WFISD surprises area teachers with IDEA grants worth $24,000

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Over the past 40 years, the Wichita Falls Independent School District has been awarding its teachers with IDEA grants for innovative developmental and educational activities.

This year, 39 teachers from 15 campuses received 26 grants for over $24,000 dollars.

“Mr. Kurt came in and I was like ‘No way! Really?'” Lamar Elementary kindergarten bilingual teacher Elena Martinez said.

Martinez said that she never thought she would be chosen to win one of 26 WFISD IDEA grants.

“I didn’t think that I would, but it’s great for my kids because they get new math games,” Martinez said. “They can build on their math skills which we love math.”

Martinez’s grant, worth $580 will go towards tablets that will help her students learn.

Augmented reality math games, where they have to put the tiles together and it shows them on the tablet for them,” Martinez said. “It helps with their math skills, counting, it helps with identifying the numbers, addition, and then there is an added stem game with it.”

The 26 grants worth more than $24,000 were hand-delivered by officials from the WFISD.

“IDEA grants are a product of our WFISD foundation, teachers apply for these in other words, they have an idea in their classroom they’d like to do or a group of teachers has an idea they’d like to do,” said Michael Kurht, WFISD Superintendent.

Kurht said IDEA grants have been given out to teachers in the WFISD for over 40 years and that they go toward equipment that is normally outside of a teacher’s normal budget.

“I think the cool thing is, teachers, found something they’re passionate about, and they had an idea maybe nobody else had thought of or no one else had funded before, and they submitted an application and they’re awarded,” Kurht said. “I think we’re going to make a lot of people’s day today.”

That’s exactly what they did. Martinez said she cannot wait to put the grant to use and buy those tablets.

“I think they’re going to love it,” said Martinez. “I mean everything I’ve gotten for them, they get so excited, as soon as a box arrives, they’re like ‘What is it now?'”

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