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Lady Gaga foundation funds projects at nearly 30 EPISD schools

Born This Way Foundation

(EL PASO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT -- Aug. 14, 2019) — Hundreds of students in dozens of classrooms throughout EPISD will have a Million Reasons to celebrate and share their gratitude with Applause, thanks to the generosity of pop megastar Lady Gaga.

The Bad Romance singer announced last week that she would fund projects at 125 classrooms in El Paso in response to the hateful attack to the Cielo Vista Walmart on Aug. 3. She said she would fund classrooms in Dayton, Ohio, and Gilroy, Calif., two communities that also were victimized by mass shootings.

“My heart goes out to those who were taken from us too soon and to their families, loved ones and communities who are left grieve,” Lady Gaga wrote on her official Facebook page. “In this moment, I want to channel my confusion, frustration, and fury into hope. Hope that we are there for each other and for ourselves.” 

The funding will come from the singer’s Born This Way Foundation, which identified requests from teachers through the DonorsChoose.org website.  Educators have used the website to seek donations for classroom projects and other efforts that benefit students and schools. 

In EPISD, the Born This Way Foundation funded at least 67 projects in as many as 26 different schools.

One of the projects includes one proposed by Dowell Elementary School third-grade teacher Kaitlin Hernandez, who wanted to furnish her classroom with chairs and a couch that invited students to learn in innovative and out-of-the-ordinary settings.

“My students have truly been blessed,” Hernandez said of the funding. “To know that there are people who are famous and have so much going for them, but still take the time to recognize the impact we can have as teachers … well, that means the world to me and to my students.”

Other schools who benefited from Lady Gaga’s funding include: Andress, Burges Coronado and El Paso high schools; Magoffin Middle School; and Bond, Cielo Vista, Coldwell, Crockett, Fannin, Herrera, Hillside, Kohlberg, Lee, Lundy, Milam, Moreno, Moye, Newman, Powell, Rusk, Stanton, Tippin, Tom Lea, Whitaker and Zach White elementary schools.

The projects fund requests that range from chairs and rugs to iPads and supplemental reading books.

Story by Gustavo Reveles