The Foundation at a Glance
In July 1993, a group of leading citizens and industry leaders joined together to form the La Porte Education Foundation. Their goal was to expand educational opportunities for La Porte ISD students and teachers. Shortly after organizing, the Board decided to kick off a Founders Drive with a goal of raising $100,000. All the schools and civic organizations were visited in the fall of 1993 and presented with information about the Foundation.
The Founders Drive was created to provide the financial base for the Foundation. The Financial/Development Committee developed the Founders Drive and selected the leadership for the industry/large business and the small business/individual areas. It was a five month drive with each Board member personally contacting community members and business representatives asking them to become "Original Founders." The Board proudly surpassed their goal by receiving $102,000 in pledges for the Foundation.
Our Original Founders were treated to a Texas style reception in the spring of 1994. The theme was "Education. . . First in the Heart of La Porte , Texas." Each Original Founder received a certificate and was recognized for his contribution. In the La Porte Independent School District Boardroom is a permanent bronze plaque engraved with the Original Founders' names.
Teaching Enrichment Grant Awards
With the Founders Drive barely underway, the Foundation Board decided to award their first round of grants. Thirteen grants were awarded in the fall of 1993. They were followed by thirty-five (35) grant awards in May, totaling over $15,000 in grants the first year. Since 1993, more than $1.7 million has been awarded in grants to 1,369 teachers.
The Foundation Board decided early on that it was very important to get the whole community involved in their efforts. It was decided to have an event to celebrate education in La Porte. The Celebration was held at Sylvan Beach Pavilion and was developed and presented by a Foundation committee made up of teachers, community members and Foundation Board members. More than 1,000 community members enjoyed booths from each school and entertainment from many of our students. The second annual Celebration, held in 1995, included a silent auction and a program by students from each school. The Celebration is traditionally held during Texas Public Schools Week.
Breakfast with the Stars
The Foundation initiated Breakfast with the Stars in August 1996. Four hundred community members, business and industry "friends", along with educators from La Porte ISD and the surrounding areas, attended the celebration honoring the STARS, teacher grant recipients from the Foundation's inception, plus student scholarship recipients awarded through the Foundation. Dr. Mike Moses, the Texas Commissioner of Education was the guest speaker. Table sponsors, individual tickets and a silent auction totaled more than $6,500 net for future Foundation use.