COVID-19 has affected our way of life and way of learning. This year it has also affected how the Aransas County Independent School District (ACISD) Education Foundation raises money for grants and scholarships.

What is the ACISD Education Foundation?

Founded in 2001, The ACISD Education Foundation (EF) is an independent group of community, business, and educational leaders committed to the idea of advancing educational excellence in Aransas County. As a community partner, it is dedicated to providing support, which will inspire, challenge and empower students and teachers.

The 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization provides funds for educational programs and activities outside of the school district’s operating budget.

EF grants are used to support student achievement and skill development, recognize and encourage staff excellence, and expand community involvement from individuals, families, businesses, and civic organizations.

Since 2001, the EF has provided teaching and campus grants, special programs grants, scholarships for graduating seniors of Rockport-Fulton High School, and programs that celebrate and recognize their accomplishments.

Why does the ACISD need grants for teachers?

As each year passes, the ACISD continues to experience reductions in educational funding, limiting the availability of accelerated learning tools and classroom activities. Funding through the EF is helping to bridge that gap and is having a positive impact on ACISD campuses.

Grants have funded opportunities for career and technical education in welding, culinary arts, health services, NJROTC, robotics and programing. Students are immersed in learning through grant-funded enrichment programs such as marine science field trips for elementary students, visits to the ballet for early childhood learners, VASE for high school students, literary resources (including the latest books from favorite authors), band uniforms, musical instruments, and hands-on learning materials for science, technology, engineering, art, and math curriculum.

Hand in hand, in alignment with the ACISD’s goals and objectives, the EF promotes and fosters educational endeavors, enriching students’ Pre-K through 12th grade experiences, providing supplies and equipment to teachers, and scholarships to graduating seniors.

What has changed to make the grants so vital this year?

The Aransas County community, along with the ACISD, found themselves still recovering from Hurricane Harvey when the COVID-19 pandemic emerged.

Suddenly, teachers, students and families were thrust into a new world of learning. Zoom classrooms and social distancing became common vocabulary. Balancing virtual online learning and teaching, managing students, and work challenged the education system.

ACISD teachers stepped up to the challenge, but found they needed new resources, especially as they transitioned into combined virtual and face-2-face classrooms.

Fortunately, the EF had purchased laptops and iPads for one-to-one learning, but new tools and resources are still needed more than ever to meet the challenges of today.

Matching the Challenge

COVID-19 has also challenged the way the EF raises money for grants and scholarships.

In-person fund-raising events like the Patron’s Party and Symphony by the Sea are on hold for now.

The EF has individuals and businesses willing to match its goal of $35,000, so it is asking for tax-deductible contributions directly through personal requests and on-line donations.

Individuals, families and businesses can help by making a direct donation through the EF’s Facebook page or website at https://www.acedfoundation.org.

Click on the Donate Now link or mail your contribution directly to: The ACISD Education Foundation at P.O. Box 195, Rockport, TX 78381. One can also make a donation in honor of a student, educator or individual.

Moms, dads, grandparents, families, businesses, community groups and individuals can help make a difference through the EF.

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