DEF Spring Grants bring total awards to $816,290

Thousands of Denison ISD students continue to reap huge benefits from classroom grants awarded twice yearly by the Denison Education Foundation, including $8,760 in 2019 Spring Grants that brought the grand total to over $800,000.

“Our generous DEF patrons and supporters have made this possible through event sponsorships, memorials, estate planning, annual giving and many other generous contributions… and we’re so grateful for that,” said DEF Executive Director Lisa Crawley who joined board members in March for the traditional grant presentations. “Our mission is to generously fund classroom grants for innovative programs and projects that are not covered by the district’s operating budget…while also building an endowment to ensure that future generations of Denison students will also benefit from grants.”

Five grant requests submitted by five DISD teachers were anonymously selected by the DEF Grants Review Committee as 2019 Spring Grant award winners:

Dana Nichols, Denison ISD Elementary art teacher, received $1,976 to purchase an interactive art program called “Art Books-a-Roma!” which will put books, research materials and reference resources in all five elementary libraries to help students learn new skills and techniques in various art mediums.

“Books are resources that can be used over and over to support the needs of a variety of students and their individual needs,” said Nichols. “Art helps students develop critical thinking and problem solving skills while also building confidence in their talents, abilities and potential.”

Jennifer Brown, DHS statistics teacher and Department Chair, received $1,984 for “Improving the Learning Environment Atmosphere” which will provide overlays for harsh fluorescent light fixtures in classrooms.

“Educators spend a lot of time turning their classrooms into environments that are conducive to successful student learning, utilizing exciting themes, colorful bulletin boards and interesting word walls,” said Brown. “However, most classrooms are also brightly lit with harsh fluorescent lighting…which can easily be changed by simply placing the overlays over the light covers in, creating a softer environment that’s more conducive to learning.”

Brown was also awarded $800 for a project entitled “Breaking Out of the Typical Classroom” which provides Breakout EDU kits that use games and other interactive learning devices to introduce new material and concepts, strengthen learning and bring closure to lessons learned --- all in a fun way.

Chris Anderson, Pre-K through 4th grade P.E. teacher, received $2,000 to purchase a fun and innovative program called “Drop and Give Me Zen: Jackets Doin’ Yoga.”

“My goal is to add a flexibility/core strength component to our Fitness/Health days,” said Anderson. “It will also bring the coping skills of relaxation and breathing into our fitness curriculum, improving the overall mental and physical health of all our students.”

Lisa Kusch and Sarah Roscoe, 5th and 6th grade intervention and reading teachers at B. McDaniel, received $2,000 for a program called “Flocabulary for All.”

“Teachers will utilize the Flocabulary program to engage students in interactive learning while reinforcing TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) for all students on our campus,” said Kusch. “It’s an engaging, multisensory online tool for teaching academic vocabulary across all content areas utilizing vocabulary cards, cross-curricular read-and-respond lessons, online quizzes, and a Lyrics Lab for students to produce their own video.”

“I’ll put Denison up against any community in Texas when it comes to supporting our schools and kids,” said Dr. Henry Scott, DISD Superintendent. “DEF gives our teachers and students tremendous support, our teachers do great jobs in the classroom, and our citizen support is second to none. We are very thankful.”

Dozens of excited Mayes Mustangs celebrated with P.E. teacher Chris Anderson after he received a $2,000 grant check from the Denison Education Foundation to purchase the “Drop and Give Me Zen: Jackets Doin’ Yoga” program. “My goal is to add a flexibility/core strength component to our Fitness/Health days,” said Anderson.

Mayes elementary P.E. students were awed by the $2,000 grant award their teacher, Chris Anderson, received from the Denison Education Foundation to purchase a flexibility and core strength training program entitled “Drop and Give Me Zen: Jackets Doin’ Yoga.”

A group of Denison High School students gathered around their teacher, Jennifer Brown, to celebrate the two Spring Grant awards she recently received from the Denison Education Foundation: $1,984 for “Improving the Learning Environment Atmosphere” and $800 for “Breaking Out of the Typical Classroom.”

B. McDaniel Principal Alvis Dunlap, left, joined a group of excited students for a big thumbs-up salute to teachers Lisa Kusch and Sarah Roscoe who received a $2,000 Spring Grant to purchase an enrichment learning program entitled “Flocabulary for All.”

Dana Nichols, Denison ISD Elementary Art teacher, received a $1,976 grant award from the Denison Education Foundation to fund an interactive art program called “Art Books-a-Roma!” which will make art books, research materials and reference resources available to students on all five Denison ISD elementary campuses.

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