2009-01-15 / Island Life

Grant used to update welding technology

BY DAN PARKER SOUTH JETTY REPORTER

Super in shop STAFF PHOTO BY DAN PARKER As classmate Tanner Olsen looks on, student Matt Bartlett demonstrates one of three new welding machines purchased recently for Port Aransas High School welding classes through a $4,764.13 grant by the Port Aransas Education Foundation. Super in shop STAFF PHOTO BY DAN PARKER As classmate Tanner Olsen looks on, student Matt Bartlett demonstrates one of three new welding machines purchased recently for Port Aransas High School welding classes through a $4,764.13 grant by the Port Aransas Education Foundation. The Port Aransas Education Foundation recently awarded a $4,764.13 to Port Aransas High School to purchase three new welding machines.

The grant was requested by welding class teacher Randell Buttler and Travis Longanecker, principal of PAHS.

"I feel elated about this (grant) - not only because it makes my teaching job easier, but because it offers students the latest updates on welding technology and allows them more time under the hood, so to speak," Buttler said.

The Port Aransas Education Foundation is a non-profit group with a mission to provide grant money for materials and programs not funded through the budget of the Port Aransas Independent School District.

The money for the welding machines came from the foundation's "flexible fund," which was set up to provide for grant requests outside the normal grant process and may be time-sensitive, said Janice Roberts, president of the foundation.

The foundation normally announces a bevy of grant awards all at once, later in the spring semester. Roberts said she expects that to be the case again this year. No specific date has been set yet, but she said she expects thousands of dollars in grants to be announced probably in early April.

Teachers have until Feb. 28 to turn in applications for grants. Application forms are available at the foundation's Web site, www.paisdfoundation.org.

Roberts said the foundation decided to award the grant for the welding classes early to get the equipment into students' hands as soon as possible. Twenty-one students are enrolled in the high school's two welding classes, and the classes had only one welding machine before the foundation presented the grant.

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