By Daniel Sylvia, on behalf of Liberty ISD Education Foundation
As the COVID-19 public health emergency continues to cause schools to be physically closed and requires parents and students to take a larger role in their education, Liberty ISD Education Foundation knew that they could not sit idly by. President Brandon Davis challenged the Foundation directors to put their heads together to come up with a way for the Foundation to support parents and students while continuing their education at home.
The Foundation secures its funding through community events and donations. The Foundation directors and others volunteer their time and effort to be able to provide innovative classroom grants to LISD teachers and students. Most LISD students are currently picking up educational packets provided by LISD teachers and administrators. Others are using online packets to continue their schoolwork. However, the Foundation believed that there must be new, unconventional ways to support parents and students during this time.
Even though the normal 2020 Foundation grant cycle has been affected by the COVID-19 emergency and subsequent school closure, in an online Zoom meeting of the Foundation directors, the group agreed that sitting by and doing nothing is not an option; these are unprecedented times that require extraordinary action.
By the conclusion of the meeting, the directors unanimously agreed that the Foundation would provide hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning projects for every LISD student from Pre-K through 5th Grade.
The Foundation voted to approve a $13,500 grant for the purchase of 1,186 age-appropriate educational crates packed with fun and educational games and projects that teach STEM concepts. These crates should arrive in the next 10 days. The Foundation and LISD administrators are currently devising a plan to distribute the crates to all Pre-K through 5th Grade students in the regular Monday pickup lines at the Liberty Middle School.
Through events such as the Liberty Freedom Ride, the popular luxury purse raffle, and the annual Foundation Gala, the Foundation raises money to fund grants to LISD teachers and students to fund projects that LISD’s regular budget does not cover. Additionally, some older scholarship trusts, such as the Rick Mearns Memorial Trust and the Dawn Forticq Memorial Trust, have been converted into grants that further support this process.
Since the Foundation’s creation in 2007, the Foundation has provided grants to LISD teachers totaling $226,713 to support teachers and students. The Foundation is grateful for its many volunteers, donors, friends and community supporters who love Liberty students and find ways to help support their education.
In March, the Foundation provided a long list of free online resources for parents and students who are now teaching and learning at home together. Please visit the Foundation’s website at https://quickiejoe61.wixsite.com/libertyisdedfound to view these free resources, to learn more about the Foundation, and to learn how you can help to support the Foundation as we work through this COVID-19 situation together.