The Commerce Journal

Local News

April 10, 2013

Foundation raises funds for Commerce children

COMMERCE — There are some things that are out of a school district’s budget capabilities.

With recent cutbacks to Texas public schools, the Commerce Schools Educational Enrichment Foundation (CSEE) has stepped in to fill some of the financial gaps that were missing in Commerce Independent School District.

CSEE gave more than $60,000 this past year to fund nine separate grants for children attending CISD.

CSEE held its annual Boots & BBQ fundraiser to a record attendance inside the Commerce High School cafeteria on April 6.

Dr. Jack Pirkey, foundation president of CSEFF, said every person on the board have a vested interest into the well-being of the students, and said that it shows.

“It is ever so nice to know that when we donate money, it’s not going to pay anyone’s salary, it’s going straight to the students,” he said. “What an experince these grants have made.”

Some grants were awarded to let elementary students attend museums such as the Bob Bullock State History Museum in Austin, and the Dallas Museum of Art.

Heather Kilgore, kindergarten teacher at CISD, wrote a grant that was accepted for the students to learn on a Promethian ActivTable, which is a table with a 46 inch touch screen designed to help students work on projects together.

“Six students can use it at once,” she said. “There are all kinds of apps pre-loaded on it. They love it. One thing I love about it is it encourages the group to work together.”

With one grant, fourth graders at A.C. Williams Elementary School were able to visit the chamber in Austin, visit with Senator Bob Deuell and learn the process of how to state laws are made.

Commerce Middle School children were able to go to a writing camp and learn how to structure their thoughts and beliefs coherently on the page.

CSEE helped fund the iGive for iPad initiative, which allows every Commerce High School student to learn new technology in innovative ways.

According to Pirkey of these accomplishments could have been completed without the help of CISD Superintendent Blake Cooper.

“No matter what these teachers do, they can’t do it without Mr. Cooper,” he said. “We are in his debt.”

Cooper said he wished to thank Texas A&M University-Commerce for how it has worked with the school district in recent years.

“There truly is a partnership with A&M-Commerce and Commerce ISD,” he said. “We are fortunate to live in a town with a university.”

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