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Spring ISD Foundation’s ‘Grant Express’ spreads cheer, $13,000 across district

The Spring ISD Education Foundation spread a little holiday cheer on Tuesday, as board members of the foundation and other representatives once again boarded the Grant Express and handed out more than $13,000 to recipients around the district.

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The first stop was Wunsche High School, where teacher Lisa Evans received $1,000 towards funding a student-led business called The HIVE. The business produces biodegradable, non-toxic beeswax crayons and sells them at local farmers markets. 

Eventually, the HIVE students would like to sell the crayons online as well as provide them for every elementary school in the district. 

“I just wanted to say thank you very much for considering this grant,” Evans said. “But honestly, without the HIVE, this would not have happened. I gave them pieces of the grant, and said we’re going to do this together. And they came through.”

Over the past weekend, those students competed in the Houston Community College Pitch Fest, where they presented their business and their ideas on making it grow. They received an honorable mention.

“We wanted to make something sustainable, and we learned that regular crayons contain paraffin which is extremely toxic to the environment,” Chris Estrada, a senior at Wunsche High School, said. “And since children will often eat crayons, we really didn’t want to cause them harm. So therefore we decided to create beeswax crayons.”

In addition, four other grants were awarded on Tuesday, totaling $13,713.

At Reynolds Elementary, Tonya Stanton received $981 towards creating a makerspace in the library. The focus of that project is to deepen literacy development in students, with students taking part in creative, hands-on projects that feature a literacy component. 

Jennifer Howard and Jeremy Kane, at Claughton Middle School, were awarded $1,852. This will give students in the polytechnic program at the school to use professional tools for digital art. The funds will purchase iPads, where students can use various applications and software to create, edit, manipulate, and animate digital art, giving them real-world career-ready skills.

Robotics and its applications will be the focus of the $710 Quiana Williams received at Hirsch Elementary. Students will learn all about robotics and how it has changed society and allowed scientists to virtually explore typically out-of-reach spaces. This will allow students to strengthen skills in science, technology, engineering, art, and math, while promoting confidence, collaboration, and effective communication.

The Family and Community Engagement department received the day’s biggest grant, $9,170, for its Spring ISD Youth Summit, which will impact 1000 students in Spring ISD. The Summit will help students become better leaders, higher achievers, and change agents in their schools. 

In addition to these grants, the Spring ISD Education Foundation provides scholarships to graduating seniors, as well as funding for events like Winter Wonderland. Recently, the Foundation provided the district with funds, provided through a grant from the Education Foundation of Harris County, that allows students districtwide to participate in literacy and fine arts events in Houston.For more information on the Spring ISD Education Foundation, visit springisdfoundation.org.

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