A disruptive, rowdy crowd of about 10 people carrying noisemakers, balloons, and beating drums invaded the hallways at all schools in the LCM ISD. Hearing the commotion, one teacher opened his door, ready to confront the noisemaking crew. When he saw that the leader of the pack was Superintendent Dr. Pauline Hargrove, he retreated back into his classroom.

Starting at Mauriceville Elementary School, and going to each of the other schools the group was comprised of members of the LCM Education Foundation who were awarding  to 14 teachers who had applied for grants for materials to enhance the subjects they teach.

Since the program began in 2004 the foundation has awarded 130 grants totaling $158, 276.23. This year 14 grants totaling $16,314.89 were awarded.

Any teacher in the district may apply for a grant each year. The applications are reviewed by the 20 members of the board of directors. The directors are all volunteers and are parents, community and business leaders. Dr. Hargrove and Community Relations Director Sherry Combs serve as ex-officio members. They are advisors only and do not take part in the selection process.

The grants for the 2014-15 school year ranged from materials to assist elementary students learning to read to a very high tech 3D copying machine that can be used for a variety on process including giving the specifications for prosthetic limbs. 

The 3D printer will be used by two classes, those of Cory Parsons and Terry Morris. The students will have a virtually unlimited scope of use for the printer and this may be the only 3D printer in the Orange area.

There was excitement in Betty Martin’s class at Mauriceville Middle School when her students found she had been given a grant for a “flying camera” . The grant was given for “Construction from a bird’s eye view.” It would enable the students to “fly” over the current construction project at the school and monitor the progress. When Martin was asked if students would be able to fly the camera and she gave an affirmative reply, one student assured her that he was very capable of learning to fly the camera. “We’ll see” was Martin’s reply.

Presenting the LCM Education Foundation Grant Check to Jose Ochoa, Junior High School band director.

Presenting the LCM Education Foundation Grant Check to Jose Ochoa, Junior High School band director.

  Little Cypress Junior High School band director Jose Ochoa was given a grant that will enable the junior high band to establish a drumline. “This is for the equipment you need to be able to carry and march with the drums. I am excited about getting this grant”, said Ochoa.

“You will be able to get a head start on marching now. You will have a full drumline and be able to have a good foundation when you go into the high school band”, said director Jodi Purghan. “We are very pleased that Mr. Ochoa applied for this grant.”

Funding for the LCM Education Foundation comes from fund raising events like the Beary Merry Christmas and the Legacy Park engraved brick program. The foundation is a chartered 501 c 3 organization and donations are tax deductable. None of the funding is included in the school district budget, it is a stand alone program operated by volunteers.

Contributions may be made to the LCM Education Foundation, Inc., 6586 FM 1130, Orange, Texas 77632.

Pictured above is the LCM Education Foundation Prize Patrol in the hall at Mauriceville Elementary School.