NEEF surprises educators with innovative grants at convocation

Aug 13, 2021 | Our Stories

North East Educational Foundation (NEEF) kicked off the distribution of $317,000 in innovative grants to North East ISD teachers during convocation.

NEEF Interim Executive Director Natalie Bobadilla surprised winning teachers at all seven North East ISD convocations with a giant check.

From Bush Middle School, Gina Gattavara Peterson and Olivia Gold received $4,444 for their project: Edison Botanical Garden Club. This grant will fund not only a typical outdoor garden, but also an indoor and underground garden. The plan is to incorporate a greenhouse in the open space under the school’s building in order to utilize different unique environments.

Dellview Elementary Principal Kelli Nungesser, Holly Ledwig and Jennifer Santellan received $4,000 for their project: Book Aholics. This grant will provide a variety of books so that the campus can implement book clubs for students in all grade levels.

From Northwood Elementary, Marcy Hildebrand received $29,973 for her project Northwood Soundscapes: A Musically Collaborative Learning Experience. The grant will fund a musical outdoor classroom full of many different musical instruments to create endless opportunities that foster positive social-emotional learning.

Jeanette dela Cruz from Cibolo Green Elementary received $2,694 for her project: SMART Lab.

This grant will provide a space for students in Pre-K through 2nd grade to meet their sensory, academic and emotional needs through guided focused activities that are facilitated by teachers and professionals.

Melissa Flowers, Brandi Stubbins, Kelsey Nuckolls and Susie Brantley from DATA at Ed White Middle School received $4,942 for their project: DATeggnology @ Ed White. This grant will fund the necessary supplies for students to design and construct a campus chicken coop. The coop will be used campus-wide as students connect with nature to learn about sustainability, the food system and various complex ecosystems. By caring for a flock of chickens, students will also learn about biology, compassionate animal husbandry and food science.

Eric Atkins from Churchill High School received $7,631 for his project: Biotechnology Integration in Genomics Inquiry Experimentation. This grant will fund biotechnology equipment to conduct advanced inquiry-based experimentation in the field of genomics. The primary focus will be on the students’ operational exposure to this highly advanced biotech equipment, while also providing students with the critical thinking skills needed to succeed in these challenging experimentations.

From Woodstone Elementary, Nancy Salinas received $12,605 for her project: TI-Nspire Calculator and Rover. The grant will fund handheld TI-Nspire calculators as well as a set of Rovers for fifth-grade students to utilize in the classroom. Students will learn how to code using the TI-Nspire calculator and how to transfer and maneuver the Rover to follow commands.

“We are looking forward to seeing all of these grants in action,” Bobadilla said. “We know they will make a difference in the lives of many students for years to come.”

A total of 30 more teachers will be surprised with innovative grants at their campus this Fall.

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