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Foundation grants assist with student learning

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The Education Foundation for the Lockhart school district is gearing up for its third annual Chip-in for LISD Golf Tournament next weekend, the foundation’s largest fundraiser of the year.

Money raised from the event will directly benefit district teachers and students through the Foundation’s grants program.
According to Superintendent Mark Estrada, the foundation gives teachers a chance to try new and innovative methods of teaching aimed at creating greater student engagement.
“The Education Foundation for Lockhart ISD serves as an incubator for innovative ideas that our teachers have, allowing them to pilot those programs, and for those that are successful, create opportunities for districtwide implementation,” said Estrada. “Our Education Foundation is hyper-focused on impacting classroom instruction and supporting teachers.”
At Clear Fork Elementary, second grade teacher Michelle Stephenson has already seen the effects the foundation has had on her classroom.
“We’ve received four grants over the last few years that have provided innovative, hands-on materials to bring learning to life in the classroom,” said Stephenson. “These materials help engage students in their learning and provide hands on experiences. In turn, this boosts student learning and enhances their educational experience.”
Stephenson noted that many of the classroom items she’s received through grants include STEM materials, which stands for science, technology, engineering and math. Many of the items are geared around architecture and construction. In one case, students were given a flashcard with a racecar on it, along with bucket full of parts. Using only the items in the bucket, the kiddos were required to recreate the car to the best of their ability.
Another activity had students working together to create a device that could be used to save a monkey from the bottom of a barrel. Each of these activities gave little instruction to the students, instead having them rely on their wits and creativity to solve the task at hand.
Stephenson said the use of Power Pens and ABDO Pop Books have also helped with making learning in the classroom more fun.
With Power Pens, students use electronic pens with pre-coded sets of flashcards to solve various problems. When students tap the correct answer on the flashcard, the tip of the pen turns green. If they choose the incorrect answer, the tip of the pen turns red.
ABDO books offer students comprehensive information on a given subject while bringing the material in the book life. By scanning QR codes embedded in the books, students will be sent to links with additional information about the subject that help bring the lesson to life.
If the book was about bald eagles, the QR codes would then take the students to pictures or videos of Bald Eagles, Stephenson said.
“With these Education Foundation grant purchases, I am able to provide a level innovation in my classroom otherwise not possible with district and personal funds,” said Stephenson. “Lockhart ISD students are at a great advantage because of the generosity of donors and hard work of the Education Foundation.”

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