Laurie Glass – Milford Brook (grades K-5)
This grant will allow for the installation of a sensory hallway in the two main hallways of Milford Brook School, which consists of decals that outline a series of actions or movements done in a meaningful, deliberate manner. It will be an easily accessible method for teachers to address student modifications including “brain” breaks, movement breaks, sensory diets, and positive reinforcement systems. The sensory hallway can also help alleviate behavioral issues for students who need to release their energy in a safe and productive manner.
Building Choice Through Literacy in the Art Room
Allison Tumminia – Taylor Mills (grades K-5)
Taylor Mills School received this grant supplement the available resources in the art room where students work in a choice-based, student-centered studio setting. The drawing library will be supplemented with more age-appropriate resources, and the grant will also enable acquisition of books that explain various other arts processes. Books will include how-to-draw tutorials with relevant characters and subject matter, as well as procedural texts explaining skills like origami, paper sculpture, and various fiber art techniques. Students will have access to these books during their art period to build their skills and knowledge in the content areas. Students will continue to grow independence within the art room and access resources to supplement their learning, while keeping the library's collection in circulation.
21st Century Print Studio
Erin Fitzpatrick –MEMS (Grade 8)
Up to $3,000 awarded
This grant aims to provide the eighth-grade art room with an etching press, which is used in printmaking studios for many different processes. Currently, eighth grade students experience linoleum block printing where they are tasked with hand carving a unique plate (like a stamp) and then printing with ink. The materials on hand currently are mostly the same as what an artist would experience in a print shop, except for the printing press. Students use handheld discs, called barens, and wooden spoons to print their work by hand. By adding an etching press to the MEMS art room, students would have access to a more professional printing experience and have more opportunities to experience other types of printmaking (for example, etching and mono-printing).
The goal of this grant is to integrate 21st century skills into the classroom, and to provide students with authentic learning tasks that would closely echo the experience of a professional artists' studio. This grant will allow students to engage in problem solving which will spark their cognitive regulation, and important aspect of social emotional learning.
Missy Cullen, Stefanie Zammitto – Wemrock Brook (Grade 5)
Jessica Young and Jackie Widom– Lafayette Mills (All grades)
Up to $2,000 per school awarded
The goal of this grant is to change the traditional classroom design into a more flexible seating environment. Flexible seating incorporates movement into daily learning by providing students with different types of equipment in lieu of traditional desks and seating. The flexible seating will set up a learning environment that utilizes a kinesthetic approach. Utilizing the various seating and standing arrangements students will have the ability to use movement to facilitate cognition, maximize brain function, and anchor learning.
Flexible seating promotes a sense of classroom community and accountability. It minimizes off-task behaviors and helps meet the unique needs of all learners. Movement stimulates and enhances cognitive development. The backless design promotes proper posture, increases the ability to pay attention, improves short & long-term memory, and forms positive moods by reducing stress, as it supplies the brain with energy and nutrients.
Promethean Boards for MERS to Support Technology Upgrade
District Principals – All 8 Schools
The funds awarded will enable the district in purchasing eight, 70” Titanium Promethean Boards (including installation and integrated chrome boxes). This grant is essential to help sustain its desire to promote 21st century learning skills and maintaining a 21st century learning environment. Approval of this grant helps the district to move forward in replacing broken or outdated technology despite deep cuts in State funding,
Promethean Boards have enhanced features not available on the current SMARTBoards. For example, Promethean Boards connect directly to a teacher's Google Drive and students’ Chrome Books; these tools will not only enhance our digital learning environment, but they will help make processes for connecting easier and more accessible for staff. According to the Promethean's website and a recent study they conducted, 93% of educators believe that technology helps to improve pupils' research skills, and 84% of educators believe that technology helps to improve pupils' technical literacy (The State of Technology in Education Report 2016).
Additionally, 82% of teachers believe that educational technology accelerates learning in their classrooms: however, high workloads for over half of these same teachers (57%) have led to underutilization of the very same tools that streamline processes and lesson prep time, Promethean Boards help to resolve this by providing an interactive display that powers up in seconds, provides an intuitive use-interface, and utilizes educational and productivity-based applications from the Google Play Store.