Texas Border Business
PHARR – Dozens of educators in Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD (PSJA ISD) were surprised with grants from the PSJA Education Foundation during their annual prize patrol held last month, Dec. 17-18, 2019. During the two-day period, the Foundation awarded over $46,000 in educational grants to fund creative classroom project proposals.
Founded in 2013, the PSJA Education Foundation is an independent non-profit organization operating exclusively for the benefit of PSJA ISD students and staff. With the help and support of community sponsors and the generous monthly contributions of PSJA ISD employees, the Foundation awards competitive teacher grants each year, to fund creative classroom projects, student scholarships, and library grants to support literacy initiatives district-wide.
A total of 54 grants ranging from $500 to $1,000 were selected from over a hundred applications submitted.
“It’s important for us to give back to our teachers,” said Jesse Vela, Jr. President of the PSJA Education Foundation. “We can’t wait to see the awesome projects they do.”
Projects funded this year covered a variety of topics ranging from literacy, technology, health, sustainability, and fine arts.
For Alma Diaz-Martinez, Special Education Teacher for the PSJA Pathways Toward Independence Program, her grant will be used to fund a Cricut Machine so students can make projects like blankets to donate to elderly shelters.
“We instill in our students the importance of helping others,” said Diaz. “It’s not only about taking, but also giving back.”
At Allen & William Arnold Elementary, Rosalinda Muñoz was thrilled to be named a recipient for a grant that will help fund professional development books for all campus employees.
“Thank you so much, this is so exciting,” the 3rd-grade teacher exclaimed during her surprise visit. “We are going to learn so much from the books we’ll be able to buy.”
In addition to awarding mini-grants to educators, the PSJA Education Foundation will continue awarding scholarships to PSJA ISD seniors.
“We applaud the efforts of our PSJA Education Foundation board members,” PSJA Superintendent Dr. Jorge L. Arredondo said. “Thanks to them and the generous support of our sponsors and donors, we can make these funds available to our students and staff.”
The application for the Foundation’s student scholarship is open until Jan. 31, 2020 at midnight. To apply, seniors can visit www.psjaisd.us/foundation