Grants Awarded: Fall 2020, with a focus on pandemic response

Grant History / February 20, 2021 /

The Education Foundation Board of Trustees received three applications in its Fall 2020 grants cycle. All three proposals will help teachers respond to the pandemic, while also providing equipment that can be used after the pandemic is over.

The Board of Trustees voted in December to approve all three of these grants for the total requested amount of $1,791. The grants were then approved by the BH-BL Board of Education in January 2021.

The grants are as follows:

1.  Group Drumming Proposal to provide Charlton Heights students with large group music experiences despite the pandemic

Requested by: Katherine Kindl, Gina Kirsty, & Ashley Crosby

Grant amount: $866

Typically, 4th grade students can participate in large group music ensembles in the school chorus, band, and orchestra. But due to Covid-19, this school year is far from typical, and these programs are not being offered. Looking for a way to still promote students’ mental health, rhythm skills, and motor planning, teachers hit upon the notion of group drumming using equipment that would be inexpensive, easy to sanitize,  and easy to store.

The grant will be used to purchase 80 5-gallon plastic bucket drums and 80 sets of half-inch wooden dowels for drumsticks — enough for all 4th graders. The drums will be numbered and each student will customize their sticks with different colors of duct tape, so that sanitary conditions can be maintained. The grant also covers a subscription to, which includes instructions, lesson plans and background music videos.

2. Go:Livecast units to include remote Middle and High School students in Band rehearsals 

Requested by: Benjamin O’Shea and Susan Rask

Grant amount: $500

O’Rourke Middle School and BH-BL High School band students who are learning remotely have been unable to participate in or even observe daily band rehearsals happening at school.  Teachers Benjamin O’Shea and Susan Rask requested $500 to purchase a Go:Livecast unit for each school. These will be used to connect classroom microphones with students learning remotely and provide a nearly in-person experience for those students.

3. Hands-on visual logic puzzles for students in the High School Transitions Program 

Requested by: Colleen Van Vorst and Ashley Tallman

Grant amount: $425

Students in the High School Transitions Program have developmental disabilities including autism and Down’s Syndrome. Typically these 12 students spend half of their school day in practical, hands-on life skills and work tasks, many of which are not available to them this year due to the pandemic. Teachers Colleen Van Vorst and Ashley Tallman will use this grant to create a classroom “puzzle library” for their students to help develop their critical thinking, spatial reasoning, fine motor skills, and perseverance.