Dallas Education Foundation Announces First-Ever HeART of Teaching Discretionary Grant Awards Cycle
The Dallas Education Foundation, the nonprofit philanthropic partner of Dallas ISD, has announced 35 awardees for its inaugural HeART of Teaching Discretionary Grant Awards Cycle, equating to almost $127,000 in funding. Dozens of grant applications were received from teachers across the district, proposing various projects that encompassed the spectrum of the arts in Dallas ISD. This includes visual, performing, theatrical, and musical arts.
Dr. Scott Rudes, Dallas ISD’s executive director of Academic Enrichment and Support, reiterates that the significance of the arts in education cannot be overstated. The Dallas Education Foundation recognized the importance of the arts and continues to support the recognition of great teachers who inspire their students, elevate their community, and reinforce the value of innovative teaching.
Serving on the HeART of Teaching grants review committee for the Dallas Education Foundation were Dr. Rudes, Brian Nguyen, and Emily Davis of Dallas ISD’s Human Capital Management, Amy Hofland, senior director, Crow Museum of Asian Art of the University of Texas at Dallas, Charles Santos, executive director and artistic director of TITUS, and Dallas Education Foundation board members Theresa Flores, Drex Owusu, and Jennifer Scripps. The committee engaged in productive conversations and debates, resulting in a diverse range of awardees.
Executive Director of the Dallas Education Foundation, Mita Havlick, commended the review committee for its exceptional job in selecting the first-ever discretionary grant awardees, emphasizing their commitment to further advancing equity and learning through the arts. She acknowledges the hard work and dedicated teachers in Dallas ISD schools, who are committed to providing students with engaging and supportive education.
The grant recipients for the 2023 Dallas Education Foundation HeART of Teaching grant awards cycle are listed below. The winners of the grant represented different schools and proposed innovative projects that aim to explore the intersection of art and education. Among the awardees are artists and educators who are designing inclusive lesson plans and educational tools that leverage techniques that connect the arts with other academic disciplines:
•Lorenzo McCoy, Seagoville MS, A Practical Approach to Arts Integration
•Rachel Woods, Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, Addressing Equity and Diversity in Texas Orchestras
•Michael Keeton, E.D. Walker MS, AI in Arts Exploration
•Vonceia Hill, Margaret B. Henderson ES, Art and Vocabulary Acquisition, a School-Wide Vocabulary Initiative
•Claudia Ramirez, Leslie Stemmons ES, Art Show Displays
•Kathy Nguyen, North Dallas HS, BioArt: Bringing Science to Life with Augmented Reality
•Lesya White, North Dallas HS, BioArt: Integrating Art and Science for a Sustainable Future
•Pamela Bradford, Birdie Alexander ES, Book Buddies ‘R Us
•Alexandria Saulnier, Edward Titche ES, Caldecott in our He(Art)
•Theresa Anderson, Hillcrest HS, Celebrating Culture in our Community
Additionally, there are awardees who propose projects that will integrate technology with art education, such as Whitley Green, Hulcy STEAM MS, with her project Dance & Tech: The Dancing Camera, and Blake Mokate, Skyline HS, with his project Live Audio Production. Other winners recognized the value of storytelling in promoting literacy and diversity, like Mackie Bailey, Mata Montessori School, and Delanna Sanders and Tammye McWilliams, Richard Lagow ES, with their respective projects of Literacy through Musical Theater and Rap Project.
The Dallas Education Foundation continues to recognize and support innovative teaching initiatives that inspire creativity, equity, and accessibility in the arts for students from diverse backgrounds.