Education Foundation presents grants to 27 teachers in CCISD

By PAMELA GRANT
Cove Leader-Press 

The excitement in the air was palpable Wednesday morning as Copperas Cove Education Foundation members rang their bells while wielding balloons, shooting silly string, carrying enormous checks and presenting 27 teachers from eight CCISD campuses with grant money totaling more than $24,000.
The funds will go towards funding various innovative teaching projects which will positively impact the lives of hundreds of students. 
Grant recipients are chosen based on several criteria including whether or not an idea is innovative, the number of students impacted, and whether the project is sustainable. 
CCEF President Etta Kay Kirkpatrick said that she enjoys seeing how excited everyone is when they present the grants. 
“We have teachers that cry. We have teachers that jump up and down. We have teachers who hug. And the kids, the kids get excited and they don’t even know what it is that their teacher got, but they know that their teacher got something, and they are so excited.”
The Education Foundation raises money to help support various CCISD educational programs that teachers might not otherwise be able to afford to provide. 
Some of the grants were for smaller projects such as Michelle Hoffchen’s “Teaching with the Body in Mind” which will provide sensory tools to help students increase focus, attention, and body awareness and Brandy Petty and Stacy Tomblin-Weaver’s “Kids at Heart” program which seeks to encourage students to foster relationships with the residents of our local assisted living facility. 
Some of the larger scale projects include Theresa Garcia’s “CCISD Upper Elementary Spanish Bilingual Library” which seeks to make available more books written in Spanish and Robin Spencer’s “Bilingual Buddy Books” which will help provide more bilingual books to support those whose first language might not be English. 
Other grants supported various campus clubs, such as a drama club, ukulele club, art club, and more.
“I heard the bells, and my heart started beating,” said Hillary Newton, a 1st grade teacher at Martin Walker Elementary School. “It’s not the first time I’ve heard it, so you never know if they’re going to walk past your door and give it to someone else or did you win…It’s kind of a fun experience to hear the bells going through the school.”
Newton is a multiple grant recipient. She received a grant this year for her project, “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow” which allows her to have a drama club which will perform a production for the campus and the community in the spring. 
Newton said that the grant money will allow them to buy the right for the play, scripts, CDs, and more to make the play possible. 
“I’m super excited because to put on a performance for our students…most schools don’t get to do that. Most kids don’t get to see live performances,” said Newton about her project. “A lot of kids in our community don’t get to see that kind of stuff. It’s a cool experience to show kids live theater, and our students get to perform, and that’s also really great. It benefits every kid on campus.”
Newton’s project is just one example of many newly funded projects which will positively impact CCISD schools, teachers, students, and ultimately, the community. 
Since 2008, the CCEF has awarded a total of $333,655 grants to CCISD educators. 

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