KATY MAGAZINE NEW
November 12, 2021
By Natalie Cook Clark
Katy Area Retired Teachers (K.A.R.E.) celebrated 20 years of service to the education community this week. From donations, volunteering, these retired educators continue to impact the future of Katy education.
Photo courtesy of Rebecca Fox
20 Years of Serving Katy
For 20 years, Katy Area Retired Teachers (K.A.R.E.) has enriched the Katy education community allowing retired educators the opportunity to continue to leave an impact on local students, educators, and the Katy community.
“Educators are such a unique group of individuals. Each one brings a different talent, and they all have hearts for service to their community,” says K.A.R.E. President Earlene Hopkins.
Hopkins has been a member of K.A.R.E. for 7 years. She was a teacher for 40 years before retiring.
“I joined KARE after moving to the Katy area, but I could have joined any one of several units near my home. Katy Area Retired Educators drew me in with their projects and community service opportunities, and the talented and compassionate people who are KARE members,” she says.
When K.A.R.E. formed in 2000 they had 40 members. They have grown to 200.
Photo courtesy of Rebecca Fox
“As retired educators, their hearts are huge and they want to use their retirement to make a difference,” says Rebecca Fox, Katy ISD Board of Trustee. “They have donation drives to get books into the hands of school aged students, they volunteer at schools and in the community and as life-long learners they take field trips and have guest speakers on a variety of topics.”
Earlier this week dignitaries, such as Katy Mayor Bill Hastings, met with the group to show their gratitude for all that they do. Some members have even become Katy ISD school namesakes such as, Bonnie Holland and Peter McElwain.
“KARE members stay active and engaged in the Katy community,” says Hopkins. “Developing friendships and being around like-minded people with a mission of helping students and schools and improving the lives of retirees has been the highlight of my retirement.”
Hopkins had worked with similar groups while she was still an active educator and saw first-hand the difference such a group could make to a community.
“Through volunteerism in schools and advocating with the legislature, KARE (which is a local unit of the Texas Retired Teachers Association) has a mission to improve the lives of retirees and active educators alike,” says Hopkins.
Hopkins’ daughter, son, and daughter-in-law all work in Katy ISD, giving her another reason to want to be involved. She also has grandchildren in the District.
“This group of caring people continue to make an impact on the future even after leaving their education careers,” says Fox.
Some of the organization’s projects include:
Book Collection and Distribution to Katy ISD schools and community organizations
Volunteering and mentoring in Katy ISD schools
Raising funds for Katy ISD student scholarships for those who aspire to major in education in college.
Actively engaging with legislators on issues that help students, teachers, and retirees
“K.A.R.E. is a dynamic organization that works through various projects toward a goal of improving the lives of retirees in every way possible,” says Hopkins.