Adopt-a-Gym visits Houston to tour 5 recipient schools!

So proud to tell everybody about our first visit to schools that have been chosen as recipient schools for the Adopt-a-Gym program!  On May 18th, I was able to visit five schools in Houston, TX that were devastated by Hurricane Harvey.  It was incredible to have the chance to meet the P.E. teachers at  the following elementary schools: Hilliard (Jay Bennett), Pugh (Hector Ortiz-Marrero), MacGregor (Suzanne Gomez), Mitchell (Terrence Gray) & Anderson (Doreen Howard) .  The teachers and their students were incredibly enthusiastic and attentive while receiving lessons with their new equipment and words of motivation about “being the difference” in the world.

I was accompanied by conglomerate of individuals who helped make the donations to these schools possible.  Felicia Ceaser-White, Manager of the Health and Physical Education Department at Houston ISD helped coordinate donations, determine need and organize our visit.  Jorge Rodriguez, P.E. teacher at Harvard Elementary school in Houston ISD, not only invited me on his Voxer Podcast to spread the word of Adopt-a-Gym, informed Houston schools about their option to receive assistance from the program, but also co-adopted MacGregor Elementary School with Charles Barrett Elementary (my school).  Jason Leach, P.E. teacher at Independence Elementary School in Fort Worth, TX coordinated the collection of US Games voucher donations from other schools in his district.  Collectively they adopted Pugh Elementary School.  Scott Price, Territory Manager for US Games magazine facilitated all discounts and deliveries of equipment making the donations stretch the furthest possible in terms of equipment the schools received.

At Pugh, we were surprised by half the school, who not only gave us a standing ovation but also showed us their dancing skills while they got moving to a dance-along video that they clearly had experience with according to their smooth moves!   At MacGregor, I was totally stunned when Mrs. Ceaser-White presented me with a Houston ISD backpack filled with their strongest attempt to make me a Houston sports fan, a Houston Rockets t-shirt, a Houston Astros hat and a $100 bill!!

What an amazing experience!!  One thing I couldn’t stop thinking was how resilient these students were!  Many of them were displaced from their homes.  About nine months later, Hilliard and Anderson  Elementary schools were both still at different campuses because of damage done to their original schools.  Through all of this, they all seemed eager to learn and fully prepared to face each day with optimism and determination to make that day they best that they possibly could.  Hopefully, the equipment these schools received will go a long way towards making a positive impact on the physical and mental health of these students who very much deserve every opportunity that this life has to offer.  This is the reason for Adopt-a-Gym!

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