TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Excitement echoed down the hallways of several Tyler ISD campuses and departments Tuesday as the Tyler ISD Grant Patrol visited classrooms and offices to award more than $90,000 in grants to educators.
The program is called Grants for Great Ideas, and it rewards innovative teachers with grants that go toward classroom projects that wouldn’t otherwise find funding through Tyler ISD.
“We always try to keep it a secret, so we’re looking forward to seeing some surprised and excited teachers,” said Betsy Jones, executive director of the Tyler ISD Foundation.
Each grant is specialized for the innovative idea teachers come up with that’s original for their specialty. For example, Tyler ISD Facilities Team received a $3,000 grant for their “Construction Certificate Program", which would provide students who are interested in construction careers with practical learning experiences.
“One of the great things I really love about that grant is that we are actually getting the community involved, and that means getting various companies involved,” said Cherie Jones, construction project manager.
Jones said the hands-on experience was important for students before leaving to continue on to college or other secondary learning. Two campus construction projects only add to what the grant will provide for students.
“From getting the chance to go out to job sites, or meeting with companies, meeting subcontractors,” Jones added.
“We really do need the hands-on experience to be successful in construction.”
Mike Baker was part of a group of four educators from the Career and Technology Center who received a $5,000 grant that will fund their “Multi-Purpose Medical Response Skill Station.”
“We were honored and privileged to receive funding for our emergency services program here at the CTC,” Baker said.
A district spokesperson said students involved in health science, criminal justice, and firefighter training will use the skill station to support their first responder medical training. The project is expected to be ready for students by May 2020.
“We’ll have the entire back of an ambulance fully stocked with audio and video equipment so instructors can give [timely feedback] while they’re working on patients in the back of an ambulance.”
Michael Sturrock, a fellow CTC teacher, was awarded a grant for “Graphic Design and Animation.” The money will help students design and 3-D print a “reinvented” spoon to help infants and assisted-living adults.
The Grant Patrol visited 21 campuses in Tyler in all Tuesday to let educators know their applications were chosen. The grants will impact more than 8,000 Tyler ISD students and 27 campuses.