Gainesville Daily Register

Local News

January 9, 2014

GISD Education Foundation awards 'Prize Patrol' grants

Gainesville — Some Gainesville Middle School students will have a chance to share a thought-provoking journey by train to the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance thanks to a generous grant from the Gainesville Independent School District Education Foundation.

The “Holocaust Museum Experience” was one of over $12,000 in grants awarded by the foundation this year to Gainesville ISD schools.

The grants were distributed through the annual GISD Education Foundation Prize Patrol.

District spokesman Chad Henderson said GISD students and teachers eagerly anticipate the Prize Patrol event each year.

This year’s grant presentations were festive events during which foundation board members and GISD administrators entered school campuses ready to deliver educational grants.

“To be a part of the prize patrol is so much fun for several reasons,” said GISD Superintendent Dr. Jeff Brasher. “First, 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.  Second, watching the teachers excitement as they are given the check is very 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.  The whole experience is fun, exciting, and rewarding.”

The first stop by the patrol was at Edison Elementary School where the “Audience in Action,” “Listening with a Purpose” and “Bilingual Storyteller Visit” grants were awarded.

“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.

“Listening with a Purpose” is for the purchase of a wireless headphone set and listening center station.

“Bilingual Storyteller Visits” grant will purchase four 30-45 minute bilingual storytelling sessions by storyteller and singer, Sue Young.

Next, the Prize Patrol visited Chalmers Elementary School where the “NCTC Drama Performance” and “Come on a Safari with Me” grants were awarded. The first grant will allow Chalmers second graders to attend “The Cat in the Hat” performed by the NCTC drama department in the Spring of 2014.

Next, the “Come on a Safari with Me” grant will be used to fund a trip to the Frank Buck Zoo as well as owl pellets for all third graders at Chalmers.

The tour continued to Lee Intermediate where the “Camp Leeper,” “Everyday Math with Everyday Tech,” “Graphic Novels” and “Casa Mañana” grants were awarded.

Camp Leeper is an annual event for the entire fifth grade to take a trip to an outdoor classroom at Leeper Lake.

“The Everyday Math” grant will purchase 6 iPad minis for the fourth grade math department.

“Graphic Novels” grant will purchase 37 new novels and science books for the library. Finally, the entire fourth grade received a grant to attend a performance at Casa Mañana in Ft. Worth.

Gainesville Middle School was the Prize Patrol’s next stop. The “Holocaust Museum Enrichment Experience” grant was awarded to Vicky Estes. This grant will help fund a trip to the Holocaust Museum in Dallas. The trip is designed to coincide with the students’ study of “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

While planning the Dallas Holocaust Museum trip, some GISD staff members decided to add an element of surprise to the outing. Students will be driven by bus to Denton and will then board a  Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) train bound for the Holocaust Museum. The train trip is scheduled to be a surprise for the students.

“The students’ perceptions of riding the train to an unknown destination, as Anne Frank experienced as she rode the train to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, will amplify their comprehension of the museum,” Henderson said in a news release.

Karen Woodruff was also granted funds to purchase Graphic Novels for the library.

The final stop on the 2013 campaign was Gainesville High School where the “Advanced Science Start” and “Graphic Novel” grants were awarded.

The “Advanced Science Start” will provide biological models and specimens for anatomy, biology and animal science classes. Librarian Deri David received funding for the purchase of graphic novels for the GHS Library.

Graphic Novels are in high demand among all age groups, Henderson noted.

To find out how to help support the Gainesville ISD Education Foundation email or visit


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