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Temple Education Foundation surprises teachers with grants donated by local businesses

Posted at 8:23 PM, Jan 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-31 21:23:14-05

TEMPLE, TX — When Jomeka Gray, a kindergarten teacher at Temple ISD, applied for a grant to help bridge the learning gap between in-person and online learners, she didn’t know when or if she would get it.

She applied for the grant weeks ago and said she was constantly curious if she won or not. Jomeka got the big news on Friday.

“At that time I was in the middle of teaching, and all of a sudden I looked around and some people came into my door and I said what are we here for?” she reminisced. “They showed me this wonderful sign that I was a grant winner.”

Gray is among a group of 12 other TISD teachers who received money from a $16,000 pot all donated to the Temple Education Foundation by local businesses like HEB’s My Community Investment Program, the Temple/Belton Board of Relatory, the BBVA Foundation, Leadership Temple and GrandeCares.

“They [the businesses] aren't just partnering with Temple Education Foundation, but they're really putting their money with the students, Sharon Williams, the grant chair of the TEF said. “And with Temple ISD and the future of our students.”

Kristy Brishke, the executive director of the foundation, explained that that relationship is what makes the City of Temple unique.

“That's the most special thing about seeing the community come together and see what a great place this is and how its growing and how we can really impact the future of the students of the Temple community,” she said.

It also showed Mrs. Gray her efforts this year did not go unnoticed.

“It really is the teacher's appreciation above all appreciation because we are the ones in the classroom, we are the ones that see, you know this would be a great opportunity, if i just had the funds to do it,” she said.

She said she should have the funds from the grant sometime next week.

Gray said she plans on using the money to create an at-home learning program, where children can use everyday items like dice and playing cards to practice their basic math and reading skills.