Snack Pak 4 Kids’ Howell is a Hero for Children

Snack Pak 4 Kids’ Howell Receives Hero for Children Award
Marty Rowley and Dyron Howell Marty Rowley and Dyron Howell
Marty Rowley, State Board of Education member from region 15, stands with Dyron Howell at Heroes for Children event.

September 19, 2014
– The State Board of Education (SBOE) will honor 15 Texans who provide hundreds of hours of volunteer service to Texas public schools at the Heroes for Children award at the SBOE meeting on Friday, September 19. Local hero Dyron Howell will receive this award for his dedication to making sure children do not go hungry in Amarillo ISD and surrounding districts.

The Heroes for Children honorees are selected by the State Board members and recognized for volunteering their time, talents and skills to help improve the public schools in their communities. Each hero will receive a certificate of honor, a copy of the resolution scheduled for board approval and photographs commemorating the ceremony. Each hero will also have his or her name engraved on a plaque which will be permanently displayed at the Texas Education Agency.

In 2010, Howell and his wife learned of 10 hungry students at Rogers Elementary and shortly thereafter began Snack Pak 4 Kids. The largest city west of Dallas without a weekend backpack program, Amarillo had a need for a way to ensure students would be fed throughout the weekend and Snack Pak 4 Kids provided. As of 2014, Snack Pak 4 Kids is feeding more than 5,200 students in 30 school districts across the Texas Panhandle.

“Dyron Howell has worked to ensure that for the past four years more than 200 students in our school have food to eat over the weekends and during times when they away from school,” Rogers Principal Terri Huseman said. “His work is tireless and it makes a difference in the lives of our families.”

Howell’s efforts to feed students have expanded to suit the needs of older students through the Snack Shak program in middle and high schools. Using a simple online or paper form, students who qualify can select products to build their own meals and choose when and where they receive the food package – often in a teacher’s room they are comfortable in. Fellow students build the food packages and deliver them to the appropriate pick-up locations. The process is meant to create an anonymous and comfortable environment for all students.

Expanding into all middle and high school campuses is a large goal for Snack Pak 4 Kids and Howell right now. They have recently brought Snack Shak to Caprock High School with the huge help of local and state grants. The Rotary Club of Amarillo presented Caprock’s Snack Shak with an $18,000 check on September 17.

The State Board of Education meeting and award ceremony will be broadcast online. A link to the webcast will be posted at http://www.texasadmin.com/tea.shtml

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