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.  In the spring of 2017, the MTEF Board of Directors voted to approve the Grant Committee's recommendation to award 13 grants totaling more than $100,000.  Grants were awarded across the district and include providing Apple TV's for all classrooms and instructional areas, the creation of a STEM Club (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) at the middle school, the purchase of a Buddy Bench for each elementary school, and more.  

Artist in Residence – AP World History Survival Guide (MTHS) Tammy Sweeney / $1,575

The goal of this project is to create a video survival guide for the AP World History course.  The video would be led and directed by current students in an effort to share reading tips, notetaking strategies, and study techniques for the course with incoming students.  The South Central PaARTners, experts in video production, artists, and musicians, will assist in the production of the video providing a unique opportunity for current students through this MTEF Artist in Residence grant.

Mobile Learning Initiative - Apple TVs (MTSD) Anthony Aldinger and Jessica O’Gorman / $64,219

This grant will provide an Apple TV in all classrooms and instructional areas in order for teachers and students to wirelessly share information from their iPad or laptop.  The Apple TV is a complementary device to the iPAD and would be used to promote the 21st century skills of communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking in classrooms across the district.  The addition of the Apple TV creates a real-life collaborative learning environment improving student participation and interaction.

Bucher Stream Study - Hands on Science (Bucher) Jessica Burkett and Kristen Rychener / $1,290

This project offers students in grades 2, 3, and 4 at Bucher Elementary hands-on science lessons presented by a County Conservation Officer.  These lessons help students build a positive relationship between nature and community while covering PA State Standards in Environment and Ecology.  These EITC approved programs have had a proven, positive academic impact on the students involved.

Buddy Bench (Nitrauer) Jennifer McMullin and Missy Weaver / $3,558

The Buddy Bench program will help to promote healthy peer relationships and foster empathy, compassion, and friendship among students.  The Buddy Bench will give students a place to go when they are seeking support from a peer and will serve as a visible reminder on the playground that all students should feel welcomed and accepted.  Lessons regarding the purpose and use of the Buddy Bench will be introduced to students and staff at each elementary grade level.  This grant, which will provide a Buddy Bench at each elementary school, is made possible through the Artie Shirk Memorial Fund.

Bullying Prevention Program Standardization (Elementary and Landis Run) Counselors / $6,594

This goal of this project is to standardize the bullying prevention lessons at all Manheim Township Elementary Schools and Landis Run Intermediate School so that when students come together in 5th grade they will continue the lessons learned at the elementary level.  Bullying Prevention Kits will be purchased for each school from the Committee for Children.

Headsprout- (Elementary) Sharon Schaefer and Kim Kichline / $2,549

Headsprout Early Reading is a supplemental early reading program that ensures reading success for every child.  It is a phonics-based reading program that reinforces and reteaches the concepts and skills outlined in the reading and language arts curriculum.  Headsprout is designed specifically to address the needs of non-readers, struggling readers, and beginning readers in the early grades.  The goal is for at-risk students to be reading on grade level by the end of Kindergarten.  This program has been expanded over the past 10 years and is now in place in the Kindergarten classrooms at all 6 elementary schools in the district.

IHT Spirit Adidas Zone Heart Rate Monitors (MTHS) David Ammon and Brad Landis / $4,495

The IHT Spirit Adidas Zone system will allow Physical Education students to exercise within heart rate zones appropriate for their individual fitness level and to be graded based on their personal effort and fitness improvement.  The system allows data comparisons at the class and course level as well as the state, regional, and national levels leading to course improvement.  The goal is that personalized goals and positive reinforcement will encourage students to stay fit throughout their life.

MTAC Llittle Dippers – Creating Interest in STEM through Star Watches (MTHS) David Farina / $6,449

The MT Astronomy Club (MTAC) would like to expand their reach by partnering with the teachers and administration to create “MTAC Little Dippers” at the elementary level and “MTAC Big Dippers” at the middle school.  One piece of this project is the addition of telescopes to the new STEAM labs at each elementary school.  The selected telescopes provide a small, portable platform that allows for durability and ease of use for elementary age students through adults while providing an excellent view of the moon, planets, galaxies and nebula.  The HS Astronomy and STEM Independent study students will gain valuable teaching experience as well as the ability to operate the telescope equipment.  The Planetarium staff will support the teachers in this program and hope to provide an avenue for students to express themselves as up and coming scientists, life-long learners, and members of the STEM Community.

MTMS STEM Club (MTMS) Brian Smoker / $1,270

The objective of the MTMS STEM Club is to provide students with a fun, interactive and educational opportunity to explore and enrich their interests in STEM related topics.  The club will provide our students with the opportunity to work with peers in a spirit of diplomatic collaboration and gracious competition in order to solve real world problems using the engineering design process and the scientific method.  While reinforcing the curriculum, the STEM club will allow students to engage in authentic problem solving through meaningful experimentation and competition and make future science and engineering careers greater possibility for all students involved.

PAES Program for Students in the Life Skills Program (MTHS) Cara Sawyer, Ashley Cooper, Joni Lefever / $3,450

The PAES program stands for “Practical Assessment Exploration System.”  The program converts a classroom into a work development lab where students earn simulated money to explore multiple work areas using real work lessons.  Students in the Work-Based Learning Program and Life Skills Support Program have a wide range of special needs requiring transition skill support.  These students benefit from hands-on learning and repeated practice.  The simulated work environment created by the PAES program will better prepare these students for success after high school by learning important career, vocational and life skills.

Reist Family American History and Agriculture Day (Schaeffer) Jennifer Smith / $400

The Reist Family will work with the fourth grade teachers to provide learning stations that offer an engaging way to teach Pennsylvania and American history. By visiting the learning stations, students are able to make connections between the present and the past. When this event was held previously, students shared that they enjoyed the time spent learning and are impacted by the authentic learning experience.

Schaeffer Garden (Schaeffer) Sarah Phillips and Christopher Zander / $3,600

The goal of this project is to restructure the ecosystem of the current Schaeffer pond into a stream. This stream could become a destination for Schaeffer students as well as other MTSD elementary school students to study the ecosystem and align to the science curricular standards. The stream structure would allow for hands-on engagement through a safe learning environment.

Summer Yearbook Camp (MTHS) Nicole Schiffhauer and Kimberly Wolfe / $2,400

This grant will give the current yearbook advisors and 4 students the opportunity to attend a summer yearbook camp to better their design, writing, editing, photography, photo editing, sales, and public relations skills.  These skills will allow the students to create a better student-produced yearbook providing a more in-depth coverage of the year’s events.  The skills the students and staff acquire will benefit them throughout their academic career.