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    By Todd Martin

    Celebrating record generosity in the past year, the Killeen ISD Education Foundation offered up a morning jog and a little 3-on-3 basketball to start 2017.

    Staff members from the district’s athletics department and from Timber Ridge Elementary School enjoyed the foundation’s generosity with a morning of activity, a healthy lunch and a cooking demonstration Tuesday at the Armed Services YMCA.

    Timber Ridge and athletics received the grand prize through a drawing among all the district departments and schools that recorded 100 percent participation in this year’s foundation fundraising campaign.

    Participants jogged with Superintendent John Craft on the YMCA track or played basketball with Deputy Superintendent Desmontes Stewart during “On Track with Dr. Craft and 3-on-3 with Dr. D.”

    Following lunch, Carey Stiles of Seton Medical Center Hospital discussed healthy snacks and provided a yogurt-and-granola parfait.

    Craft praised the foundation and district staff members’ generosity, which resulted in $86,061 raised, far exceeding a $65,000 goal.

    Those donations, the superintendent pointed out, mean more quality classroom projects for students and top professional development for educators.

    This year’s fundraising attracted 1,853 employee participants, also a record for the foundation.

    On December 2, the foundation delivered 19 classroom engagement grants worth more than $101,000 to 16 schools.

    “We love going on grant patrol to start off the holiday season,” said foundation director Joyce Hodson on the day of the distribution. “Giving back to our students, staff and schools is the heartbeat of our mission.”

    Timber Ridge principal Julie Crabtree, part of the employee group enjoying the day of activity, said Tuesday the foundation is part of an ongoing discussion at her school.

    “We talk about the foundation,” she said. “We put in grant applications every year.” This fall, three fifth-grade teachers received a grant for added technology offerings.

    The school also benefits from the foundation’s recently added Give Back program that benefits schools that raise more than $1,000 for the non-profit group. A total of 33 campuses earned that rebate for student learning projects.

    “The kids love it when we win a grant and we celebrate with teachers and kids,” Crabtree said. “These are teachers going above and beyond.”

    The KISD Education Foundation began in 2000 and has awarded $1.7 million through donors and sponsors.

    January 3, 2017

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