During a March 16 breakfast the Longview ISD Foundation handed out more than $50,000 in grant funding for various education initiatives.

Foundation grants total more than $50K

Sun Mar 27, 2016
Foundation director Kay Ray awarded 24 Great Rewards for Great Ideas grants to teachers totaling $42,202, and $9,717 worth of Campus Initiative Grants to principals.

The programs fund items not included in the district’s operating budget.

“It's a great and most wonderful feeling to be awarded,” said Pam Anthony, Longview Early Graduation High School teacher.

Debbie Kraus from Johnston-McQueen elementary school agreed.

“I am very excited because my students will get the iPads they need,” she said, adding that the technology is a great asset for her dyslexic students.

Sarah Sheppard, principal of Ware Elementary School, was awarded $2,490 to continue Ware Elementary School’s summer camps titled “Enriching Students in the ARTS – Achievers Ready To Soar.”

ARTS was conceived from the need to continue to expose Ware’s at-risk and low socio-economic students to the fine arts. Summer 2015’s camp, which received partial funding from the Foundation, was very successful with students participating whole-heartedly in all areas. While area summer camps are available at an average cost of $150 per week of half-day sessions, many Ware students cannot afford them.

Ray said this campus initiative provides access to a variety of free fine arts programs with a multiplicity of benefits "as students boost their self-esteem and self-confidence, enlighten themselves about community safety programs, gain access to city public services, and grow and achieve on state assessment."

Cheri Lee, student support services specialist at Longview Early Graduation High School received $3,350.00 to purchase the ACT Career Ready license for one year.

With the purchase of this software/site license, Ray said LEGHS can prepare its students for the workforce in whatever career path they choose.

"ACT Career Ready 101 is approved by TEA as a Career Tech course for which students can obtain credit prior to graduation," she said. "Mrs. Lee, who will teach the class, has applied for a Career Tech teaching permit and has completed the necessary training to administer the Work Keys test on site. Students completing the course will take the Work Keys test to receive a National Career Ready Certificate."

Ray said these resources will provide students with a career tech credit and give them greater leverage when they enter the workforce locally and beyond.

"Longview has over 100 companies who hire based upon the Work Keys test," she said. "Thus, LEGHS students will be ready to enter the Longview workforce upon graduation."

Denise Frederick, principal of Johnston-McQueen Elementary School, received partial funding of $853.95 to purchase a Smith Victor Light Kit, an iPad tripod mount, a tripod, and one iPad mini.

"Mrs. Frederick explained in her grant that many of her students do not have BYOD (bring your own devices) for personal school use," Ray said. "She also explained that her school is lagging behind with the ELA media literacy TEKS primarily from a lack of equipment and vision for media literacy, the ability to decode, access, analyze, evaluate, and produce communication in a variety of forms."

With this grant, Johnston-McQueen students will be able to broadcast morning announcements and produce other media content. This student-produced media can be shared within the walls of the school and across grade levels.

Ray added that Johnston-McQueen staffers will also be able to use the video production as a means for involving parents in their students’ learning at the school, in addition to being the first elementary school with a "green room."

Dr. Carl Briley, principal of South Ward Elementary School, received partial funding to purchase innovative science technology equipment that will result in improved Science STAAR test scores, benchmark test scores, assimilation test scores, and successful performance in the science classroom while creating a deeper understanding of science concepts for students.

South Ward Elementary School will purchase Labdisc equipment and train teachers to use the wireless, compact data logger with multiple scientific capabilities for investigating the environment and general science.

The foundation has awarded $626,468 in grants to Longview ISD classrooms since 1996.