This week, the North East Educational Foundation (NEEF) has been surprising NEISD educators
with Innovative Grant checks for a variety of programs. Every year, NEEF opens the grant
application process to NEISD educators. Once the applications are in, NEEF Board Members
select the grant recipients.

This year, NEEF is giving away $271,049 in grants. More than 30 teachers and staff received
grants just this week! Among them, Paul Fritz, teacher at DATA – Roosevelt, was surprised with
a hefty grant for $42,688 to build out their studio space and use cutting edge software. Mr.
Fritz will purchase the same software that was used to create scenes in “The Mandalorian,” a
Disney+ production. Unity and Unreal Engine software are used in a variety of fields such as,
CAD design, architecture, video game production, and film. With the state-of-the-art
production facility and equipment, students will be better prepared for these highly specialized
careers.

NEISD is molding the next generation of healthcare technicians at the Career and Technical
Education Center. A $51,000 grant was distributed to Walter Pearson, instructor of the
Emergency Medical Technician program, for an ambulance simulator. It will feature a full-size
ambulance patient compartment where students can conduct realistic simulations for medical
and trauma patients. Partnering with UT Health Science Center, the program prepares students
for certification, which will qualify graduates to work for an EMS or fire department.
Several librarians received grant checks to assist neurodiverse and reluctant readers by
purchasing books with a built-in audio component, large print books, and textured books. At
Vineyard Ranch Elementary’s library, check sponsor HEB told us that the person working as the
H-E-Buddy mascot that day was personally moved by this grant, because he had recently been
diagnosed with dyslexia. The Wonderbooks help kids gain a love of reading, bringing them up to
speed and/or exceeding their peers.

To be considered for a NEEF Innovative Grant, this year’s grant application process will
commence in December 2022.

NEEF is a private non-profit charitable corporation that works to raise money to expand
educational opportunities for the students of North East ISD. NEEF funds a wide range of
innovative classroom projects, including cutting-edge technology, community gardens, special
education resources, STEAM programs, and much more.