TFAE Presents Three Teachers with Innovative Ed-Venture Grants

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Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence (TFAE) recently awarded three Innovative Ed-Venture Grants to help teachers incorporate the most educational, innovative, and developmental activities into the classroom to help accelerate student learning experiences.

 

Grant applications for the specific grants were accepted from April 1 to August 31, 2022. The applicants had to be any Terrebonne Parish certified public school teacher employed full-time by the Terrebonne Parish Public School System and meet the criteria of innovation, collaboration, and sustainability. The applications are then presented to a grant-reading committee made up of retired teachers and community leaders. The applications do not have the name of the school, mascot, school colors, or names, to keep total anonymity. After the committee makes its selections, it then goes to the Board of Directors for final approval.


 

Over $55,000 will be awarded in Innovated Ed and New Teacher Grants this year. Checks were presented to teachers from Acadian Elementary School, Grand Caillou Middle School, and South Terrebonne High School with the following grants:

 

Mrs. Heather Coulon at Acadian Elementary School Kinders received a $1,306.24 grant for “Learning Through Play” which will provide students the opportunity to participate in hands-on reinforcement of skills taught through play during small group time.

 

Mr. Matthew Walling at Grand Caillou Middle School received $1,758.99 for “Can You Hear and See the Technology?” Imagine band students learning from sound, sight, and traditional writing all in one, inclusive, diverse, and updated teaching strategies. The program will create a way to have a sound system, as well as a live stream of different music apps, to submerge students in learning music.


 

Angelle Portier at South Terrebonne High received $5,200 for a Digital Arts Career Project. The Digital Arts Career Project will be an opportunity for all her art students to learn many forms of graphic design skills that they can apply now to be on the cutting edge for future college and career opportunities. The grant will help purchase the technology to be used year after year.

 

TFAE has two grants available; the Innovative Ed-Venture Grants and New Teacher Grants. To date, TFAE Executive Director Ashlee Champagne Barahona shared that the organization has awarded almost $2 million in grants to help teachers have the tools to engage students in active learning. The innovative grant is aimed to help teachers geared toward STEM learning and technology-based learning. It encourages programs that aren’t exactly implemented in the classroom but have a profound impact on students.

 

When it comes to being an integral part of creating new opportunities for local education, Barahona said it’s very rewarding, “I think teachers should be given the world. They are truly the heartbeat of our community, they’re the ones that inspire and impact our kids every single day and anything that TFAE can do to support those heroes in our community, that’s what we strive to do every single day,” she said.


 

Sometimes, teachers may feel undervalued, but Barahona is honored to be a part of the check presentations, “I think for them to be awarded this money to be like thank you so much for being so innovative…because it’s not for themselves, it’s for the students!” Barahona said she is proud to be a part of such an amazing organization, but it takes a team, and she boasted on the organization’s Board of Directors, committee, volunteers, and everyone that lends a hand for the passion of education. 

 

So what’s coming up for TFAE? Barahona shared that they are currently planning site visits to award the round of New Teacher Grants which this year they are awarding 87 teachers at $500 each to help with supplying classrooms. They are also starting to plan the TFAE 5K Run for Excellence on May 13, 2023. The organization is looking for more volunteers from educators, “We encourage any teacher and educators in the education system if they want to get involved, this is an event for them!” she said. The 5K is what supports the organization’s efforts and is the way they can supply so many life-changing grants to Terrebonne educators.