BY EMILY GUEVARA
The email request was simple. No forms, guidelines or rules. All Tyler ISD teachers had to provide was their response to the statement, “What I wish I had in my classroom was …” And the requests were many.
“Within the first 40 minutes, I had 180 (emails),” Larry Goddard, Tyler ISD Foundation executive director, said. “We gave them points for how quickly (they responded).”
The correspondence was part of the foundation’s most recent effort to get creative in its grant award process.
Instead of having teachers submit applications making the case for grants as they usually do, the foundation decided to solicit requests by email and reward speed.
The requests came from elementary, middle and high school teachers. They included basic supplies such as crayons, markers and map pencils; lesson-specific materials such as Army hats for teaching about trench warfare and solar boats; and other items such as a bike rack for student commuters and schoolwide musical kits.
“The teachers, as always, stole our hearts with their gracious and sincere asks,” Goddard said, according to a news release. “We want to continue so that all the grant requests which match the district’s strategic plans and core beliefs are funded.”
The foundation awarded 31 grants totaling more than $17,000 to the teachers. Goddard said he plans to award a second round in the fall. A three-person committee representing the foundation made the selections.
These latest awards come in addition to the $30,000 in grants doled out earlier last school year.
The TISD Foundation exists to raise funds and grant those funds to the school district, its teachers, staff and students for worthwhile projects and programs.