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Basketball star T. J. Ford returns to Goose Creek, donates $40,000 of educational tools

BAYTOWN – T.J. Ford, star of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, who grew up on the playgrounds of Highlands schools returned last week to give back to the community.

The T.J. Ford Foundation, in conjunction with LeapFrog School House donated $40,000 worth of of LeapFrog Personal Learning Tools and support equipment to Goose Creek CISD’s Pumphrey and Harlem Elementaries.

This past week, Ford was at Harlem with representatives from the school districts to present the grant.

The T.J. Ford Foundation made a $20,000 grant to the school which was matched by LeapFrog to purchase the equipment.

“The donation will allow teachers at Harlem and Pumphrey Elementary Schools to use PLTs in conjunction with the LeapTrack Assessment & Instruction System to upload data to school networks, conduct real-time formative assessment of each student’s progress. And reading and math, all these things are important in life,” said Ford. “If I had these things (LeapFrog), I would have been further than I am now,” he added.

Dr. Barbara Sultis, Goose Creek superintendent said that Ford still has relatives attending Goose Creek schools and it was this love of his family and education that prompted the donation. “I can tell of his compassion for his family.”

“Growing up, my parents stressed both the importance of education and giving to the community,” said Ford. “It’s critical that kids have the tools they need to receive the best education possible. I’m happy that LeapFrog SchoolHouse has teamed with me to help these students achieve success in the classroom.

As a child, Ford attended B.P. Hopper Primary, Highlands Elementary and Highlands Junior School. He later transferred to Willowbrook High School and attended the University of Texas before he was taken eighth in the NBA draft by Milwaukee.

After the check presentation, Ford stayed to meet with students and sign autographs for his fans.