$23,000 awarded to 11 Tyler ISD projects

Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

Released by Sandra Stanley with Tyler ISD:

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Buying school supplies is a big part of the beginning of the school year. Thanks to the Tyler ISD Foundation, some teachers got a boost in their supply budget. More than $23,000 in grants were awarded to 11 different projects throughout Tyler ISD.

"This is our way of helping teachers do something out of the ordinary in their classroom," said Larry Goddard, Executive Director of the Foundation. "Individual teachers are awarded up to $1,000; teams of teachers or campuses can be awarded up to $5,000."

"Our grants committee reads the proposals anonymously," said Goddard. "They don't know which teacher or campus wrote the grant until the actual grading is complete. We expect to award at least the same amount in spring 2010."

The Junior League of Tyler, Inc. provided $15,000 of the grant budget. An anonymous donor provided another $15,000 and $5,000 was contributed by the Bank of America. The total teacher and campus grant budget for the 2009-2010 academic year is $60,000 and an additional $50,000 is budgeted for district-wide programs for a total of $110,000 to be awarded from the Foundation.

"We rely heavily on donors in our annual fund campaign which will kick off in October and from proceeds of the various events throughout the year to award grants for teachers," said Goddard. "Tyler has been a community with strong support of education in all areas and we admire and appreciate the donors who make our grant process a success. Any donation we receive helps us award more grants to deserving teachers and their students."

The fall 2009 Grant Recipients were announced at Tyler ISD's Convocation ceremonies. They include:

Ginger Pippin and Tamara Colston of Jack Elementary were awarded $4,942 for their project, Upload Success. Upload Success creates a connection between the classroom and home that assists students in meeting their learning objectives, with the use of iPods. Making content available outside the school day helps students to take responsibility for learning and to actively engage in course content. In addition, the project exposes students to the latest technological tools, which prepares them for their future in school and in the career world.

Mary Ann Post, Karen Schmutz and Janice Rowland of Clarkston Elementary were awarded $1,500 for their project, Diamonds in the Rough Writers: Biographies. At risk reading students in the 3rd and 4th grades will interview an elderly family member or friend and will write, draw, paint and photograph illustrations for published books that depict historical experiences. Students will sell some of their art and books and donate the proceeds to a local literacy organization. This will highlight and encourage at risk students to put their thoughts in writing and art and to learn not only the importance of their work, but also the value of community service.

Linda Boyter of John Tyler High School was awarded $916 for her project, Language Jump Start. Language Jump Start will allow recent immigrants (students within their first or second year of entering U.S. schools) access to resources that will enable them to increase their knowledge of basic vocabulary of the English language at home, where resources are not available. This in turn will enable their parents to have access to the same resources that will allow them to help their children and enable them to improve their own grasp of the English language.

Sonja Watson was awarded $3,400 for all Head Start Campuses for her project, McGruff & Me: Be Safe, Be Smart with Literacy. This project will provide all Head Start Children with the program, McGruff & Me: Be safe, Be Smart with Literacy. This program includes: 9-1-1 training, personal safety, the Smith County Sheriff's Office Junior Deputy, anti-crime program, pedestrian and bike safety and a visit from McGruff the Crime Dog. Each participating child will receive a personalized Create-A-Book which will be read at school several times before being sent home for parents to read with the child and keep.

Delois Harris, Amanda Wages, Elizabeth Carvajal and Imelda Lin-Ao of Dogan Middle School were awarded $2,000 for their project, Smash It, Crash It, Launch It. This activity will challenge students to design and build their own miniature straw rocket and to test the rockets on a straw rocket launcher. Just like early rocket pioneer Robert Goddard, the students can conduct scientific experiments by varying the trajectory angle and launch energy.

Brenda Corley, David Baker, Victoria Birdsong, Brenda Dooley, Jennifer Ferrell, Willie Kennedy, Lawren Phillips, Teresa Sartors, Carol Smith and Trina Stidham of St. Louis School and Jones Elementary were awarded $3,700 for their project, Fusion Out! New Friends! What power can be generated by fusing 4th grades, Life Skills students and science projects? The 4th graders will gain an understanding of students with severe disabilities, the Life Skills students will have fun learning with their regular education buddies and science projects...well, and we might just develop the next big theory! St. Louis School: Wayne D. Boshears Center for Exceptional Programs and Jones Elementary MST Academy will become one school in 2010. This project will allow the Jones 5th grade role models and half of the Boshears students to already know about each other when the merger occurs.

Jimmie Bybee, Jimmy Osteen and Joshua Bush of John Tyler High School were awarded $4,000 for their project, Rollicking Robots. Students will learn robotic programming and design and build their own robots. In the spring, the students will take their robots to the World Contest in Dallas and compete.

Jana McWain, Stephanie Wimberly, Wheeler Jones, Laurie Wells and Jennifer Vaughn of Dixie Elementary School were awarded $1,200 for their project, Picture Me in Print. Picture Me in Print inspires 4th grade participants to write and digitally illustrate a series of books based on topics explored in the Life Skills and Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD) classroom. Through classroom study and planning, to field trips to capture their subject matter, students will learn the art of the short story, as well as the art of photography. A family reading night completes the project as 4th grade authors and illustrators share their story with the Life Skills students and their families. Copies of the books will be on display at the Tyler Public Library during National Library Month in April for the community to enjoy.

Laura Russell of Owens Elementary was awarded $992.87 for her project, Wanted: Time Travelers! A 50's Virtual Time Museum. Parents, teachers, and students! Bop on over to the 50's Virtual Time Museum. Where Elvis was King and the jukebox had bling! Step back into time with students as they share their photo stories from interviews and research about life in the year 1959. Students will use data and personal interviews to compare and contrast life today and long ago.

DeAnna Molloy of Hubbard Middle School was awarded $1,000 for her project, Building a Better Mousetrap. The Mousetrap Vehicles activity is an exercise in the application of using a simple machine on a vehicle as an alternative energy to our latest fuel crisis. Students design vehicles powered only by the energy of mousetraps. By changing the length of a lever, the diameter of a wheel or axle, a gear ratio, or other variables, students observe and predict the performance of the vehicles.

Jana McWain received $810 for her project, Learning Outside the Box. This project creates several learning centers that proved real world experiences and objects found in the home, school and community to help PPCD students learn new concepts and language skills. These learning centers teach language, reading, science, math and cognitive skills. The learning centers also promote self-care skills and socializations skills as they encourage students to work with their peers.