The Education Foundation Board of Trustees was pleased to receive four applications with requests totaling $17,944 in its Fall 2018 grant cycle.
After discussion, the Board of Trustees voted to approve all four of these grants, in part or in whole, which were then approved by the BH-BL Board of Education in December. However, one grant submitter subsequently left the BH-BL school district. Ultimately, three grants were awarded for a total of $8,946. They are as follows:
1. Carrie Giufre, Middle School Special Education
The funds will be used to purchase Virtual Reality hardware and software specifically designed to meet the needs of students with various disabilities in the Connections program at the O’Rourke Middle School. This equipment will allow students to engage in simulations and practice situations that can be stressful to them. For instance, while remaining in the safety of their classroom, students can gain familiarity and comfort with crossing the street, shopping for groceries, eating in a crowded restaurant, or attending a football game. The VR headsets will also enable students to “travel” to places around the country and the world that they will be studying.
2. Erin Hogan and other members of the High School Guidance Team
Grant: $2,612 for a work station, interactive touch display, and chrome bits.
The funds will be used to update the high school Counseling Center to better meet the needs of students. An interactive touch display will show presentations related to career exploration, college searches, college application tutorials, use of a Naviance program and other information used by teachers and students. This can be used by individuals but also suitable for small group and collaborative activities.
3. Carmen Tarlo, Middle School Social Studies
Grant: $3.339 for an Innov 3-pack kit of Virtual Reality headsets.
This grant will pay for headsets that will be shared among teachers on the 8th grade team. Teachers will coordinate and develop lesson plans to discover what virtual reality activities work best to enhance student learning across various subject areas. For instance, English classes could see settings from literature, science pupils could examine molecules or travel deep into space, or social studies students could storm the beaches of Normandy or visit New York City slums at the turn of the 20th century.