The North East Educational Foundation (NEEF) is surprising teachers across North East ISD this week with a record $218,101 in grants for their school projects. The NEEF Board of Directors will travel to 39 NEISD campuses to award checks for 48 innovative classroom projects.

The first checks on Monday went to Coker Elementary School teachers Shelly Belford and Margaret McDaniel, followed by Olmos Elementary School teacher Deborah Mollicone and MacArthur High School teacher Stacey Sebesta.

Thanks to these grants, Belford will have $6,000 to buy material and equipment to create a school-wide science lab, McDaniel will purchase iPads to enhance her school’s Makerspace centers with her $6,554 grant, and Mollicone will purchase STEM/robotics kits for the school’s Gifted and Talented and robotics club students with a grant she will receive for $4,500.

Sebesta works with high school students who have severe cognitive disabilities. She will get $5,495 to purchase a professional printer and supplies that will help her students develop meaningful job skills.

“The big push is for our kids to be employed in whatever way works best for them. It’s something that is going to give them dignity in the community,” said Sebesta. “With this project, they will learn to take orders, make deliveries and design posters for our own school, as well as area elementary schools. It’s going to be great. It’s something that they can add on their resume.”

Even though Sebesta was hopeful that her project would get chosen, she didn’t know for sure. It was a huge surprise to her when members of the NEEF Board of Directors, her Principal and District staff showed up in her office with a huge check and cameras rolling.

“I had no idea. I didn’t know what was going on. Then when I saw the big check, I thought, ‘We got it! We got it!’”

NEEF supplies grants for innovative ideas that will supplement NEISD curriculum and help teachers bring learning to life for their students. These funds are raised by NEEF board of directors through annual events and donations from the NEISD business partners and community members.

Other projects funded by NEEF this year include Chromebooks, water conservation projects, weather stations, math resources and reading intervention systems. The surprise visits will occur the week of May 22-26.

NEEF is an independent, non-profit board dedicated to providing educational opportunities that directly benefit North East ISD students, district-wide. To learn more about NEEF, click here: North East Educational Foundation

To see a photo album of the presentations, go to the NEISD Facebook photo album here: NEEF Prize Patrol Visits


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