Liberty ISD Education Foundation announces grants

Richey Ewing (second from left) was surprised to learn that he was selected for an Innovative Teaching Grant from the Liberty ISD Education Foundation. Foundation members presented him with an $8,151 grant that will go toward upgraded communications equipment. Pictured with him left to right are Joe Roberts, Ross Norwood, Allie Smart and Bruce Wright.

The Liberty ISD Education Foundation awarded six grants to educators this year during “prize patrol” visits to campuses on Wednesday, April 20. These Innovative Teaching Grants are funded through contributions to the Liberty ISD Education Foundation by individual donors, businesses, corporations and community service organizations as well as through profits from our fundraising events.

This year’s six grants total $32,991. Since 2007, the total grant funding to LISD is $288,259.

Grants were awarded to Richard Ewing and Penny Taylor at Liberty High School, Elisha Lemelle, Kelly Crowe and Tabitha Pritchett at Liberty Middle School and Ana Samano/Stacey Neals at San Jacinto Elementary.

Elisha Lemelle accepts a $17,397 grant from the Liberty ISD Education Foundation.

Richard Ewing’s $8,151 grant is for an audio/visual communications system that will be used during live broadcast events. This grant is funded in part by The Dahlia McManus Endowment, The CW and Aggie Castle Family Endowment, The JoAnn McGuire Endowment, The C.A. (Abe) Miles Endowment, The Jeffrey Family Teaching Endowment, The First Liberty National Bank Endowment and by The M.J. Joe Leonard Endowment.

A $4,310 grant to Penny Taylor is for her From Our Farm to Your Fork initiative. This project has LHS Horticulture students constructing and managing a farm in order to demonstrate the Farm to Table concept. This grant is funded in part by The JoBeth Willoughby Teaching Grant, The Jana Marie Buchanan Grant, The Norman and Brenda Dykes Endowment and The Liberty County Farm Bureau Endowment.

The largest of the grants – $17,397 – was awarded to Elisha Lemelle for Beyond the Classroom Adventures. This grant funds a classroom Virtual Reality lab allowing an entire class to simultaneously experience virtual, augmented or mixed reality content. This grant is funded in part by The Baxter W. Dunagan, Sr. Endowment, The Dawn Forticq Endowment, The Miles Foundation Grant, The Bill Griffin Sr. Endowment, The Vara Martin Daniel Teaching Grant for the Fine Arts, The Laura Jane Hartel Endowment and The Rick Mearns Grant. 

Lemelle shared a secondary grant with Tabitha Pritchett for Social Learning Through Lego Play. This $500 grant will fund a project that uses a Lego wall to help students deescalate from heightened emotions during the school day. This grant is funded by The Ken Berry Grant, The Debbie Beasley Grant and the Liberty Lions Club Grant.

Kelly Crowe’s $1,652 grant is for a Body Systems Model, which will help in teaching body systems to middle school students. This grant is funded by The Mildred Arnold Endowment, The Dr. Reese and Sara Brown Endowment, The Nora Miles Endowment and The Dr. Frank S. Griffin Grant.

A $758 grant went to Ana Samano and Stacey Neal at San Jacinto Elementary School. Even though this was submitted as a grant, the Foundation was able to work with the District to find funds in the regular budget for this item. This grant supplies a document camera for classroom presentations and was funded through the LISD budget.

To contact the Foundation or for more information about joining its efforts, visit the website at or call Bruce Wright, Foundation Executive Director at 936-641-0367.

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