North East Educational Foundation awarding $316,000 to educators

Oct 20, 2021 | Our Stories

Now through Oct. 29, the North East Educational Foundation is surprising North East ISD educators with $316,000 in grants.

At Larkspur Elementary, Principal Cody Miller received a $15,000 NEEF Innovative Grant to create a musical playground. The grant will fund percussion instruments to allow students the opportunity to play and experiment with music.

“Music is another language and playing music has direct cognitive and affective benefits. Having musical instruments available in the school park and playground area is very rare. This grant will bring percussion instruments to Larkspur children and provide kids a space to engage in making music,” Miller said.

Students enrolled at STEM Academy at LEE High School will have one of the most advanced technological tools at their fingertips. STEM Academy Director Jennifer Jensen received a whopping $78,000 NEEF Innovative Grant to purchase an Anatomage Table, which will allow students to manipulate and interact with virtual cadavers in their classrooms.

“The Anatomage will enable our students to participate in a virtual world as they explore the human body. Students will be able to learn about how diseases impact the body by taking an in-depth look at actual specimen slices of the human body. Incorporating this equipment into our program will enable students to examine all of the body systems to see how they interact with one another,” Jensen said.

Career and Technical Education Program Coordinator Cori McGhee received a NEEF Innovative Grant for $18,950. This grant will help fund Vex Robotics kits needed for the new middle school Robotics I course at 10 middle schools. Using the kits, students will build, code, and operate their own robot.

“Utilizing Vex Robotics kits offers a real-word, hands-on experience. The earlier we can reach the students, introduce STEM, and spark that interest the better. I feel we have a responsibility to teach them real-world skills at an early age in order to prepare them for earning certifications, learning a trade, or preparing them for whatever might come next,” McGhee said.

She hopes the grant will also help grow student interest in cybersecurity and STEM while preparing students for a future at NEISD’s Institute of Cybersecurity & Innovation.

NEEF is awarding 37 Innovative Grants this fall. Grant Applications for next year will open in January 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.

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