It’s the season for giving and what a blessing and privilege it is to serve as the superintendent in a very giving community. So many in this city share their time, resources, and finances with the Lufkin school district in order to enhance the educational learning experiences of all of our students. Perhaps the essence of this giving was experienced last week during our Education Foundation’s inaugural prize patrol grant reveal.
Imagine a group of approximately 30 cheering people being led by the Lufkin band drum line and cheerleaders through the quiet campus halls celebrating our grant-winning teachers. Students and teachers peeped outside their doors to see what was going on and what the commotion was all about. The winning teachers came up with creative, innovative ideas to implement in the classroom and solicited funds from the newly created Education Foundation. Once the committee selected the winners through a blind process, the prize patrol was put into action complete with drummers, noisemakers, balloons, camera crews and six very big checks. The group all piled on a yellow school bus to travel to five of Lufkin ISD campuses. Talk about a powerful experience!
It was so exciting to see the surprise on the teachers’ faces. There were some tears of joy and lots of happy smiles from the students. I was so proud of the Education Foundation and for what they have accomplished in one year of operation. They were able to award six grants for a total of more than $13,700. That’s money going straight back into the classroom for innovative and creative ideas that will take our students to another level.
I think back on my own education and how it truly was the best gift that I ever received. I know my own teachers would have loved to have an opportunity where funds were available for their own ideas. Not only that, but the special educational memories created for students lasts a lifetime.
The foundation stays busy exploring ideas to have a greater impact, sharing the mission with potential donors, and fundraising for these grants. This is where the community comes in to show support of the foundation’s efforts. Donors from all over stepped up and demonstrated how important education and innovative thinking is to them by opening their wallets and their hearts. It was incredible to see this board in action. Each one of the members understands the mission: to provide opportunities for excellence in education, promote innovation in teaching, and partner with the community to enhance the quality of education for all students of the Lufkin Independent School District.
I am looking forward to seeing the manifestation of the grants in our classroom in the near future. Our teachers work tirelessly to create meaningful learning experiences in the classroom and with continued support of the community, they can make these extraordinary experiences happen.
It’s with a full heart and sincere gratitude that I thank all of those who made the Lufkin Education Foundation possible. For those who want to get involved or to just check out the hard work of the foundation, log on to their website http://www.lufkineducationfoundation.org. Not only would a donation make a great gift for the holidays, but you would also be contributing to something really big…the lifetime gift of an education.