Shouts of holiday joy are going out in the halls of Friendswood ISD schools as teachers are getting holiday cards telling them their grants have been “adopted.” The fifth annual Adopt a Grant program began in Friendswood ISD Dec. 2 and already sales are underway. At press time, 27 grants have been “adopted.”
Special thanks to the first adopters of this year: Jim Foreman, Carissa Waida, Kelly and Matt Lovell, Jean Tubbs, Pete and Sharmyn Dever, Lesley and Tom DiBello, Dr. Thu Tran, Shane Heslin, Kim Girouard, Pat Roberson, Tracy Collins, James Finklea, John Keith, Tim Donovan, Allan Rasmussen, Leslie Fortenberry, Ryan and Jennifer Sitton, Jeff and Rebecca Hude, and Lakshay Bhagat.
Five years ago, the Friendswood ISD Education Foundation thought of a unique idea and tried it as a surprise at their annual fundraiser. The idea, Adopt-a-Grant, has grown into a tremendous program that continues to grow and prosper in Friendswood ISD.
Adopt-a-Grant provides opportunities for anyone to select a grant written by an FISD teacher(s) and purchase it in the family or business’ name.
The new program was a solution for three problems that had arisen in the 501 © 3 organization that was formed in 1999. Each year the directors had a SurPrize Patrol deliver grants they chose to fund for teachers and campuses.
The problems consisted of people wanting their children’s teachers to be selected to get funded for materials and programs/equipment they needed, they wanted their children to get to use them immediately and the Foundation wanted to know how to increase awareness and get more community members involved.
Adopt-a-Grant solved these three areas immediately.
Parents, businesses and individuals could select a grant by teacher, by subject, by price, by campus or all of the above. Texas First Bank was the first business in Friendswood to step up and adopt. Now many banks and other businesses are involved. Teachers order materials immediately to use.
The Foundation makes the whole transaction easy. Interested people can go online 24/7 to http://fisdfoundation.com/grants/ and by campus see all grants offered. Pricewise, they vary from as low as $20 to almost $5,000. Checks or cash can be brought to the Administration Building or adopters can use Paypal and be finished. The teacher will get a Christmas card with the adopter’s name, email and street address for thank you notes. Adoptions are also available at the annual gala. Grants adopted after Dec. will be sent to teachers in Valentine cards.
Three years ago a “Face of Friendswood” was selected. The face of John Ridout, a third grader was used in all marketing materials for the Adopt-a-Grant program. Last year it was a live auction item at the Foundation’s gala and Matthew Kovacevich was seen on posters through the city as well as on flyers and a city banner stretched across Friendswood Drive by City Hall encouraging all to Adopt-a-Grant. This year will be the first girl, Malorie Yarbrough, fifth grader at Windsong Intermediate.
How successful has this program been? In four years, more than $208,000 has been given to the FISD Education Foundation in adopted grants. Each year the number continues to grow. In its fourth year in 2012-2013, more than $82,000 was adopted and with the Foundation’s grants, more than $144,000 was given to FISD teachers.
The goal this year is $95,000 in adoptions; the FEF is working hard to meet that goal.