The Education Foundation for Waxahachie ISD recently awarded $7,180 in grants for five innovative programs.

Successful applications were submitted by educators on behalf of the Dunaway, Northside, Shackelford and Wedgeworth campuses as well as Waxahachie Junior High School.

Librarians Amy Clark and April Johnson, who work on a rotating schedule at Dunaway, Northside, Shackelford and Wedgeworth elementary schools, were awarded $2,000 for their “Build a Book Literacy Night.” The book-building activity will be offered to second-grade students, their family and friends, during a literacy night program at each of the four schools in which librarians and teachers will share resources and ideas for encouraging family reading.

Wedgeworth Elementary librarian Sandra Hartman was awarded $210 for the “Tejas Star Book Award,” the bilingual equivalent of the English-based Bluebonnet Award program provided in four WISD elementary schools. The Tejas Book Program will promote reading to bilingual third- through fifth-grade students by the same devices proven successful in the Bluebonnet series.

In keeping with the district’s goal of “Engaging All Families,” a group of 12 Northside Elementary teachers received $2,000 for a program to strengthen the home-school connection. Margo Lewis, Carrie Hughes, Kathy Wilson, Jeff Robinson, Micah King, Laura Webb, Christi Colwell, Sharal Dixon, Anita Barnes, Angie Shaw, Julie Wheeler and Susan Sayen also used the “WISD R.O.C.K.S.” acronym, which stands for “Raising Our Children’s Knowledge Successfully,” when they named their program. The “Bag of R.O.C.K.S.” program will provide a take-home bag for a portion of economically-disadvantaged first- through fifth-graders at Northside. Each bag will contain manipulatives, educational games and writing materials that can be used to practice math and reading skills at home, as well as activity instructions, guidelines to parents and other tips on how children can succeed in school.

Waxahachie Junior High School technology teachers Clay Scarborough and Brad Andrews applied for funding for “Bridging the Technological Divide,” a group project for the computer labs that will enable teachers and students to collaborate on a more technologically advanced level. The communication technique employed by the program will allow students and teachers the capability to view and display each others’ computer screens from their own computer screen and is designed to mimic company systems in the business world.

“Books are Fun When You Read FUN Books” is a program designed to introduce third- through fifth-grade readers to books that are fun to read. Shackelford Elementary reading instructor Jorien Bowens received $970 to implement the program, which will offer books designed to increase student interest through the book’s entertainment factor and character development. The combination of the two reading concepts is thought to help with student comprehension, which is seen as a problem for students who either did not pass the reading portion of the TAKS test or scored below expectations on other tests.

The Education Foundation for Waxahachie ISD is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose purpose is to fund innovative programs that enhance the quality of education.