Lone Star College-Houston North is set to launch a new wraparound service starting spring 2022. Students with young kids ages 18 months to 4 years old will be able to apply for a program that will provide childcare through the Fallbrook Academy located at Fallbrook Church.
The initiative will address a need that students have long expressed to faculty and staff.
Brandi Ford, the Faculty Senate President at Lone Star College-Houston North, leads a committee that surveys students throughout the year to gauge their needs inside and outside of the classroom.
“Consistently, a quarter of our students taking the survey respond that they need
childcare in order to attend school,” said Ford. “Of the students responding, the majority indicated that during the last semester they did not have childcare and it interfered with their classes.”
To be eligible for the program, students will need to enroll in a minimum of six credit hours at Lone Star College-Houston North, agree to work with a faculty or staff mentor, and complete all requirements relating to the Fallbrook Academy. Once in the program, the participants will receive an added service from the OnPurpose Enrichment Center, in the form of success coaches that will provide access to mental health counseling and other social services as needed.
This initiative will be the latest in several wraparound services provided by Lone Star College-Houston North. Just last year, when most courses shifted online due to COVID-19, the college partnered with Comcast to provide six months of free Internet service to the homes of students.
This fall, through a partnership with the Houston Food Bank, Lone Star College-Houston North has launched a food scholarship program that provided up to 60lbs of food every two weeks for all students enrolled in six or more hours.
College President, Dr. Quentin Wright, believes that with the right structure and support all students can be successful.
“Childcare has been a service we have not been able to provide for our students,” said Wright. “Therefore, it is very exciting to finally be at the point where we can at least start addressing a long-standing need.”
Wright noted that this program is funded through a combination of generous donors and CARES Act funding.
“It is amazing what the community can do when it comes together,” Wright continued. “This idea started with a single donor with a heart for young parents. Now, we are able to move forward with what we hope will be a long-time service for students.”