KLEIN, TX – The Klein ISD Education Foundation (KEF) set out Friday, Dec. 2, 2016, and gifted $76,800 in classroom and educator grants across the district. During the past 15 years, the KEF has awarded grants to schools, teachers, and district staff twice a year. The amount of grants given increased from the spring semester by $2,300 allowing the foundation to fund 13 grants to 13 campuses including one $25,000 LEAD the SPARK grant.
Since 2001, the Klein ISD Education Foundation has awarded more than $1.5 million in educator grants to teachers in the Klein ISD. Teachers may apply for educator grants each semester. Grants are judged by KEF directors and district representatives. The number of grants awarded is determined by funds allocated by the KEF each semester. Winners receive notification by a surprise visit from the Celebration Express bus that arrives at their campus.
“Seeing the smiles, tears, and cheers from teachers, principals and students never gets old,” said Klein ISD Education Foundation director, Cindy Doyle. “It was an exciting day on the Celebration Express and heartwarming to have education foundation board members, district leadership, and community members join us on a big yellow bus for more than six hours to deliver over $76,000 in educator grants.”
During an early stop at Grace England Pre-K Center, Brian and Jenny McGown awarded the campus $6,300 for the Ready Body, Learning Minds grant. The new program provides teachers with easy to implement exercises in a motor lab environment.
“There’s a quote that says ‘success is where opportunity and preparation meet,’” said Brian McGown. “We love what the Foundation stands for, and we believe they provide those opportunities to prepare kids for the future which we think leads to success.”
The Ready Body, Learning Minds exercises will offer developmental support for sensory and motor systems for special education, bilingual, and English as Second Language students. The McGowns are excited about the grant.
“Anything that our family can do to support the great work in Klein we are happy to do so,” said Jenny McGown. “It’s great to partner with the Education Foundation today to support Grace England and all of the things they do to give our kids a great start in their education.”
The Celebration Expressed stopped at Vistas High School Program where Todd and Raye Anne Edmonds presented the Walk to Graduation grant. The grant will help the campus expand its fitness program.
“We have been the beneficiary of teachers investing in our kids, and we want to make sure that we give back,” said Todd Edmonds. “Klein ISD has been a huge blessing for our boys. We want to make sure other students have the same opportunity.”
The grant provides funds for a treadmill and elliptical equipment that will enhance the walking program and expand fitness program. This comprehensive fitness program will allow staff to help students increase the steps they walk, the miles covered, and destination goals.
Hassler Elementary received their grant funding from Pegi Ivancevich in Honor of Jack & Dana Ivancevich.
“Because they were both in education. My husband was a professor, and my daughter, had she lived, would be a Kindergarten teacher,” said Ivancevich. “This is the perfect avenue for us to give back to the school. Especially in this neighborhood because it’s my neighborhood.”
The Hassler Bringing Our Core Values to Life grant utilizes mentor texts that include characters that exhibit the core values of “PONIES”: Purposely loyal, Open-minded, Nurturing to all, Intentionally positive, Eager to learn and Striving for success. The books will be available for teachers and mentors to use to build a common language about core values and character development through a discussion of literature in grades K-5. Included inside each book is a brief summary and helpful teaching points. Ivancevich is excited about the program and it’s future benefits as well as working with the Foundation.
“It is an opportunity for the community, through the Klein ISD Education Foundation to give back,” she said. “And not only to give back but to pay it forward, because we know that the work we do for these children, they will see the example and they will do that in the future. Whether by example, work or deed, or financially, they will see it and replicate it.”
French Elementary earned the final and largest grant given out during the day. Jason Bailey with Perdue Brandon Fielder Collins & Mott, LLP, gave the LEAD the SPARK grant to the campus for its Fueling the Heart, Mind and Imagination program.
“The Foundation does wonderful things,” said Bailey. “The grant that we just gave is one of the most innovative mixes of arts, education, and science. It’s just wonderful to know the money we give goes to such great projects.”
Because of this grant, French Elementary will partner with Hildebrandt Intermediate and Klein Oak High School to support an integrated Fine Arts curriculum in their feeder pattern. Students will have an opportunity to attend professional performances and then return to their schools to perform original musicals; they will have access to theater stages, costuming and puppetry to use for their performances through a partnership with Alley Theater. Funds from the foundation’s Donald and Sylvia Collins Professional Development Fund will support professional development for teachers in fine arts integration so that transition from campus to campus will be seamless. Training with professionals from the Alley Theater will begin in the Summer of 2017, and will continue into Fall 2017. The program will embed resident artists into the classroom to serve as mentors for teachers and students.
The bus also visited Eiland, Greenwood Forest, Haude, Kreinhop, Northampton elementary schools, Therapeutic Education Campus, Hildebrandt Intermediate, Klein Forest and Klein Collins high schools. To view a complete list of winners and project descriptions, visit the KEF grants webpage at https://kleinisdeducationfoundation.net/educator-grants/.
To learn more about the Klein ISD Education Foundation, visit our website at http://thekef.org. Information can also be obtained by contacting Cindy Doyle, Education Foundation Director, at (832) 249-4753 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.