2016 MetroTex Charitable Trust Public Education Grant

This year, the MetroTex Charitable Trust received 63 applications for public education grants. Through a successful fundraising campaign over the past year, the Trust was able to award seven grants totaling nearly $15,000. To contribute funds for next year’s grants, contact Susan Kaplan at susank@dfwre.com.

Each of the grants awarded are described below.

Rosemont Elementary School, (Dallas ISD) Bison Robotics will be awarded $3,000 in order to fund VEX Robotics classroom Lab kits and extra. This program is designed to help students master the fundamentals of robotics and the engineering design process while learning to use design software and the leading classroom robotics solution, the VEX Classroom Lab Kit. The kits will increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by engaging students in hands-on sustainable and affordable curriculum-based robotics engineering programs.  

Lancaster Middle School, (Lancaster ISD) STEM Infinity 8th Grade Student Organization will be awarded $2873.51 in order to build a STEM Makers' Laboratory (SML), where students can engage in higher order thinking, experimentation, engineering, collaboration, and other 21st century activities.  The SML will be a place where robotics, computer science, circuitry, and electronics become haptic experiences, as opposed to abstract concepts.  Students will learn to disassemble, examine, and reassemble electronic devices.  Soldering new components, transplanting new and used components for repairs, and using old components for new purposes will be commonplace.  3-D printers and Raspberry Pi computers will allow learners to research, design, develop, and engineer components for a multitude of projects.

Silver Lake Elementary, (Grapevine/Colleyville ISD) Dual language prekindergarten will be awarded $500 in order to purchase headphone sets to use with existing hardware that run educational apps like IStation, Doceri, ABC apps and preschool Math apps. 

Heritage Elementary School, (Keller ISD) Library will be awarded $500 in order integrate computer coding devices into the library’s Makerspace, a place where students gather to create, invent, tinker, explore and discover. The specific coding gadgets requested include Dot and Dash, an explorer that students can code to zip around the room, the Code Bug, which allows a student to use an iPad to program a "bug" to create their own games, robots or other wacky inventions, and the Ozobot, which allows students to practice their coding skills to get the Ozobot to follow colorful lines they've drawn on a page.  Students will be able to work with these devices during their classroom library visits and during open library times.  Since computer classes are no longer available at the elementary level, Heritage students will be able hone their technology skills in an engaging and supportive environment.

Early College High School

Early College High School, (Carrolton-Farmers Branch ISD) ECHS SPTSA will be awarded $3,000 in order to advance literacy for English Language Learners.  This grant will enable students to advance their English language literacy during their Advisory time and the school will offer intense literacy instruction on Saturdays for students and to provide them with supplemental materials for their college classes. Early College High School is an innovative program which offers students the opportunity to earn over 60 college credit hours during their high school career. Over 75% of ECHS students are students living in poverty, nearly 90% of our students will be the first in their family to graduate from college and over 65% of our students have learned English while in school. Many students do not have the funds to purchase the books and supplies required of college students. All ECHS students will benefit from this project.

Central Elementary

Central Elementary, (Carrolton-Farmers Branch ISD) Makerspace & Coding will be awarded $2,999.95 in order to implement a High Tech Makerspace project which will empower Students in Pre K through 5th grade to create and share resources and knowledge using 3D, robotics, and coding technology.

These new High Tech Makerspace stations would give students the opportunities to create, tinker, design, and discover with materials they do not have at home. The resources will provide students with the chance to think, share, and grow.  Since most students will be using some kind of technology in their future jobs and many of these future jobs students haven’t even been created, it’s imperative that libraries provide opportunities for students to create and problem solve using technology.

Hurst Euless Bedford ISD

Hurst Euless Bedford ISD, (HEB ISD) Dyslexia Department will be awarded $2,100 in order funds to implement a strategy for providing effective technology to over 900 students with dyslexia.  Dyslexic students need iPads to access programs such as Learning Ally and Bookshare as well as many other apps that will promote reading independence for students.  These are free resources that have enormous data bases of audio/visual textbooks and books for pleasure.  

Global Alliances Gather in Washington

Experiencing the power of the global community in the world’s most powerful city is something you’ll never forget. While the global business community might not be the first thing that pops into your mind when you read about the annual NAR Legislative Meetings, you’ll find the meeting is a goldmine for REALTORS with an international focus. If you’re looking for a great way to network with agents around the world and to grow your global business pipeline, these meetings are a great place to start.

At the NAR meeting earlier this month, there was ample opportunity to network with REALTORS® from all over the world. Plus, the global meetings gave Global Business Council members the chance to meet presidential liaisons from affiliated organizations around the world. There are also opportunities to meet with your congress members and senators to voice your concerns about the flow of business between countries. Plus, many embassies sponsor events to highlight their particular country economically and culturally.

But it’s not all about networking with your foreign counterparts and legislators. You can learn a lot about the global economy at the Legislative Meetings as well. There are CIPS and other related classes, presentations on current market conditions, and seminars about the economies in other countries. A veritable treasure trove of learning is available for members with an interest in international business.

This year, the Global Programs for Associations kicked off the NAR meetings, and the CIPS Advisory Board met early to discuss CIPS classes and institutes around the world. Hot on their heels, the Global Alliances Advisory Board met to discuss the state of global alliances around the world, new efforts to bring more associations into membership, and efforts to create associations in countries without a strong professional real estate presence. Later, the meetings included an international housing update.

Outside of Global Business Council events, the NAR Legislative Meetings featured several prominent speakers, including General Colin Powell, Bob Woodward, Lawrence Yun (NAR Economist), Julian Castro and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D.-Mass). And to add a bit of fun away from the meetings, there were visits to various government buildings and departments, Smithsonian exhibits, monuments by moonlight tours and the NAR offices open house.

Building your global business practice requires networking and staying on top of the latest news and trends. Participating in events like the NAR Legislative Meetings is a great way to build your brand and to be the best at what you do for your clients. To find out more about upcoming events, be sure to join the MetroTex Global Business Council and watch MetroTex E-News for updates to the events calendar.