2015 Grant Recipients

Project Title: Kindergarten Literature to Enhance Math Learning
Grant Awarded: Karen Thomas
School(s): Abbot Elementary
Teacher(s): Gina Maksimchuk
Amount Funded: $1,850

As part of the everyday math curriculum at Abbott Elementary, there is a literature list provided for each grade. This grant will fund the purchase of books for the library, which will enhance the kindergarten math curriculum. The children will enjoy the picture books, while absorbing math concepts they are currently learning in class.


Project Title: Readiness Take Home Bags For Incoming Kindergarten Students
Grant Awarded: Great Idea Grant
School(s): Allen Elementary School
Teacher(s): Leslie Binder, and Marie Lemmer
Amount Funded: $2,096.54

Each Spring, the incoming Kindergarteners are screened for the skills necessary for starting school in the fall. These skills include, letter identification, number identification, counting objects using one to one correspondence, shape identification, and name writing. This grant will allow Allen Elementary to provide take home materials for the parents/ guardians of the 70 incoming kindergartners. Parents/ guardians, may use the results from the screening and the materials to help their children build a stronger academic foundation over the summer.


Project Title: Paint for Young 5 and Kindergarten Humanities
Grant Awarded: Dahlmann
School(s): Bryant Elementary School
Teacher(s): Jennifer Maerz Sullivan, and Roberta Heyward
Amount Funded: $647.57

This grant will increase the painting project opportunities available to the Bryant Elementary Young 5 and Kindergarten students. Painting projects foster creativity and critical thinking skills. The projects selected will not only allow students to enjoy and apply art techniques, they will also enhance science, social studies, and literacy skills. Students will interact and build social skills while taking pride in the projects they have created.


Project Title: Global Readers Global Leaders
Grant Awarded: Karen Thomas
School(s): Mitchell Elementary School
Teacher(s): Janet Duncan and Wendy Rothman
Amount Funded: $5,000

Mitchell Elementary is a candidate school for the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP). The grant will fund the purchase of books that align with the PYP trandisciplinary themes. In an IB World School, students become globally minded citizens. Students will have access to materials that nurture the development of the whole child, and allow for intellectual challenges through inquiry. These books will become our students’ windows to the world, as they learn about the cultures, ideas, beliefs and places that lay beyond their home and neighborhood.


Project Title: Collaborative Video Feedback for Dance Arts
Grant Awarded: Great Idea Grant
School(s): Community High School
Teacher(s): Melissa Poli
Amount Funded: $1,600

This grant will fund the purchase of video capturing equipment and timestamp commenting software for the Community High School dance students. The ability to capture and replay a performance creates a visual reference for instructor critique and self-assessment. This bridges the gap between simply hearing a correction and internalizing it. Video feedback not only increases individual and team skills, it also has been shown to prevent injury and boost student confidence.


Project Title: Sankofa Community College Tour
Grants Applied For: Great Idea Grant
School(s): Pathways to Success Academic Campus
Teacher(s): William Copeland and Musetta Deneen
Amount Funded: $2,000

“Sankofa” is a new youth empowerment program at the Pathways to Success Academic Campus (PSAC). One of their goals is to blaze a path for the success of their entire student body. This grant will help fund trips for up to 30 Sankofa members to at least 5 college campuses. These students will return and present their experiences to other PSAC students. Many PSAC students face economic and other challenges that are far beyond that of a traditional high school student. This program will provide real world experience that will make college more attainable.


Project Title: STEM Book Infusion!
Grants Applied For: Karen Thomas
School(s): Pittsfield Elementary School
Teacher(s): Margaret Rohde
Amount Funded: $1,500

The Pittsfield Elementary library is sorely in need of updating, particularly in STEM fields. In addition to purchasing books on subjects the library is currently lacking, this grant will replace many of the outdated and damaged books. These books will benefit the entire school.


Project Title: Viking’s Lair
Grants Applied For: Great Idea Grant
School(s): Forsythe Middle School
Teacher(s):  Deborah Deja and Heather Herrick
Amount Funded: $1,500

The Viking’s Lair is a rolling school store at Forsythe Middle School. The store is run by teams of students with special needs, paired with peers, and supervised by teachers. Students that have been severely impacted by Autism, cognitive, physical and emotional impairments have the opportunity to learn and develop communication skills. The time spent interacting and socializing with peers is invaluable to their education and development. This grant will partially fund the store with the hope that it will be self sufficient in the near future.


Project Title: Young Musicians Mentors Alliance (YMMA)
Grants Applied For: Great Idea Grant
School(s): Huron High School, Clague Middle School Orchestra, Scarlett Middle School Orchestra, and Tappan Middle School Orchestra
Teacher(s):Katie Sesi and Timothy Krohn
Amount Funded: $1,060

Sadly, 50% of students that begin playing an instrument will quit within two years. This grant will be used to help combat this statistic by funding the start up costs for the Young Musicians Mentors Alliance (YMMA). The YMMA is a group of Huron High School Concert and Symphony Orchestra students who will volunteer after school to mentor fledgling 6th, 7th, and 8th grade orchestra students from Clague, Scarlett, and Tappan Middle Schools. The middle school students will create friendships they can take with them into high school while they fine tune their skill. The high school students will develop skills as a mentor. All students involved will gain skills that will benefit them throughout life.