HISD elementary school receives $50,000 grant for smart boards, books

Bruce Elementary School was selected this week to receive a $50,000 grant from the Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children, an organization that provides educational resources to underfunded schools in urban and rural communities.

Bruce Elementary was one of nine schools from across the country to receive the grant, which will be used to purchase interactive whiteboards and nonfiction books for existing classroom libraries to boost literacy through student engagement and teacher effectiveness.

Literacy instruction is a top priority for Bruce Elementary, where 84 percent of the school’s 600 students are considered at-risk. The interactive whiteboards and nonfiction books will be placed in every classroom, helping to ensure literacy is integrated in all subjects.

Bruce Principal Trealla Epps said the whiteboards will help engage students in online reading lessons and reading aloud. Teachers also will be able to connect the smart boards with a digital learning platform that allows them to create and narrate stories with animated characters.

“Ensuring that our students are reading on grade level involves more than just teaching them to read,” Principal Epps said. “It requires us to create a culture of confident students who possess the reading, writing, and critical thinking skills needed to successfully move from elementary school to middle school, high school and college.”

Over the last eight years, the Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children has awarded more than $5.9 million to public elementary schools that are in financial need and serve a high concentration of children from families living in poverty. Bruce Elementary was chosen in consultation with the School Fund’s regional, nonprofit partner organization, Houston A+ Challenge.