Reprising the Surprise Patrol, Weatherford ISD Education Foundation board members and donors visited classrooms at the end of May to award 26 grants totaling over $89,000 to more than 100 teachers for the 2016-2017 school year. At the end of the day, the Foundation celebrated reaching the foundation's $1 million milestone in funding innovative grants that directly impact Weatherford ISD classrooms, teachers, and students.
"The Weatherford community has a strong tradition of supporting Weatherford ISD," said Van Houser, president of the WISD Education Foundation Board of Directors. "The donations we receive from individuals and businesses make this all possible and every donation, no matter the amount, makes a difference to our teachers."
The Foundation, which was established in 2000, raises fund for programs that enhance the educational experience of children and teachers in Weatherford ISD. Aside from grants, the WISD Education Foundation also provides school supplies and backpacks to students whose families cannot provide these essential tools for learning and they award continuing education scholarships to WISD teachers who are seeking advanced degrees.
Examples of this year's grants include several flexible seating options for classrooms, digital microscopes, a mobile photography studio for high school art students, a recording studio for two elementary campuses, and virtual learning experiences using products such as Google Cardboard.
"Many of these projects just wouldn't be possible without the funds from the Education Foundation," Charlotte LaGrone, the Foundation's executive director, said. "The Education Foundation often provides the seed money to pilot programs and technology before they are expanded to all campuses," she said.
Second grade teachers at Curtis Elementary were excited to received nearly $4,800 to fund Chromebooks for their classrooms. "Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for funding our grant," they said. "With Chromebooks in our classrooms, the educational possibilities are endless! Thank you, not just for funding our grant, but for all the grants you funded across the district. The Education Foundation impacts our kids in countless ways."