It was an exciting day as seven Topeka Public Schools teachers were surprised with shiny, red balloons and large checks when the Topeka Public Schools Foundation Grant Patrol made their rounds on October 23rd. The foundation’s board members visited Whitson Elementary, McClure Elementary, and Landon Middle School to award grant money to 29 TPS teachers whose grant applications received full or partial funding. Other recipients received notice of their awards by e-mail.The 2013-2014 TPS Foundation annual Educational Grant Awards distribution to TPS totaled $39,835.20.The money will be used in a variety of ways, from purchasing books, musical instruments and electronics to assisting students with the cost of the Advanced Placement and GED tests. Students from pre-schools, elementary, middle, and high schools, alternative schools, and adult education centers will benefit from the funds. Pamela Johnson-Betts, executive director of the Topeka Public Schools Foundation, said “The grant allocations support educator ideas and invigorate them, which is so important because educators are the critical source for engaging students and providing enrichment.” The foundation’s board members, Ryan Hellmer, Cheyenne Manspeaker, Kim Minson, Erin Rodriguez, and Aaron Mays joined Johnson-Betts in distributing the grants.