The Corpus Christi Education Foundation awarded $43,908 in grants to 26 teachers today.
The foundation started their “Prize Patrol Day” at Martin Middle School where they surprised three teachers with the gifts.
The foundation presented Grace Castaneda with a $2,289 check for her “Engineering the Future” program. The program’s goal is to get her students interested in the S.T.E.M. (Science/Technology/Engineering/Mathematics) field.
Nelda Cummings won a $1,440 grant for her “Cardiac Heroes” project. She will use the money to teach her students C.P.R.
“You’re never too young to learn CPR,” she said. “These students are absorbing so much.They’re like sponges. They’re learning so quickly and this is something they can carry on into their future careers.”
Eighth-grade science teacher Kaileigh Rector was also surprised by the Prize Patrol this morning with a $1,760 check. Her grant money will go towards a field trip.
Rector plans take her students on a boat. This will allow them to do hands-on research as they learn about Corpus Christi’s ecosystem and wildlife.
“We wouldn’t be able to do experiences like this without opportunities available to us through the grant,” Rector said. “We’re able to give them an experience. We hope an experience that inspires them.
“That’s why we titled the grant ‘Inspiring Research Scientists,’ hoping that they can see something in the field trip experience that makes them go ‘Wow! This is what scientists do. This is awesome! I want to do this.'”
About 60 teachers applied for the grants a few months ago. The winners were selected based on how their projects would inspire students in and out of the classroom.
The grants were made available through the following sponsors: Coastal Community and Teachers Credit Union, Flint Hills Resources, American Bank Center, Fulton Coastcon, Gignac Architects; Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson LLP; Thompson & Horton LLP; Borden Insurance; Frost Bank Capital Markets; H.E.B.; Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union; Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and Valero Bill Greehey Refinery.
The Corpus Christi Education Foundation plans to visit the teachers in the spring to check on the progress of their projects.