Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Spring Branch Education Foundation Announces Spring Grants

At its May 29 Board meeting, Spring Branch Education Foundation (SBEF) directors approved $62,000 in grants that will fund diverse education-enhancing projects throughout Spring Branch Independent School District.
The grants are designated for district-wide projects and SBISD campuses. Twice each year, the Foundation calls for grant applications, up to $5,000 each, from any of its 47 school campuses or district departments. Volunteers, as well as faculty members, are encouraged to apply.
“Generous community members support the Foundation’s fundraisers and make donations to support these grants,” said Donnie Roseman, a member of the SBEF Board of Directors and chair of the Program and Assessment Committee. “The committee is always impressed with the creativity of the requests. All applications are carefully evaluated for the long-term affect they will have for students.”

Grants that will benefit students on a district-wide basis include:
  • Altharetta Yeargin Art Museum – The grant will help fund Road Shows that take the museum to first-grade classrooms and Study Trips for second graders who travel to the museum. Both programs are closely coordinated with grade-level curriculum.
  • Houston Prep Summer Camp – Up to 80 high-performing students from four SBISD schools will be provided transportation to The University of Houston Downtown Houston Prep Program where they will learn about science, technology, engineering and math. This first-time exposure to a college campus can be life-changing.
  • J. Landon Short Mini-Grants for Educators – Ten grants, up to $500 each, will be awarded to SBISD educators who wish to go beyond standard curricula activities and materials to enrich the learning environment. This program fosters new best practices for teaching and learning.
  • Literacy Leadership – Materials will be purchased for SBISD staff in leadership positions to facilitate discussion about the challenges of encouraging students to become lifelong readers, writers, thinkers and learners.
  • SpringBoard Mentor Program – More than 500 mentors spend an hour each week with students on 30 SBISD campuses. This relationship helps students build self-confidence, develop communication and interpersonal skills, discover their passions and find meaningful connections between school and the future.

Grants for individual campuses include:
  • Cedar Brook Elementary School – Each 3rd grade classroom will receive four Kindle Fires loaded with books to encourage independent reading.
  • Edgewood Elementary School – Learning Together® provides proven cross-age tutoring for 2nd and 3rd graders who are struggling with math and reading. They will be tutored by 5th graders, emerging leaders, who will benefit from additional instructional time.
  • Hollibrook Elementary School – Xylophones will be added to the school’s music program as a way for students to learn about other cultures and historical periods, as well as sharpen motor skills.
  • Meadow Wood Elementary School – This sensory-based motor lab will help medically fragile and life skills students build competency through action-based learning.
  • Memorial Middle School – Broadcast journalism is in the near future for 8th graders. With new camera and computers, students will write, film and edit news clips, while learning the various roles of a broadcast team.
  • Spring Forest Middle School – All 8th graders will be required to use graphing calculators for the 2015 STAAR test. Using new calculators on a daily basis will increase students’ comfort and familiarity.
  • Terrace Elementary School – Terrace Leaders of Tomorrow, 16 recruited students, will be mentored twice a week after school in a variety of team-building, critical thinking and problem-solving activities.
  • Wilchester Elementary School – A garden educator will help students, teachers and PTA volunteers with hands-on learning opportunities provided by vegetable and pollinator gardens.

“We encourage PTAs, principals, and teachers to apply for these grants,” said Cece Thompson, SBEF executive director. “We will call for fall 2014 grant applications in September, and the recipients will be announced in December.”

Additional grants were awarded as the result of a successful Running for the Arts event on May 3. SBISD’s Fine Arts department received $40,700 for ArtsPartner field trips to the city’s premier performing and visual arts venues. The district’s Health Fitness department received $14,200, and the Altharetta Yeargin Art Museum received $4,445.

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 it for that school. Call 713-251-2381 or visit for more information.

About Spring Branch Education Foundation

Founded in 1993, the mission of SBEF is to enhance the quality of education for every student in SBISD. The Foundation provides donors with a vehicle for making tax-deductible gifts to the district. The Foundation has raised almost $8 million and received the Houston Business Promise Award from the Greater Houston Partnership.


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