When Kimberly Miterko arrived at the North East ISD Sports Park Tuesday afternoon, she was prepared to answer follow-up questions regarding her North East Educational Foundation innovative grant request.
Instead, the special education teacher found herself holding a giant check in front of a cheerful crowd at the Partners in Education Thank You Celebration.
“I was tricked! This is a big surprise,” Miterko said. “I am extremely excited for this.”
The grant will provide a unique opportunity for North East Transition Services (NETS) students to learn independence, responsibility and daily life engagement through the school’s G3 Program: Garden, Grocery and Gourmet.
The program will equip students with grocery shopping skills, how to order food from a menu, as well as skills needed to work in a restaurant-style café. Students will also learn how to grow a sustainable garden.
“I know it is going to benefit our program and our students, and it’s really going to affect the functionality and how they move forward into their transitions, so ‘thank you,’” Miterko added.
NEEF typically awards innovative grants in the fall, but NEEF Grants Chair Nicki Marrone selected one grant to be awarded at the Thank You Celebration.
“We wanted you to be a part of it because you are who makes all of it possible,” NEEF Executive Director Amy Lane told the crowd of NEEF supporters. “We are so appreciative of how you have hung with us, during a really tough pandemic. We know that your businesses all struggled as well and the fact that you still donated and supported through volunteer efforts means so much to us.”
NEISD Superintendent Dr. Sean Maika also thanked community partners for their involvement.
“I often say that educating a child is a three-legged stool, or a triangle, and it’s the child, it’s the community and the parent, and it’s the school district. You have to have all three pieces in there,” Maika said. “Whether it’s internships, externships, coming in to classrooms, or whether it’s financial, it really speaks volumes to the strengths of the North East Independent School district community.”
The celebration featured the LEE High School mariachi group, cheerleaders and delicious food. They each walked out with a goodie bag and a calendar of NEEF’s upcoming events.
Thank you for your support, NEISD community partners!