Empowering Educators: LISD Education Foundation grants reward innovation in classrooms

The Liberty ISD Education Foundation has awarded grants to the following teachers and campuses for 2023:

LHS teacher Gradee Davis (left) is pictured with Brandon Davis of the Liberty ISD Education Foundation.

Gradee Davis, Liberty High School, for Cardiac Connections and Phlebotomy Phenoms, $8,613.41

Using this innovative EKG simulator, students will be able to gain an understanding of how an electrocardiogram works, how to accurately place EKG leads on the body through rib palpation, and how to recognize and interpret rhythms. They will then be able to apply their knowledge and perform live EKG recordings on patients using the 6-channel ECG machine. Students will also be able to practice their phlebotomy skills on the forearm venipuncture trainers, providing the confidence needed to perform live venipunctures.

This grant is funded in part by The Jeffrey Family Teaching Endowment, The Dahlia McManus Endowment, The CW and Aggie Castle Family Endowment, The JoAnn McGuire Endowment, The C.A. (Abe) Miles Endowment, The First Liberty National Bank Endowment and by The M.J. Joe Leonard Endowment.

Nicole Watts, Liberty Middle School, Sewing Basics, $2,404.05

Production and Introduction to theater classes already have a costume course in place where the students learn how to sew simple hand stitches and how to sew on a button and/or hook. This grant’s purpose is to design what they want to see on stage for their characters. With these sewing machines and mannequins, students will create small versions of their design and ultimately full-blown costumes for all productions at LMS and LHS.

This grant is funded by The Ken Berry Grant, The Debbie Beasley Grant, The Mary Jane Ripkowski Grant, and the Liberty Lions Club Grant.

Elisha Lemelle, Liberty Middle School, Zoom into Physics, $3,986

LISD students will zoom into physics by having the tools to accurately measure the position of objects, G-force, temperature, barometric pressure, humidity and more. This project learning will allow students to analyze the data in real time and deepen their understanding of scientific concepts in force and motion.

This grant is funded in part by The Dawn Forticq Endowment, The JoBeth Willoughby Teaching Grant, The Jana Marie Buchanan Grant, The Norman and Brenda Dykes Endowment and The Liberty County Farm Bureau Endowment.

Kirsti McCarty, Liberty Middle School, Maker cart 2.0: The Ultimate STEM cart, $9,047.79

This grant will fund 40 hands-on learning projects in the STEM area. 15,000 parts will be housed in a rolling cart to be used at the 6th and 7th grade level. Sample projects include weathers stations, catapults, hydraulic lifts, electric circuits, gear and pulley mechanisms, hydroponics, racecars robotics, bridges and more. Students will be encouraged to use their imaginations in this highly interesting and interactive format.

This grant is funded in part by The Baxter W. Dunagan, Sr. Endowment, The Miles Foundation Grant, The Bill Griffin Sr Endowment, The Laura Jane Hartel Endowment and The Rick Mearns Grant. 

Laura D’Camp, Liberty Elementary School, Child Centered Active Music Making, $6,599.88

Elementary music students are expected to: sing and play classroom instruments accurately; reproduce, create, and improvise; perform part-work; read, write, and interpret music notation.  All of the objectives can be fulfilled directly with Orff instrument experience. The fundamental premise of the Orff approach is that children learn music by creating it themselves.

The rhythm instruments used are both melodic and percussive. Removable bars on xylophones facilitate student’s learning, and the music follows elemental forms based on natural speech and body rhythms, familiar melodic patterns, and simple forms designed for first-time musicians.

This grant funded by The Mildred Arnold Endowment, The Dr. Reese and Sara Brown, The Nora Miles Endowment and The Dr. Frank S. Griffin Grant.

Jessie Smith, San Jacinto Elementary, Learning By Doing: Child Centered Instruments, $6,599.88

The Orff-Schulwerk Approach to Music Education will be implemented with rhythmic instruments.  LES also has access to extensive Orff-Schulwerk lessons and activities through our MusicPlayOnline subscription.  The Orff-Schulwerk Approach utilizes a four-stage learning process: imitation, exploration, literacy, and improvisation, all of which are higher order skills.

The success of this project will be measured several ways, including individual and group performances during class, and public performance of learned skills.  In addition, students in the volunteer groups will develop performance portfolios that include recordings of imitation, exploration, literacy, and improvisation throughout the process.

This grant funded by The Bruce and Tina Blake Endowment and The Vara Martin Daniel Teaching Grant for the Fine Arts.

About the Liberty ISD Education Foundation

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 $37,251.01.  Since 2007, the total grant funding to LISD is $325,510.

LISD Education Foundation’s Casino Night fundraiser was held Mar. 4, 2023, at the Trinity Valley Exposition Center. Fundraisers like this one fund our Innovative Teaching Program. If you would like to donate to help fund future grants, please go to https://securepayment.link/libertyeducationfoundation/ .

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

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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