GEORGE WEST – The George West Education Foundation awarded almost $150,000 in grants last week to George West ISD teachers—an emotional event for many of the educators, who received their respective grants with tears fully flowing.
“That’s when you know they’re teaching for the right reason—because they love their job and love our children,” said GWEF President, Darlene Rhodes.
The grants were presented in stages at each of the GWISD schools.
Teachers had submitted grant requests for technology, teacher training, and field trips to enhance instruction in the classroom. Grant awards ranged from interactive mimio boards to science lab equipment to field trips to the Witte museum for Gifted & Talented students and Drum Corp International competition for band members.
Not bad work for the foundation—which is only in its second year of operation.
George West ISD Superintendent, Ty Sparks said organizations such as the foundation make George West ISD a great place to work.
“The Education Foundation is incredibly supportive,” he said. “They are intent on supporting and enhancing instruction for our students, and they have worked hard to support our teachers financially. The Foundation’s success is indicative of how much our community believes in what they are doing.”
Last year, the group raised $50,000 to award in grants. This year’s total was three times that much and will impact student learning immeasurably.
Robin Sellman, Director of Educational Services for GWISD, said projects funded by the Foundation include a mobile observatory for science classes, Texas Instruments NSpire Graphing Calculators for eighth graders, Windows Transformer Book (tablet computers) for sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students, and staff training and many other items.
“Our teachers and students will flourish with this additional support,” she said. “The George West Educational Foundation has done something significant and lasting here. We are so grateful.”
GWEF President Rhodes said this year GWEF also awarded five separate grant request totalling $4,500 to teachers during the year from a special fund that is set up to help educators take advantage of time-sensitive opportunities that may come up thorough out the year.
“Our donations are received throughout the year with a major portion coming from the annual fundraiser we have in October of every year,” Rhodes said. “This year, we have already signed a contract to have ‘Restless Heart’ as our entertainment and will be held at a ranch in Live Oak county on Oct. 18.”
Rhodes said GWEF members have been amazed at the support the community has given them.
“This is the only reason we are able to help our educators enhance the education of our children,” she said. “George West may be a small town, but we definitely have a huge heart for our children and the education that they receive.”