Playing the role of Santa Claus, members of the Longview ISD Foundation surprised LISD teachers and students on Wednesday morning with scholarships.
Kay Ray, executive director of the foundation, and other members walked the halls of three campuses to hand over more than $ 16,006 in grants. The schools visited on Wednesday were Bramlette STEAM Academy, Judson STEAM Academy and Foster Middle School.
The awarded teachers were not notified in advance that they had won the scholarships and were in disbelief when they were pulled from their classrooms and presented oversized checks.
Bramlette STEAM Academy received $ 7,000 to send 90 grade five students to Sky Ranch, a camp that will allow them to bring what they have learned in their science classes to life.
After her surprise, fifth grade teacher TaShebra Walker explained her enthusiasm for the trip to the students who were gathered in the school cafeteria.
“I don’t even have all the words to say guys, I’m surprised. All I know is you are going to treasure this. We are going to learn things, ”she said. “I’m so excited for all of you.
“You’re going to see how the water moves to make all of these different things. You will be able to make planes and small rockets. We will be able to test things and design, ”she said. “We take everything we learn in science that we’ve researched from the books and labs that we’re actually going to bring to life. We’re actually going to reach out and do these things.
The other Bramlette scholarship recipients were Anibal Colon and Rosemary Taylor.
Judson STEAM Academy has received two academic travel grants.
Ivonne Guerra was awarded a prize of $ 925 for a field trip to Texas State Technical College in Marshall for 150 seventh graders, who will learn about the school and the certifications it offers.
The second grant of $ 3,300 was awarded to Brandis Jamerson, Kimberly Hatten and Kateri Howard for a trip of 196 eighth graders to Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches. Students should visit the college planetarium to learn more about space and science.
Melanie Pondant, Director of Judson, said she was grateful to the LISD Foundation, especially the way the grants help students in their future.
“Our teachers are amazing. They are always looking for the best interest of our students to expose them to new things, especially with college. We always think about the future, ”she said. “If we can expose them to that here, and the teachers do it with these awards, then that’s the best thing for the kids.” “
The foundation members’ last visit on Wednesday was to award Foster Middle School agriculture professor Brandon Williamson a grant of $ 4,781 to 70 eighth-graders to visit the Dallas World Aquarium and the Fort Worth Stock Show. and Rodeo.
Ray said this year’s funding was raised with the help of generous community donors, a pecan sale and sales of Green Out t-shirts.
Heather Hilton, President of the John Foundation. W. Harrison Jr. Academic Field Trip Grants, said the selection process for winners was tough this year and is getting harder and harder.
She said grant essays are graded by a founding committee.