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IDEA Grants Go to 28 Teachers

IDEA Grants Go to 28 Teachers

Balloon, check delivery teams surprise winners



idea grant

WFISD Foundation President Lance Spruell, IDEA Grant winner Julie Woolsey, and Fowler Principal Jeff Hill 



On Nov. 18, WFISD Foundation members and WFISD administrators visited 18 classrooms to deliver IDEA Grants to 28 winning teachers.


Each grant will finance the teachers’ innovative, developmental, and educational activities (IDEA) ideas. The annual delivery of IDEA grants, complete with a balloon bouquet and check, is a favorite WFISD tradition.


This year, the WFISD Foundation gave more than $15,000 to support WFISD teachers who applied for the grants to help bring their creative ideas to life.


Teachers asked for everything from technology to classroom materials.


"I get to take this check and buy some really cool stuff for our classroom," said Amanda Miller from Ben Milam Elementary. "It will help us learn with our iPads." 


Tiffany Hutchison, also of Milam, said she began thinking and planning her IDEA grant proposal during the summer, then finalized it once school started and she saw the specific needs of her students. She requests an item that there would be no budget for otherwise. "We're always looking for something new," she said. 


She received money for an OSMO, a game system that enhances the features of an ordinary iPad. She has noticed that even the district's smallest children find it easier to use an iPad than to tie their shoes. 


"We're missing the ballgame if we don't go after more technology," she said.


IDEA winner Julie Woolsey also requested -- and won-- an OSMO for her classroom. She has been reading a lot about them on teacher blogs, she said. "Teachers are talking about them," she said. "We're always looking to keep it relevant and interesting."


Teachers at Southern Hills Elementary won a grant to pay for reading tents. They are easy and quick to set up so that students can take their books and iPads inside to read, teachers said. They will be set up indoors and outdoors. Teachers will supply flashlights, blankets and other camping gear to enhance the experience, they said.


2016 IDEA Grant winners:

Mindy Brown - Cunningham Elementary

"Digital Tools for the Dyslexic Learner"


Erin Lewis and Katie Aldridge - Cunningham Elementary

"Learning in a Whole New Light"


Jennifer Gillespie and Heather Parker - Cunningham Elementary

"Help Me Grow!"


Brandy Honeycutt - Cunningham Elementary

"Music and Movement"


Susan McCoy - Cunningham Elementary

"It's All About That Bass!"


Julie Woolsey - Fowler Elementary

"Grow With OSMO!"


Julie Yandell, Kristin Howard and Diane Wachsman - Jefferson Elementary

"Oh the Places You'll Go: Breaking Out of 5th Grade to Get Our STAAR"


Bryce Henderson and Garth Baskin - Rider High School

"Make Physics Great Again"


Amanda Miller and Tiffany Hutchison - Milam Elementary

"Osmo....Beyond the Screen"


Ruby Adkins and Patti Golden - Southern Hills Elementary

"Maker Space: Creative Problem Solving through STEAM"


Cheri West, Reagan Carroll, Brenda Hebner and Patti Golden - Southern Hills Elementary

"Camp Literacy: In Tents Training"


LaChandra Hooper - Sheppard Elementary



Kristen Sarafis - Booker T. Washington Elementary



Christie Hoang - Booker T. Washington Elementary

"Say Hi-Lo to Orca Books"


Melanie Wolf - Booker T. Washington Elementary

"Meaningful Math Lessons with a Mimio"


Vanessa Collier - Booker T. Washington Elementary

"Let's Get Phonetical"


Jamie Newberry - Booker T. Washington Elementary

"Building Readers, One Family at a Time"


Veronica Hunt - Booker T. Washington Elementary

"Every Word Matters" 


IDEA Cunningham

Teachers from Cunningham Elementary celebrate their IDEA Grant win with some of their students.