The Tyler ISD Foundation kicked off its new year of fundraising Thursday by showcasing how much fun its programs are for students.
During the event, the foundation showcased the innovative work teachers have implemented with the help of its Grants for Great Ideas program.
Attendees were treated to a stand-up comedy routine from the Caldwell Elementary theater program and a concert by the Caldwell All Star Band.
President Debbie Matteucci said the organization has raised more than $3 million for Tyler ISD since its 1990 formation.
Each year the foundation dedicates about $40,000 to the grant program to help fund everything from learning gardens and physical education programs to supplemental technology.
Matteucci said the grants cover needs that cannot be funded through normal means.
Tyler ISD Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Christy Hanson said the program allows teachers to find new ways to engage their students.
â€śIt really offers our teachers that extra boost of financial incentive to go above and beyond and encourages them to think outside the box,â€ť Hanson said.
The annual luncheon typically raises about $25,000 for the grants program, but Matteucci said the foundation wants to keep growing the funding.
â€śLast year we gave close to $40,000. Weâ€™re looking to increase that,â€ť Matteucci said. â€śItâ€™s just a natural fit. I think our public schools are very important to our community.â€ť
The foundation also manages the districtâ€™s endowment funds for the fine arts and a scholarship program.