TYLER, Texas (KETK) — With the school year coming to a close for Chapel Hill ISD, before they head out for summer break, seven teachers were surprised with grants for next year’s innovative projects.

“It’s very validating to go ‘oh, the idea that you had is a good one,'” said Emily Greer, music and art teacher at Jackson Elementary School.

The Chapel Hill ISD Education Foundation gave out nearly $9,000 in grants Thursday. The money is going to teachers throughout the district.

“It means that the district supports our kids our district supports the arts and understands that the arts are an important part of learning,” said Greer.

Cindy Gaddis, president of the district’s Education Foundation is a teacher herself, she knows support is needed in the classrooms.

“Every time I think about asking someone to give me money, I think about my classroom and what it would’ve meant to me to have,” said Gaddis.

For Greer, this money will go toward expanding the music portion of her class by adding rhythm to math.

“Math portion, a math-specific curriculum that goes with drumming so the kids are drumming and having fun and don’t realize that they are also doing math,” said Greer.

Grants are also going toward a communication station, bilingual buddies camp, a snack-n-wagon, and other innovative ideas. It’s all about creating a learning environment, so students will thrive.

“Have our teachers thinking outside of the box and coming up with these wonderful, innovative ideas,” said Gaddis.

Greer feels that the education foundation is aiming to spread wealth, and the students will feel the support.

“It makes them even more excited to use it because they know that it came from someone else,” said Greer.

She said this effect goes far beyond the classrooms.

“That impact is just… We don’t see it yet but, they do and they feel special,” said Greer.

Educators believe that these grants help ensure East Texas students are excited about their education each and every day.