The Celebration Express launched the giving season as the Klein ISD Education Foundation (KEF) awarded $77,300 to 10 schools across the district. Since the fall of 2001, the KEF has awarded $1,022,081 in educator grants.
The KEF launched a Be the Spark campaign during the 2011-2012 school year in an effort to fund more innovative classroom grants within the Klein ISD. Due to the generous contributions of business partners established throughout the Klein community, the dreams of KISD teachers have become a reality for students.
“These grants do so much more than provide innovative teaching in classrooms, they empower teachers,” said Anne Vallette, director of the education foundation. “All of the grant ideas are excellent, but a few truly are change elements in the way these educators are teaching our students in the Klein ISD.”
The Lead the Spark grant is new this year and is open to campus administrators within the KISD to support either existing or new student programs, and/or faculty trainings at their campus. Applications can be submitted throughout the year and amounts are awarded between $5,000 and $25,000. Klein Forest and Klein Oak were the winners of the inaugural coveted award.
Klein Forest won $24,300 to support the launch of The LOGIC Lounge (L2), a leadership opportunity for gaining information on colleges. The school will convert the library into a technology “one-stop college shop” for students, with opportunities for research, studying, test preparation, presentations and meetings. Klein Oak received $22,000 for its Setting SMART Goals: Making Data Count initiative. Educators will receive training using the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound) Goals process to help identify data and methodology to monitor students’ academic progress and meet the greatest needs of the students.
Individual educator grants are awarded in amounts of $1,500 to $5,000 for innovative classroom initiatives that support the mission of the school district. The grants are based on merit and evaluated by a committee of district representatives and KEF directors by a blind evaluation process. Grant applications are received each semester, and the number of grants awarded will depend on the funds available to the foundation to disperse. Winners are notified by a surprise visit from KISD employees and supporters of the foundation on the Celebration Express.
“When the Celebration Express pulls away from a school you can almost feel the hum of creativity buzzing around in the building. It’s just magical,” commented Vallette.