On December 6, 2023, the Longview ISD Foundation presented its annual John W. Harrison, Jr. Academic Field Trip Grants, named for the late Mr. Harrison, longtime Longview ISD school board member, to honor his loyal support of the Foundation.  Traveling to four Longview ISD campuses, Heather Hilton, chair of the academic field trip grant committee; Leah Hickman, Foundation president; Scott Lewis, Julie Ford, and Lori Keebaugh, Foundation board members; and Kay Ray, Foundation director, surprised the recipients and their students with the funding news.
The Foundation awarded five field trip grants, two to elementary schools and three to middle schools. 
With grant funding of $1,982.21, Naomi Odum, Sharon Moore, and Eduardo Delmas, teachers at Bailey Elementary School, will take fourth graders to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, Texas, for science instruction.  Students will rotate in groups through the various exhibits and IMAX films, documenting, taking notes, interacting, inquiring, and engaging with the hands-on exhibits and docents.  Through assignments before and after the trip, students will link math, science, and English/language arts TEKS to their field trip experience.  The teachers also engaged the students in the planning of the trip by giving them math problems to solve regarding the cost of the field trip.  For example, students solved the following math word problem:  “Bailey Elementary will purchase the following snacks for the upcoming field trip:  Otis Spunkmeyer Assorted Muffins, 4 packs at $14.24 per pack and a case of Tropicana orange juice for $47.94.  What is the total cost of the snacks?”  Students analyzed the problem for what to solve for and what they knew, wrote an equation, solved for the answer, and checked for reasonableness.  Students also wrote essays about acceptable behavior on the trip.  As one student wrote, “If other students are loud and distract the bus driver, it doesn’t mean I must behave the same.  If I do, I will get in trouble.  Instead, I should lead with good behavior and show others that an intelligent, good person leads not follows.  I am a leader, not a follower.”  The Foundation appreciates that the teachers are teaching the whole child from teaching leadership skills to financial planning for a trip to the trip’s ultimate goal of hands-on learning directly related to the students’ classroom learning.
Rosheia Hodge, Cassandra Hunt, Jose Sanchez, Shawantra Terry, and Sheran West, Ware East Texas Montessori Academyl fifth grade teachers, will take their eighty-seven students to Sky Ranch to experience the Outdoor Education Program curriculum that provides multiple learning tracks, including science, history, and team building.  Divided into two groups, students will stay overnight and experience an overnight camp.  Students will study weather and soil erosion, rock cycles and how fossils are formed, leading to the formation of sedimentary rocks and fossil fuels, and other forces of nature that shape the environment.  Students will also learn about gravity and friction using a four line mock zipline and then explore gases and pressure by launching student-designed rockets.  Upon returning to class, students will use clay to model how weathering, erosion, and deposition take place and create a book of what they learned through drawings.
The Foundation funded three middle school academic field trip grants.
To introduce students to the thriving floral industry and the career opportunities it presents, Brandon Williamson, agriculture teacher at Foster Middle School, will take 105 LISD 8th graders to visit Dallas-Fort Worth’s best floral designers.  First, students will visit McShan Florist in Dallas so they can see the inner workings of a successful, large-scale flower shop.  The owners and top designers will speak with students while also giving design demonstrations. Next, students will travel to Pilot Point, home of Texas Tulips, a flower farm well known for its picturesque views and successful flower farming operation.  There students will learn about the production aspects of flower farming from the farm’s managers.  Students will harvest tulips of their own and use them and more materials to make a spring arrangement of their own.  This grant provides students with knowledge of a career path in an industry that they would normally be unable to see firsthand.  By providing funding of $4,034.45, the Foundation ensures that students will enjoy and benefit from an engaging field trip that incorporates classroom learning with hands-on experiences in agriculture.
Foster Middle School’s Art I teacher Natasha Raibon knows that experiencing art in person is an essential part of a well-rounded arts education.  She will take 106 eighth grade students to the Dallas Museum of Arts, known for its extensive collection and the Nasher Sculpture Gardens.  Students will receive a guided tour of the museums and have the opportunity to create their artwork in a workshop led by the education staff.  Many of the students have never visited a museum.  Prior to the trip, students will learn about the artists whose work they will see, artworks, and the movements they will encounter at the museum.  This trip aligns with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for art observation and perception, creative expression, and historical and cultural relevance.  To conclude the day, students will create a work en plein air, a French expression meaning “in the open air,” giving students a chance to paint in natural light and use the values the light creates to enhance their works with watercolors.
Laura Johnston, sponsor of the Judson STEAM Academy’s Friendship Club, and club members will partner with the school’s Life Skills class to visit Piney Park in Marshall, Texas, to provide students with a real-world experience to enhance their social-emotional skills.  Through the partnership on campus, the Friendship Club practices and teaches social skills while forming friendships with the Life Skills students, giving those students an opportunity to be a part of the school community while also giving the Friendship Club’s students an opportunity to know students who are different from themselves and engage with them in a positive way.  On this trip, the Friendship Club students, traditional JSA students, will be paired with Life Skills students as they engage at the park in educational lessons about the life cycle of baby chicks, create seasonal crafts, and experience all the Piney Park attractions.  One of Ms. Johnston’s goals is to teach students to engage in meaningful conversations while learning to be caring, empathetic individuals who lead by example on the Judson campus.  The Foundation is proud to provide funding of $911.96 to develop leadership skills and bring the Life Skills students into the Judson STEAM Academy family of learners.