Eric Asel from Young Men’s Leadership Academy, Kayleigh Caniglia from Riverside Park Elementary, and Juan Morales from Lanier High School, all got a knock on their classroom door and were greeted with enthusiastic cheers from members of the Valero Alamo Bowl, including president and CEO Derrick Fox, and Judy Geelhoed, executive director of the SAISD Foundation.
Fox says this is a way to give back to the community just before the Valero Alamo Bowl kicks off at the Alamodome on Wednesday, December 29. The scholarships tie in the hard work being put in everyday on the field and in the classroom.
“We’re excited to kick off this new program to help innovative teachers,” Fox said. “School districts have nominated different teachers and programs throughout the community. The $1,000 is for additional support in the classroom for these previously launched projects that teachers can now take to completion.”
Asel’s project at YMLA includes creating virtual Minecraft worlds for his students, combining spatial awareness, math and gaming for his boys. Morales and his students from Lanier use the technology of drones and student-built equations to calculate wheel alignment and vehicle safety standards as part of their studies on accident prevention.
Caniglia and her students at Riverside Park Elementary are learning in a STEAM innovation area and maker space. What’s more is that students throughout the school earn tokens as part of academic incentives to select books featured in a high-tech, one-of-a-kind, book vending machine.
“Through our partners at Valero Alamo Bowl, we’re able to put even more power into our classrooms with these three $1,000 grants,” said Geelhoed. “They will continue to help our teachers fund innovative, fun, engaging projects while allowing our students to learn beyond the scope of their books. This is truly a holiday blessing and we appreciate their support so much.”
With additional funding from AAA AUGER Plumbing Services, PNC Bank, Dr. Richard and Jennifer Steffen, and Valero, these three teachers will be recognized at the Valero Alamo Bowl and all the students at their campuses with perfect attendance received a pair of game tickets.
The grants are part of a collaboration with Extra Yard for Teachers, the College Football Foundation’s primary platform that elevates the teaching profession by inspiring and empowering teachers through the implementation of programs in the areas of resources, recognition, recruitment and professional development.
This program will be expanded in 2022 with support from PNC Bank to provide additional recognition and financial support to teachers spearheading innovative and engaging student-led projects.