Nearly 30 teachers in the El Paso Independent School District got a helping hand from the EPISD Education Foundation in helping bring innovative instruction into classrooms all over the District.
The Foundation surprised 29 teachers with grants up to $1,000 this fall — bringing the grand total of giving back to EPISD at more than $120,000 for this year.
“We enjoyed visiting campuses and hearing about how the teachers will use their grants to fund innovative projects in their classrooms,” said Board President Russell Wiggs. “It was priceless to see the expression on their faces when we announced their names as winners. This shows our Foundation is making a difference for EPISD students and teachers.”
Teachers submitted their proposals online in the spring for consideration. The application process for fall 2018 will begin in spring.
This year’s grants spanned grade levels and subject matter but makerspaces seemed to an on-going theme for many elementary schools. Makerspaces are being built at all EPISD traditional high schools luring many elementary campuses to create their own.
“I am excited to have opportunity to have a makerspace in my classroom,” said Laura Salazar, a 4th grade teacher at Mesita Elementary. “I applied for some more expensive items and some not as expensive but when you start putting it together, it all adds up.”
Salazar learned more about creating a makerspace during the application process and looks forward doing her own. She encourages other teachers to apply and to consider supporting the Foundation.
“I’m a teacher who has been able to give to the Foundation in the past,” she said. “It’s so worthwhile. I’ve seen my fellow teachers who have had grants for their classroom and they’ve been able to benefit from them. I’m excited for my students and how they will benefit from the makerspace.”
Silva Magnet biotech teacher Guadalupe Tapia is a multiple year recipient of an EPISD Education Foundation. She happily shared the news with her students, grinning from ear to ear during a short presentation announcing her grant.
“I’m so excited,” she said. “This is a good opportunity for the school and for students to get new equipment that is coming out for biotech. This means new toys for our students to learn skills they will need for the future.”
Congratulations to the following teachers for receiving a 2017 grant:
|Eloisa Rodriguez||Alta Vista||Innovation and Creation: Our Library Makerspace|
|Rosanna Alvarado||Bond||Discovery Learning Center|
|Sandy Romo||Brown||ELA Media Mix|
|Robin Figueroa||Canyon Hills||Project Student Experts|
|Beth Bunt||Canyon Hills||8th Grade ELAR Active Learning classroom|
|Carmen Davila||Collins||Engagement is the Key to Success!|
|Yadira Vitela||Collins||Love for Reading|
|Renee Aguirre||Coronado||Lights! Camera! Action!|
|Patricia Martin||Franklin 9th grade||Student Skill Trainer Sets|
|Jamalah Pope||Irvin||CRC Classroom Economy|
|Patricia Ramirez||Irvin||Theater/Art Collaboration|
|Angela C. Word||Lincoln||Green Screen Scholars|
|Erin Quevedo||Lundy||Lundy STEAM Project|
|Ana Caballero||Mesita||Press Play for Spanish|
|Sharon Hsu||Mesita||Hacking Chinese Characters: A better way of learning Mandarin|
|Laura Salazar||Mesita||Innovative Classroom Makerspace|
|Sonia Chang||Mesita ECDC||Speak Chinese Out|
|Miriam Cook||Morehead||Active Learning Studio Space|
|Camille Calderon||Powell||First Grade STEM Initiative|
|Emily Sullivan||Putnam||STEAM Club|
|Laura L. Rico||Putnam||Programming and Coding with Ozobot|
|Guadalupe Tapia||Silva Health Magnet||Bringing Real-World STEM experiences to the classroom|
|Kimberly R. Villanueva||Tippin||Flexible Classroom Seating|
|Claudia Galindo||TMECHS||First Aid and Safety Health Education|
|Anett Bearden||Tom Lea||Student-Centered Seating, Noise-Canceling Headphones, and Efficacious Student Engagement|
|Minerva Morales||Tom Lea||Amazing People in Our Remarkable World””|
|Lisa A. Schoenbrun||Western Hills||Plant Me in First Grade|
|Vanessa Ortiz||Wiggs||Escape Room in the Classroom|
|Mona Plaza||YWA||YWA STEAM Garden|
The presentations to teachers gave Wiggs a chance to plug the Employee Giving Campaign, which runs through Nov. 1. Last year, employees contributed more than $18,000 to the fund. Funds raised through Employee Giving, fund-raising events and corporate sponsors allowed the Foundation to award $92,000 in scholarships and $25,000 in grants in 2017.
Wiggs encouraged employees to make a contribution by payroll deduction to the Foundation to help fund grants and scholarship for 2018. The campus with the largest contribution will receive a family-four pack of tickets for Wet N Wild Waterpark for each employee making a contribution during the campaign, with a minimum contribution required.
The second place campus will receive a Peter Piper Pizza party. Walgreens will do make overs for all contributors at the third place campus.
All employees giving at least $50 will receive a small pizza from Peter Piper Pizza. .