Sand Springs Education Foundation gives more than $80,000 grants to teachers

SAND SPRINGS, Okla. — Some Sand Springs teachers won big Tuesday morning. The Sand Springs Education Foundation gave out more than $80,000 of grants to teachers to use for projects and lessons.

Clyde Boyd Middle School 6th grade science and STEM teacher Sandy Gilstrap couldn’t hold back her excitement after receiving $18,000 from the foundation to purchase virtual reality goggles.

“It’s called Class VR and it’s just a classroom set that allows kids to take a more engaging in-depth dive into our lessons without having to leave the classroom so being able to do fieldtrips, being able to do dissection’s, being able to getting to do things that we wouldn’t be able to do with pencil and paper or behind a Chromebook,” she said.

Every year Sand Springs teachers apply for grants through the Sand Springs Education Foundation to receive money for things the district wouldn’t normally fund. Superintendent Sherry Durkee said it’s a way to support teachers’ creativity.

“It’s what makes student engagement possible so we teach the curriculum. There’s no doubt, but adding to the engagement with students with the fun activities that goes along with and compliments is extraordinary,” Durkee said.

Sand Springs teachers can apply for next year. You just need to be a teacher in the district. Grants don’t go toward furniture and building improvements.