As part of efforts to celebrate National Charter Schools Week (NCSW), Harmony Public Schools recently joined a select group of 10 schools from across the United States who have been recognized by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (National Alliance) as Above and Beyond Award honorees.
“When schools nationwide transitioned to distance learning, it became clear to us that charter schools were setting a model for the rest of the nation on what it looked like to step up and care for their communities in the face of a global pandemic,” said Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “There are many public schools that served their students well in the face of COVID-19, but the exceptional work of our Above and Beyond Award winners embodies compassion and caring for people outside their school community who also needed help. Their work is a model of servant leadership for the rest of the nation.”
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Harmony Public Schools assessed the needs of students, their families, and the community, and quickly mobilized. The Above and Beyond Award was earned by schools that took the extra step to serve not only their own students, but also the broader community—during the Coronavirus pandemic, despite all the challenges that came with transitioning to online learning. Specifically, staff at Harmony Public Schools in Texas are producing face shields and medical supplies for local health-care workers and first responders on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19.
The school gave the team carte blanche to manufacture protective medical gear and equipment. Within a couple days, 100 Harmony staff members volunteered and got trained about how to make face shields using 3-D printers and they’ve since donated more than 3,000 face shields in coordination with county and health officials across the state of Texas. Each face shield takes roughly five hours to manufacture and costs around $1 to make.
Additionally, Harmony Public Schools staff members have served more than 350,000 meals to children in their communities.