According to a CBS news report, the average teacher spends $500 annually to provide additional materials for their classroom. The Midway ISD Education Foundation strives to address this problem through two district-wide programs: Grant Express and Grants for Great Ideas.
Funded by public donations, the Education Foundation offers teachers the opportunity to apply for materials to implement programs and projects that fall outside the typical school district budget. Special consideration is given to science and math programs.
Since the programs were started in 2001, over 1.4 million dollars has been channeled into these grant programs at Midway ISD schools. Classroom grant proposals of $1,000 or less are considered monthly during the school year. Larger requests of up to $1,500 for individual teachers or up to $5,000 for department or campus-wide grants are considered once per semester.
Through this innovative program, four schools serving the Twin Rivers neighborhood have received funding for a variety of unique programs. For example, South Bosque Elementary has implemented an archery program, a third grade writing center, and a Smart Music practice system through Education Foundation Grants.
River Valley Intermediate School students have the opportunity to experiment with pulley systems, electrical circuits or water cycle simulators through funding awarded to science classes. Musical instruments such as xylophones and percussion instruments as well as chromatic tuners were provided to fifth and sixth grade music students.
Middle schoolers may have purchased items or even worked in the school store provided by Mr. Choin’s “Open for Business” grant. Grant funding supplied the original inventory for the school store created by the math teacher. Student workers have a “real world” experience of applying to work in the store and going through the interview process to get a position in school store sales, calculating product prices, maintaining inventory, and providing customer service. This campus also received a 3D printer through the Grants for Great Ideas program. Recently, an application for a laser device was approved and is expected to be implemented this spring in the middle school engineering classes.
Midway High School students have benefited from such programs as organ modules for students to build body replicas, wireless spectrometers, and wireless internet on school activity buses that students can use to complete homework while at school sponsored trips for athletics or extracurricular activities.
To date, these four campuses have received over $685,000 in funding to implement more than 260 new programs through the Grant Express and Grants for Great Ideas programs. “Thank you for allowing me to find ways to inspire our students and for funding inspiration,” said one longtime Midway educator.
The Midway ISD Education Foundation is a separate 501 (c)3 organization. Donations to the organization are tax deductible and will be used to fund programs and projects to enhance education at Midway schools. To contribute to this grant program through our annual fund, please call 254.761.5614 or visit www.midwayisd.org/foundation.