How Do You Get Out of a Box?

The Young Audiences of Houston’s “Texas Mime Theater” recently preformed at Austin Elementary, thanks to a grant from L.E.A.F. Most of the students had no idea what a mime was. Now they are ALL practicing their best “trapped in a box” routine! Just one way L.E.A.F. is helping enrich educational opportunities for our students.

Alexa, how do you spell…

Brian Eggenberger, SPED teacher at Smith Elementary, received six Echo Dots, for students to use to help with their writing. They each have a Dot as their “personal assistant” to use for spelling help, for synonyms to words, and to repeat their sentences (Simon says) so they can listen to see if it makes sense. It is also helping students in more ways than even he realized it would. Other teachers have already commented that these students are speaking more in the regular classroom environment, and that their speech is louder and more clear. He thinks it’s because of the Dots since they have to speak loudly and clearly in order for “Alexa” to understand them…and they’ve only had them a couple weeks! What a great grant idea!


Indiana Jones in LEGOs?

Second grade students at Austin Elementary are using LEGOs to create storylines. Proceeds from Men Who Cook, presented by Johnson Development Corp, make items like this possible for Lamar CISD students and teachers. I do believe this storyline is about Indiana Jones and his many booby traps!

Tower Garden

Mrs. Brewer’s class at Huggins Elementary are enjoying their Tower Garden. What a great way to observe the life cycles of various fruits and vegetables during the cultivation process. Can’t wait for some fresh vegetables!

I’ll take Texas History for $200 Alex

Fourth grade students at Bentley Elementary had the opportunity to visit the Bullock Texas State History Museum thanks to a LEAF grant their teachers received. Isn’t great when students can learn by experience? Proceeds from Men Who Cook, presented by Johnson Development Corp., make experiences like this possible. Do you have tickets?

LEAF adds new members

LEAF held their first board meeting of 2017 recently at Another Time Soda Fountain. Board president Chip Sutton welcomed our two new board members, Mandi Bronsell and Priscilla Salas to the board of directors. It’s going to be a great year!

Excuse me, do we have?

The Destiny library catalog kiosk is up and running at Foster High School. The iPad, loaded with information to facilitate and promote services, is a perfect addition to the library.

Remember the Alamo

Campbell Elementary students recently traveled to the Alamo and Washington-on-the-Brazos to recapture the fight for Texas independence. During the expedition, the fourth grade students experienced and relived the hardships of our fellow Texans from long ago. Proceeds from Men Who Cook presented by Sprint Waste make trips like this possible for Lamar CISD students. Do you have your Men Who Cook tickets?

Campbell Alamo

Ballet Forte

Fourth grade students at Stephen F. Austin Elementary recently attended a performance of the Nutcracker performed by Ballet Forte at the Stafford Center. One student commented “I had never seen a ballet until today, think I would like to go again!” Oh the places Lamar CISD students can go, thanks to your investment in L.E.A.F.

nutcracker #1

Opera on the Go

The Houston Grand Opera’s “Opera to Go” performed the Velveteen Rabbit to the students at Austin Elementary. The kids all LOVED seeing “The Velveteen Rabbit” in action! Ah! It just made my heart sing to see these little ones enthralled with this performance!

Austin Opera


Elf on the iPads

Skoob, the elf at Velasquez, is very excited about this delivery for the school library. Students will use the ipads to make digital comic books with Book Creator or Comic Book! during library time or use Qrafter to generate QR codes to link their book trailers and book talks. So many possibilities!


Here iGo Inspiring Learners

Students in Ms. Brewer’s class at Huggins Elementary received the Smart MicroScope iGo to put the learning into the hands of the students as they will be more involved in the lesson and will ultimately become successful learners.  The Wi-Fi enabled, hand held microscope will be a great addition to their science curriculum.

Huggins Brewer

It’s Hydroponics!

Ryon Middle School students in Kim Wittig and Beth Matthys’ Hydroponics Exploratory class had a blast today at Blessington Farms seeing the various methods of growing fruit and vegetables. They learned how to grow plants hydroponically and see that there are more ways to garden than the traditional soil way.

Ryon Blessington

Do I Really Have to Sit Still to Learn?

Stacey Van Horn, math teacher at George Jr. High wrote a grant for Fitness Ball Chairs. These chairs will allow students to be more stimulated, leading to better brain performance and learner engagement. Better brain performance? Wonder if I can get one for my office?

George Chairs

 Fluor supports STEAM Camp

Learning about force and motion was the focus during a recent STEAM camp for girls supported by Fluor. The girls talked about how roller coasters are designed and the physics that goes into them. Tuesday the girls went to Pleasure Pier in Galveston to ride roller coasters and collect data. The rest of the week was spent building paper roller coasters. Camp was a success and the teachers look forward to next summer’s camp.

fluor thank you


L.E.A.F. Engineering Camp

Congratulations to George Ranch HS senior Stella Cunningham on her election to the Texas Technology Student Association (TSA) Leadership Team.

She became interested in TSA after participating in a summer engineering camp for girls funded by LEAF. Stella credits the engineering camp, taught by Emily Gresham and Penny Meek, for motivating her to become the first Lamar CISD student to be elected to the TSA board.

Stella and other members of the GRHS and LCHS teams will be competing at the TSA National competition in Dallas at the end of June.  Good luck!




Smith Elementary visits NASA

Students from Smith Elementary recently visited NASA, thanks to a grant from the Lamar Educational Awards Foundation (L.E.A.F.). Students spent the day exploring the Johnson Space Center and came away with a better understanding of space exploration. Who knows, we may have just developed a deeper love for science in a second grader to become an astronaut or Aerospace engineer.

Smith NASA 1

Meyer Elementary School students enjoyed the performance of Nancy Burks Worcester, a ventriloquist from Granbury, as she presented her character education program with the assistance of her puppets. The presentation provided the students with strategies for decision-making, goal making and problem solving. Sounds like a great L.E.A.F. grant!

Meyer music


The Alamo, a perfect place to learn about Texas history. Fourth grade students from Thomas Elementary, will always ‘Remember the Alamo’ thanks to a L.E.A.F. grant their teachers received to fund the trip. Looks like it was a perfect day!

Thomas San Antonio


Fourth grade students at Bowie Elementary enjoyed a trip to Austin to make “Texas History Come Alive!” Students enjoyed touring the capitol and Bob Bullock Museum.

Bowie Austin


Kathy Digoy, librarian at Joe Hubenak Elementary, received iPads to be used with RAZ-Kids, an interactive reading tool. These iPads will also allow Spanish speaking students to hear books in both English and Spanish to facilitate their assimilation into the school and assist them in the learning process.

Hubenak library


Yoga anyone? Coaches at Briscoe Jr. High School wanted to enhance and diversify fitness options offered to the students. So they wrote a LEAF grant and received Yoga mats. A great new way to work out!

Briscoe yoga


Students taking 21st Century Fishing, an exploratory class at Polly Ryon Middle School, enjoyed a day at the Sea Center in Lake Jackson. This program gives students a chance to experience a hands on collaboration between math and science through fishing and the outdoors.
Ryon fishing 1

iPad and an App – Give a student an iPad loaded with Sketch Book Pro and see what they can create. Monika Macha,  Adolphus art teacher, has her students doing art work on iPads she requested and received from L.E.A.F.


Build your own Ecosystem – Third grade students at Ray Elementary studied the ecosystem by creating self-contained land habitats in a bottle. It was the perfect way to teach life science in an engaging and investigative hands-on way. Lamar CISD is so fortunate to have creative teachers and Lamar Educational Awards Foundation (L.E.A.F.) is honored to fund programs for them!






Smith%20Geo%20matGeo Mat Time – Coach Lucky wrote a grant requesting an interactive exercise program for her PE students at Smith Elementary. Students follow the video and practice the exercises modeled for them. They each have a mat and enjoy the variety of activities. L.E.A.F. awarded the grant this year and the students have enjoyed working with their mats and videos. Wonder if I could join them one day?


Leap into the Future – First graders at Jackson Elementary are using the LeapReader Reading and Writing system to work on vocabulary and writing skills.  By listening to imaginative stories with lively character voices and developing penmanship on mess-free LeapFrog learning paper, students are developing into great readers and writers!  Where was this fun stuff when I was in the first grade?




Do the iPod Shuffle – Third grade students at Hutchison Elementary use iPod shuffles, purchased by L.E.A.F., to help with their learning. Teachers record assignments so they can listen to the questions at their own pace. ELA students also using the shuffle for taking their spelling test. The words and sentences are preloaded and students can begin when ready. What a great program for the auditory learner and since all students are using the shuffle, no one is being singled out from the group.



Rock Climbing Anyone? – Bowie students are learning problem-solving and decision-making skills by climbing all over their newly installed rock wall. Climbing gives students a chance to improve their level of fitness in a challenging and fun manner. It’s also a great way to build their self-esteem. Don’t know about you, but it looks like fun to me!


We’re off to see the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. – Terry High School choir members attended The Wizard of Oz at TUTS. What a wonderful experience for students to attend a Broadway musical in an environment they had never experienced before. As one student said “Thank you for allowing me to see the other side of the rainbow.” That is what L.E.A.F. is about, giving our students opportunities of a life time.


McNeill visits the Rainforest – HMNS recently brought the rainforest to the second grade students at McNeill Elementary. Rainforest is a presentation that brings students in contact with the world™s most remarkable and abundant ecosystem. In the presentation, students were able to learn about each layer of the rainforest and the animals found in this diverse habitat. The second graders at McNeill learned a great deal about the rainforest and why it’s important for us to preserve the rainforest.


Amelia Bedelia visited Jane Long Elementary – Herman Parish, author of the wildly popular Amelia Bedelia series of children™s books, will visit Jane Long Elementary, Thursday, March 6, as part of Texas Public School Week.Amelia Bedelia herself is expected to appear on campus, as well.Parish is the nephew of Peggy Parish, the original author of the Amelia Bedelia series. Parish will spend the day at Long Elementary talking and visiting with students, but will read an excerpt from an Amelia Bedelia book and sign autographs.


Artist Boat – Velasquez Elementary students combined science with the arts, as they explored the beach and wetlands at Galveston Island State Park.Using a grant from the Lamar Educational Awards Foundation (L.E.A.F.), students visited the salt marsh, collecting marine species. The students also went on a beach scavenger hunt and did a little bird watching in the wetlands.Students captured their experiences through watercolors, with the help of the Artist Boat, a non-profit devoted to promoting awareness and preservation of coastal margins and marine environment.



Takehome Readers! – Second grade students at Judge James C. Adolphus Elementary School are enjoying their “take home readers”. LEAF funded this reading program to foster a relationship for the love of reading between the child and their parent. Hopefully allthese students will become lifelong learners and readers!




 Poetry at Williams Elementary – Brod Bagert, award-winning author of 17 poetry books for children, recently performed at Williams Elementary. He read several of his poems and visited with the students on why he became a poet. Educators should follow his Muse Project which is a collaboration between classroom teachers and himself to provide classroom teachers with poetry across the K-8 curriculum. Send an email to, with the word “yes” in the subject line.



iPads for ESL – Kindergarten students at Campbell Elementary are enjoying  iPads they received from L.E.A.F. Teachers requested the iPads for ESL students to become actively engaged with their peers and teachers.  ESL students have a tendency to sit on the sidelines and observe as other students participate.  Using ESL appropriate apps, students become engaged in listening, speaking and reading.  What a great way to help a student learn English!



Seen the Organ Guy? – Hubenak Elementary is embracing and implementing school-based wellness intervention that will help change the school environment by promoting healthy eating habits and a physically active lifestyle. Their nurse, Lorien Martinez, wrote and received a L.E.A.F. grant to fund the Organ Wise Guys curriculum. This program will teach the students why they need to make healthy choices. Hubenak Huskies are getting healthier!



Remember the Alamo – Fourth grade students from Jackson Elementary will always Remember the Alamo after a recent trip to San Antonio. Students were able to visit Missions National Historical Park and learned the history and purpose behind the missions, with a major emphasis on what a day in the life of a child was like living in a mission. They also experience the IMAX film Alamo: The Price of Freedom.  The film took them on a 45 minute journey back in time to witness the traditional historic based Battle of the Alamo.  After the film they toured the Alamo where Texas history truly came alive!