North East Educational Foundation welcomes teachers with more than $300K in grants

Aug 10, 2020 | News

North East Educational Foundation (NEEF) kicked off the distribution of $310,000 in innovative classroom grants to North East ISD (NEISD) teachers during the District’s virtual convocation Monday morning.

Complete with confetti poppers and a dancing mascot, NEEF Executive Director Amy Lane announced eight of the 41 teacher grant winners virtually. The other 33 winners will be surprised at their campus this Fall.

  • Walzem Elementary Special Education Teacher Kristen Hill is receiving more than $4,600 for a trauma sensitive campus initiative.
  • Serna Elementary Pre-K Teacher Laurie Cordova is receiving $4,200 for an outdoor play area that will encourage dramatic play, gross motor skill development as well as large muscle movements.
  • From Cibolo Green Elementary, Melissa Perez is receiving $4,000 for her school’s Social Emotional Learning Class.
  • Dellview Elementary’s Wendy Castillo will use $5,000 to bring Distance Learning Math Manipulative Kits to her campus.
  • From Hardy Oak Elementary, Laurie Darilek and Ashlee Lara will receive $5,100 to make large fonts books available to dyslexic students and struggling readers.
  • Churchill High School’s Alejandro Gomez is receiving $3,400 for a Computer Science Drone Project.
  • Wood Middle School is receiving $9,500 for virtual reality tools thanks to a grant submitted by Aron Smudy, Katie Davidson, Melissa Bauernfeind and Principal Joaquin Hernandez.
  • From the Academy of Creative Education, Sandra Villegas McClure is receiving a $42,000 grant for Court Reporting, Stenography Machines. This Districtwide initiative will build careers for NEISD graduates in a high-demand field.

The Foundation also awarded $20,000 in teacher supply grants to new teachers last week.

“We know that times may be tough for our teachers, so we are happy to support them any way we can,” Executive Director Amy Lane said.

Camelot Elementary Bilingual Kindergarten Teacher Adania Cardona Solis is one of 100 new teachers who won a $200 teacher supply grant from NEEF.

She plans to use the grant to purchase quality, authentic and diverse books for her classroom library.

“They will be Spanish or bilingual since those kind of books for children are harder to get passed down or donated,” Solis said.

She will also use the money to purchase smaller items that make students excited to learn.

The new kindergarten teacher sends a big thank you to NEEF’s donors for making the new teacher grants possible.

“I am so thankful to be given funds to expand my classroom library because reading is so important,” Solis said. “As a first-year teacher, these grants are basically a gift from God! Thank you to everyone!”

Churchill High School Art Teacher Sarah Spano will use the funds to purchase as many art-related supplies as she can get.

“The donation is incredibly necessary at this time, not only as a new teacher, but in a subject that requires students to share supplies,” Spano said. “These funds are essential to get the classroom organized to provide safety for continuing creativity.”

Supply grants are an addition to the Foundation’s main mission, which is funding innovative grants for NEISD teachers.NEEF is a private non-profit charitable corporation that works to raise money to expand educational opportunities for NEISD students.

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