The excited teacher might have been a child on Christmas morning, shaking with joy as she received a surprise gift and finding it brighter and shinier than she ever expected.

Cavazos Elementary School first-grade teacher Affma Martin received a $5,886 grant from the Killeen ISD Education Foundation to bring an interactive reading and writing package to the school for her whole grade level.

The season of giving took a turn toward creative teaching and learning when foundation board members joined school district leaders last week to parcel out oversized checks totaling $73,071 to finance innovative classroom activities.

Two groups of Education Foundation representatives made surprise presentations at 12 Killeen ISD schools in Nolanville, Harker Heights, Killeen and on Fort Hood.

Many teachers indicated their gifts, from a generous community of donors, were just what they asked for this year.

Education Foundation Director Joyce Hodson praised the community, including school district employees for a record-breaking year of giving that led to the avalanche of gifting.

“Holiday surprises are the best,” said Hodson, who like most of the grant patrol members was wearing a Santa hat for the day of deliveries. “When you give, we give back.”

The foundation’s annual employee contribution campaign raised $107,500, an all-time high. The district employee participation total of 2,104 was also a record and easily surpassed the board’s goal. Schools will receive another $42,645 through a rebate program.

“This is huge,” said Martin, who said she has applied for grants, but never won one until now. “This gives us an extra tool for language arts and reading.” The grant to the Cavazos teacher will fund 25 interactive “read-a-loud” books with corresponding mini-lessons.

“We read and write so much,” the excited teacher said. “This invigorates students to read and write even more as they engage with good books.”

Elsewhere across the school district, Harker Heights Elementary School teacher Theresa Rohaly stepped away from teaching a lesson to celebrate a $1,021 grant called “Learning from the Ground Up,” to enhance science learning.

The science teacher and horticulture club sponsor said the grant would expand the scope of the school’s two gardens. “It means the whole campus can benefit even more from the garden,” she said.

The latest KISD Education Foundation grants awarded include the following:

  • Reeces Creek Elementary School, A Winning Combination Pairing Literacy with STEAM, $4,777
  • KISD Middle Schools, Battle of the Books, $7,408
  • KISD Elementary Schools, Battle of the Books, $7,557
  • Cedar Valley Elementary School, Enhanced Works of Deeper Reading, $4,075
  • Early College High School, Flexible Seating for Rigorous Classrooms, $4,950
  • Audie Murphy Middle School, Focused Learning for Captured Engagement, $1,477
  • Cavazos Elementary School, Interactive Read Aloud, $5,886
  • Timber Ridge Elementary School, Get Your Motor Running, $4,899
  • Patterson Middle School, Inspiring Endless Stories, $1,464
  • Harker Heights Elementary School, Learning from the Ground Up, $1,021
  • Brookhaven Elementary School, Light Up Our Learning, $873
  • Mountain View Elementary School, Mayday, Mayday, Here’s How to Have a Great Day! $3,714
  • Brookhaven Elementary School, Quaver’s Marvelous World of Music! $2,485
  • Brookhaven Elementary School, Reading Rainbow, $502
  • KISD Elementary Schools, Science Olympiad, $9,998
  • Willow Springs Elementary School, Taking Kinesiology to New Heights, $4,064
  • Early College High School, Up and Learning, $4,987
  • Saegert Elementary School, What in the word problem? $1,649
  • Brookhaven Elementary School, Rhythm Clocks, Math and Music Working Together, $1,278


Larry Mitchell, Texas Realtor

Broker Associate, ABR, CRS, GRI, VLB

254 681 5115 Cell