“The grant committee was really impressed with the grant submissions this year and opted to fund more grants than what we originally budgeted for,” said Greg Bowden, president of the Georgetown ISD Education Foundation. “After all, this is why we exist - to support innovation in our schools - and our donors help make these experiences possible for students throughout the district.”
The Foundation holds two grant cycles annually, where teachers are invited to submit ideas for innovative programming that might not otherwise be funded in the current budget cycle. Fall grants are awarded to individual teachers for projects up to $500 each. Spring grants may be funded up to $5,000 and are the collaborative effort of more than one teacher or staff member.
Fall 2020 Awardees
The Sensory Friendly Initiative
Awarded to Nikki Smurthwaite at Carver Elementary School
Provide special needs students with a therapeutic space with a variety specialized equipment. The space will help calm and focus students when returning to a special needs class and/or prepare them for learning and interaction before entering inclusion classrooms.
Lights, Camera, Green Screen!
Awarded to Amanda Del Conte at Carver Elementary School
Grant funds will go towards the purchase of a green screen app for each device in the library along with materials to facilitate the making of both live action and stop motion animation movies by students.
I Am A re-Marketable Artist!!
Awarded to Jon Hanna at East View High School
Visual arts classes this year are centered not only on art skills and refinement, but also using social media and technology to market products as professional artists. Tools purchased will give students the skills for presenting their ideas and future marketability.
Independent Learning Classrooms (ILC) Garden
Awarded to Teresa Kennedy at East View High School
ILC class will begin planting seedlings indoors in February, transfer to outdoor gardens in the Spring, and harvest vegetables for salsa.
Kindness Learning Center
Awarded to Karla Grzymala at Forbes Middle School
To creat an outdoor learning center with seating, butterfly gardens, and student artwork. Grant funds will purchase treated lumber, outdoor paint, and landscape products.
Visual Narrative Production
Awarded to Cynthia Urban at Forbes Middle School
Students will produce their own demonstration videos with a "classroom mini-recording studio" that consists of virtual background, lighting, microphone, and webcam attached to an adjustable boom-arm.
Infusing Materials for multicultural awareness through literacy and play
Awarded to Jennifer Gustafson at Frost Elementary School
Provide multiethnic dolls, books and play materials to promote multicultural awareness, inclusion, and kindness through pretend play.
Manos en la masa/hands-on algebra
Awarded to Aldo Maldanado at the Georgetown Alternative Program
Utilize manipulatives to teach and find solutions to linear equations and solve problems with fractions and percentages.
Lead, Serve & Grow Plants
Awarded to Lacy Ide at Georgetown High School
Students will learn to maintain a greenhouse to industry standards, composting and recycling for plant growth, and how to utilize compost and plants for landscaping and vegetable growth.
Innovating From The Ground Up
Awarded to Dustin Coffing at Georgetown High School
Culinary students will be introduced to growing and producing microgreens. Students will create healthy dishes and sell packages of microgreens to staff.
Garbanzo/Voluntary Reading Library
Awarded to Maria Velez-Montes at Georgetown High School
Students will learn and comprehend Spanish utilizing Flangoo (a web-based service offering a wide range of Spanish readers/topics) and Garbanzo (story-based learning focusing on comprehension and retention).
Acquiring Literacy in a Second Language
Awarded to Lillian Lermon at Georgetown High School
Online resource for foreign language classes to learn the language through books and interactive websites. Websites would encourage reading and writing skills and improve vocabulary, communication and comprehension.
Spanish Literacy during COVID-19
Awarded to Madeline Guerra at Georgetown High School
Provides students with online platforms to encourage bilingual reading and writing literacy that can be accessed via the Internet from anywhere. These online platforms will assist students in the language learning process.
Drones in School Training
Awarded to Robert Thomas at Georgetown High School’s Eagle Innovation Center
Products purchased to facilitate joining the Drones in Schools racing league that supports STEM Education Initiatives via designing, building and racing 3D Printed FPV Drones known as "Tiny Whoops".
A Bird’s Eye View on Collaboration
Awarded to Weston Scholten at Georgetown High School
Acquire a Ruko Drone Camera for marching band to allow students to analyze and critique performances and rehearsals. The drone will give students the vantage point of a bird's eye view rather than "eyesight" and can be used for years in the future.
WACOM Drawing Tablets 4 Digital Draw
Awarded to Rachel Rollins at Georgetown High School
Students will create digital drawings using the department's laptop cart and the WACOM Tablets purchased with grant funds.
EFND (Eagle Fight Never Dies) Welcome Boxes
Awarded to Tara Simpson & Amy Beran at Georgetown High School
These Welcome Boxes given to new students will introduce them to the rich tradition and history of GHS and offer Eagle spirit items and community information.
Awarded to MaKayla McSpadden at McCoy Elementary School
Students will use high interest books to create a "BOOKcast" (podcast) using the Synth app. By creating a BOOKcast, students will discuss elements of the book using a rubric. Upon completion, there will be a BOOKcast party where they can explore and learn from fellow peers.
Learning Literature with Legos
Awarded to Janae Pierce at McCoy Elementary School
By pairing literature and building, students are given the opportunity to communicate, collaborate, apply critical thinking, innovate, and obtain knowledge through inquiry and exploration.
Social Emotional Learning - Outdoors
Awarded to Stephanie Kuykendall at Tippit Middle School
Give students an opportunity to exert energy and release endorphins to reduce anxiety and depression during this time of distancing. These PE equipment items will allow for socialization, peer relationships and lowering of stress.
Awarded to Katelyn Baker at Village Elementary School
The Osmo Little Genius Starter pack makes screen time productive with interactive manipulatives to reinforce letters, alphabet, and shape knowledge. Students will utilize technology and also INTERACT with technology with the use of age appropriate manipulatives.
Awarded to Shelly Stehling at Williamson County Juvenile Justice Center
Grant funds will be used to create a Podcast that allows students in a correctional facility to share their talents in a positive way while maintaining their anonymity.
Hand2mind Stem Kits
Awarded to Kim Pauley at Williams Elementary School
Providing students with two STEM bin kits that offer creative and developmentally appropriate engineering activities. The non-consumable kits are hands-on, interactive, high interest and fun!
Awarded to Hannah Mize at Williams Elementary School
Percussion instruments to be used in music class for all grade levels.
Chess: The “Game of Kings” and all
Awarded to Angie Jones at Williams Elementary School
Students will be given the opportunity to learn and play chess during grade-level designated enrichment times. Once a week after school, a Chess Club will meet to play chess.
Prekindergarten’s Outdoor Play Space
Awarded to Amanda Chavez at Williams Elementary School
Pre-K's Outdoor Play Space "POPS" will provide developmentally appropriate equipment to explore physical activity outdoors.
Spread Books, not Germs
Awarded to Rebecca Nolen at Wolf Ranch Elementary School
This grant will allow for the purchase of a more extensive classroom library so that books can always be available while others are in "quarantine".
Telescopes to the Stars
Awarded to Mark Kearney at Wolf Ranch Elementary School
By mounting two high-powered telescopes on Wolf Ranch, it will give students the opportunity to record observations according to the TEKS and observe different celestial patterns.
The purpose of this program is to fund innovative and creative educational projects that impact student learning. Georgetown ISD Education Foundation is not interested in funding projects that have been in existence for many years but are now being cut due to budget constraints. Instead, they want to give teachers the opportunity to create new and engaging learning experience
Georgetown ISD Education Foundation does not fund stipends, salaries or teacher travel expenses to conferences or training. However, requests for staff development (registration fees for workshops, conference or substitutes) will be considered when these activities represent one component of a well-planned project, integrated with other activities that directly impact students
No. All applications are judged through a blind-review process. The first page of the application, the Signature Page, is removed before given to the judges to be read. Therefore, we ask that you NOT mention your name or your school name anywhere on your application after the Signature Page. We want every application to be judged on the merit of the proposed project.
In supporting innovation and creativity, we encourage educators to seek out cutting-edge technology that is proven to impact student achievement. We recognize that if the technology is new, it might not yet be on the district’s approved list. We strongly encourage all applicants to have their grant ideas reviewed during our February 15 Professional Learning Day at one of the grant review sessions.
A work plan lists out all of the steps necessary to complete your project. For example, if your project is to host a student art exhibition at Wolf Ranch, your first step might be to meet with the Wolf Ranch manager to agree on a time period the student work could be on display.
Another step would be to purchase the supplies needed for the art. Another step would be to begin a six -week instructional unit on watercolor painting with your fifth grade students.
Another step might be to take a field trip to a museum to see some masterpiece watercolor paintings. The important aspect of the work plan is that you are showing the reviewer that you have thought out all of the steps necessary for your project to be successful. This was not a last minute, late night idea you had, but you have developed a well-defined plan.
Yes, it is important to take the time to list out exactly how you intend to spend the grantor’s money. Of course, Georgetown ISD Education Foundation understands that there might be slight changes once the purchase is made, but go through the effort of giving the reviewer an idea of what books you intend to purchase with the funds requested.
Georgetown ISD Education Foundation awards all of the funds allocated for Teacher Innovation Grants; therefore, we often do not have extra to handle situations like this. We remind all applicants to include shipping and handling costs in their budget.
We do not encourage applicants to use a type of standardized testing as the measure of success. Therefore, we encourage you to find multiple measures of success such as a pre and post project measurement, rubric, student survey, or peer evaluation.
We are glad you asked! You can send a letter home to your students’ parents announcing your grant award and explaining what wonderful opportunities their children will receive (or future students) because of this grant and Georgetown ISD Education Foundation. You may write an article for your campus newsletter and/or update your teacher website throughout the school year on the progress of your grant project; submit a press release to your local newspaper; tell your friends and neighbors; or put stickers that say “Purchased by Georgetown ISD Education Foundation” on any non-consumable supplies purchased with grant funds. In all communications, we encourage you to include our website www.gisdedfound.org. The more you can get our name out there, the easier it will be to raise money, then the more money we can give out in grants to teachers like you!