Programs TSD Foundation Has Supported

TSD Foundation raises funds to bridge the gap between funding that TSD receives from the State of Texas and the moneys needed to provide programs that bring access to literacy, language, and communication to the deaf children here in Austin and across Texas. TSDF raises funds to support and enhance educational programming and bring excellence in education for these children. TSD Foundation raises funds to support five major areas for TSD: Literacy, STEM, Technology, Career and Technical Education, and Outreach to the over 7000 deaf children in Texas.

Several of the programs we have supported over the past few years include:
1. Robotics expansion: Because robotics allows students to do rather than observe, it is an exceptional method for hands on learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. TSDF has supported this effort by donating funds to purchase new supplies for the high school level robotics program, as well as expand this program to the elementary and middle school levels, so our students can have early engagement in these areas of knowledge. (STEM initiative)

2. Middle School iPad Expansion: iPads make learning more visually accessible and interactive, bridge communication between hearing and deaf populations, while also providing hands on, creative options that engage immerse and empower the students to navigate their own learning and enhance their bi-lingual literacy skills in American Sign Language and English. TSDF has raised funds to purchase over 50 iPads for the middle school program. (Technology initiative)

3. Culinary Arts upgrade: The TSD Culinary Arts program is very popular and successful. The program is now up to industry standards; however, the training kitchen is The facilities need to be upgraded from a home economics type facility to a standard commercial / industrial style kitchen. TSDF raised over $60,000 to go toward upgrading these facilities so our TSD Culinary Arts program can move forward in training these students for a future career in this area. (Career and Technical Education initiative)

4. Outreach Family Signs program: It is estimated that 75% of hearing parents with deaf children never learn to sign. Lack of sign language class availability and accessibility present the biggest obstacles, in addition to cost, convenience and transportation hurdles. Through the power of Internet video – conferencing programs and their Family Signs program, TSD’s Educational Resource Center on Deafness (ERCOD) is connecting parents, guardians, adult family members, and siblings to free, convenient, customized, sign language instruction via interactive, in – home, individual and group classes in both English and Spanish. TSDF has gifted funds to TSD to provide this service to the many many families that are in need of this program. (Outreach and Literacy initiatives)

5. Toddler Learning Center Playscape: At the TSD Toddler Learning Center (0 – 3 years old), the teachers focus on the development of the whole child, including cognition, language, social emotional growth, and gross motor development, an area where deaf children often experience a higher incidence of problems. In addition to helping overall health and wellness, the outdoor play area is an important way of maximizing gross motor development. TSDF has raised funds to purchase new outdoor play equipment that is safe and encourages a variety of activities, including climbing, sliding, and exploring, as well as social interactions. (Outreach initiative)

6. Library upgrade: Today’s learners are digital natives who crave online references, e-books, and digital materials that can be borrowed and returned from the library with the push of a button. The TSD library needs transformation into 21st century learning hubs that will provide guidance in consuming all media – electronic, print, and digital – and offer collaborative learning spaces for readers. TSDF has gifted funds to this project to transform the library into this type of facility for our students. (Literacy initiative)

7. Project Based Learning: Project based learning teaches students how to work collaboratively, tackle problems, present ideas, organize workflow, and manage time effectively- all key skills for earning post- secondary certificates or college degrees and preparing for the workforce. There is a great demand in the US for skilled worker in fields such as Automotive Technology, Auto Body/ Collision and Welding/ Metal Fabrication. TSD has an agreement with Austin Community College to offer dual credit courses in these specialized areas for our students. TSDF has raised funds for tools, equipment, and materials so the students in these areas will have hands on learning experiences incorporating these three training programs across the dual – credit curriculum. ( Career and Technical Education initiative)

8. Mini-Grant program: TSD Foundation awards funds to the TSD staff and teachers each fall in our mini-grant program. The Foundation’s mini-grants program is designed to encourage, facilitate, recognize and reward innovative and creative approaches to teaching and learning. Teachers, administrators and staff are eligible to apply. Awards are given to projects which support the objectives, goals and initiatives of the Texas School for the Deaf School Improvement Plan. Each fall TSDF awards gifts up to $1000 to the staff for their worthwhile projects. The total for the past 5 years of gifts in this program has exceeded $100,000 to worthwhile programs and projects. ( STEM, Technology, Literacy, Career and Technical Education, and Outreach initiatives are all supported by this program)