The Granbury ISD Education Foundation party bus drove through the community on November 15 announcing the district winners of more than $88,000 in innovative teaching grants and special awards.
The new grants will fund several innovative teaching and school initiatives in the second half of the 2022-23 school year. The funding will help provide equipment and innovative learning for engineering, leadership, math, music, outdoor learning, science, technology and video broadcasting.
“What the teachers do is they give out a grant and then it’s just for what they think they might need,” said Stacy Mitchell, president of the GEF board. “We bought a new camera and some headsets for the group doing the Pirate production. We bought some health science simulators. They’re starting a program called Pirate Pups and they’re going to start their own grooming business working on the teachers’ pets and then probably open it to the public.
The HEB Tournament of Champions sponsored a scholarship to three campuses: John and Lyn Brawner Elementary School, STARS Accelerated High School, and Granbury Middle School. The Brawner grant will provide scientific laboratory equipment, the STARS grant will encourage learning through iconic Texas experiences, and the GMS grant will sponsor patio furniture for a reading area in the campus courtyard.
“The GMS grant is called Reading in the Round,” Mitchell said. “They set up hammocks at GMS and picnic tables in their little areas in the middle for kids during lunch breaks to hang out and read. It’s all glass and they have a little area in the middle to give them extra space.”
According to a Granbury ISD press release, funds from Willie Crossland Memorial will help American Sign Language teachers at Granbury High School create course content with access to quality tools and technology to teach language development.
Wolf Hollow sponsored outdoor study areas at the Emma Roberson Early Learning Academy, providing students with a spot in front of K to build cities and roads during recess. According to the press release, EECU Credit Union funds will also help fund a field trip for students from STEAM Academy at Mambrino, where they experience the abstract world of science through research and guided tours.
“For Mambrino and Brawner, they received a grant for Drumming Our Way to Fitness, where it focuses on the brain and body and strengthens them along with banging the drums,” Mitchell said. “We also do CTE (Career and Technical Education) certifications, if students get their EMT, Vet-Tech or Auto-Tech certifications and the only reason they can’t go is money, then we pay for it. We typically give about $7,500 to the CTE Department for these children. It’s just all we can do what they need.”
A total of $4,000 was donated to GHS and STARS to fund college tuition at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas State Technical College in Waco, and Weatherford College in Weatherford.
A $5,000 donation from an anonymous donor was used to purchase new wind instruments for the district.
In addition, the grants will be used to buy grooming coats for students involved in Pirate Pups, to fund a leadership camp at the Marine Military Academy in Arlington, and to buy a new camera for a graphic design class.
“Teachers love it when we give out scholarships because 50 fellas bring in that money and we can then put it right back into the school,” Mitchell added. “We’re giving the teachers the money and the GISD to pay for those extra things they need.”
In the spring, GEF awards nine grants totaling $2,000. Three of these will go to children of GISD employees, three will go to students going to college or university, and three will go to students going to trade school.
“We had a kid who wanted to go to auto trade school and they have to have their own tools, so he didn’t want to go because they’re like $1,000, so we ended up buying them. We also fill in some of this for those kids if needed because that’s such a huge expense,” Mitchell said.
The total amount of GEF grants for each campus for the year 2022-2023 is shown below:
• Granbury High School: $239,808
• Granbury Middle School: $96,957
• Acton Middle School: $61,528
• Acton Elementary School: $68,595
• Oak Woods School: $58,396
• John and Lyn Brawner Elementary School: $78,689
• STEAM Academy at Mambrino: $80,975
• Nettie Baccus Elementary School: $60,038
• Emma Roberson Early Learning Academy: $57,278
• Little Buccaneers: $1,000
• STARS Accelerated High School: $18,483
According to Mitchell, this year’s funding brings the GEF’s nine-year total to approximately $821,747 in funds raised for scholarships and innovative learning projects.
“The Granbury ISD Education Foundation hopes to have a number of awards this spring to add to the grand total,” added Mitchell. “We made a goal to have awarded $1 million to our schools after our 10th 50 Fellas Foodfest.”