Just like students, school board members enjoy a good party. The Concilio's annual event "Inspiring Families to Achieve Big Dreams," gathered DISD board members, school directors, parents and educators for a night of bidding, dancing, noshing and drinking.
Though leather lounge chairs and blue lights set a cool, club-like scene at eM The Venue, it all supported a greater cause. The evening benefited the PASE Program (Parents Advocating for Student Excellence).
The Concilio is a grassroots organization designed to empower parents to urge their children to achieve high goals. Parent engagement is equated with a stronger student and an even greater school district. The PASE program offers parents classes to learn how to get involved in their child's education, which establishes a strong rapport between students, schools and parents.
Board chair Adriana Lopez-Hammer said the initial fundraising goal for this year was $150,000, but "because of what the economy looks like, it's now $100,000."
That's still impressive, as are the silent auction items provided by many of the sponsors, including the Texas Rangers Foundation and Southwest Airlines, who donated sports and travel packages.
While schmoozing, sipping and dining on sliders, the crowd — including Sophia Johnson, Grace Daniels, GeVonna Moore, Dee Vargas, Molly and Terry Babilla, Nancy Footer, Karin Morris, Rick George, Paige Dawson, and event chair Paige Farragut — listened to Lopez-Hammer give opening remarks.
She shared heartfelt words about her dedicated parents, who learned English immediately upon entering the United States, and expressed that this kind of persistence and parental involvement is closely tied to student success.
After a video presentation, and words from Sid Keswani and Florencia Velasco, guests partied on with cocktails in-hand and education on their minds.