Gainesville Daily Register

December 8, 2012

GISD Foundation awards classroom grants

Staff Report
Gainesville Daily Register

Gainesville — Gainesville Independent School District Education Foundation members recently conducted their annual “Prize Patrol” grant distribution program, which resulted in nearly $18,000 awarded among several Gainesville ISD campuses.

Foundation board members and Gainesville ISD administration officials visited the campuses equipped with noisemakers and loud vocal chords prior to awarding the teachers on a particular campus. Many Gainesville ISD students stood in hallways and were full of anticipation, wondering if their respective teachers were going to win the grant they had applied to receive.

“To be a part of the prize patrol is so much fun for several reasons,” said Gainesville ISD Superintendent Jeff Brasher. “To watch the Education Foundation members have the opportunity to give out the grants is awesome. The Foundation members work very hard throughout the year, and seeing them reap the benefits of all their hard work is a joy. Giving the hard earned money to teachers that they know will be used to benefit the success of our GISD children.”

Brasher added that watching the excited teachers receive their portion of grant money is exciting.

“It's like Christmas coming early and the teachers enjoy having the opportunity to provide a learning opportunity to their children that they would not have the opportunity to do without the grant money from the Education Foundation,” he said. “The whole experience is fun, exciting and rewarding.”

The prize patrol’s first stop was at the Gainesville Head Start facility, where the “Literacy & Math Jump Alive” and “Latino Family Literacy Project” grants were awarded.  The first grant will purchase “Leap Pad” tablets and applications for the facility’s 3 and 4-year-old students to learn numbers and the alphabet.  The latter award pertains to enhancing the literacy and language skills of Latino children through family literacy programs for both Spanish and English-speaking parents.

The second stop by the patrol was at Edison Elementary School where the “Audience in Action” and “Leap Frog Reading System” grants were awarded.  The “Audience in Action” was awarded to Edison’s Fine Arts Coordinator Jill Linnell.

“It is for the entire kindergarten and first-grade classes to attend NCTC and learn about audience etiquette and participate in drama activities,” Linnell said.

And the “Leap Frog” grant was awarded to Kim Fleming, who explained, “This will increase student achievement and build reading skills through vocabulary, phonics and reading comprehension.”

Next up on the prize patrol path was Chalmers Elementary School, where the “Mobile Technology to Create Learning,” “Whoo Eats Who?” and the “Leaping into Learning with Leapster” grants were awarded.  The mobile technology grant will purchase three iPod touches with cases and screen protectors as well as curriculum-based applications.  The “Whoo Eats Who” grant will purchase owl pellet kits for all of the third grade in order to further learn about food chains and draw conclusions while acquiring a deeper understanding of animal adaptations.  These concepts will also coincide with a trip to the Frank Buck Zoo.

The tour continued to Lee Intermediate School, where the “Camp Leeper,” “NCTC Play,” “Lego Robotics Club” and “Everyday Math” grants were awarded.  Camp Leeper is annual event for the entire fifth grade to take a trip to an outdoor classroom at Leeper Lake. Through the NCTC award, the entire fourth grade received a grant to attend a play presented by the college. And Andrea Jones received funds to purchase two “Lego Mindstorms” robotics kits and a laptop computer for the Lee Intermediate School robotics club. Also, the “Everyday Math” award allowed that four iPads could be purchased, one for each fourth-grade math classroom.

At Gainesville Middle School, the “Holocaust Museum Enrichment Experience” grant was awarded to Vicky Estes.  This grant will fund an eighth-grade trip to the Holocaust Museum in Dallas and will further enhance the classroom understanding of the recently read “The Diary of Anne Frank.”  Chris Shelton was also granted funds for the LegoBots GMS Robotics Club.

The final stop on the 2012 campaign was Gainesville High School, where a “Robotics & Engineering Technology” grant was awarded as well as grants for “Encyclopedia eBooks” and equipping every science classroom with a 25-unit set of graphing calculators.