know we all look forward to celebrating completion of that work.
Your District J office will keep you up to date on all of these projects.
-Mike Laster, Council Member – District J
The City of Houston and the University of Houston will join forces once again to present The Mayor’s Fourth Annual Back to School Fest, in partnership with presenting sponsors Shell Oil Company and Motiva Enterprises L.L.C.
The event will help prepare 25,000 pre-registered students for the new school year by providing backpacks, school supplies, immunizations, hair cut vouchers, health screenings, and case management.
In addition, City of Houston and University of Houston staff will be on hand to provide attendees with information about community services and resources.
To make this year’s festival the best yet, we need you to help out as a volunteer. You can sign up at: http://www.houstonservice.org/pages/pages/87.
Department of Neighborhoods Issues Open Call for Community Ideas
The City of Houston Department of Neighborhoods (DON) is partnering with the Rice University Center for Engineering Leadership to explore opportunities for taking city government out of downtown and into Houston neighborhoods via a mobile city hall. The department is seeking citizen input about the services that might be offered via the mobile venue. The goal is to provide an avenue for residents to have issues addressed without having to travel downtown.
Please share your ideas by taking the quick, four questions survey: Please fill out our “What Do You Want in a Mobile City Hall?” survey.
Monday, July 28, 2014
For Immediate Release
Contact: Eric Widaski
(832) 393-3078 direct
The Gardens at Bissonnet Purchased by Steve Moore
HOUSTON, TX – The Gardens at Bissonnet has been purchased by Steve Moore and an associated investment group. This 206-unit condominium complex located at 7400 Bissonnet, formerly known as “La Promenade,” was once a haven for the La Primera gang. This distressed property has been in a county-appointed receivership for over a year, and the official transfer of ownership was made on Monday, July 14th, 2014.
To fund a long overdue renovation of the property, the new owners will be loaning $500,000, with no interest, to the Condominium Association. “Security, roof repairs, water leaks, drive and walk way repairs, and emergency curb appeal is the first step. The second phase of the renovation will focus on the exterior of the property. The overall goal is to make the property a safe, viable, affordable housing community once again,” explained Moore.
Houston City Council Member Laster stated, “We are excited to see the promising future of the Gardens at Bissonnet under Mr. Moore’s management. His past record of turning around blighted properties in southwest Houston, and enhancing the quality of life and safety of their residents, speaks for itself. I look forward to working with Mr. Moore on this project and his future endeavors in District J.”
Mr. Moore manages over 5,000 multi-family units in the greater Houston area, and is known for rehabilitating formerly blighted and crime-ridden properties. After Mr. Moore purchased eight Greenspoint properties in 2012, he moved into the worst of the complexes and witnessed its issues firsthand. After one year, he was able to achieve an 80% drop in crime. As is customary of Mr. Moore, he now plans to relocate to a unit at the Gardens at Bissonnet.
TIRZ Reappointments . . .
I would like to thank and congratulate the following individuals for their willing dedication and service to the Board of Directors of Tax Reinvestment Zone Twenty: Welcome W. Wilson, Jr., Kevin M. Chavez, Kenneth C. Li, Stephen T. Le, Saul Valentin, and Candice Alexander. They will re-join their colleague Dale Davidson who is slated to be reappointed on a different service rotation schedule.
The TIRZ Board helped develop the engineering design plans for the Bellaire re-construction project and has financed the work. That project is scheduled for completion this fall. At my request, the Board has also agreed to fund $3 Million dollars in renovations to Crain, Lansdale and Sharpstown Parks during the next three years.
Mayor Annise Parker, along with City Council, confirmed the appointments on July 23, 2014. I am grateful that these individuals choose to volunteer their time and talent to making the Sharpstown community, and District J, a better place for all of us.
-Mike Laster, Council Member – District J
Summer is a welcome break from the school-year routine. But for many kids, summer means watching tv and hanging out – not really doing much of anything. Without activities that engage their minds and bodies, kids experience summer learning loss as well as boredom.
Happily, kids in PAIR’s Global Learners summer program are now taking an exciting vacation right here in the city. In Summer Learners, students without many other options have a chance to learn more – about each other, about Houston, and about all sorts of new and interesting topics – and have FUN at the same time!
Each week students explore a different theme that connects them to the world outside their own and sparks their interest in the topic. Each week also includes a field trip that links to the theme and reveals a little of what Houston has to offer. Students are visiting Asia Society, the Museum of Natural Science, and Miller Theatre in Hermann Park among other Houston places.
PAIR’s lending library is on site so students can borrow books each week, experiencing the pleasure of reading and developing their English skills at the same time. They return the books with a brief report to share and compete for prizes at the end of the program. Of course, there is also time for play – soccer, kickball, and basketball are favorites.
Summer Learners brings students from all four of PAIR’s school-year middle school programs together at NCI’s Baker-Ripley campus. In this large group of kids from all over the world they have a chance to use the social skills they’ve been developing and to welcome each other into the exciting culturally diverse world of Houston today.
Share the fun with more photos on PAIR’s Facebook page.
8303 Southwest Freeway, Ste. 718
Houston, Texas 77074 email@example.com
Houston is full of FREE, FUN resources and opportunities to LEARN all summer long!
School is out but learning does not have to end! The Mayor’s Office of Education Initiatives has organized numerous free, fun and educational summer learning programs in Houston! These include summer reading programs through the Houston Public Library system, nutrition and wellness programs through Houston Parks & Recreation and art & cultural events through the Houston Museum District, Miller Outdoor Theater, Houston Symphony and Young Audiences of Houston. The Summer of Learning campaign also has intern and/or volunteer opportunities open to students and responsible adults through Houston Service, as well as resources to help your child plan for college through the City of Houston’s Department of Neighborhoods Office of Education Initiatives!
For more information, check out the Summer of Learning webpage at www.houstontx.gov/education/summeroflearning.html or contact Aarik Mickens-Dessaso via email at Aarik.Mickens-Dessaso@houstontx.gov or by phone at 832.393.0993. You can also check out the calendar of events at www.houstontx.gov/education.