More than $80,000 for Katy ISD families was raised during the 2020-21 school year through the Food for Families program run by KISD Partners in Education—which is the most ever raised in a single year, according to a June 22 press release.

Despite a challenging school year, KISD volunteers were determined to stay connected; reimagine programs; and support the teachers, administrators and students across the district, the Partners in Education release said.

Volunteers in Public Schools created the hashtag #NewBeatSameHeart to set the bar high for community engagement in the district without setting foot inside schools during the pandemic. Among other activities, the volunteers helped turn International Night into a car parade that circled campus neighborhoods and book fairs into outdoor events, the release said.

KISD business and community partners answered the call for engagement by painting staff parking spaces and donating yard signs to honor teachers, the release said.

In November, in place of reading to kids in classrooms, partners such as BP, Chick-fil-A, Sewell Mercedes-Benz and Bass Pro Shops read stories to students on video, the release said.

"The obstacles volunteers encountered this year presented a new path for community engagement, and Katy ISD VIPS and the volunteer community marched boldly on, finishing the 2020-21 school year with the same faithful heart," the release said.