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Houston Public Schools name Houston Astros as Oustanding Hall of Fame Partner

HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Independent School District paid tribute on Friday to the Houston Astros in a breakfast honoring four of its long-standing, dedicated partners during the Annual Partnership Appreciation Breakfast.

The Houston Astros received a 2013 Hall of Fame award for their exemplary service to HISD students. The award is presented to businesses and organizations that have an impact on multiple schools and serve as a model for other partnerships. The winners were announced during the ceremony on Friday, Oct. 25 at Kingdom Builders Center.

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"Our focus as a district is to become great all over in every facet. You, as business and community partners, are diligently doing your part to ensure that we reach our goal. And I am happy to say that together we are succeeding," said Michele Pola, HISD Chief Business/Community Relations Officer. "Thank you for the great work you are doing in our schools and for our students each and every day."

"The Astros are deeply honored by this award," said Astros Sr. Vice President of Community Relations and Executive Director of the Astros Foundation Meg Vaillancourt, who accepted the award on behalf of Astros owner Jim Crane and the team. "We are delighted to partner with HISD teachers and administrators in opening the doors of opportunity for students we know hold the key to Houston's future."

The Houston Astros have a long-standing partnership with HISD. The team has provided HISD with volunteers, community outreach programs, helped promote healthy choices and participation in sports and provided recreational activities and educational incentive programs designed to reward students for reading and doing well in school. Each year, the Astros provide thousands of free tickets as incentives for HISD students who achieve perfect attendance, honor roll status and to students who read 20 books or more during the summer months The team also has donated facilities at the ballpark, led book drives, donated back to school items and hosted various student groups, HISD musicians, experienced educators, new teachers and administrators at Minute Maid Park. In addition, the team has scheduled player visits to the city's public schools and this summer, the Astros supported catcher Jason Castro 's new literacy program. The Castro's Kids initiative included a special meet and greet with Castro and his wife Maris, who generously donated books to three HISD schools serving at-risk youth.

The Houston Independent School District is the largest school district in Texas and the seventh-largest in the United States with 282 schools and 210,000 students. The HISD Hall of Fame awards program was first launched in 1995. The 2013 theme - HISD Partners: Becoming Great All Over - serves to recognize the importance of our partners and the role they play in students' success. HISD currently has more than 300 district wide partners. HISD's 334-square-mile district is one of the largest employers in the Houston metropolitan area with more than 25,000 employees.

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