Christmas came early for several Sand Springs teachers on Monday, Nov. 23.
The Sand Springs Education Foundation dispersed its annual grants for teachers and classrooms around the district. SSEF approved each of the 36 requested grants which totaled approximately $63,000, according to SSEF Director Tirita Montross.
The program awards grants to Sand Springs teachers and principals for projects or items they wouldn’t otherwise be able to fund.
“It’s like a Christmas present,” Montross said. “They dream big and a wish is granted. It’s so exciting.”
In previous years, SSEF members have celebrated the occasion by surprising teachers in their classrooms with their gifts. However, due to social distancing restrictions, site principals presented teachers with their certificates.
“It’s definitely a let down on a personal level to not see the smiles and the appreciation in person,” Montross said. “But I’ve already gotten thank yous and emails. The board always feels the appreciation.”
The amount of the individual grants ranged from approximately $300 to $7,000.
Here are a few of those that were granted:
Clyde Boyd Middle School science teacher Janet Johnson wrote a grant for an aerial botball program for her robotics class. Johnson shared her appreciation for the grant on social media.
“Thanks to the Sand Springs Education Foundation for this generous grant to start our autonomous drone program,” Johnson wrote. “Students will code drones to meet challenges. This is a step into the future.”
Early Childhood Education Center pre-K teacher Whitney Sanders received a grant that will help build an outdoor playhouse for her students.
Physical education Kim Crosier wrote a grant that will enable Limestone Technology Academy to have a gaga pit installed on the playground.
Charles Page High School drama teacher Andrea Campfield will receive digital cameras that will enable her classes to record their performances.
Money raised for the grants are a result of fundraising efforts by SSEF, highlighted by events like Driven to Give and the Hall of Fame banquet and this year’s benefit golf tournament. Montross said the funds for the grants are based off of last year’s budget, prior to the pandemic.
“This is what we do all year for our fundraisers, is to work towards our grants,” Montross said. “We’re glad to be able to help.”