08 Nov

TRTF Grants in Action: How A High School Laboratory Is Taking the Next Step

The Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF) distributes 30 Classroom Assistance grants each year in the amount of $500 each. Since 2008, TRTF has provided $93,000 in grants to 186 active educators all across Texas.

Denise Sanders, a biomedical sciences teacher at the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, was among the award recipients this year.

Sanders’ students are engaging in a genetic engineering project in partnership with the University of Texas at Austin. The purpose of the project is to replicate a genetic mutation within a DNA strand. Sanders said the students are creating what’s known as an “expression vector.”

Sanders said the project prepares the students for college by providing them with a “freshman research initiative as seniors in high school.” Currently, the students are going through the project in the high school lab, but eventually, the students will carry over their work to a lab at the University of Texas campus.

One of the key lessons that Sanders hopes her students take away from the project is how to “power through” failure. “Things don’t always work the way you want them to,” she said. “That happens a lot in this class… In this class, if it doesn’t work, we have to sit and think what we need to change.”

Sanders put the $500 she received from TRTF towards purchasing lab equipment for her students. In particular, she found micropipettors for her lab. Micropipettors are extremely useful in her students’ lab work. Sanders was excited to receive the grant money to fund her lab, and she appreciated that the money wasn’t tied to the school district.

“This gave me the freedom to buy things from sources that I wouldn’t normally be able to buy from, which made the money go a lot further,” she said. “It was really empowering to me to spend my own money where I wanted.”

Donate Today!

TRTF’s grants are powered by retired educator donations! Foundation month is a time for giving, and the donations made go straight into programs like the Classroom Assistance grants. Please consider donating today, and help us make a difference in classrooms all across Texas!

Applications Now Available!

Applications for the 2020 Classroom Assistance Grant program are now available online! You may download one by clicking here. Be sure to share with any active educators you know. The submission deadline is February 27, 2020.

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01 Nov

November is Foundation Month!

Happy November! The Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF), the charitable partner organization of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA), is hosting its annual fundraising drive to support its various charitable programs. TRTF’s goal is to raise $100,000 by the end of 2019!

TRTF is a non-profit organization that works to provide resources for retired TRS annuitants, as well as active and beginning teachers, through its charitable programs (“A Helping Hand,” Classroom Assistance Grants, Beginning Teacher Scholarships, the Disaster Relief Fund) and our Lehr-Pritchard Endowment Fund.

Since 2008, the Foundation has given more than $540,000 to Texas public education retirees, active teachers, college students pursuing degrees in education, and first-year educators!

You can read more about TRTF’s accomplishments and the people who have been helped thanks to the generosity of TRTA members who have donated to the Foundation by reading the third quarter issue of The VOICE. A donation card will be included in this issue when it arrives in your mailboxes this month!

TRTF will also release several videos this month via the Inside Linefeaturing recipients from each of our programs. We hope you will enjoy viewing these videos and hearing more about how your donations have changed the lives of Texas school children, teachers, and retirees experiencing critical emergencies.

TRTF knows that the needs of our educators in Texas continue to grow. Since 96 percent of school employees do not participate in Social Security, many retirees rely solely on their monthly annuities from TRS to survive. The current average annuity for Texas retired educators is $2,000 per month, with more than 130,000 retirees receiving less than $1,000 per month. Many retirees have never received a cost-of-living increase despite continually rising living expenses.

With your help, TRTF will continue to provide emergency financial assistance to retired educators and help them get back on their feet by assisting with medical or utility bills, home or auto repair, groceries, and much more. Your donation may also help provide a current teacher with supplies for a classroom project or help a new teacher afford to pay for certification tests or set up their first classroom.

Thank you for taking the time to read about the needs of TRTF and for considering a tax-deductible contribution to our Foundation. If every member of TRTA gave just $10, TRTF would raise an astounding $900,000! Please consider making your tax-deductible donation to TRTF online today by clicking here.

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30 Oct

TRTA Wraps Up D.C. Visit, Implores Membership to Put Pressure On Congress

The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) visited all 36 offices of Texas congressional representatives this week, as well as meeting with Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. John Cornyn’s staff. TRTA’s goal is to get Congress involved in moving forward with Windfall Elimination Reform (WEP).

Now is the time for our membership to get engaged! You can find your representative by using this website. It’s time for action!

We need our members calling their congressional representatives! Ask your representative to advance the WEP legislation put forth by Rep. Richard Neal (H.R. 4540) and Rep. Kevin Brady (H.R. 3934). Use our one-pager to learn about the talking points of this issue.

There’s a lot of noise going on in Congress right now due to partisan political issues. We need our membership to cut through the noise and raise our voices about the unfair nature of the WEP.

Watch Tim Lee’s Facebook Live update about the WEP!

The Texas Retired Teachers Association exists to protect your TRS retirement and fights to make it better. Please consider becoming a member and joining the largest community of TRS retirees in the nation.

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