Grants awarded throughout S.A. school district
BY EMILY RODRIGUEZ, SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS : MAY 20, 2014 : Updated: May 21, 2014 9:37am
San Antonio ISD Foundation officials distributed more than $100,000 to thrilled educators and students throughout the district Tuesday, awarding grants for everything from buying new robot parts to helping elementary kids put on a TV news show.
The school was the first to receive the surprise funding from foundation officials. The money will be used for the RoboLearning 2.0 program and to expand interactive digital activities for bilingual students.
“We have the knowledge and are using the technology and skills that will help them in the future,” Robert said of the school’s students. “They are just amazing. We’re an inner-city school; sometimes, there’s a lot of negative publicity. This shows the depth and understanding that our kids can take it and it’s incredible.”
The foundation’s board awarded a total of $109,000 in grants to 37 individuals and teams from around the district to promote innovative programs designed to increase student achievement and promote staff and teacher excellence throughout the school district.
“The mission of the foundation is to support SAISD to become one of the leading urban school districts in the nation through educational excellence and innovation,” Bob Raymond, SAISD Foundation board chairman, said before Tuesday’s presentation. “Funding innovative grants to support teachers across SAISD is just one of the ways we achieve it.
“School by school, ongoing, one grade level at a time, one school at a time.”
The funds were raised through the foundation’s annual golf tournament, donations and other sponsorships. Since 2007, the SAISD Foundation has awarded more than 1,000 grants totaling over $1 million.
At Woodlawn, a grant for $3,800 went to the robotics program to purchase kits and extra parts for the LEGO-based robots. Stephanie Ratliff, assistant principal, and teachers Michael Benson and Jerry Forster accepted the award.
A second grant for $4,322 was accepted by Consuelo Gurrola Luna, second-grade bilingual teacher. The money will go toward expanding an interactive maze and buying additional iPads.
After the visit to Woodlawn, the foundation officials moved to other schools to make the surprise grant presentations.
Other schools receiving the grants Tuesday were:
Maverick Elementary, $4,700 for Dragon Network News, a planned weekly campus broadcast to share student-reported news.
Jefferson High School, $3,500 for new surveying equipment for its architectural and landscaping classes.
Irving Academy, $4,916 for a digital music production lab.