On behalf of the students at Red Oak Elementary and myself I would like to express our gratitude to the Education Foundation. If it wasn't for the Foundation's generosity, our students wouldn't have the opportunities to use pedometers and speed stacks, along with the FitnessGram. With the awarded grants we are able to keep both our bodies and minds healthy. With the use of pedometers, we participate in an on-line activity called Log-It, and at the same time convert our steps into miles while Walking Across the USA. During our travels nationwide students also learn about each state capitol. The Fitnessgram allowed us to prepare our students for the state required physical fitness testing of Third and Fourth Graders that will be implemented this school year. The students' favorite is the speed stacks which helps with hand-eye coordination and crossing the mid line. Our students had the privilege last year of being a part of the Guinness World Book of Records (Most People Sport Stacking in Multiple Locations in One Day). We had 305 ROE Sport Stackers that were included with the 81,252 students participating worldwide in this event. With budgets being tight and large classes, it becomes difficult to purchase some of the equipment that we would like to have. Once again, thank you to the Education Foundation for putting the smiles on our students' faces.
Richard Roth Red Oak Elementary
Thank you ROISD Education Foundation!
Shields Steel, our steel band program, was established 4 years ago through a generous grant from the Education Foundation. Playing the steel drums is a favorite activity in music classes and the extra-curricular bands are popular and well-known in the community. Our students are doing so well that we have even been invited to play at the Texas Music Educators Association State Convention in Feb. 2008!
Thanks to the Education Foundation, we were able to build a program by purchasing equipment that will be available for our students to use for many years. Our steel band program also provides our students with enriching musical opportunities that very few elementary students get to experience.
Shields Steel appreciates the ROISD Education Foundation!
Diane Magier - Music Teacher Shields Elementary
Dear Education Foundation,
Thank you so much for all the incredible support you’ve given my class. We have some wonderful materials to help spark the interest of every student because of you! Here are some direct quotes from students who have benefited from your generosity:
“I love taking the backpacks for homework. That homework is fun!”
“I learn so much stuff from the videos we see on the big screen! It makes me real smart about lots of things!” “I’ll never forget when the butterflies came out. They were so awesome when we let them go outside!” “I was really excited when we found out one of our tadpoles was still alive. I can’t believe he grew up to be a real frog!”
You have made such a difference in the lives of so many students!
Sincerely, Suzy B. Keane 2nd Grade, Eastridge Elementary
In 2003, I wrote a grant for xylophones for the students at Eastridge to play and extend their reading and music abilities. Boy, was I surprised to see and hear the band, cheerleaders, cheers, and adults I recognized giving me a big check and some balloons. I received my xylophones and the look on our student's faces was priceless! I knew right then that the Education Foundation could help me in ways I could never imagine.
In 2005, I had a vision for a room filled with drama items. I was experimenting with drama activities and the children were really having fun and learning some valuable lessons at the same time. I received a large check from the Education Foundation and a new "Imagination Station" was born. From this room, I can teach Drama TEKS and all students are successful and confident. It is a real self-esteem booster to act out emotions and characters while wearing costumes and using props. The transformations and seeing shy students excel are amazing. The after school drama club is very popular. The club lasts for six weeks and at the end of the six weeks, they perform a play that they write in front of family and friends. The Education Foundation allowed me a great opportunity to add a new curriculum into my teaching and I am forever grateful.
In 2006, the music and cheers delivered me two great grants. "Sky High Art" and "Traveling Music Kits". "Sky High Art" was designed for every 4th grader to paint a ceiling tile as their art canvas. After it dries it goes back up into the ceiling where everyone can see their art. This grant allowed our students to express themselves in a fun, unique way and the grant also allowed a lasting memory with our oldest group of students. The "Traveling Music Kits" is a grant idea to involve the whole family. A student gets a bag for a week. Inside the bags are: a music CD, maracas, shakers, a scarf, bells, finger cymbals, and a castanet. The whole family can dance and use the instruments together. This has been a positive grant in that the kids enjoy seeing their parents "get silly" with them. I would have not been able to have these things if it were not for the Education Foundation.
In 2007, I received some electronic rhythm sticks. These sticks have been a great addition in our music time. The students think they are "cool" and they really are! The ends light up as they tap rhythms and you can change the sounds by pressing buttons. It really enforces what they already know, but they enjoy playing them, so they work harder and they learn MORE!
The Education Foundation has obviously been a blessing to me and the students here at Eastridge. I would not have been able to implement these ideas without the Education Foundation. The work involved in writing the grant is worth it because of the life-long memories it creates for our students. All of the programs funded by the Education Foundation have strengthened my fine arts program and helped to nurture a student that appreciates that value of learning. Thank you Education Foundation for helping us to continue to reach for excellence for our kids!
Tracy Pitts Eastridge Elementary
The Education Foundation Grants have been a definite asset to the ESL/Bilingual Programs in Red Oak. First of all, we were able to provide a support system for the ESL/bilingual students in the classrooms by purchasing the Rosetta Stone Software-a technology based language program.
Next, to help with the parent involvement, we received the Take Home Backpacks with activities to do at home in Spanish and English. It's exciting to hear each week do we get to take the backpacks home this week?
This past year we have been able to include the Rhyming Activities with our curriculum.
We are looking forward to using the literacy bags through this school year as well as the multicultural instruments.
Karen Mork Red Oak Elementary
The educational foundation has been a great provider for so many wonderful things for our students in this district, and my classes were given the opportunity to purchase the EInstruction System at the end of last year which provides remote control pads for students to use in choosing multiple choice questions when preparing for the SAT, ACT, TAKS and other standardized tests.
The students love getting immediate feedback on their choices! This helps the teacher to see immediately too what areas need work. I feel our scores will go up this year because of this system.
We all love and appreciate all the educational foundation is doing for this district! When we hear the ‘Prize Parade’ coming down our halls with the cheerleaders and the shouts of joy, we all know someone is going to be very happy. It was an incredibly exciting moment for me and my classes!