Grants Awarded: Spring 2019

Grant History / July 9, 2019 /

Grant proposals submitted by BH-BL staff members Lindsay Armbruster, Dave Besozzi, Danielle Manning, Kelly Chila, Katherine Kindl, and Jill Ollari were approved in June 2019.

The Education Foundation Board of Trustees received five proposals with requests totaling $14,171 during its spring 2019 grant cycle. After analysis and discussion, four of these proposals were approved in part or in whole for a total expenditure of $2,648.

The awards are as follows:

1. Lindsay Armbruster, Middle School Health

Grant: $593 for equipment to improve the classroom environment

The funds will be used to purchase a Tower Garden to provide space to grow plants and improve the environment in the middle school Health classroom. The class environment has a significant impact on students’ mental health. Having and caring for plants in the classroom enhances students’ responsibilities and social-emotional skills. It allows students to feel in control of something, to connect with, and to nurture other living things    The life cycle is an important part of the health curriculum and the presence of plants helps people of all ages relax and learn successfully.


2. Dave Besozzi, High School Social Studies, and Danille Manning, High School FACS 

Grant: $600 for a set of 15 Right Angle Mazes.

The grant will be used to purchase maze equipment to be used by students taking both the Psychology elective (in the Social Studies Department) and the Child Psychology & Development elective (in the Family and Consumer Sciences Department).

Currently, students in the Psychology class test Thorndike’s Law of Effect by navigating a maze of classroom furniture while blindfolded. But this only accommodates two students at a time and wastes class time to arrange and rearrange the furniture. Using a set of 15 Right Angle Mazes means that 15 students can participate at once, and frees up class time, so that students can engage in multiple trials and switch the subject/researcher roles.

The Right Angle Mazes will also be used by high school students who work with preschoolers in the Kids Korner Preschool as part of the Child Psychology and Development class. Completing the maze involves both cognitive and physical abilities, as well as emotional abilities, such as a small child’s ability to handle frustration. The high school students can track the preschoolers’ developmental progress as they navigate the maze multiple times over a number of weeks.


3. Kelly Chia, Middle School  

Grant: $390 to start “O’Rourke Runs,” a coed after-school running club

The O’Rourke Middle School has had a “Girls on the Run” team for three years, where participation is limited to 16 girls. These girls have shown amazing personal growth but had to be willing to pay a fee of $150 to participate in this national program. Kelly Chia plans to use the Education Foundation’s grant to expand this concept to many more students of both genders.

This grant will pay for equipment such as lap counters, as well as for entry fees and running shoes for those who may not be able to afford them. The student benefits of joining a running club include improved self-esteem, body image, sleep, behavior, ability to focus, sense of belonging and mood.


4. Katherine Kindl and Jill Ollari, Charlton Heights  

Grant: $1,065 to complete the school’s plans to expand Sensory Pathways in indoor hallways.

Sensory Pathways are custom colorful decals and signs on indoor walls and floors, which tell students to walk, jump, skip, hold a position, or move in other specific ways as they move along a marked path. The pathways can be used as students transition from room to room or when inclement weather forces students to stay indoors. Combined with $1,500 in the school budget and a $500 contribution from the school PTA, this grant will be used to expand the pathways to include yoga poses and isometric exercises and to expand their use to all students.