36 AISD Elementary Teachers Receive K-3 Target Classroom Grants

For the first time ever, 36 K-3 teachers in 23 elementary schools of the Austin Independent School District have been awarded Target Literacy Classroom Grants, ranging from $500 to $3,500 per classroom. Target grants support classroom projects to accelerate the development of K-3 literacy skills. Funds can be used to purchase books, software, materials for professional development, and other literacy resources to accelerate student learning.

In December, the Target Corporation awarded AISD $100,000 to fund these mini-grants. The school district then initiated a competition among its elementary schools for the K-3 grant opportunities. All K-3 teachers and elementary schools were informed of the opportunity and encouraged to apply. The district received 66 applications from 35 schools.. Applications were judged by a panel of teachers, curriculum and instruction support staff, and community members, and were judged for impact, number of students to be served, capacity to carry out the work, percentage of students receiving free/reduced-price meals, completeness of application, and opportunities for involvement by community members. Campuses from across the district submitted high-quality proposals, and awards were spread throughout AISD.  
Schools will use their grant funds to support differentiated instruction to improve reading skills, vocabulary acquisition, through the purchase of English and Spanish-language resources, such as Texas Treasures Listening Library, National Geographic Kids and Scholastic News magazine subscriptions, guided reading books, and other resources for classroom instruction.  
This grant is part of ongoing efforts by Target to strengthen families and communities throughout the country. Since opening its doors in 1962, Target has given five percent of its income to communities. Today, that giving equals more than $3 million every week.  
"At Target, our local grants are making a difference in communities across the country," said Laysha Ward, president, community relations, Target. "We're proud to partner with Austin ISD as part of our ongoing commitment to strengthen communities where our guests and team members live and work."  
The AISD Department of Curriculum and Instruction (Language Arts Division), the Office of the Associate Superintendents for Elementary Schools, and the Office of Innovation & Development oversaw the mini-grants process.  
For more information, contact: Sebastian Wren, AISD Curriculum and Instruction Department (Language Arts) at 414-9846.