Solanco Education Foundation awards grants to teachers

| September 5, 2017

Logo - 10-2015The Solanco Education Foundation has awarded 11 Academic Venture Grants totaling nearly $5,500 to teachers that will enable them to provide new educational programs and tools for students in each of Solanco’s seven schools.

The foundation announced the availability of the $500 grants in January and received outstanding applications from teachers and educators. Applications were carefully reviewed by the foundation’s Academic Venture Grant Committee and 11 proposals were chosen to receive grant funding:

John Girvin and Alyssa Girvin, Solanco High School science teachers
Project: AIMS – Distance Learning Cadaver Demonstration

Taught by St. Louis University through the AIMS Distance Learning Program, the virtual anatomy experience provides hands-on interactive field trips. Cadaver specimens and high-definition cameras are used to demonstrate and discuss anatomy, pathology and wellness. Students are introduced to the “wonders of the human body in a way that is difficult to duplicate in the classroom.” Eleventh- and 12th-grade science students and students in the Gifted Program, can participate in the cadaver demonstration.

Kevin Childs, George A. Smith and Swift middle schools, STEM teacher
Project: Solanco Middle School Technology Student Association (TSA) Chapter
The Solanco Middle School TSA Chapter is an extracurricular association in which students attend conferences and compete against others school in STEM-based activities. The grant will be used to purchase materials used in student competitions, including bass and balsa wood, axels and wheels, dragster cartridges, and Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) equipment such as fingerprinting dust and brush, poster board, digital camers and microcontrollers.

Allyson Pruskowski, George A. Smith Middle School learning support teacher P
Project:  Take a “Stand” with Education

The grant will provide two standing desks for 6th to 8th grade students in Pruskowski’s classes. While students are expected to learn while seated in a chair, many students have a longer attention span and better focus when working while standing up.

Judy Argue, Bart-Colerain Elementary School, 2nd grade
Project: A Place to Sit, Wiggle, and Learn
The grant will provide a 9-foot x 12-foot classroom carpet that students will use as a central meeting place for read-alouds, and an Active Learning Stool for student seating along with the Hop Balls that are already in the classroom.

Kayley Gates and Allyson Weitzel, Clermont Elementary School, 1st grade
Project: Awesome Osmo
Osmo is a hands-on technology system that delivers magical experiences which will educate students with real world applications and will enhance the use of already-existing classroom iPads. Osmo fosters creativity and problem-solving skills in spelling, math, reading and visual thinking, and also allows students to explore STEM and tactile learning.

Elise Graybill, Providence Elementary, Extended Day Kindergarten
Project: Auto-B-Good Character Education
This project will support the continued development of Solanco’s four key character traits (respect, responsibility, courage and kindness).The Auto-B-Good book series, CDs with printable activities, posters and bookmarks will also include other essential character traits including citizenship, fairness, trustworthiness, integrity and self-control.

Leah Kletzli, Providence Elementary School, learning support teacher
Project: iLearn through iPad
The grant will purchase three Osmo applications for iPads that will merge physical play with the digital advantages of real-time feedback. Students will collaborate while manipulating tangible game pieces including number tiles, letter tiles and coding blocks. This will increase student enthusiasm, interaction and retention and provide measurable progress toward academic and behavioral goals.

Alyssa Lambert, Providence Elementary School, 4th grade
Project: Empowering student choice with meaningful flexible seating choices
Flexible seating has enabled Lambert to “meet my students academically in an area where they feel comfortable and ready to learn. For some students, flexible seating allows kinesthetic movement during learning, helping them to remain engage for a longer amount of time.” The grant will purchase additional seating options to go along with the desks, stools, Adirondack chairs and pillows already in Lambert’s classroom.

Amanda Summers, Providence Elementary School, 5th grade
Project: Flexible seating for improved on-task behavior
Research shows that flexible seating has had long-term positive impact on academic performance, better health and improved behavior. The grant will be used to purchase Yoga mats and Balance Yoga Balls for alternative seating options.

Carrie Page, Providence and Quarryville elementary schools, 1st-5th grade art teacher
Project: Technology in the Art Room
Two iPads and apps, used along with the technology currently available to students in the art classrooms, would enable students to explore new mediums. Students will use the iPads to create their own pieces of digital artwork, look up reference images, create images using a green screen, create stop animation movies, and share their artwork with families and friends.

Kayla Resh, Quarryville Elementary, speech teacher
Project: Speech in Motion
The grant would purchase K’Motion Stools which encourage self-regulation and concentration during group activities. The stools will provide the physical and sensory feedback that students need.

The Solanco Education Foundation (SEF) creates new and enhanced educational opportunities within the district by awarding grants to teachers and scholarships to students. To date, the Foundation has awarded nearly 150 Academic Venture Grants to teachers totaling nearly $65,000. The SEF also funds other important educational programs including the Science Mobile Probeware program at the high school, Baggy Books for young elementary readers, and the college advisor position at the high school.

Solanco Education Foundation

President:  Susan Broomell
Vice President:  Tom Brackbill
Treasurer: William Musser
Secretary: Kathy Eberly

Executive Director:  Keith Kaufman (non-voting member)

Board of Trustees:
Larry Albright
Fan Bender
Bill Coble
Cindy Coble
Julie Duvall
Cathy Kaschak
Steve Mitchell
Scott Robinson
Dr. Jon Rednak
Brenda Roark
Patty Wilds
Sandy Tucker (non-voting member)

Category: Elementary News, Featured Stories, High School News, Middle School News

About the Author ()

Keith Kaufman is the Director of Community Relations for Solanco School District. 786-5617.

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