Waco ISD Education Foundation SurPRIZE Patrol Awards $107,015

Waco ISD Education Foundation SurPRIZE Patrol Awards $107,015
Posted on 04/20/2017

The Waco ISD Education Foundation and its SurPRIZE Patrol visited 12 Waco ISD campuses Thursday to surprise 24 teachers with the news that their grant applications have been approved for funding for the 2017-2018 school year. This year, the Foundation is awarding $107,015 back to the district, bringing the total funded to more than $1.5 million over the past decade and a half.

District teachers and staff had the opportunity to apply for funding through the Foundation’s Innovative Grants program this past fall. That program annually awards approximately $100,000 in grant funding in the four focus areas of early childhood development, enhanced programming for advanced students, extended education for staff, and emphasis on student performance.

This year’s grants span a wide array of projects ranging from STEM-based projects utilizing drones, robots or rockets to the fine arts, archery and architecture.

Taylor Bledsoe, chairman of the Education Foundation board and vice president of Sturdisteel, was on hand for multiple grant surprises today, including a grant at Cesar Chavez Middle School named in Sturdisteel’s honor.

“We feel it is very important to invest in our community, and we are always thrilled to be able to sponsor a grant for the WISD Education Foundation,” Bledsoe stated. “This year the Foundation was able to award $107,000 in grants that will benefit teachers and students across the district. The Foundation funds so many awesome grants that provide teachers with unique opportunities to teach their students in creative and exciting ways.”

In addition to district staff, Foundation board members and committee members, today’s SurPRIZE Patrol also included representatives from some of the 17 local businesses that had a grant named in their honor based on their recent contributions and support at the 11th Annual H-E-B Celebrity Cookoff. The Foundation’s annual fundraising event raised $136,000 this year.

Letters of intent and full applications are screened and scored by a committee comprised of members of the Foundation’s board of directors and community volunteers. Applications are scored on various categories including rationale, goals, plan of operation, communication and long-term implications.

Below is a list of the 24 grants, including the recipient’s name and campus, title of the project, amount funded and named sponsor, if applicable.

2017-2018 Grant Recipients

Noah Alvarado
Lake Air Montessori Magnet
“Music Composition/Production Lab”
Sponsored by: Window World
Ernest Amende
Indian Spring Middle
“Books for Bulldogs”
Sponsored by: H&B Packing
Valerie Bravo
Provident Heights Elementary
“PreK Adventures”
Sponsored by: Grand Canyon University
Haley Dean
Lake Air Montessori Magnet
“Montessori in 3D”
Brittany Foster
Tennyson Middle
“Microscope Lenses for iPads”
Sponsored by: GoldStar Transit
Carolyn Green
West Avenue Elementary
“See it... Be There!”
Sponsored by: Waco Coca-Cola
Lindsey Helton
Alta Vista Elementary
“MakerSpace: Making Learning Engaging”
Dina Hoffman
Kendrick Elementary
“Think Outside - No Box Required”
Sponsored by: Sanderson Farms
Dr. Kathryn Hopkins
Waco High
“Rockets in Space”
Travis Horton
Tennyson Middle
“For Those About to Rock”
Valerie Klem
University High & Waco High
“Reach for the Stars”
Sponsored by: Educators Credit Union
Shawn Knuckles
District-Wide Project
“Painting Our Future”
Sponsored by: H-E-B Plus!
Erin Lange
Cedar Ridge Elementary
“Motoring to Success”
Christie Lujan
Waco High
“Music Technology/Keyboard Lab”
Cheryl McIlwain
Brook Avenue Elementary
“Rocking Creativity with Quaver“
Sponsored by: Waco Motorsports
Lucy Murphy
University High
“Dinner and a Show”
Lisa Pierce
Lake Air Montessori Magnet
Sponsored by: Lowe's of Waco
Sherry Prather
Tennyson Middle
“Three Tiered Greenhouse”
Sponsored by: Allen Samuels Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram
Matthew Rambo
ATLAS Academy
“Drones: They're Not Just Toys”
Sponsored by: Cargill
Daniel Renfro
Cesar Chavez Middle
“Project Lead the Way - Automation & Robotics”
Sponsored by: Sturdisteel
Windy Shuler
Brook Avenue Elementary
“It's a Whole New World! Let's Travel!”
Sponsored by: Central National Bank
Jane Sykes
ATLAS Academy
“Nature's Classroom Institute”
Sponsored by: Baylor University
Randall Weidner
Waco High
“Architectural Modeling & Design Proofing”
Sponsored by: DuPuy Oxygen & Supply
Kelsey Welden
Tennyson Middle
“Math Moves!”
Sponsored by: Authentic Granite & Marble