Teaching Grants

Teaching Grants

The Northwest ISD Education Foundation takes pride in providing Teaching Grants to hard working educators in our district, looking to open new doors for their students! To date, NEF has funded more than $1.8 million in grants.

2019-20 Grant Applications are Open!

The window to apply for a NEF Teaching Grant is now open! Northwest ISD educators can submit an application online through the deadline at midnight on September 22, 2019. 

The 2019-20 Grant Guidelines can be found here

Apply Now 


Please review the grant guidelines before you begin your application! Grants that do not adhere to the guidelines will not be considered by the Grant Selection Committee. 

Congratulations to the 2018-2019 NEF Teaching Grant Recipients!

Last year, NEF awarded 27 teaching grants across 19 campuses totaling more than $86,000! Special thank you to our grant reading committee, volunteers and donors who made this year's grant brigade such a success. 

Photos from the NEF Grant Brigade are available on the district Flickr account, here

Ready, Set, Read! - Beck Elementary, $3,615.90
Sponsored by: Huckabee

Whether or not a student has a strong foundation in essential skills such as reading and writing, can impact how they will connect, interpret and discern the intricacies of the world. Ready, Set, Read! provides the first grade teachers at Beck Elementary with new ideas and methods to foster student growth in ways that typical guided reading lessons cannot accomplish. Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) is a comprehensive, small-group intervention system to improve student reading levels and build a passion for reading! The LLI kit includes 110 books structured into 20 minute lessons, with each lesson focusing on specific activities to facilitate reading growth. "Word work" activities use magnet letters, whiteboards, sound boxes and more to engage students. Teachers will also receive Pop Retro Phones that plug into iPads to create a new pathway for parent, teacher and student communication. Students can use the phones to record their readings and send it via the Seesaw app to their parents. When Beck recently piloted the program with struggling students, they found that each child exceeded a full year's growth and improved six reading levels by the end of the year! 

Enlightening Reading with Lightbox Books - Granger Elementary, $1,300
Sponsored by: Menchies Alliance

The purpose of Enlightening Reading with Lightbox Books is to purchase a collection of 33 Lightbox electronic books to support a wide variety of learning objectives and increase students' excitement for new concepts and reading! Available through the campus' digital library, this grant supports kindergarten through fifth grade students at Granger Elementary. The multimedia platform of Lightbox books helps to ensure all students can successfully read and comprehend the presented content. The interactive e-books provide embedded support tools for struggling readers such as text to speech, videos, slideshows and quizzes. The e-books allow every student to access the same book at the same time via their Chromebook making it easy to use in a classroom, in small groups or at home. Each book was chosen purposefully to support a wide variety of learning objectives including financial literacy, famous authors, environmental consciousness, and other STEM related topics. 

Bee Bot Story Works: Coding Stories and Vocabulary in the Library - Cox Elementary, $1,531.92
Sponsored by: NTE Mobility Partners

One of the campus goals at Cox Elementary is to increase student engagement and growth in reading and literacy skills across subjects. With Bee Bot Story Works: Coding Stories and Vocabulary in the Library, students will use the language of code to teach Bee Bots programmable robots to make their way through picture book stories, applying their knowledge of the elements of a story while learning important coding skills along the way. Campus teachers and the librarian will collaborate to create activities to promote the love of reading, the excitement of technology, and the curiosity of students. The grant addresses students’ need to practice vocabulary, phonics development and retelling stories. Coding projects share a strong conceptual connection with storytelling. Students can utilize Bee Bots to help visualize the logical progression of a story while simultaneously gaining foundational knowledge in coding skills. Additionally, coding and robotics are relevant fields that students are excited to experiment with; pairing this kind of high-engagement activity with traditional learning objectives helps ensure a successful learning experience.

Literacy Footprints Guided Reading System for Struggling Readers - Lizzie Curtis Elementary, $4,232.25 

The Lizzie Curtis Elementary teachers who work with the campus' most vulnerable learners wrote Literacy Footprints Guided Reading System for Struggling Readers to positively impact their students "who have been told they can't". The third grade and fourth grade kits from Literacy Footprints help to close reading gaps and increase literacy for students in Special Education and Response to Intervention, as well as English language learners and students who struggle with dyslexia. Each kit contains sequenced, high-quality leveled texts in a variety of genres including traditional tales, realistic fiction, fantasy and informational text. This grant opens the door to innovative and strategic intervention, while remaining true to student need by addressing two of the district's academic performance objectives and aligning with every literacy objective from the kindergarten through fifth grade TEKS.

Taking Flight with MimioTeach - Justin Elementary, $5,000
Co-Sponsored by: AlphaBEST Education & Pinnacle Bank

The goal of Taking Flight with MimioTeach is to increase language and literacy achievement for students struggling with dyslexia at Justin Elementary, Granger Elementary and Peterson Elementary. MimioTeach Interactive Systems transform a dry erase whiteboard into an interactive whiteboard, allowing students to enhance their memory and learn by encouraging simultaneous use of all pathways in the brain including visual, auditory and kinesthetic-tactile. This technology enhances the Take Flight curriculum by helping students engage and interact with the components of language instruction. MimioTeach supports efficiency and opportunity in the classroom by increasing student engagement through opportunities for students to write and manipulate objects with a smooth and consistent response, making collaborative learning at the front of the classroom a reality. For example, the system is extremely beneficial during the comprehension portion of the lesson because it easily allows students to monitor and adjust their thinking as they interact with the vocabulary and story elements within the text. With comprehension being the ultimate goal of reading, it is important to students to interact with text in a meaningful way.

For Those About to ROK! - Peterson Elementary, $1,823.94
Sponsored by: NTE Mobility Partners 

For Those About to ROK! introduces the youngest learners at Peterson Elementary to building and engineering concepts when it matters most in their development. With Rokenbok ROK Blocks Mobile STEM Labs, a complete kit of durable and reusable 3-D building blocks that connect on all sides, any classroom will transform into a STEM Lab or Maker Space of endless opportunities. A weekly one-hour lesson will help students become familiar with STEM concepts through labs designed to develop both convergent and divergent thinking. By understanding the possible "acceptable" solutions to a challenge, students can then let their imagination turn to innovation. To do so, the labs follow a similar pattern. All students explore the same content, build the same models and arrive at the same result or solution. Then, they use these skills to explore divergent making activities. Once students are familiar with the concept, they are presented with a challenge requiring them to develop solutions based on their learning. Completing the lesson in groups of four helps them learn to collaborate, problem solve and communicate with others to persevere through challenges. 

LEGO Club - Peterson Elementary, $421.64
Sponsored by: Joeris General Contractors

At Peterson Elementary, "Club Friday's" allow students to expand on concepts they've learned in the classroom in a fun and engaging way. LEGO Club provides resources for the club which incorporates activities to promote science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM). Students will develop a passion for STEM, learn to collaborate in a team environment, and gain the communication skills necessary to problem solve with others. Each week, students will be presented with a specific challenge where they must work together to design, build and test their creations. 

Adding A New Dimension to Learning - Nance Elementary, $4,000
Sponsored by: CoServ Charitable Foundation

Adding A New Dimension to Learning is a collaborative effort to incorporate learning with 3D printers to kindergarten through fifth grade students at Nance Elementary. Access to a 3D printer offers engaging, relevant learning opportunities for students through STEM learning lessons in the library, curriculum lessons in GATES classrooms, and as a supplement to the curriculum for resource students. Students will be able to plan, print and improve upon designs and prototypes using the Engineering Design Process, critical and creative thinking skills, and team collaborative strategies. Some example lessons include building structures, designing an amusement park ride, or creating a marketable product to address a real-world problem. The Dremel 3D Printers give students the ability to see their designs made into reality, test their creative thinking, use scale measurement and spatial reasoning, and propose changes to existing models based on research. 

Unselfie Development through Yearbook Production - Sendera Ranch Elementary, $1,992 
Sponsored by: Devon Energy

The Gifted and Talented and Leadership Club students at Sendera Ranch Elementary are making history on their campus with the Unselfie Development through Yearbook Production. For the first time, students will design, produce, advertise, sell and distribute the 2018-2019 campus yearbook! Yearbooks promote a sense of school pride and unity. The cover and pages of the book are covered in school themes and beliefs serving to remind students, teachers and staff members of a shared purpose. The art of sharing a community’s story has been somewhat distorted by our society’s usage of social media, and that is a confusing message for adults and children alike. Yearbook production is a service that promotes “unselfie” development. To ensure quality pages for its consumers, this grant funds eight Canon SX530 PowerShot 16MP 50X Zoom Digital Cameras to produce images used in the book. Quality is an important factor to the campus production whose goal is to find sponsors for next year’s publication so they can offer yearbooks at a lower price for families. Overall, the project hopes to foster positive collaboration, and give students valuable experience in journalism, photography and publishing.

Leader-VISION: It's a NEWstory - Prairie View Elementary, $3,689.66
Sponsored by: NTE Mobility Partners 

Students at Prairie View Elementary are relentlessly seeking and finding new ways to share the extraordinary things that happen daily in their school community. Leader-VISION: It’s a NEWstory provides students with the resources to create a campus studio and produce its first student-led newscasts containing film features, leadership legacies, current events and more. The goal for the newscast is to promote school culture by generating real stories and communicating important information to students, teachers, parents and the community. This project allows students gain knowledge and experience as a reporter, producer, videographer, anchor and editor. These roles help students learn a variety of life skills including public speaking, technology, innovation, collaboration and presentation. In addition, it supports the district goal of increasing literacy for all students, as speaking, listening, reading and writing are essential to the success of the newscast and students’ overall academic success.

WATCH: Surprise! Rhome School's Makeshift TV Program Gets Help

Mobile Tutorials - Adams Middle School, $838
Sponsored by: Devon Energy 

Mobile Tutorials funds light-weight, mobile whiteboards for seventh and eighth grade students at Adams Middle School to use during AVID tutorials. AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is an essential component of moving students toward college readiness. In AVID, students are taught study skills, note taking, time management, writing skills, and research skills, while being immersed in a college-going culture. The whiteboards give students the opportunity to move their student-led tutorial process anywhere on campus, including professional development scenarios and student demonstrations for other classes on campus in the collaborative spaces. 

Robotics-VEX Team Challenges - NISD CTE, $4,869.73
Sponsored by: CoServ Charitable Foundation

Project Lead The Way is a new course offered to seventh and eighth grade students at each middle school designed to harness the excitement of building robotics and immerse learners in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) concepts. With this course, students will conduct various robotics challenges, ultimately ending the semester with an annual competition in the spring. The Robotics-VEX Team Challenges grant equips each middle school campus with the stadium set-up for the robotics challenge. These stadiums provide the perimeter and obstacles for teams to prepare for the final challenge. Through Project Lead The Way and VEX Robotics Competitions, students will develop skills in team building, problem solving, communication and collaboration. 

Work SmartMusic, Not HardMusic! - Wilson Middle School, $1,920
Sponsored by: FastSigns Alliance

Work SmartMusic, Not HardMusic! gives every Orchestra student at Wilson Middle School a new, powerful tool to deepen their knowledge and push them to a higher level of mastery. SmartMusic is a cloud-based program that gives students a new way to practice that addresses their individual learning styles, allows for instant feedback at home, helps to guide their practice time outside the classroom, and gives them exposure to a variety of styles and types of music. While students work diligently inside the classroom, many students struggle to carry that success into their home practice. Introducing this new technology will help increase the consistency of their practice time, improve the quality of their home practice time, and help them become more efficient in identifying their errors and self correcting. The instant feedback they receive allows them to both visually and orally see mistakes and corrections to make in a piece of music. 

Watch: Wilson Middle School Orchestra students increase practice time, share grant update

Go Go Gadget Google Goggles! - Justin Elementary, $4,028.54
Sponsored by: CoServ Charitable Foundation

Go Go Gadget Google Goggles! funds Google Expeditions virtual reality kits to the specials team (music, art and physical education) at Justin Elementary. The goal of this grant is to provide meaningful global and cultural experiences to every student in kindergarten through fifth grade. On their campus, 11% of students receive special education services, 9% of students are English language learners, and 25% of students qualify as economically disadvantaged. With the implementation of virtual reality, this grant helps close the gaps in comprehension, language acquisition, and social dexterity that challenges these students. Virtual learning opportunities help students build background knowledge, make observations and comparisons, and explore global learning environments. Google expeditions give students an immersive learning experience to discover concepts for themselves. The specials team hopes to engage students in real-world applications of every day learning through virtual field trips including instruments of Africa, muscle systems, masterpieces of the Italian renaissance, wonders of architecture, careers requiring physical fitness, the exploration of animation, and more.

Smart Music for Smarter Musicians - Adams Middle School, $4840

Smart Music for Smarter Musicians brings new opportunities with a focus on individual student achievement to music students at Adams Middle School. SmartMusic, a cloud-based program, is used to provide individual feedback on student performances, support chamber music, and accompanying tracks for student solos. Each student will be able to login for an individualized assessment, track their progress and receive tips for improvement! This program will help students grow as musicians and prepare them for performances in a collaborative environment.

88 Keys to Improve Reading Literacy - Beck Elementary, $4999

88 Keys to Improve Reading Literacy provides a unique opportunity for students at Beck Elementary to improve their music skills and reading literacy by combining phonics, syllables, and tone expression to class piano instruction. In kindergarten through second grade, students will learn to read music with the use of grade appropriate vocabulary to help with rhythms and phrasing. Struggling readers will have the opportunity to add piano accompaniment to words and sentences to help them with the recognition of phonics, syllables, and tone expression. In third through fifth grade, students will continue to improve piano skills and reading literacy with the creation of original music compositions and short stories. The music teacher, grade level teachers and instructional specialists will work together to ensure the appropriate language skills are targeted to assist with student growth in both music and reading literacy. 

A Day in the Life… A Digital Diary of the Middle School Experience - Adams Middle School, $4979.78
Sponsored by: The Eaton Family

A Day in the Life… A Digital Diary of the Middle School Experience brings media and theatre together for students at Adams Middle School. The grant creates two media labs where students can create multimedia and video projects about the middle school experience. With the digital component, students can share their message beyond their classroom and show the world the positive, creative and unique middle school voice. Students will write, create, edit and communicate original works. Some examples of work include daily announcements, community news packages, a student talk show, ‘Day in the Life’ shorts, and original short movies. The projects hopes to inspire students to explore new ideas, develop original and creative thinking skills and improve their storytelling abilities.

Fun for All-Inclusive Play - Haslet Elementary, $1,052.30
Sponsored by: AllianceTexas Corporate Challenge

Fun for All-Inclusive Play aims to improve inclusive play for children of all abilities at Haslet Elementary. Students with special needs or disabilities do not always have access to the same equipment and activities as their non-disabled peers. This grant funds a range of materials from dynamic moving equipment to engaging sensory play to help develop fitness, coordination, and strength. The inclusive experience allows students to play alongside one another to support and improve their physical, social and cognitive development skills.

Matching and Hatching Lifelong Readers - Byron Nelson High School, $1,326.32
Sponsored by: FastSigns Alliance

The goal of Matching and Hatching Lifelong Readers is to increase student reading and ignite a passion for reading in 9th and 10th-grade inclusion and applied English classes at Byron Nelson High School. To facilitate and increase student reading, teachers are adopting a blended model classroom in which difficult, high-level texts (often “classics”) are used as model texts for targeted reading lessons. Students then use their own, level-appropriate and independent choice texts to practice these skills. This model provides continued exposure to difficult texts, but also encourages a much-needed passion for reading. This grant helps to expand the classroom library with the purchase of more than 100 books so that every student can find books that align with their interests and are appropriate for their reading level!

Get Your Wiggles Out-Readying Your Body!! - Hatfield Elementary, $4,836.85

As adults, we all have self-calming methods to deal with stress. Some adults click their pens for their fine motor sensory input, some need to get up and take a short walk to work through long sitting periods, while others chew gum, tap their fingers or allow their legs to jump up and down. Get Your Wiggles Out-Readying Your Body!! provides kindergarten through fifth-grade students, who are neurologically atypical, with the opportunity to calm, regulate and organize, in order to benefit from instruction and learning in center-based and mainstream classrooms. Hatfield Elementary is creating a sensory space including obstacle-type courses designed to calm and regulate students gives them life skills that help them manage overloaded sensory input. Students will be able to request a break to use the room, or use it in preparation for a lesson. The goal is to increase the interaction and participation of their students who need more support for sensory needs in their general education settings.

Let's Go Pro with iPad Pro - Eaton High School, $3,743.94
Sponsored by: CoServ Charitable Foundation

The goal of Let’s Go Pro with iPad Pro is to create a technology enhanced learning environment for special education students that reduces obstacles, frustration, and limitations while enhancing learning in ways that allow for more confidence, independence, and connection with the school and surrounding community. Many special education students at Eaton High School have physical and academic needs that are not completely met with Chromebooks. By utilizing iPad pro devices in the special needs classroom, they have access to a wider range of technology tools and resources that help to develop fine motor skills, increasing communication, and allow them to create and contribute to the academic and school community in ways they might not otherwise be able to. The funds purchase 10.5 inch iPad pro devices with upright Lamicall tablet stands that increase visibility of the screen, simplify interactions with tools and apps, and improve physical positioning and access to devices.

RISE to Riches - Steele Accelerated High School, $3,892.03
Sponsored by: Huckabee

The goal of RISE to Riches is to create a school-based economy and business in which special education students at Steele Accelerated High School will receive on-site job training to develop employability skills and an understanding of the trades to increase their ability to obtain competitive employment and success in the global workplace. High school aged students, and students in the transition work-based program with mild to severe disabilities, will gain skills in the areas of running a small business, graphic design, creation of shirts and notepads and budgeting and money management skills. The program aims to improve learning by providing students with the support system and materials needed to develop valuable and employable skills, mastering difficult roles such as project manager, finance, graphic design, production and maintenance. Students will also have the opportunity to learn proper customer service skills working with staff and students organizations, as well as local businesses.

Making Middle Schoolers Character Strong - Medlin Middle School, $3,999

The goal at Medlin Middle School is to continue to create a culture of strong character, inspired greatly by the new vision for the district, to empower leaders and learners to positively impact the world. Making Middle Schoolers Character Strong purchases the Character Strong advisory curriculum, a program used nationwide to engage students in social and emotional learning. Research tells us students who experience curriculum embedded with social emotional learning and/or character education show academic performance that is 11 points higher than students who do not have this opportunity. This grant aims to strengthen students’ character development and academic success. The curriculum will be introduced campus wide during advisory, a 30-minute class built into student’s schedules every day. As an advisory curriculum, Character Strong provides an overall consistency student experience. Some lesson topics include building community, mindfulness, growth mindset, and gratitude to help us empower students to become world-changers! Advisory teachers will lead students in discussions, team-building, hands-on activities and video lessons depending on the topic and curriculum.

Character Strong Advisory - Adams Middle School, $3,999 

Students and staff at Leo Adams Middle School hope to create a campus culture that requires students to focus on their character with Character Strong Advisory. The Character Strong program provides teachers with lessons and ideas for students to implement into their daily lives and challenges them to think about how their words and actions affect others. This grant strives to enhance student education by ensuring students feel cared for, understood and supported leading to positive attitudes, a higher level of focus and improved student performance. The curriculum will be introduced campus wide during advisory, a 30-minute class built into student’s schedules every day. As an advisory curriculum, Character Strong provides an overall consistency student experience. Some lesson topics include building community, mindfulness, growth mindset, and gratitude to help us empower students to become world-changers! Advisory teachers will lead students in discussions, team-building, hands-on activities and video lessons depending on the topic and curriculum.

Excellence for All Begins with Great Expectations - Clara Love Elementary, $5,000
Sponsored by: Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Alliance

The goal of Excellence for All Begins with Great Expectations is to bring Great Expectation’s 17 Classroom Practices and Eight Expectations for Living to students and teachers at Clara Love Elementary. Great Expectations is a comprehensive teaching program that provides the framework to establish high academic and character expectations for students. The 17 Classroom Practices guide students and teachers to engage in meaningful learning experiences through critical thinking, world study, memory work, and feedback cycles, to increase academic rigor. The Eight Expectations for Living build the foundation of behavior and character standards. Teaching social and emotional learning using Life Principles, daily commitments, and standards for conduct ensure the whole child is nurtured. The program also promotes a safe environment for risk taking which allows students and teachers to learn from mistakes and celebrate the success of one another. After its first semester of implementation, the campus will host Friday morning assemblies to promote their shared commitments to excellence and campus-wide celebrations!

Igniting Passion through Genius Hour - Cox Elementary, $4,070.23
Sponsored by: Huckabee 

One goal of the campus improvement plan at Cox Elementary is for teachers to create personalized learning experiences for every child. Igniting Passion through Genius Hour helps reach this goal by allowing students to research topics that interest them, learn real-life skills and empathy, and successfully navigate self-directed learning. The classroom project teaches fifth-grade students to pursue their passions in a way that positively impacts the community and the world. Genius Hour transforms the typical classroom into a professional workplace setting where students work in collaborative spaces, independently or with students who chose the same passion, to develop their own research and create a product to address a need in the school, community or world. Through the six-step process of Passion, Pitch, Plan, Project, Product, and Presentation, students turn their ideas into action. This unique approach to education provides students with an opportunity to choose what they learn about and combine it with the opportunity to meet a social need. This grant funds the materials to create the collaborative space and resources to help students develop each phase of their project. 

Small Group Resources - Nance Elementary, $813.99 

All students have equitable access to school counseling services through The Texas Model for Comprehensive School Counseling Programs. Through the responsive services component, the counselor intervenes on behalf of those students whose immediate personal circumstances, concerns or problems interfere with their healthy personal, social and emotional development. The goal for counselors at Nance Elementary is to provide fun intervention strategies to assist students in a small group setting. Small Group Resources provides resources to implement academic, social and emotional learning practices, which helps students to develop the real-life skills necessary to manage their emotions. By targeting specific social and emotional skills, students benefit from increased positive social behaviors, fewer conduct problems and emotional distress, and overall academic improvement. Counselors, teachers and parents will determine campus and individual student needs through collaboration and a referral process implemented in the counseling department. Small groups meet for a six-week period to work on topics including self-esteem, home changes, social skills, anger management, anxiety, friendships, grief and mindfulness.


Thank you!

Special thank you to the NEF grant-reading committee, volunteers and donors who made this year’s grant brigade such a success!

2018-19 Grant Sponsors: 

  • NISD Education Foundation
  • 2018-2019 NISD Employee Giving Campaign
  • AllianceTexas Corporate Challenge
  • AlphaBEST Education, Inc.
  • CoServ Charitable Foundation
  • Devon Energy
  • Eaton Family 
  • FastSigns Alliance
  • Huckabee
  • Joeris General Contractors
  • Menchies Alliance
  • NTE Mobility Partners
  • Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Alliance
  • Pinnacle Bank


Grant Brigade Photos

Grant Brigade, December 2018

Grant Website

If you have questions about innovative teaching grants or how to sponsor a grant for the 2019-20 academic school year, please contact Alyssa Edstrom at alyssa.edstrom@nisdtx.org.