GEF grants give staff end-of-year gifts

The Goliad Education Foundation directors smile before handing out grants to GISD staff. Pictured from left are Stacy Schendel, Stacy Hoefling, Kacy Cain, Willie Nelson, Cristy Billo, Tanya Jacob, Veronica Fortenberry, Margaret Luker, Danette Mares, Caylee Wright, Sandy Newberry, Amanda Eller, Wendy Yanta, Carissa Camacho, Kari Weiser and Stacy Shelton. (Photo by Thomas Leffler)

A fruitful year for the Goliad Education Foundation crested on May 20, with over $50,000 worth of grants written to Goliad school staff at the GEF’s end-of-year luncheon.

At the GISD administration office, GEF Executive Director Tanya Jacob helped announce the recipients of 15 different grants, aiding in all levels of GISD education. Fundraising efforts, such as January’s “Boots & Boas” event, put money in the hands of the foundation to assist GISD staff.

“All of the proceeds from (fundraising events) go directly back to the school in the form of (fund grants) … 60 percent of our budget is allotted to grants,” GEF Treasurer Caylee Wright explained.

Two grants amounting to $5,000 were given out during the event. 

First, Goliad elementary staff members Victoria Jimerson, Jaqui Rubio, Christina DeLosSantos, Rebecca Garcia and Megan Tislow took in the $5,000 for the “Houston, we have a space adventure awaiting” grant. This will allow the teachers to purchase student entry fees and transportation to the NASA Space Center in Houston. Students will visit exhibits such as the astronaut gallery, in addition to experiencing a unique virtual reality simulator.

Field trips for elementary students allow them to learn “outside the box” subjects not part of day-to-day learning.

“They’re more excited about learning (early on),” Jacob said. “The field trips are going to be more exciting for them ... there are a lot of opportunities, I think, for the lower grade levels to stimulate them getting into learning.”

The second $5,000 grant went to high school staff members Dawn Butler, Lacie Beall, Nathan Hammack and Amanda Mascorro. The “A blooming experience” grant allows the purchase of floral supplies and fresh flowers for the GHS floral design class. 

“Students will be taught various types of arrangements and design skills,” Jacob stated. “As students learn how the floral industry works, they will additionally gain the knowledge needed to pass the level one and two industry certification exam.”

Other grants given out for the elementary school included:

• “The Texas bucket list” grant for fourth grade Texas history teacher Tislow, awarded $2,653.61, allows students to participate in a cross-curricular experience involving trips to Bullock Museum, Texas Spirit Theater, IMAX Theater, Mission Espiritu Santo and Empresario.

• “Young explorers travel the Caribbean - TX state aquarium” grant for Melissa Cox, Angelina DeLaGarza, Ann Mary Gansky, Dana Kutz and Tisch McDaniel, awarded $1,933.88, provides entry and travel costs for students to experience the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi.

• “Blowing up science” grant for Donna Henkes, Jimerson, Colleen Gregorcyk and Crystal Fromme, awarded $4,137, enables students to experience the Texas Bid Canyon and the Texas Orbit Earth inflatables brought to GES campus.

Grants given out to the middle school were:

• “STEM: Succeeding Through Educational Moments” grant for STEM teacher Wendi Yendrey, awarded $4,528.75, purchases Diablo Highway Kit, Ozobot Evo Classroom Kit and Pitsco Bridge Maker in assistance with STEM classrooms.

• “Throw a bowl to fight hunger” grant for art teacher Sara Aleman, awarded $1,885.73, purchases a 14-inch pottery wheel for pottery creation. Students will make bowls that will be available for the community to purchase at a “soup bowl” fundraiser.

Another high school grant given to GHS staff Hammack, Butler and Mascorro totals $4,213.53 under the title “Agriculture for all.” The grant allows purchase of items to be used in development of agriculture skills such as cotton grading, vet science ID and horse/livestock judging.

For the budding Tigers and Tigerettes of the district, the athletic department of Brittany Salazar, Kelsey Garcia and Kevin Salazar received $3,000 to purchase curriculum program 2Words, geared for grades 6-12. 

“The curriculum will help train our students in a positive character development program, touching the lives of others in the community with whom our students come into contact,” Jacob said.

GEF’s efforts are a collaborative process with teachers, who go through the grant-writing process either as an individual or as a group.

“Through remote learning, they’ve had so much on their plate,” Jacob said. “For them to take the time out of their busy days, it’s like a kudos for them ... they all do it for the students. They’re trying to find new, creative ways to get these kids to learn, and they do a lot of research.”

For more information on the Goliad Education Foundation, call 361-645-3259 or visit www.goliadisd.org.

•tleffler@mysoutex.com•

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