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Grants mean new tools for some Central Texas teachers just in time for first day

Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 5:15 AM CDT
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) - Some teachers in Temple have some new tools, just in time for the first day of class.

On Monday, the Temple Education Foundation handed out more than two dozen grants to teachers across the district. The grants will fund a variety of projects, including STEAM labs, podcasts and a tiny house.

Shelli Sissel, a first grade teacher at Thornton Elementary School, is one of the grant recipients this year. She received two grants: one for flexible seating and another for magnetic letters, shapes and figures.

Sissel said both tools are critical for her students to succeed. The magnetic shapes will help her students tell and write stories, and the flexible seating can help them focus better in the classroom.

“A lot of our little bodies do not fit in these chairs and this way they can sit on the floors and be up on their knees,” Sissel said. “Flexible seating is going to offer them a place to find a way for them to choose and a way for them to be comfortable when they’re learning.”

Linda Ray teaches life skills at the Travis Science Academy, and she received a grant to create a bath boutique with her students.

Ray said they plan to make bath bombs and scrubs, and sell them to teachers at the school.

She said it gives her kids a chance to learn skills like following recipes and sales, but it also is important life training.

“These students, vocational skills are especially important because whenever they age out, they will need the skills that to find jobs and to work,” Ray said.

Those benefits, both in and out of the classroom, were important to the education foundation as well.

“We felt like we’re able to meet a lot of needs, both in the classroom and real world experience,” Shannon Williams, with the Temple Education Foundation, said.

Williams said they were able to give 27 grants, totaling just over $40,000. Grants were given at all grade levels across the district, in a variety of classes.

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