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News from Goose Creek CISD

Education Foundation Grant Surprise Patrol Awards Grants
 teacher is surprised with check. Check is given by vice president of GCCISD Education Foundation.
Photo by Carrie Pryor-Newman
Tracey Prothro, vice president of programs for the Goose Creek CISD Education Foundation, presents a $500 grant to Janet Sennet, a teacher at Highlands Elementary, for “The Big Bank” to enhance financial literacy for her students. The Grant Surprise Patrol, GCCISD administrators, cheerleaders, drum line members and Celebrities boarded school buses two days at the end of April to deliver 77 grants to deserving teachers.

Education Foundation Grant Surprise Patrol Awards Grants

By: Susan Passmore
With the spirit and noise of a holiday parade, the Goose Creek CISD Education Foundation marched down the halls of district schools two mornings in April to award 77 grants to deserving educators to enhance classroom instruction. Accompanied by Robert E. Lee High School drum line members; REL, Goose Creek Memorial High School and Ross S. Sterling High School cheerleaders as well as some REL Celebrities, Education Foundation members and district administrators boarded yellow school buses carrying large checks to present to grant winners.

Since the inception of the Goose Creek CISD Education Foundation in 2009, the organization has awarded more than $830,000 to teachers searching for ways to fund innovative ideas to benefit their students. T hanks to generous donors in the community as well as GCCISD staff members, who donate through the payroll deduction program, this marked the eighth year the Grant Surprise Patrol has delivered these grants.

“Our teachers are creative in their methods and strategies, and it is often difficult for them to obtain the necessary resources to enhance their students’ educational experiences,” said Randal O’Brien, Goose Creek CISD superintendent. “That’s why we at Goose Creek CISD appreciate the Education Foundation so much. The Goose Creek CISD Education Foundation believes that schools are critical to the success of a community, and its members have committed to giving time and effort to funding creative educational programs in our district.”

Janet Sennet, a teacher at Highlands Elementary, was pleased to see the group stop at her classroom to present her with $500 for her grant “The Big Bank” to enhance financial literacy. She will use the money to construct a bank and a store, and students will select a career.

“They will earn a bi-weekly salary, make a household budget and save 10 percent of their earnings. Also, students will be able to buy goods from the store,” said Sennet. “They will select a charity to which they will donate. Students will operate the Big Bank just like a real financial institution. I will provide them with checks, debit/credit cards and money. The students will be required to borrow money from the bank to understand how interest works.”

To enrich the science curriculum at Horace Mann Junior School, Susan Dagley submitted her grant “KABOOM! Chemistry Demos” in the amount of $1,270. The funds she received from the Goose Creek CISD Education Foundation will allow the Outreach program from The Museum of Natural Science to demonstrate chemical reactions for the entire student body.

“One of our science campus goals is to incorporate more hands-on activities during science class. Students would witness demonstrations of combustion, color changes, polymers and watching incredible effects of liquid nitrogen. These are demonstrations that we normally are unable to do due to lack of resources,” Dagley said.

Another happy grant winner was Kathryn Aguilar from IMPACT Early College High School, who received a $2,000 grant for materials for her forensics class.

“Without the grant, we couldn’t do everything we want to do in the class. It takes materials to make an interesting forensics class. We will look for trace evidence, set up crime scenes and do more with serology,” said Aguilar. “We send real DNA samples to a National Geographic program, and students present the results of the analysis of their own DNA.”

The grants are awarded to teachers at all different levels for various subjects and for a diverse range of projects. Some teachers, like Linda LeDay at Dr. Antonio Bañuelos Elementary, have found that if they have creative ideas, they can receive more than one grant, but only one per year.

“Knowing that these innovative teaching grants are at work in Goose Creek CISD classrooms every day is so rewarding,” said Kathy Clausen, president of the Education Foundation. “The Education Foundation is extremely grateful to our donors for making this possible.”

The mission of the Goose Creek CISD Education foundation is to partner with the community to provide resources to enrich teaching, inspire learning and provide opportunities for excellence in education for all students in the Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District. Goals include involving the community in assuring a quality education for the leaders and workers of tomorrow, supporting staff for innovative efforts, recognizing staff for exemplary teaching and encouraging all students to work at their highest potential.

If you would like to donate to the GCCISD Education Foundation, please go online to or call 281-707-3629.


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