The Foundation’s mini-grants are designed to encourage, facilitate, recognize, and reward innovative and creative approaches to teaching and learning in support of the work of the Texas School for the Deaf.  The evaluation of proposals is done according to a rubric which awards points based upon how the work supports the TSD School Improvement Plan; the potential the idea has to impact student growth; creativity and innovation; the degree to which the proposal is clear, logical, and doable; and the degree to which the outcomes are measurable and demonstrate student growth so we know the intended result has been achieved.  Some projects give in-depth life-changing assistance to a few students, while other projects offer an enhanced learning opportunity for many.

The funds mainly come from donations and gifts transferred through the foundation that are specifically designated to support the objectives, goals and initiatives of the Texas School for the Deaf Improvement Plan.  The donors who support mini-grant projects are local businesses, corporations, organizations and individuals that aims to make a contributing impact on the deaf and hard of hearing children at the school.

We received 72 applications this year from the TSD and Outreach programs staff.  We funded 41 of the applications.  The Foundation is funding a total of $27,500 to the program with $1,000 coming from an outside group.  The minigrant committee is made up of six of the TSDF Board Members: Ada Tereshinski, John Hodnett, Bill Huber, Brandi Rarus, Marilyn Galloway, and Liza Chabokrow.

We are happy to announce the 2014-2015 Minigrant Award Recipients!  The TSD Foundation’s mini-grants are designed to encourage, facilitate, recognize and reward innovative and creative approaches to teaching and learning.  Here is a list of the winners and their projects.  Congratulations to those who were selected!

  • Erin Bunce, “An Online Platform for the Lone Ranger Newspaper.”
  • Johnett Scogin, “‘The Grand Ranger Castle’ – A Book Fair Collaboration.”
  • Lori Taylor, “Culinary Bowl.”
  • Kent Turner, “Battle of the Books.”
  • Paul Stropko, “FIRST (First Inspiration Recognition in Science and Technology) Tech Challenge.”
  • Kat Murphy, “Student Care Fund.”
  • Meghan Blackmon, “Sitting On Top of the World.”
  • Laura Hamilton, “A Collaborative Approach to Supporting Students on the Autism Spectrum.”
  • David Coco, “ERCOD GoPro Cameras.”
  • Karl Hummel, “Raising Academic Rigor.”
  • Julie Lawler, “Love of Reading Fostered by 3rd Grade Bookworm Program.”
  • Chrystal Whitzel, “Promoting Art Therapy for our Students.”
  • Carilynne Gay, “BookBags – Home – School – Community Connections.”
  • Bethany Gehman, “TSD/Deaf Community Collaboration.”
  • Shauna Segler, “Build to Express – Kinesthetic Language Development in First Grade.”
  • Amy Holcomb, “iPods to Enhance Student Achievement.”
  • Adam Membrey, “Connected to the Future.”
  • Kelli Mills, “Light Table.”
  • Judi Ann Pate, “Stop the Summer Reading Slide!”
  • Suzanne Milford, “A Dynamic Way for Learning Science Using the Newest Interface LabQuest2.”
  • Connie Potersnak, “‘Flour Baby’ Project.”
  • Lauren Robertson, “iPad Apps for Speech.”
  • Sonia Bridges, “Bridge Camera for Outreach Department.”
  • Twyla Loftin, “Professional Quality Resource Videos.”
  • Wesley Singleton, “Panasonic GH4.”
  • Nancy Lazarczyk, “How Does Your Garden Grow?”
  • Ken Breslow, “iPad for Scoring and Administering Tests.”
  • Amy Sandstrom Hill, “Expanding Sandtray Therapy to Meet the Clinical Needs of TSD Students.”
  • Cindy Szewczyk, “Individualizing Counseling Approaches to Meet the Unique Needs of Diverse Students.”
  • Michelle DeLeonardis, “iPads for eSped ARD Use.”
  • Eleyna Furmansky, “Supporting TSD Students.”
  • Richard Suiter, “Residential Day Discipline.”
  • Debbie Boatright, “Magazines: The Way to Enhance Literacy.”
  • Mari Liles, “Robotics.”
  • Vance Youngs, “ASL Literacy Tools.”
  • Nathan Harrison, “Welding & Fabrication.”
  • Pia Marie Paulone, “Science Fair/Exhibition.”
  • Susie Kornkven, “Herbs Garden for Students.”
  • Aaron Mowell, “End of Year Field Trip.”
  • Jennifer Campero, “International Studies Trip – Peru.”
  • Susie Guintoli, “Catering/Culinary Arts.”

Unfortunately, the Foundation does not have enough money to support all the proposals we receive. This year, we were able to increase our financial support by 10% and have worked closely with CSD to put some of the proposals on our website for members of the community to help support. We hope this crowdfunding effort from the community will advertise the wonderful work being done at the School for the Deaf and touch some generous hearts to help.