San Angelo Schools Foundation has been giving grants to teachers for over 30 years! We all know teachers never have enough money to do everything they want to for their students. The Schools Foundation decided to begin helping make those ideas and dreams possible.
We started in 1989 with giving grants in both fall and spring semesters. That was a great introduction to SASF and showing our objectives in helping all teachers of San Angelo Independent School District. We made our offer of money for projects within the classroom to teachers from Pre-Kindergarten through the senior grade of high school by having the individual teacher fill out a simple grant application and then give us an evaluation of how it went at the end of the semester. The idea caught on quickly and with positive feedback.
By 1996, there were too many grant applications to review twice a year. The Schools Foundation changed to giving grants every November to as many, if not more, teachers. The delivery of these checks was a surprise to the teachers. When they heard a crowd whooping and yelling and carrying a bunch of brightly colored balloons, they got excited hoping their application was selected.
The SASF turned to the teachers and principals annually for their contributions to their efforts of grants to teachers and scholarships to seniors. The response was heartwarming. Since the goal was to grow until the programs were endowed, another fundraiser was always needed. The Schools Foundation did at least one annual fundraiser that when combined with the teachers/principals/Administers’ giving was able to reach that goal with the Scholarship program. The Grants to Teachers program was a different animal. It turned out to be more of a funnel: whatever we made from the fundraiser, minus a small operating fee, went back to the teachers. We continue to work toward our goal, but have found it is more fulfilling to give back rather than build up.
We have granted some awesome ideas. There has been a huge need for technology within the classrooms with iPads, iPods, tablets, Kindles, software, headphones, White Boards, Chrome books, etc. This list is always changing along with new products. Upon delivering the grant money, we have witnessed how the newest technology has impacted the Special Needs students. Their teachers have been able to communicate with them as never before and they have been able to learn in ways they were never able before. It is amazing.
There continues to be needs for math manipulatives, books for a reading nook, and supplies for science stations as well. We’ve also helped continue the arts in the classrooms by granting guitars for afterschool enrichment programs, supplying art supplies for an Impressionistic Art project, a sound system for school programs and talent shows, even food and art equipment for a dinner theatre. This list is endless. Our newest initiative is helping support the BAM (Books A Month) project at Bradford Elementary.
We want to continue to grow and the way to do that is through fund raising. You too can help us bring excellence to education. Please consider giving to our foundation to help every teacher-applicant receive her/his dream for their students this November. You can make donations online by clicking here.
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