Funding New Classroom Projects, Bringing Community Together with LEEF

Funding New Classroom Projects, Bringing Community Together with LEEF
Posted on 10/11/2017
Superintendent's Column

Superintendent's Column 

If you have ever found yourself on campus when our LEEF Grant Patrol visits, you will understand why it is a favorite for everyone involved. In September, Board members of the Leander ISD Educational Excellence Foundation visited several campuses throughout the district — armed with cookie cakes and giant checks — to surprise 11 teachers with classroom grants totaling more than $8,000.

Six of those grants will fund innovative teaching projects, like Service Learning through Gardening at our LEO Center; a Diverse and Bilingual Classroom Library at Reed Elementary School; and Scaffolding and Differentiation for Struggling Readers at Block House Creek Elementary School.

LEEF also included a $2,500 grant to Vista Ridge High School to fund INCubatoredu, a dynamic Career & Technical Education (CTE) program that teaches entrepreneurism through hands-on learning.

Additionally, the awarded grants will fund several programs aimed at improving writing skills for our fourth-graders. Data collected by our teachers and reading and writing specialists shows that some of our elementary school students need additional support mastering certain writing standards. Thanks to the close and responsive relationship LISD has with our education foundation, LEEF was able to quickly assist these schools with the needed resources to help our students succeed.

This round of grants comes on the heels of LEEF’s more than $32,000 donation to fund a dedicated college coach at each of our high schools, as well as $8,000 in college textbook scholarships for students enrolled in dual credit courses through Austin Community College.

These grants that benefit thousands of students and teachers throughout Leander ISD are largely made possible through LEEF’s fundraising events, like this weekend’s MUDstacle.

The fifth-annual LEEF MUDstacle & Family Fun Run this Saturday, Oct. 14, at Vista Ridge High School, will be bigger, better and muddier than ever. The event offers runners and walkers of all ages a muddy obstacle course and fun run combination, with waves of various lengths and obstacle difficulties. Runners and spectators can also enjoy an interactive kid zone and giveaways from local businesses.

A cash prize will be awarded to the school or auxiliary with the most participants. At the time of writing, Camacho Elementary School, Cedar Park Middle School and Vandegrift High School were in the lead, but the competition is fierce and the leaderboard changes almost daily!

The finish line foam pit — designed, built and manned by students from our award-winning Vandegrift Viperbots robotics team — will return this year. New to the 2017 MUDstacle is an additional mud pit, sponsored and manned by the Cedar Park Police Department.

I would also encourage you to mark your calendars for LEEF’s annual gala, the Drop the Mic lip sync battle, on Saturday, Jan. 27, at the Hilton Downtown Austin. Last year’s event, besides being a ton of fun, raised more than $100,000 for LISD schools!

For more information about LEEF’s grants, MUDstacle, gala and the many other ways it supports all Leander ISD students and teachers, please visit or follow them on social media. Thank you to LEEF, its numerous volunteers and supporters for making everything you do about 1 Purpose, 1 Community, 1 LISD.