FEF Awards Over $46,000 at Inaugural Legacy Grant SurPrize Patrol

FEF Awards Over $46,000 at Inaugural Legacy Grant SurPrize Patrol

The Friendswood ISD Education Foundation (FEF) awarded FISD with more than $46,000 in grants during its inaugural Legacy Grant SurPrize Patrol on Wednesday, Dec. 14.

FEF launched the Legacy Grant Program for the 2022-2023 school year in response to an increasing demand for grants that go beyond the $5,000 threshold set by the Adopt-a-Grant program. Legacy Grants are designed to go beyond traditional grants size, scope and impact with costs being between $5,000 and $40,000.

“More and more often, we have teachers coming to us with a dream that is bigger than what we could previously accommodate with Adopt-a-Grant,” FEF Executive Director Ashley Adair said. “We had to find a way to fund these grants that aim to achieve a transformative impact by engaging students with new or extraordinary learning experiences.”

Per FEF’s updated Investment Policy Statement, 3% of FEF”S endowment fund will be pulled each year to fund Legacy Grants. The endowment currently sits around $1.5 million and continues to grow with the support of FEF’s Century Club members.

According to FEF Grant Committee Chair Kelly Lovell, the team had no idea how many applications to expect in the inaugural year.

“We were blown away when we received 15 grants totaling more than $200,000,” Lovell said. “Each grant was worthy of funding which made the committee’s job very challenging.”

After reviewing the submissions, seven applicants were invited to present their projects in person and answer questions. Of those that presented, three were selected for funding and those teachers were informed with a surprise visit from FEF and the Friendswood High School (FHS) drumline on Dec. 14.

Grant recipients include Westwood Media Integration Specialist Elizabeth Henning who was awarded $8,488.99 for a book vending machine, Friendswood Junior High Robotics Teacher PJ Givens who was awarded $23,700.00 to fund the Robotics Vex IQ Classroom and FHS Art Teacher Mandy Harris who was awarded $13,994.65 to start a ceramics program at FHS.

“I can not thank the Education Foundation enough for letting us dream for our art students at FHS,” Harris said. “This gift of a ceramics program for our students is something I have dreamed of for years.”

Givens shared that after working in FISD for 23 years, it never ceases to amaze him how much support is received from the parents and community of Friendswood.

“When I was presented with the grant, I was nothing short of shocked and speechless,” Givens said. “The support of the FJH robotics program is overwhelming and will make a difference in students' lives for years to come.”

If you would like to invest in the future of FISD, you can make a tax-deductible gift to the endowment by joining FEF’s Century Club or making a general donation today. Contact AAdair@fisdk12.net or visit fef.myfisd.com/ways-to-give/century-club to learn more.