At its May 21 Board meeting, Spring Branch Education Foundation (SBEF) approved $150,090 in grants to fund 28 innovative education-enhancing projects throughout Spring Branch Independent School District.
Each year, the Foundation calls for grant applications, up to $5,000 each, from any of its 46 school campuses. District-wide and departmental projects are eligible for larger grants. Faculty members and volunteers are encouraged to apply.
“This year has been challenging for our students and staff, so it was rewarding to see such innovative projects represented in the grants applications,” said Donnie Roseman, a member of the SBEF Board of Directors and chair of the Program and Assessment Committee. “Each of our community donors makes these grants possible.”
“We’re especially excited about two of our district grants that support the ReadSBISD initiative,” said Cece Thompson, SBEF executive director. “In addition to making eBooks available to students for summer reading, in the fall, we will provide journals for every elementary student to support comprehension and writing.”
The Foundation awarded five district-wide grants:
Altharetta Yeargin Art Museum – The grant will fund Road Shows that take the museum to first-grade classrooms and Study Trips for second graders who travel to the museum. When possible, a third program, Tall Tales and Art, is a community summer reading and art experience led by SBISD art teachers. All are closely coordinated with grade-level curriculum.
J. Landon Short Mini-Grants for Educators – This block grant provides individual grants to SBISD educators who seek transformational ways to enrich the learning environment. The grants provide a small amount of funding to make possible big ideas in classrooms.
SpringBoard Mentoring Program – More than 400 students on 38 SBISD campuses spend an hour each week with community mentors, thanks to this grant. The relationships help students who are on the brink of success build self-confidence, develop communication and interpersonal skills, discover their passions and find meaningful connections between school and the future.
Journals – Each student, kindergarten through fifth grade, will receive a journal as part of the district’s ReadSBISD initiative. Literacy is a priority for Spring Branch ISD.
E-books – Delivered electronically, E-books will be available to students for summer learning.
Two departmental grants will benefit students across the district:
- Elementary Humanities – Bilingual kindergarteners will apply early reading strategies with take home readers – small enough for kindergarten-sized hands, with large ideas to build engagement.
- West Support Center – The Applied Career Prep program will receive new technology and materials to help students from all high schools participate in vocational training and career exploration.
Other grants were designated for campus projects:
- Bendwood School – SPIRAL students will participate in The Hovercraft Project, which models science, teamwork and leadership. Teams will build and race functional, safe and life-size hovercrafts.
- Cedar Brook Elementary School – Special Education classrooms will receive technology and resources to support social-emotional learning.
- District Alternative Education Program – The science program will add portable sinks and demonstration tables to provide rigorous instruction for students from all district middle and high schools.
- Frostwood Elementary School – Frostwood will add to its current action-based learning lab to promote increased movement and academic success.
- Hollibrook Elementary School – Students will increase their personal libraries with new, grade-level books before winter and summer breaks.
- Meadow Wood Elementary School – The Writers in the Schools Program will help third graders increase literacy and creativity.
- Memorial Drive Elementary School – STEM learning and critical thinking will be even more fun when students receive maker-space kits that include a book and all the materials necessary to complete an activity.
- Northbrook and Spring Woods High Schools – Athletes and their parents will learn from a Memorial Hermann nutritionist healthy eating habits for a healthier lifestyle.
- Northbrook Middle School – This grant will help fund a Spark Park to serve burgeoning neighborhoods and encourage healthy lifestyles.
- Nottingham Elementary School – Substitute teachers will allow faculty time for personalization planning sessions to prepare for students to go beyond grade-level expectations.
- Ridgecrest Elementary School – Intermediate language arts classrooms will receive books to support students who currently need to progress in their reading level.
- Rummel Creek Elementary School – Active learning stations, placed around the school, will stimulate students in a positive way to prepare the brain for learning.
- Shadow Oaks Elementary School – The Leader in Me program will help students identify their unique strengths and talents as they take on the responsibility of leadership.
- Sherwood Elementary School – The school will expand its flexible seating to help students manage executive functions like memory, self-control, task initiation and attention.
- Spring Branch Academic Institute – The biology/science classroom will add equipment that allows advanced students to perform investigations in the biotechnology field.
- Spring Branch Middle School – New books, which offer a window to the world, are expected to inspire young readers and writers.
- Tiger Trail and Wildcat Way Schools – A motor lab will increase students’ gross motor, oral language and social/emotional development.
- Westchester Academy for International Studies – Students will not only work with updated audio-visual equipment, but might also consider a future in broadcasting or AV production.
- Westwood Elementary School – Musical instrument carts will enhance the school’s music program, which fosters creativity and helps students develop high-level thinking.
Community members who wish to support a specific program at a designated campus can make a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation and earmark it for that school. Call 713.251.2381 or visit springbrancheducationfoundation.com for more information.
About Spring Branch Education Foundation:
Spring Branch Education Foundation is committed to supporting SBISD students and educators. It partners with the district and community to fund programs that enhance education and ̅prepare students for the future. In 2016, Caruthers Institute ranked SBEF 42nd in the nation among 188 K-12 education foundations and in the top 10 of its division of foundations with $1 million to $1,999,999 in revenues. Since 1993, the Foundation has donated more than $15 million to the district. SBEF is a 501(c)3 organization; all donations are tax deductible.