AEF awards more than $55,000 in teacher grants

The Aldine Education Foundation (AEF) awarded 15 teacher grants to educators throughout the district as the AEF “Prize Posse” surprised them by visiting their respective campuses on Friday, Dec. 11.

The grants announced Dec. 11 totaled $55,659.98. Over the last four years, AEF has awarded 35 teaching grants totaling $104,810.98.

The “Prize Posse’s” first stop was to the Resource Center where Michaelann Kelley was awarded a $4,847.55 grant. The grant will fund a project to utilize community resources in the design of engaging cross-curricular units, which infuse local artworks into TEKS-based learning activities. Art teachers in the district will visit art museums to gain an understanding of local works and then provide teachers the time and space to collaborate on activities which make connections to art history and core content areas.

The next stop was to Aldine Middle School, where teachers Ashley Scambray and Gordon Haney received a $3,022.32 grant to purchase Resonance Trainers, which are designed to help students visualize their air flow and improve students’ diaphragmatic breathing, pitch and tone supporting.
The “Prize Posse’s” next stop was to Black Elementary School, where teachers Nabil Mahboubi, Dorian Wesley, Monica Salazar and Veronica Davis received a $4,559.06 grant to create an outdoor classroom that will be used for all content areas and grade levels.

Black Elementary teachers Dorian Pumilia received a $1,000 grant to provide funding to build a library and purchase read aloud storybooks that will allow ELA students to enjoy the stories that are read independently.

The next stop was to Conley Elementary School where teachers Erica Kelley, Lisa Lofting, Diana Hanson and Kim Tunson received a $1,500 grant. The funds will be used to purchase books, supplies and materials to establish a “Reading Buddy” program for ELA students.

The group’s next stop was to Goodman Elementary School where teacher Jamila Ashmeade-Brown received a $957.11 grant. The money will be used to engage students in cross-curricular, hands-on learning environment using Lego Mindstorms Education EV3 Robotics, and Students will learn computer science concepts with the programs and Tynker.

Next up was a stop to Hinojosa EC/Pre-K Center where teachers Maria Gonzales and Diana Morales received a $5,000 grant to purchase storytelling packages for each classroom to enhance oral language development.

The “Prize Posse’s” next stop was to Houston Academy where teachers Denise Gaudiano and Anthony Hill received a $4,998.54 grant to purchase Lego MindStorm EV3 robots. Students will gain valuable skills in programming and coding by using the robots.

The next stop was to Keeble EC/Pre-K Center were teachers Sandra Ziegler and Sarah Perez received a $4,187.84 grant to fund a program that will allow language arts students to encourage them to develop their oral language skills through art projects, cultural experiences and writing projects.

Next up was a trip to Kujawa EC/Pre-K Center where teachers Ana Thompson, Esmeralda Llamas and Lucy Realyvasquez received a $4,328 grant to purchase books and materials to create manipulatives for use in nursery rhyme centers.

The “Prize Posse’s” grant went to Lane School where teachers Poe Prochaska, Mary Smith and Ramona Harris received a $4,200 grant to purchase vending machines to assist special education students in Transitional Services Center (TSC) gain knowledge and skills in not only using vending machines that they will encounter in their communities, but also learn vocational skills on how to run and operate a vending machine.
The next stop was to Lewis Middle School where teachers Jeffery Tienor and Stephen Jones received a $2,400 grant to purchase a Smartmusic program for band students.

Next up was a stop to Mendel Elementary School where teachers Craig Godfrey and Rebecca Munson received a $4,907.10 grant to purchase Chromebooks for RTI Tier 2 and Tier 3 students.

The next stop was to Thompson Elementary School where teachers Ashley Jackson, Talitha Law and Sherica Daugherty received a $4,854.56 grant to purchase mentor texts. Mentor texts helps students take risks and try new strategies.

The final stop of the day was to Wilson Intermediate School where teachers Miriam Figueroa, K. Leyman, M. Leija, J. Hernandez, L. Newcomb and P Reese received a $4,897.90 grant to purchase content rich reading books, visual activities, and hands-on manipulatives specifically designed to build academic vocabulary in every sixth-grade math classroom.

Representing AEF on the “Prize Posse” were AEF Board members Nadine Kujawa, Jeff and Ann Hartman, Marine Jones, Stacey Smith, Patti Acosta, Rose Avalos, Kyle Sadler, Bill Ginder (aka Santa Clause), and AEF director Michele McGovern.