Dear TRTA members and TRTF supporters,

At this time of year, we like to reflect on the great things we have accomplished together and show our appreciation to our members, friends, and supporters, all of whom are special to us!

The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) Board of Directors and the Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF) Board of Trustees are so very thankful for the time you spend volunteering for TRTA and for donating to help fund TRTF’s many charitable programs.

November is Foundation Month and TRTF’s annual appeal for donations. So far, TRTF has raised $60,000 of its $100,000 fundraising goal! Donate online today!

Both 2020 and 2021 have been challenging years. However, our retirees have proven time and time again that they are resilient, dedicated, and motivated to keep the momentum going for our vital legislative advocacy efforts and much-needed charitable endeavors. Our members have big hearts and open arms. They truly care about each other. We hope you are as proud as we are to have achieved so much during the pandemic despite sometimes unusual circumstances.

As I sit back and read the third quarter issue of The VOICE that was published this month, I am impressed. How joyful it is to read about a teacher who used the pandemic as an opportunity to teach her students how to play the piano, virtually, something they had never experienced before! It is also wonderful to know that our members and supporters stepped up during the February winter storm and helped us provide $165,000 in assistance to those who suffered great losses during the disaster.

TRTA’s local units continue to renew members and encourage new ones to join. They keep working so TRTA can reach 100,000 members! Our units were pivotal during the special legislative sessions this year, using their grassroots advocacy to promote and win a supplemental payment for retirees.

TRTF Expands Tutor Program into Texas School Districts

TRTF has also expanded its newest endeavor, the TRTF Tutor Program! This program helps three groups of people: parents and students looking for affordable online tutoring services; retirees who want to earn supplemental income as online tutors; and public-school teachers and school districts that are seeking dependable tutoring help for their students.

TRTF established the Tutor Program in 2020 to help schools, students, and retirees recover from and forge through the COVID-19 pandemic. Offering a virtual education platform with www.JoinKnack.com, the program’s goal was to give retirees an option to work for schools without being physically present while also lending an extra hand to students’ learning recovery. A little over a year since inception, 250 retirees are registered tutors offering their services on the platform, and schools are noticing!

Recently, Kingwood Park High School in Humble ISD partnered with TRTF to pilot a communication to parents and teachers offering free tutoring hours through the platform. There are a limited number of no-cost hours currently available to any Texas student.

The response has been very positive with tutor requests doubling in just one week! Humble ISD is now considering adding more high schools to the pilot program, and TRTF is actively seeking more schools and districts to help us market our program to parents and students.

The TRTF Tutor Program needs your help. As schools continue to struggle with staffing shortages and learning recovery, we ask you to help spread the word. We need more students for our current tutors and more tutors to cover all subjects. Please let your teacher friends and campus PTOs and committees know about our free hours (TRTF is working to solicit more donations to supplement the free hours).

Please share this link (trtf.joinknack.com) with school administrators so they can check out our program and consider partnering with TRTF.

Please Donate Today

Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, TRTF’s programs have become more important than ever. Our school children, teachers, and retirees need our help! As a 501(c)(3), we are in a unique position to raise donations and deploy them through our unique charitable programs. We are determined to help!

Please consider making your tax-deductible charitable contribution to TRTF. You may donate online here or call 1.800.880.1650 and ask for Sarah. TRTF also included its annual appeal letter and donation card in the third quarter issue of The VOICE, in TRTA members’ mailboxes now! You may use the donation card found on page 12 and the enclosed envelope to mail your donation to TRTF today.

As 2021 draws to a close, TRTA and TRTF remain dedicated to helping Texas educators. Together, we have persevered through a pandemic and adjusted accordingly to ensure we are responding to the needs of our retirees, active educators, public schools, and students!

I believe educators are the foundation for everything good that happens in our great state. Educators make things happen! I believe in our members, and because of you, I believe we will succeed and find innovative ways to accomplish our goals. Together, TRTA and TRTF will work towards improving the lives of all educators in any and every way that we can. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones.

Tim Lee, TRTA Executive Director
Leroy DeHaven, TRTA Board President
Mary Nell Short, TRTF Board President