The Decatur ISD Education Foundation has kicked off its 2013-2014 campaign year with a familiar goal.
Foundation president Fred Renfro said $33,500 of the $50,000 goal has already been raised through donations and pledges from local individuals and businesses. Money raised through the foundation is used to award innovative teaching grants to educators in the district.
The annual kickoff, held Thursday at the Decatur Civic Center, serves as a way to thank donors for their contributions.
Those contributing at the Diamond Level of $5,000 or more are Decatur ISD faculty and staff, Devon Energy and Wise Regional Health System.
Charles and Loraine Burton were recognized as Gold Partners for a $2,000 donation.
Silver Partners who contributed $1,000 or more include Bond Family Eyecare, J.E. and Betty Carson, C.M. and JoAnn Cocanougher, Datalink Information Services, DATCU, Decatur Tire Store, Roy and Jeannine Eaton, First Financial Bank, Joe Neil and Marianne Henderson, Lovette August Pediatrics, North Texas Bank, Wal-Mart, James Wood Motors and Young’s Tanks.
2013-2014 Kickoff Campaign donors also include Gary and Susan Cocanougher, Dawn Downe, Kenneth and Lillie Hunt, Dr. Douglas Kyle, Dana McCarroll (in memory of Mac and Chloe McCarroll), Jay Mar Investments, Dr. Fred Renfro, Gary and Becky Scroggins, Dena and Ron Silvers, Kevin and Renee Smith and Launa Wilhite.
Rann Elementary fifth grade teacher Giselle Gutierrez was awarded a grant from the foundation last year for student iPads. The project was designed to help the students, who are all dual-language learners, improve their language skills.
Gutierrez spoke at Thursday’s luncheon about how the iPads brought about an excitement for learning from her students. Because of that, she said she’s seen improved school attendance, soaring confidence and thankful and excited parents.
Last year’s fifth graders who were the first group to use the iPads are now mentors to this year’s fifth graders.
“Your grant has allowed our community to be more literate and more connected,” Gutierrez said. ” … Thank you. The grant we received is changing lives.”
The Decatur High School choir, under the direction of Chris Yurasek, also performed four songs during the luncheon.
For more information about DEF or to make a donation, call 940-393-7106. Contributions may be mailed to: Decatur ISD Education Foundation Inc., 501 E. Collins, Decatur, TX 76234.