On November 9, the Education Foundations' Grants to Educators "grant patrol" delivered more than $100,000 in grants in surprise visits to teachers in their classrooms. Grants to Educators is an annual program, funded by the Education Foundation, that benefits the students of the district by awarding grant money to teachers for innovative student learning projects.
Sponsors, volunteers and donors play an important part in bringing these grants to teachers. The grant giving process actually began months ago with fundraising to support the Foundations' programs. SKI Plano is the Foundation's most important annual fundraising event. Scheduled for February 3 in 2018, the upcoming SKI Plano will benefit the 2018 grants. Kenneth Hutchenrider foundation board president said, “We are so appreciative of our business and community partners who participate in Grants to Educators as donors and volunteers. The Education Foundation and our sponsors are proud to help strengthen teaching and learning district-wide by providing resources to teachers.” Grants to Educators is generously supported by sponsors: Park Place Lexus Plano, Alliance Data, Huawei, TAFF – The Andrea-Mennen Family Foundation, the Plano ISD Council of PTAs and Carole Greisdorf.
By September of this year, 270 online grant applications were completed by teachers. Judges then began the process of evaluating the applications, taking into consideration factors such as the number of students impacted, the value the grant would bring to the classroom and how the proposal would fill in gaps in current student learning.
Then on November 9, the "grant patrol," comprised of Education Foundation board members, program sponsors, district staff and parent leaders, visited the winning teachers at 44 schools. Once the grant patrol arrives at the schools, bells, whistles and noisemakers echo through the hallways as they arrive at the winning teachers’ classrooms. And then the excitement really begins as teachers discover their grants were selected, and students, cheer for more learning opportunities. Students will cheer for more books to read, more math, more science, more art, more of whatever their teachers have dreamed into reality with the help of Grants to Educators. Grants range in size from one hundred to several thousands of dollars depending on the project. Keep reading for more details about all of this year's winning grants, watch the video (5 minutes) to get a taste of the spirit of Grants to Educators and explore more ways the Education Foundation supports Plano teachers and student learning in Plano ISD.