Lindale teachers surprised with thousands in grants from non-pro - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Lindale teachers surprised with thousands in grants from non-profit organization

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LINDALE, TX (KLTV) - More than $23,000 was awarded to dozens of Lindale Independent School District teachers Tuesday. The district's non-profit organization is helping teachers fund learning objectives that their schools can not provide in their budget. There were many emotional surprises for some teachers when they were pulled out of class to receive their grant.

Lindale Education Foundation members marched into five different campuses to deliver personal checks, but the teachers had no idea they were selected as this year's winners.

"I'm just glad because these kids really need it, and it takes a lot to try to get this stuff," said E.J. Moss Intermediate life skills teacher Ashleigh Brasher. "This helps so much."

Fourth through sixth grade life skills students have been awarded $3,892.31 to develop a sensory sensation room that will enhance learning, improve levels or concentration and assist with emotional skills.

"We have students that range from mild to moderate disabilities all the way to severe profound, and this is going to help mainly our severe profound students," Brasher said. "They need help with tactiles and sensory items. It's going to provide so much for them to be able to have a room where they can go and explore so many different things."

Thanks to education foundation donors, teachers can start their new projects by August.

"It's such a great education system and it needs help in certain areas that the state can't provide and the district can't provide," John Kirton, Lindale I.S.D. education foundation donor, said. "It serves me good to see this project happening in a small community like Lindale, Texas."

High school instructors will use $5,000 to fund two college and career collaboration centers.

"Students will be able to sit at a table that's wired to project their images from an ipad or a laptop on a screen and be able to work collaboratively," said Lindale High School instructional technology specialist Rhonda Walker. "They'll also be able to research on different colleges, be able to apply for different applications, and colleges will be able to do presentations. This will put them in a twenty-first century environment."

It's common in other districts state wide to provide grants to teachers, but this non-profit organization is aiming to be different.

"Our ultimate goal is to create an endowment that will help it to become self perpetuating, and we're a long way from there but we're working," said education foundation board of directors president Wayne Fletcher.

Other classroom projects and programs that were awarded today include iPads for speech therapy students to improve speech and language skills; equipment for high school physics labs; headsets for foreign language high school students; a new listening center for second graders to improve literacy, a music memory program for first, second and third graders; physical fitness equipment for first, second and third graders.

Teachers who were awarded Tuesday can begin using their grant money immediately, but many of them said their projects will not be ready for students until the 2014-2015 school year.

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