KLEIN, TX – The Klein ISD Education Foundation (KEF) set a new record in its 15-year history by awarding $132,690 in grants for the 2014-2015 school year. The record was set after the KEF awarded $48,670 in educator grants April 29.
Community members, local business owners, district officials, and KEF directors boarded the Celebration Express bus to travel from school to school awarding the grants.
“Wow! What an exciting day. To have a bus full of community members and Klein ISD supporters making lots of noise as they travel the hallways of campuses awarding well-deserved teacher grants is just so incredibly heartwarming,” said Cindy Doyle, director of community relations and KEF. “It never ceases to amaze me the extra effort our teachers and principals go to to provide that ‘something extra’ learning opportunity for their students.”
The first stop of the day for the Celebration Express was to award Eiland Elementary a grant for their “Got Code?” program sponsored by Joiner Architects.
The “Got Code?” project will provide cutting-edge access to materials that introduce students to computer coding and robotics. Students will work with interactive and programmable devices to assess and solve problems. At Parent Night, students will instruct their parents in ways to complete the challenges they have developed.
“Joiner Architects likes to give back to the community,” said Chad Joiner, Joiner Architects Executive Vice President. “We are so excited to be able to sponsor a grant that will help students learn new techniques. We look forward to coming back when they implement this program.”
Eiland Elementary was also awarded a grant for their “It’s a New ERA (Eiland Reader Award).” The grant, sponsored by Durotech, Inc., will focus on having students learn about national book awards and then read, critically analyze, and vote on their favorite books. A set of books, chosen from the winners, will then be provided for each grade level as well as one set for the library’s collection.
Grace England Early Childhood & Pre-K Center was awarded two grants this round. The first was for their “A ‘Vested’ Interest in Our Future,” sponsored by Perdue Brandon Fielder Collins & Mott, LLP, which will focus on having pre-school students participate in activities where they will learn about personal safety and occupations by role-playing.
Grace England’s second grant of the day was for their “Learning is Teaching” program, sponsored by InvesTex Credit Union. The program will consist of training for parents to help them learn new strategies for teaching letters, syllables, etc. to their children at home. The trainings will be conducted in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
After visiting Grace England, the Celebration Express bus stopped at Brill Elementary to award the biggest grant of the day, a Lead the Spark grant, for the school’s “The Partridge Family Moves One Direction: From a Library to an Active Learning Commons” program.
The grant, sponsored by Campus Kids, LLC, will completely transform the Brill Library, designed in the 1970’s, from an archive of resources into an active, learning “Maker Space” where students can collaborate, research, create and present student work in an innovative, high-tech environment.
“We have no greater pleasure than presenting money that will go to help these children enhance their education,” said Larry Drown, owner of Campus Kids, LLC. “One of the purposes of Campus Kids is to help these schools and support education.”
The re-designed library, including personal workspaces, flexible seating and magnetic easels/whiteboards on casters for mobility and flexibility, will lead to an interactive, highly-engaged community of learners who can contribute to today’s demanding and evolving workforce.
“We are trying to move from an archive of resources to an active learning center by creating a maker space for project-based learning,” said Dayna Hernandez, Brill Elementary principal. “We are so thankful to the Klein ISD Education Foundation and to our gracious sponsor, Campus Kids. We can’t wait to get started transforming our library.”
Next up, Lemm Elementary was awarded a grant for their “Moving Forward With Social Skills” program sponsored by Stantec Architecture. The school will purchase user-friendly, research-based “Second Step” curriculum kits that will provide games, songs, videos and lessons that guide discussions. These discussions will help students develop learning readiness, empathy, emotion management and problem solving skills in activities appropriate for each grade level.
Bernshausen Elementary was awarded a grant for their “Look, Listen, Learn Program” sponsored by PBK, Inc. This program will assist students with low English language understanding with improving fluency and word recognition by using audio and visual materials.
The last stop for the day was to Zwink Elementary to award a grant, sponsored by Layer 3 Communications, for the school’s “LEGO and Learn On” program. The program will have students build objects out of LEGOs to stimulate the writing process by providing a hands-on, visual experience.
“We are so proud to be involved in supporting this grant,” said Joel McCotter, systems engineer at Layer 3 Communications. “At Layer 3 Communications we understand how important education is. Enriching the education for all the students is one of our important community contributions.”
Since 2001, the Klein ISD Education Foundation has awarded more than $1.29 million in educator grants to teachers in the Klein ISD.
Teachers may apply for educator grants each semester. Grants are evaluated by KEF directors and district representatives. The number of grants awarded is determined by funds allocated by KEF each semester. Winners are then notified by a surprise visit from the Celebration Express bus that arrives at their campus.
For a complete list of winners and projects, visit the KEF grants webpage at http://kleinisdeducationfoundation.com/educator-grants/.
To learn more about the Klein ISD Education Foundation, visit their website at http://kleinisd.net/KEF. Information can also be obtained by contacting Cindy Doyle, Education Foundation Director, at (832) 249-4753 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.