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GISD Education Foundation Awards Innovative Teaching Grants

The Gainesville ISD Education Foundation Board prize patrol circulated the GISD campuses spreading holiday cheer and surprising the 2021-2022 Innovative Teaching Grant recipients. There were 24 grants awarded for a combined total of $33,014.61.  

“The grants awarded by the GISD Foundation provide additional opportunities for our faculty/staff to extend lessons provided in the classroom as well as offer innovative learning experiences for our students,” said Dr. DesMontes Stewart, Superintendent of Schools.  “We are very grateful to have such a dedicated and committed group of volunteers who support our faculty, staff and students.”

Edison Elementary received six grants totaling $8,293.92. Grants included field trips to the Frank Buck Zoo for pre-k and a field trip to the dairy farm for kindergarten. All students at Edison will also get to attend an educational concert by Stephen Fite. Educational pop its, flexible seating options and a program to introduce students to the game of chess were also awarded.

Chalmers Elementary was awarded 10 grants totaling $13,747.75. Second grade will get to enjoy a field trip to Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch, third grade will enjoy a trip to Frank Buck Zoo and supplies to dissect owl pellets and fourth grade will get to take a field trip to Sea Life Aquarium and Legoland. Flexible seating options for improved learning, graphic novels for the library and art supplies were also awarded. Music class is new to Chalmers this year and the music room will receive 25 floor drums.

Gainesville Intermediate was awarded one grant in the amount of $1,600 for c-pen readers and scanners. These are tools to support students with reading difficulties, dyslexia and ESL students will benefit as well.

Gainesville Junior High was awarded $6,684.91 for four grants. Software for the We Video communications program for the audio-visual classes will allow students to edit videos on Chromebooks previously purchased by the foundation. Other grants include music software and instruments for the special education class as well as novels for the students. Dissection equipment, lab frogs and rats will be purchased for eighth grade science students.

At Gainesville High School, three grants were awarded totaling $2,688.03. Culinary students will benefit from an ice cream freezer and equipment to make other sweet treats. The special education classroom will receive light covers for the fluorescent lights in the classroom. This will minimize stimulation for the students as well as help them learn about the different scenes on the light covers. The agriculture program will receive lab supplies to introduce elementary students to the program.

The GISD Education Foundation has awarded $418,318.47 in Innovative Teaching grants to the district since 2004. Tamara Grimes Sieger, President of the Education Foundation said the foundation awards teaching grants that are experiential or have a potential lasting impact on the education of students. “Board members review the applications and carefully consider each application and the impact on students long-term,” Sieger said. “The board strives to provide educators additional resources and hands-on experiences to help children reach their full potential.”

The Education Foundation board of directors works throughout the year to generate funds and distribute resources to GISD to enrich, maintain and expand programs needed to meet the district’s stated mission in excellence. The Foundation relies on community and business donations to allow for the continued support to GISD. For more information on the grants or to make a donation, please visit