Twice a year, fall and spring, MTEF disburses contributions from area businesses and individuals to implement educational programs that are applied for by school district educators. The projects selected are targeted towards enhancing the existing curriculum in ways that excite students and broaden their experiences in the arts, athletics or academics. MTEF is celebrating its 22nd anniversary and has distributed nearly $1 million dollars since its establishment in 1993.
The summer months are critical for a student’s development however many students do not read during these months. This gap of learning causes the loss of up to three months of reading progress. Summer reading is the common attempt to counteract this trend. At an end-of-year celebration called “Summer Reading Kick-Off” Brecht Elementary provides each student with an age-appropriate book to read over the summer. Students choose their book, allowing them to feel more engaged and responsible for their learning with the added bonus of preventing the previous gap in learning. During the event, each student makes a special door hanger to remind them to ready every day while at home over the summer months. This grant is made possible through a Memorial Fund established through MTEF.
Students read the story of Anne Frank as part of the eight grade curriculum. Having a Holocaust survivor speak to the students gave them the rare opportunity to hear another person’s story. The presentation was well-received and at the conclusion of the presentation, the students gave the speaker a standing ovation. Many students took the opportunity to personally thank the presenter, ask additional questions, or take a photo with him. This presentation will likely have a life-long impact on students. Additionally, many teachers shared how the message made them reflect on their role as educators.
The goal of the Flash Master Project is to promote automaticity with basic math facts for kindergarten through fourth grade elementary students. Flash Masters provide students with another way to practice basic math facts. Mastering basic math facts enables students to use the facts in more complex math problems. Flash Masters can track student progress, provide multiple levels of operation, and since they are portable, can be used in math stations and small groups in a variety of classrooms.
The James L and Jane L Wertz Memorial Award is presented towards the end of each school year to a deserving male and female student in 9th grade. Ninth grade teachers nominate two students that have shown improvement throughout the school year in all areas including academics, athletics, community service, and citizenship. This award, made possible by an established Memorial Fund, is presented by MTEF to the selected students each spring.
The JA BizTown program combines in-class learning with a day-long visit to the fully-interactive simulated town facility. To prepare, students engage in daily, hands-on lessons teaching authentic skills and essential content. These lessons add to the curriculum in social studies, reading, writing, mathematics and science. At JA BizTown, students use their understanding of citizenship, business practice, and government to “run” the city. All students have an important and necessary job in BizTown where citizens must complete their work in order for the town to run successfully. This opportunity provides students in grade five with a foundation in business, economics, citizenship, and financial literacy. BizTown helps students understand the relationship between what they learn in the classroom and their successful participation in the local economy.
Document cameras, a modern version of the overhead projector, project a document onto a board or screen without copying the contents onto a clear slide. Document cameras enhance student discussion, peer critiques, and exposure to multiple solution paths in math class by enabling an entire class to view a classmate’s work in a matter of seconds. This high-tech, low-cost solution helps both teachers and students by boosting the efficiency of shared work in math class, saving time that might otherwise be spent copying work on the board. MTEF funded initial grants for document cameras at Landis Run and through this grant is able to expand the use of the cameras across the fourth grade classrooms.
Mobile learning and handheld devices engage students through the use of a simple touch screen interface that allows them to easily manipulate content through rich multimedia and date visualization techniques. When presented with this new technology, students are more eager to learn and are highly engaged in the process. This program provides students at Schaeffer Elementary School an innovative way of learning that inspires creativity and offers opportunity for hands-on learning using iPad® technology.
Through MS Blue Streak Connections, general education and special education students will interact through activities that encourage hands on approaches to learning and practice social and functional skills. This program will enhance the special education program at the middle school through real-life opportunities and social interaction with peers.
Model UN is a worldwide organization that allows students the opportunity to discuss and debate real world issues. Students approached MTHS staff about the desire to start a team at Manheim Township. Model UN complements the high school history and global perspective course curriculums. The MTHS Model UN will attend five Susquehanna Valley Model UN (SVMUN) Conferences over the course of the school year. The project will allow students to explore various real-world issues while considering perspectives of other countries, cultures, and people. This grant is being funded through a Memorial Fund established through MTEF.
The online math program, ixl.com augments current curriculum and helps meet mathematical needs of many students. The tool provides extra support to students struggling with math, practice for average students, and enrichment for advanced students. Individualized instruction is differentiated for each student’s areas of need, instruction, and growth. Students having access to the internet program at school and at home work at their own level mastering multiple math strands. Students, teachers, parents, and administrators monitor the students’ usage, practice and mastery. Following an initial pilot program, access to ixl.com is being expanded across all 6 elementary schools.
This grant provides two software subscriptions for one year for use in high school math classes. Each teaches practical math application to give students various ways to apply algebra content. Mathalicious provides math lessons for middle and high school students that teach math through engaging, real-world topics. Students apply the math they are learning to answer real-world questions by studying proportions, probability, and linear regression. Yummy Math is an additional resource that provides lessons that can be covered during one class period.
Headsprout provides extra literacy support to students. It is a phonics-based reading program that reinforces and reteaches the concepts and skills outlined in the reading and language arts curriculum. Headsprout uses a patented adaptive instructional technology that can be utilized both in the classroom and at home instilling the knowledge and habits of learning necessary for future years. This program has been expanded over the past 9 years and is now in place in the Kindergarten classrooms at all 6 elementary.
Grants In Action
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