November, 2009San Angelo Schools Foundation members rode a bus on a mission to deliver $15,500 in grants to 45 teachers on 17 San Angelo Independent School District campuses.
The nonprofit organization surprised the teachers with the grant checks on Friday.
“This is something we do every year,” foundation president Lance Carrico said. “It’s the funnest day of the year.”
Teachers are annually invited to apply for the grants, which are awarded to projects designed to enhance the classroom learning experience. Since awarding the first grants in 1988, the San Angelo Schools Foundation has given away nearly $250,000 in grants to teachers.
The “prize patrol” traveled by bus from school to school, visiting classrooms around the city.
Six grants were awarded at Fort Concho Elementary School.
For third-grade teacher Debra Lisoski, the grant to pay for a campus weather station was the third she’s been awarded.
“I did one with a science cart before we had a science lab,” she said. “Then I got one for an ABC book the kids watercolored, for bookbinding costs.”
She said the weather station will be used by every grade, starting with the kindergarteners, and will last for years.
Those aspects are key to the grant awards, said the foundation’s chief operating officer, Debbi Meads.
“The goal of the schools and the foundation is to fund innovative learning opportunities that can be sustained year after year after year,” she said.
The grants made Friday ranged from $500 to as little as $89, which was awarded to Crockett Elementary School third-grade teacher Holli Economidis for materials to create Flat Stanleys, which the children will send to friends or relatives. The traveling Flat Stanleys are returned with a photographic record of their adventures.
The school that won the most grants Friday was Lee Middle School with seven. The grants ranged from $500 to $275 and included requests for headphones to use with technology projects, flip digital video cameras and supplies to restock an empty 75-gallon fish tank.