November, 2009Thursday, November 12 was a special day for a number of Plano ISD teachers who received a surprise visit by district and community leaders and monetary awards for use in their classrooms or schools. Plano ISD Education Foundation board members, program sponsors, district staff, and parent leaders personally delivered $68,000 in monetary awards on Thursday, November 12, to fund 54 innovative instructional programs. The Park Place Lexus Prize Patrol traveled throughout the 100 square mile district in six cars courtesy of Park Place Lexus. As part of the surprise visits, each honoree was presented a special badge proclaiming his/her selection as a 2009 grant recipient. Each grant winner’s school was presented a banner for display throughout the year. Some 120 educators were recognized throughout the morning. The Plano ISD Education Foundation Grants to Educators program is intendedto help Plano ISD educators enhance instruction in schools and classrooms across the district. Earlier in the school year, teachers had the opportunity to complete applications for grants for programs for their classes, schools or joint programs at multiple schools. Grant Committee Chairman Rick Dunham added, "Because school districts are limited in funding all instructors’ needs, teachers frequently dip into their own pockets to enhance instruction in their schools and classrooms. The Plano ISD Education Foundation helps to bridge this funding gap. We are proud to offer this competitive grant program to Plano ISD educators every fall. Plano ISD educators make our classrooms exciting places for students to learn." The Foundation awarded $68,000 in grants this year. Funding for the grants program comes from the following generous sponsors: Park Place Lexus, Plano ISD Council of PTAs, the Andrea-Mennen Foundation and the Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation. Since the Foundation’s inception more than $527,000 has been awarded to Plano ISD teachers through the Grants to Educators program. Plano ISD Education Foundation Board President Beth Webb said, "The Foundation is pleased to assist our teachers by funding important programs they have planned to enhance student learning in their classrooms. The Grants to Educators program is one of the best ways that private dollars can support outstanding classroom instruction by educators across Plano ISD." The Plano ISD Education Foundation celebrates its sixteenth year of operation, having raised almost $5 million to benefit Plano schools. The Plano ISD Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that funds priority programs identified by the school district for which tax dollars are not available. Programs funded by the Foundation enhance student learning; recruit, retain and recognize the very best teachers; or address critical needs of students and families so that all students can be successful. Grants are also funded through the Plano ISD Education Foundation Parent and Community Honor Roll annual fund drive, the Plano ISD employee campaign, and Ski Plano, an annual winter fundraising event open to the public. This year’s Ski Plano event will be held on January 30, 2010, at Southfork Ranch. For additional information about the Foundation or to make a donation, visit the Foundation Web site at http://foundation.pisd.edu or call (469) 752-8272.