by Kaylee Rodriguez
The door opens as cameras swarm inside. Among the flashing lights she spots a large plastic check. Along with this check comes balloons, news reporters and celebrating children. With the realization of what is happening, a smile quickly spreads across her face. This is the work of a grant, and that check will go to the education of her students.
Teachers have received numerous grants from a multitude of donation programs both locally and nationally. In the spring of 2019, the Helen S. Boylan Foundation and Lindale ISD Education Foundation raised over $45,000 for teachers across the district.
“Quite a wide variety of funding and materials have been pushed through this,” Lori Anderson, Boylan representative and Director of Federal Programs, said. “They look for above and beyond ideas that will provide enriching opportunities for our students to do more than just the regular school budget applies.”
The Lindale ISD Education Foundation has provided numerous grants to teachers in the community. Under the program, over $315,000 has been awarded to teachers.
“The foundation has greatly affected the community by putting new education tools in the hands of our students,” Executive Director Courtney Sanguinetti said. “We have given math manipulatives, which help with any kind of math in third grade; we have given a greenhouse to the science department at E.J. Moss, and we have given [the AP physics classes] technologies that make physics easier.”
Another organization, the Helen S. Boylan Foundation, has contributed to students. The foundation, located in Carthage, Missouri, is connected through Boylan’s granddaughter, who has lived in the community for years.
“Since 2011, the Boylan Foundation has awarded the district around $307,000 in grant funding,” Anderson said.
Among these programs locally, certain websites such as DonorsChoose, make it easy to create a fundraiser for one’s students. These websites allow for teachers to create funding projects that people across the nation can contribute to.
“DonorsChoose is a website that teachers can create individual campaigns for their classroom,” debate coach Rory McKenzie said. “You go online and explain a bit about your classroom and where you teach, and then you do your shopping through a couple of pre-approved websites. Then it provides you with a website you can share out to friends and family so they can donate if they want.”
These programs largely raise their money through donors and philanthropists in East Texas. Every once in a while, the school is blessed to receive support from larger groups such as Casey Donahew, a country music artist who recently contributed $969 to the speech and debate team at the high school.
“We are supported by the Rotary Club and the Kiwanis Club among others,” McKenzie said. “The biggest contribution [for my campaign] came from Casey Donahew, who was really big in the #clearthelist movement.”