Early Tuesday morning, members of the Sulphur Springs ISD Education Foundation loaded up on a bright yellow school bus with one goal in mind — distribute more than $20,000 for education programs.
Earlier this year, Sulphur Springs Independent School District teachers were asked to write a grant which would encourage, facilitate and recognize creative instructional approaches to further educate students. Today was the day the teachers found out if the Education Foundation selected their ideas and programs for the Grants for Great Ideas Program.
“The Education Foundation has three parts — we annually give out scholarships to students, award funds to teacher aides through the Key program, and now we are awarding grants to teachers,” said Rusty Harden, a representative of the Education Foundation.
With a giant drum, bells and balloons, the Education Foundation members ventured into school campuses across Sulphur Springs ready to surprise students and teachers. Among the group were SSISD Superintendent Michael Lamb, Ryan McKenzie, Don Sapaugh, Gena Prickette, Rusty Harden, John Campbell and Mikki Eddins.
This is the second year the foundation has been able to award grants to educators throughout SSISD. Those who were awarded grants are:
- Sulphur Springs Elementary School librarian Shelby Gibson was awarded $3,000 to create a reading project targeting bilingual students.
- Sulphur Springs High School counselor Mary Jenkins was given $2,000 for a canine counseling program using therapy dogs in a school room setting.
- Bowie Primary School physical education teacher Suzy Rost was allotted $3,000 for a “Drum Fit” project utilizing large drums, rhythm and movement instruments.
- Lamar Primary School teachers Karen Anderson and Kimberlea Gillem are being given $2,500 for a “permission- less field trip” using virtual reality goggles to visit locations across the world.
- Sulphur Springs High School Principal Derek Driver was awarded $1,000 for a mentoring program pairing community members with high school students.
- Sulphur Springs Middle School math teacher Kelly Shutt was given $2,000 for the program ”Little Bits for Mega Bytes.” in the project, students will use magnetic electronic components such as motors, switches, lights and speakers to invent solutions to real world problems involving math and science.
- Early Childhood Learning Center teachers Misty Teer and Cheryl Blount are receiving $2,000 for “Pasture to Play Space.” The program turns an unused field into an interactive teaching playscape.
- Sulphur Springs Elementary School physical education teacher Coco Gunn will be awarded $1,500 for an outdoor education project that will teach children outside activities for lifetime fitness, like fishing and disc golf.
To donate to the foundation, visit the website: SSISDeducationfoundation. com.
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