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Home | Tag Archives: Helen Ball Elementary

Tag Archives: Helen Ball Elementary

Helen Ball Elementary student makes face masks to help community

Helen Ball Elementary School fourth grader Lily Montes and her mother are spending their spare time during the district closure making medical masks to donate to those who need them most.

“She saw a lot of people, who need them, left without masks because of the current situation,” said Elizabeth Montes, Lily’s mother. “She asked me to help her sew some masks for her friends who work at the hospital.”

Lily’s own medical condition, which has required her to wear medical masks since she was a small child, led her to understand the gravity of the mask shortage. It inspired her to make and donate the masks.

“I’m very happy and I enjoy making the masks because I find it relaxing,” Lily said.

The pair, who is making the masks for free, has made more than 500 masks in a two-week period, working on two sewing machines and putting in seven to 10 hours a day.

They recently received authorization to donate masks to The Hospitals of Providence, which will go to those serving in the emergency room. They have been taking orders for other area hospitals, clinics, fire departments, and those who are elderly or immunocompromised.

The team also has donated masks out of state to locations in California, South Dakota and Virginia.

“I feel very happy that we are helping people, and that they like them and are using them,” Lily said.

Photo courtesy SISD

Alexandra Castillo, Lily’s fourth-grade teacher at Helen Ball, isn’t surprised by her student’s selfless mission to help the community. Lilyalways has had a lot of heart and determination, she said.

“She is the kindest, sweetest student ever,” Castillo said. “She is so sweet to everyone, helps everyone who needs it, and always has a bright smile.”

Elizabeth Montes said they have been getting so many pictures and messages of gratitude that they don’t have time to open all of them, but they appreciate the kind gestures.

“We will keep going until there are no more requests,” she said. “As long as the need is there we are going to continue.”

All masks are made from 100 percent cotton, with a special filter included for those on the front lines who need the extra protection. Elizabeth Montes has spent about $150 out of pocket on the material, and she recently received a material donation from Walmart.

Lily and her mother are happy their efforts are helping and plan to continue in this time of uncertainty.

“I feel very good to be contributing to the world and helping others in need,” Lily said. “I hope others will do the same.”

SISD’s Helen Ball Elementary earns 2019 RAMP national counseling award

Helen Ball Elementary School is one of two schools in the state of Texas to earn national recognition by the American School Counselor Association for its commitment to maintain a comprehensive counseling program.

The campus was awarded the 2019 Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) distinction, a prestigious recognition that is awarded to less than 100 schools in the country for delivering a data-driven and an exemplary educational environment to students.

Maria Washington, counselor at Helen Ball, shared her feelings, saying she’s proud to receive the recognition, and to provide the best counseling services to her students.

“I am truly grateful for all the well wishes and acknowledgements that everyone has displayed towards our wonderful school,” Washington said. “I am very proud to be part of the best district in El Paso, with the finest counseling department, and an excellent leadership team.”

“Congratulations to Mrs. Washington for earning this enormous honor and accomplishment,” said SISD Superintendent José Espinoza, Ed.D. “The amazing work by Mrs. Washington as well as all of our outstanding counselors is a huge reason why I am beyond proud to be part of their team.”

In Texas, 13 schools have received the RAMP national recognition in prior years and nine of those are from Socorro ISD.

SISD RAMP counseling teams are Helen Ball Elementary School in 2019; Montwood High School in 2016; Capt. Walter E. Clark Middle School in 2013, El Dorado High School in 2010; Bill Sybert School in 2009; Ernesto Serna and Socorro High School in 2007; and Bill Sybert and El Dorado High School in 2006.

“Team SISD school counseling programs are focused on meeting the needs of all students using the American School Counselor Association National Model,” said Tammi Mackeben, SISD director of guidance and counseling. “We have stellar school counselors that work tirelessly to help our students, and we are very proud of their commitment and dedication.”

Washington and Helen Ball Principal Ana Soto will be recognized at the ASCA National Conference in July in Boston.

RAMP helps schools evaluate their school counseling program, discover areas for improvement and enhance the program’s efforts to contribute to student success. To apply for the RAMP designation, schools must collect extensive data and information, a process that takes an entire academic year.

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