Annual ‘Idea Grant’ inspires creativity in WFISD teachers

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Purchasing school supplies for teachers can be expensive making it difficult for them to try new ideas.

But thanks to a yearly grant that’s been going on for nearly 30 years, several WFISD teachers received a very special surprise that will help alleviate some of that cost.

Friday was an exciting day for five teachers at Booker T. Washington. Math teacher Melanie Wolf, Pre-K teachers Bethany Horschler, Mikki Zellner and Chantel Brooks, and librarian Rachel Self all were gifted with money to do creative classroom projects, something they are thankful for.

“This is my first year in this grade level so I’m just super excited to be apart of it,” Brooks said. “I’m super excited to be apart of this team and I’m just excited for my students.”

This is a part of the IDEA grants that began nearly 30 years ago to help teachers try new things in their classrooms.

Wolf said she has an idea already in mind on how she wants to use this money.

“It’s for our students to work on their multiplication facts and get much stronger in that because that’s the building block for any of the math skills that they have later on,” Wolf said.

Pre-K teachers Horschler, Brooks and Zellner also received a group grant that is going towards books.

“Each of our Pre-K and Head Start students will receive six books,” Horschler said. “They will also receive a hard back book at Christmas and a coordinating stuffed animal to go with it to really enrich their learning experience and connect with their books.”

Zellner actually received two grants one of which will go towards helping students learn from home.

“My other one is for my classroom for family engagement,” Zellner said. “Because of COVID we can’t have our families up here with us so their family engagement bags that will go home with activities families can do to enrich literacy and math and social, emotional skills at home.”

With this money, these teachers are now hoping their ideas will help shape the minds of those who come in and out of their classrooms.

Rachel Self was not able to be there but these teachers weren’t the only ones across the district to receive some help.

In fact, members of the WFISD Foundation Board and district administration divided into teams to surprise 26 lucky teachers with idea grants earlier Friday morning.

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