Cowboys and Reliant Energy present $4,000 grants
Arlington ISD teachers are scoring touchdowns in the classrooms every day, and the Dallas Cowboys have noticed.
“Today is a very special day,” said former Dallas Cowboy Joe Looney.
As a teacher himself, he knows it’s important to give back to his community.
That’s why Looney, Rowdy and Hugo, the Reliant armadillo, hopped out of the Cowboys bus to surprise the Reliant Class Acts Teachers of the Month for December and January last week.
The two Arlington ISD teachers became the eighth and ninth teachers to receive the monthly honor. And the Metroplex-wide program is just in its fourth year.
The bus made its first stop at Dunn Elementary, where fourth grade math and science teacher Regina Evans had no idea what was coming next.
“I’m shocked and overwhelmed,” Evans said as her family and the Cowboys and Reliant representatives surrounded her classroom, surprising her with a custom Cowboys jersey, an autographed football and a $4,000 check.
Nominated by her peers, Evans is known for the love that she holds for her students.
“It’s shocking to know that someone thought that I was deserving of such an honor,” said Evans. “To know that I am inspiring their generation, getting kids to think more lovingly or kindly and let them know that they’re valued, I enjoy pulling that off.”
Just a few miles down the road, Reliant and the Cowboys did it all over again at Short Elementary where alternate curriculum teacher Caylan Encinia-Caraway received the award for January.
“This is amazing,” Encinia-Caraway said. “It makes me happy to know that I’m doing something right for my kids.”
She also spoke about her plans for the grant.
“A lot of our kids struggle with their fine motor skills and need help improving them,” Encinia-Caraway said. “It’ll go towards the motor lab for balance beams, ball pits and steppingstones to help them build those skills.”
Just like Evans, her positive impact and dedication to her kids are evident.
“Them being able to have this opportunity and the money to go towards them is really what I’m excited about,” she said. “They deserve this and so much more.”
Looney felt that excitement, too.
“When you walk into a classroom and a kid’s face lights up, that reminds you why you do it,” he said. “The amount that we ask of teachers in this country is astronomical. To see these teachers take on that role, but then go above and beyond, it’s wonderful to see.”
Thanks to Reliant and the Cowboys, these one-of-a-kind educators are ready to continue doing just that!
“We are so blessed to have community partners that provide our teachers with this kind of support, celebration and funding,” said Arlington ISD chief academic officer Dr. Steven Wurtz. “We couldn’t do it without them.”