Grants Awarded: Fall 2017
The Education Foundation Board of Trustees was very pleased to receive 10 applications totaling $15,600 for the Fall 2017 grant cycle. After discussion, the Board voted to approve seven of these for a total of $4,915.
The seven grants were subsequently also approved by the BH-BL Board of Education. They are as follows:
1. John Antoski, High School Social Studies
The funds will be used to take advantage of technology to enhance instruction. Specifically, the funds will purchase equipment so that students taking Mr. Antoski’s new elective course in the History of Agriculture can remotely monitor and work with a variety of barn animals in real time right from the high school.
In the event that interest in this course wanes, the equipment will be used in other courses.
Grant: $575 for a specific type of WiFi amplifier and 2 cameras
2. Kim Brunson, Pashley Elementary School
The funds would be used for equipment to develop a multi-sensory room, which is a special room designed to develop a person’s sense, usually through special lighting, music, smells, and objects. This type of room can be used as a therapy for children with limited communication skills, as well as for all children, assisting in the further development of self-regulation skills. Sensory activities facilitate exploration and naturally encourage children to use scientific processes while they play, create, investigate and explore. The project would serve approximately 400 students.
3. Alison Cuyler, for all five School Libraries
Throughout the year, librarians are called upon to purchase much-needed information resources for students and staff. Typically, budget codes are expended with vendors who accept purchase orders and work well with District accounting practices. Other times, odd or unusual requests for resources are only available from vendors that will not accept purchase orders, meaning the item in question cannot be purchased without access to a different source of funds.
The requested funds would be used by certified Library Media Specialists, in accordance with existing selection policies, to acquire resources for all five schools. Since these resources will be added to the library collections, they will potentially benefit each and every student and faculty member in the district.
Grant: $500 from the Egan Endowment Fund
4. Kodi Kibler & Lisa Johnson, O’Rourke Middle School Art
When combined with funds from the BOCES and PTA, Foundation grant funds will allow teachers to take five sections of 7th graders on a virtual field trip to the Cleveland Museum of Art to explore mathematical connections in art. The students will be introduced to the work of American painter and printmaker Chuck Close and will learn to apply mathematical concepts and skills used by the artist to transfer photographic images to another working surface. Using photos of themselves, students will measure, grid, and reproduce their portrait as a painting or pencil rendering.
The art lessons will include real-world application of a number of 7th grade math curriculum concepts and allow the school to experiment with using virtual field trips as a way to enhance the classroom experience.
5. Chris Lombardi, High School Technology
The recently finished High School STEAM addition has provided an educational space where students can engage in 21st century design and manufacturing. One of the Technology Department’s goals is to expose students to multiple types of manufacturing including diverse media to do so. Along with wood and metal, plastics are a major material in modern manufacturing. Having access to a Thermoformer will allow us to further develop the platform of plastic manufacturing along with our 3D printing capabilities. This opportunity will be made available to all students taking Technology classes, specifically in the areas of design, production, and engineering. In addition, the department has a goal of developing an advanced manufacturing course in the near future to allow students to build upon the competencies learned in introductory courses.
“Thermo” or “Vacuum” forming is one of the oldest methods of processing plastic materials that we use on a daily basis. The process involves heating a plastic sheet until soft and then draping it over a mold. A vacuum is applied drawing the sheet into the mold. The sheet is then ejected from the mold.
Grant: $2,000 for a Thermoformer
6. David Somoza, Grade 5 Stevens Elementary School
On a daily basis, students with ADHD struggle to focus and do their best to learn. Since the start of the year we have implemented numerous interventions to help these students, but oftentimes we find that movement is the best solution. Research shows that standing desks can have a very positive effect on focus and learning, and allowing these students to stand while learning will be of greater benefit than the subtler interventions that we have tried up to this point. In addition to the students in the class who would benefit the most, from time to time all students can have a turn with these desks, allowing them to stand and move while learning.
Grant: $450 for two standing desks
7. Carrie Wattie, Stevens Elementary School Special Education
Special education students in Carrie Wattie’s self-contained classroom rotate through six learning centers daily in small groups of 1-3 pupils. These centers are 15 minutes in duration and include Motor/Movement, Craft/Sensory, Math/Manipulatives, Writing, I-pad, and Reading. This is highly beneficial time for the children as it builds their ability to transition, to follow visual schedules, and to also engage in a variety of developmental activities.
The Reading Center is intended to provide students with a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere to enjoy exploring various age-appropriate picture books and texts, even though it is just a small rug for the children to sit on. This center would be more desirable for the children (and they would be less apt to aimlessly wander away) if it were made more comfortable by the purchase of two sensory/concentration rocking chairs.
Grant: $340 for two sensory rockers