HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District teachers were surprised Thursday with over $40,000 in innovation grants.

HCISD leadership and members of the Harlingen Area Educational Foundation visited 10 campuses, stopping by 12 classrooms to surprise teachers with $42,077 worth of teacher innovation grants.

Educators received the grants through an application-based for special projects they have in mind for their classrooms and school.

Grants are to cover the cost of media studios, “zen staff spaces,” augmented reality science experiments, music lab, outdoor exercise space, and more.

Schools and teachers who received grants are as followed:

  • The Pre-K Team from Bonham Elementary School, Teachers Victoria Salinas, Emma Trevino, and Jessica Oviedo, received a grant to integrate sensory tools into the classroom.
  • Bowie Elementary School Blended Learning Literacy Specialist, Laura LeMarr received a grant for a STEM Station.
  • Cano Freshman Academy teacher, Travis James, received a grant to launch a non-profit school gardening club.
  • Peggy Sue Reyna, a teacher at Dishman Elementary School, received the grant to create a 21st-century interactive music lab for multiple grade levels.
  • The entire campus of Gutierrez Middle School of Arts and Science received the grant to create a “zen-zone” for all staff to alleviate stress.
  • John A. Merino, a science teacher at Harlingen High School, recieved the grant to use towards its STEM TI Naviagtor System and Instructional Audio System.
  • KEYS Academy teacher, Patricia Muniz, recieved the grant to open an outdoor excercse area for students.
  • Milam Elementary First grade teachers recieved the grant to help in their efforts of expanindng the 21st Century skill by integrating technology software in the classroom.
  • The Library Media Specialist at Rodriguez Elementary School, Lisa Danner, was awarded the grant to purchase equipment to create a STEM Media Studio.
  • HCISD First grade teacher, Clarissa De Santiago, recieved the grant to implement the Scholastic Guided Reading program.
  • The Third grade team from Wilson Elementary School, Belen Sanchez, Leeya Zaragoza, Marybel Gonzalez, and Valeria Garcia, recieved the grant. The grant will be used to purchase a three-year subscription for an augumented realisty science experience and digital library.