HAEF awards nearly $30,000 to students and schools

The Harlingen Area Educational Foundation awarded 20 grants and scholarships totaling $28,879 to teachers, schools, and students at its annual scholarship breakfast held in May.

Sam Houston Elementary, which will be in the preliminary phase of transition into an international baccalaureate campus at the start of the 2019-20 school year, received three of the grants.

“Grants like this support different teachers and their ideas and initiatives,” said Sam Houston Elementary Principal Virginia Armstrong. “The sensory room grant we received will potentially impact all of our teachers and students at Sam Houston.”

Sam Houston Elementary received a portion of a $5,000 sensory room grant distributed by the Harlingen Area Education Foundation. Armstrong said they plan to use the funds to purchase items such as LED sensory lighting and a rope designated specifically for sensory rooms, which promote relaxation and support for students needing to utilize the space.

Sensory rooms at elementary school campuses within Harlingen CISD, such as Sam Houston Elementary, are for all students that present a need.

“We want to provide every opportunity for all students to get their very best education, and this particular type of setting is exactly what some of the students need to do just that,” Armstrong said following the scholarship and grant presentation held at the Harlingen CISD Administration building at the end of the 2018-19 school year.

Sam Houston Elementary was also awarded a portion of the $4,560 pen pals grant and a wheelchair grant totaling $2,489.57, which will allow the school to purchase an innovative wheelchair swing for students in need of the accommodation. 

“I want to thank HAEF for their generosity and for supporting our students,” Armstrong said. “The grants support our teachers, who give so much of their time and their heart to the education profession. To have someone recognize that and to help them in their endeavors means a lot to
our students and our schools.”

HAEF, a non-profit organization, provided grants to Harlingen CISD’s teachers of the year as well.
“It’s important to our team and me to give back to our community,” said HAEF president Eric Kennedy of SpawGlass. “There’s a lot of excitement to be proud of this school year, and today we celebrated the hard work of the board to help HCISD students and staff. This is a celebration of that.”

Scholarships and grants awarded by HAEF:

$1,000 scholarship recipients

Eliseo Pedraza – Harlingen High School
Jacqueline Rivera – Harlingen High School
Joanna Herrera – Harlingen High School
Devanny Esparza – Harlingen High School
Salvador Elizarraraz – Harlingen High School South
Teresa Rodriguez – Harlingen High School South
Alondra Trejo – Harlingen High School South
Haley Morin – Harlingen High School South
Jasmine Corea – Early College High School
Taylor Garcia – Early College High School
Karina Cano – Harlingen School of Health Professions
Daniela Ramos – Harlingen School of Health Professions

Innovative Teaching Grant awardees

Pen Pals program $4,560 total awarded to Vernon Middle School, Sam Houston Elementary, and Austin Elementary. The grants will be used for World Language Academy and International Baccalaureate students to join the pen pals educational program.

Life Skills wheelchair swing $2,489.57 awarded to Sam Houston Elementary

Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning equipment $1,544.45 grant total awarded to Harlingen High School South and Harlingen High School

Sensory Room $5,000 total awarded to Sam Houston Elementary, Rodriguez Elementary, Milam Elementary, Long Elementary, Zavala Elementary

Upgrading Award Winning Newscast Production $1,285 awarded to Zavala Elementary

Teacher grants for school use
Harlingen High School awarded $500 for district teacher of the year Michael Gerleman
Wilson Elementary School awarded $500 for district teacher of the year Mariela Herrera
Media Arts and Communications Academy awarded $1,000 to lead teacher Patricia Guajardo

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