The Tyler ISD Foundation provides $86,000 during its annual Grant Patrol to reach more than 12,000 students.

On Tuesday, Orr Elementary, along with other campuses, made a special visit during the Tyler ISD Foundation’s annual grant patrol, which awarded 29 grants totaling $86,000 to 17 Tyler ISD campuses.

The Tyler Legacy High School drummers and cheerleaders, as well as members of the district leadership, community partners and board members of the Tyler ISD Foundation, headed to a special classroom to hand out a large check for $4,500.

Ashten Ormandy, media technologist at Orr Elementary School and recipient of the Outstanding Idea Grant, opened the door of her class to a check that will impact the entire student body. Ormandy said with excitement that the grant was requested to introduce students to STEAM, which is very important.

“It’s something that students really connect with, really across the board. They like to solve problems and they love to be given something and just say “get it right” and I think that’s a higher level of thinking that they get in practice. They are always busy and this is a really good way to contact them. It’s just a great way to introduce them to these things,” she said. “I know a lot of them have never thought about being engineers or someone who can design and architect or anything like that, this is a great way for them to explore the school environment where they can see, like whether it’s really them. or interested in pursuing a career one day.”

The grant will enhance the learning experience for STEAM Lab students by adding additional Makerspace materials, flexible seating, and innovative designs.

Ormandy said the grant will benefit Orr Elementary in many ways and hopes students will be inspired for careers and beyond academics.

“I hope they think that school is a great place where they are taught not only important content, but also how to succeed in life, how to pursue a career that interests them, and how to understand what they might like. to do, and that this is a place that can help you with this,” she said.

Once the STEAM Lab is established, she hopes to attract more stations to the Media Lab where students can participate in more problem-solving activities that are geared towards hands-on participation. She said the activities in the lab are currently focusing on what students learn in the classroom and improve the curriculum students learn.

Lauren Smith, director of Orr Elementary, is excited about the upcoming STEAM lab project and said the funds will help improve student-created news programming on campus.

Smith is excited about the grant and hopes that students will see the STEAM Lab as a place where they can apply their skills. She said that she was grateful to the fund and the support of local teachers.

“Thank you so much for always supporting us in successful student outcomes, we couldn’t have done this without the people who believe in us and trust our leadership and our distribution of how we work with our funds, we couldn’t have done it’s without them. We are more grateful than we can even communicate,” she said.

Suzette Farr, executive director of the Tyler ISD Foundation, said Grant Patrol has awarded grants to 17 campuses this year, reaching more than 12,000 Tyler ISD students.

Surprising many teachers with grants, she mentioned that within the framework of the foundation she is glad to help teachers with creative innovative ideas.

“To be able to join the district and fill the gap where the school district’s annual budget ends and be able to fund this innovative curriculum enrichment program is amazing because they know that there is someone else, that there is more. one district extension that should help them do their creative, innovative, really fun things that they want to do for their students,” Farr said.

Farr said the Tyler ISD Foundation is committed to helping local educators and being there for them.

“As Tyler ISD’s primary charitable partner, it just means a lot to us to be able to be their biggest fan, biggest advocate, and their biggest partner,” she said. “Because we know that public education is very important, having a strong public education system really reflects and makes our community great…”

Other campuses that have received grants through the program include Tyler Legacy High School, Owens Elementary School, Three Lakes High School, Clarkston Elementary School, Moore MST Magnet School, Bell Elementary School, Peete Elementary School, Jones Elementary School, Wayne D Center of Excellence .Boshears. programs, Douglas Elementary School, Boulter High School, Dixie Elementary School, and Tyler High School.

Since its inception in 1990, the Tyler ISD Foundation has given Tyler ISD more than $3.5 million in innovative tuition grants, student and parent programs, academic and teaching events, and scholarships.

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