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STARS at the Trail: KIPP Austin Public Schools

Stars of the Trail: KIPP Austin Public Schools

We’re showcasing our Stars of the Trail organizations in a holiday blog post series to help Austinites get to know the nonprofits that are dedicated to serving Austin’s most deserving citizens. Today, we’re featuring KIPP Austin Public Schools.

About KIPP Austin Public Schools

KIPP Austin is a partnership among parents, students, and teachers that puts learning first. All three parties sign a learning pledge called the "Commitment to Excellence," which ensures that each will do whatever it takes to help the students learn, grow, and, ultimately, lead choice-filled lives.

Our KIPPsters look forward to enjoying the magic of the holidays and celebrating their school year successes at the Trail of Lights. The students invited to attend the Trail of Lights were chosen as a reward for good grades, perfect attendance, or the embodiment of the KIPP values of integrity, community, tenacity, curiosity, and courage.

KIPP Austin: Every Child Deserves an Exemplary Education

Tell us about your organization: What is its mission/what are you most passionate about?

KIPP Austin believes that every child, regardless of economic background, has the right to an exemplary education. We empower students to thrive in and graduate from college, choose their paths, and positively impact their communities.

What are three things you want the community to know about your organization?

· KIPP Austin is a public open-enrollment charter school network of 10 award-winning elementary, middle and high schools. Admission is lottery-based and tuition-free.

· KIPP Austin offers alumni counseling to help our graduated students with time management of coursework, access college resources, and navigate the financial aid system.

· We currently educate more than 5,000 students, and plan to increase our enrollment to over 5,600 in the year 2020.

How can the Austin community best support your organization?

Our giving campaign is focused on our gratitude for the community that supports us, as well as our amazing students who will reinvest in their communities after they get to and through college. You can support KIPP Austin here. We are also excited to present KIPP Night Out on February 23! Join the KIPP Austin Team and Family for a night of fun games, raffles, and a silent and live auction benefitting KIPP Austin and our students. Interested in sponsoring a table? Pease contact Celina Maggi at

What is your favorite part about the STARS program? Most heartwarming holiday moment since participating in the program?

Our favorite part about the STARS program is the excitement that our students feel in being given the “VIP” treatment and taking part in the private tour before it is opened to the general public. The fact that they get to share this experience with their classmates and friends makes it all the more memorable!

What advice would you give to other organizations considering STARS participation?

It has been truly special for KIPP Austin that we have been awarded this experience for several years in a row now, and I would definitely encourage other organizations to take part in this yearly experience if they are given the opportunity. The STARS program is quickly becoming a tradition for our school staff and students, and especially as more students take part in it and share their fun stories with their peers, it becomes a better motivator for our students to be “rewarded” and chosen to be part of this opportunity. It is also a great way for our fundraising team to partner with our school/program staff and work together to bring a unique experience to our students.

How can people help your organization this holiday season and beyond (i.e. wish list: more volunteers, donations, event participation, etc.)?

At KIPP Austin Public Schools, we know it truly takes a village to ensure a child’s success. It takes parents, teachers, and members of the community like you to make a significant difference in students’ lives. Here’s how you can invest in KIPP Austin students and open the doors to higher education and choice-filled lives for thousands of children living in low-income communities in Austin:

· Donate online at or send a check made payable to “KIPP Austin Public Schools” to KIPP Austin Public Schools, 8509 FM 969, Building 513, Austin, TX 78724.

Contribute gifts in-kind of children’s books, music equipment, sports gear, arts supplies, uniforms, or first aid kits.

Volunteer your time, talents, and skills, in order to make a real difference in the life of KIPPsters - from reading to elementary school students to leading resume writing workshops to providing pro-bono services.

What are you looking forward to most in the new year?

We look forward to continuing to fulfill our commitment to students and families. KIPP Austin Public Schools has a long track record of success that demonstrates the meaningful impact of a KIPP education on the community of economically disadvantaged youth in Austin. We want to end the 2017-18 school year strong with our continued Social and Emotional Learning work in our elementary schools. We will also continue our rigorous program to offer professional development to our new and continuing teachers.

We're also ­­excited that our newest high school, KIPP Austin Brave, will add a new grade level in the 2018-19 school year (grade 10). This will help us provide an excellent education for even more students from educationally underserved communities in Austin.