Established in 1991, CPAs Helping Schools (CHS) program encourages CPAs to become actively involved with the education of the youth in Texas. Dedicated to improving the quality and scope of education, prekindergarten through grade 12, this initiative provides a way for Society members to support area schools. Financial grants are provided to numerous schools where it has been identified that there is little or no significant business partnership. Grant applications are accepted throughout the year and reviewed in October and April. Uniforms and books are collected to provide these necessary items to schools serving at-risk students. CHS also works closely with local school districts to provide one-time or ongoing support as requested. You can donate online here. Make sure to use the drop down menu under “Program” to select CPAs Helping Schools.
CPAs Helping Schools is always in need of volunteers to assist with projects. While always working to connect volunteers with a local school’s mentorship program (meet one hour weekly with a student at the school, listen to their fears or problems, and provide encouragement), we realize not everyone has the extra time to commit to for a complete school year. The committee continues to initiate ways that a Society member can “help a school” with a minimal time requirement. Email Carol Spencer about getting involved or making a donation (CSpencer@HoustonCPA.org).
CHS has opportunities for YOU to provide assistance in our grant program. The formal grant process began eleven years ago and committee members have tweaked it as needed for optimum efficiency. Currently, volunteers may:
- Screen grant applications before the committee has the formal review and fund distribution. Three or four grant applications (maximum 3 pages each) will be emailed to you for initial review and rating. You read the application to determine if you would recommend any funding, and provide questions (optional) that the applicant should answer in order to have a greater chance of funding. Additionally, you are asked to provide a rating (1-5) for several items listed on the application. You normally will receive similar applications (for technology, reading, math, science, etc.) in an effort to compare “apples to apples”.
- Grant check presenters are always needed. This can be a one-time visit to a local school for a photo op with the school’s Principal and grant applicant, along with a large presentation check sign. Photos of the presentation may appear in school district news, on the school’s Web site, in the Society’s weekly eBlast or monthly eForum. Local newspapers may also carry the photo and/or presentation description. This volunteer effort takes less than one hour and provides great benefit to the school and Society.
The CHS Committee will meet this summer to review the screening system utilized this year and to make any changes needed to the rating form and/or guidelines for screening. Volunteers are encouraged to provide suggestions to this process, or plan to attend the meeting.
Something all members can do to “help a school” is to mark the optional designated donation (CPAs Helping Schools) on your dues invoice from TSCPA, or you can donate online here. Make sure to use the drop down menu under “Program” to select CPAs Helping Schools.. Those invoices are scheduled for mail or email this week – watch your inbox!
If your employer pays your membership dues, you may contact the Society office to make a donation to this long-lasting and worthwhile program. CPAs Helping Schools, and the local school districts in our 13-county membership area thank you! Email Carol Spencer about getting involved or making a donation (CSpencer@HoustonCPA.org).