At the May 2018 board meeting, the Manheim Township Educational Foundation (MTEF) Board of Directors awarded the MILLIONTH dollar in the history of the organization!  Awarding our millionth dollar has been a goal of the Foundation for quite some time.  The quality of programming that we get to support within the district has been phenomenal.  Since 1993 the Educational Foundation has supported the extra efforts of School District educators in bringing innovative ideas and approaches to the classrooms.  For the past 25 years, the Foundation has raised funds to turn around and pass on to teachers for projects that enhance the academic, athletic, and artistic experiences of students.  This cycle, MTEF awarded funding for 17 grants totaling $54,883.  These grants are made possible through EITC donations, memorial funds, institutional grants, general donations, and contributions from MTEF Community Partners.  Grants are being awarded across the district and include Google Expedition kits at the middle school, a Mobile Agricultural Lab at Brecht elementary, a Voice for the Voiceless program in the music department, memorial scholarships and more.

Google Expeditions (MTMS) Steven Mellinger / $6,684.00

This grant will provide the Middle School librarians with Google Expedition kits.  These kits will enhance every curricular area through the use of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.  These tools will allow students to experience over 200 separate expeditions from hiking Mount Everest to going inside the human body enhancing many middle school courses.    

Hands on Science Investigation Stream Study (Bucher) Kristen Rychener / $1,443.75

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. 

Headsprout (Brecht) Krista Templin / $2,639.25 

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 so at-risk students can read 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. 

James L. and Jane Louise Wertz Memorial Award – (MTHS) / $200.00  

The James L. and Jane Louise Wertz Memorial Award is presented at the end of each school year to a deserving male and female student in 9th 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 each spring.

Lego Club – (Brecht) Holly Stockwell / $478.85

The Lego Club is a free after school program offered to students at Brecht Elementary.  The class meets once a week for 4-5 weeks and each week they present challenges that can involve STEM skills, teamwork, and communication.  This grant will provide the club with additional Legos so they do not need to limit the number of students that can participate in the club as it has proven to be a very popular choice for the students at Brecht. 

MaKey MaKey STEM Pack (MTMS) Dr. Benjamin Parker / $699.95

This grant will provide MaKey MaKey kits for the middle school students participating in the Excel class.  This system will enable the students to actually test their designs, make alterations, and problem solve in their inventions unit.  The hands-on activities made possible with the MaKey MaKey kits are engaging lessons that give students opportunities to collaborate, communicate, and witness their designs come to life showing them what is possible through applying what they learn in school. 

Maximizing the use of iPads in Physical Science (MTHS) John J. Balasavage / $11,400.00

The goal of this project is to maximize the potential of the iPads in the science curriculum and expose students to 21st century tools.  By adding scientific data collection tools, the students will be able to maximize their ability to interpret data and grow in their understanding of physical science.  Physical Science 1 is a preparatory course at the 9th grade level.  Physical Science 2 is offered to high school juniors.  These tools will better prepare students for advanced science courses and for the modern workforce.   

Mobile AG Ed Science Lab (Brecht) Melanie Fehnel / $2,500.00  

The goal of this project is to allow students at Brecht Elementary to see how STEM skills apply to the agricultural industry.  The Mobile Agricultural Lab will expose these mostly inner-city students to the importance of agriculture and to careers in the agricultural field, many of which are in high demand and available locally.   A certified instructor will provide training to teachers and will work with them to create a customized schedule for the week of the lab’s visit to Brecht Elementary. 

NAQT Middle School National Championship Tournament (MTMS) Kimberly Ketcham / $580.00

The MTMS quiz bowl team is currently in first place in the Lancaster/Lebanon League and qualified to compete in the national championship.  Competing at this national event will prepare them for quiz bowl at the high school level.  Through an EITC grant, MTEF is providing the Middle School Quiz Bowl team with the registration fees for the competition. 

Outdoor Learning Environment (Nitrauer) Melissa Ward / $2,627.95

The creation of an Outdoor Learning Environment at Nitrauer Elementary will complement their existing community garden and butterfly garden while supporting STEAM integrated learning initiatives at all grade levels.  The space will allow students to learn about their environment, nature, and how our actions impact the earth.  Outdoor learning has been shown to be less stressful for young students, more developmentally appropriate, and to improve engagement levels. 

Project Starship – MT Skylab Observatory Phase 1 (MTHS) David Farina / $3,000.00

Teachers at Manheim Township are working with engineers to determine costs related to the creation of a Skylab Observatory on campus.  This grant will provide them with the funds necessary to do the final research for the budget and planning process for the project.  The Skylab Observatory is a long-term project that would provide the opportunity to engage in STEAM learning activities for students in grades K-12, the staff and the community. 

Sally Hawthorne Art Education Scholarship (MTHS) / $1,000.00 

The Sally Hawthorne Art Education Scholarship is presented annually to a graduating senior of Manheim Township High School. The scholarship is drawn from funds in the Sally Hawthorne Art Education Fund maintained by the MTEF.  The intent of this program is for the scholarship to be both an incentive for talented students to achieve their best while in high school and a means to defray the initial cost of post-secondary education in pursuit of a career in art education. 

Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) Discovery Lab (Nitrauer) Jason Hoffman / $9,000.00 

This grant is to create a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) discovery lab at Nitrauer Elementary.  Using the underlying ideas of STEAM, the space will be designed to be adaptable, flexible, mobile, ergonomic, and include the latest technology to support collaboration and research.  This specially designed discovery-based classroom will be designed to integrate science across all curriculum areas using specially designed STEM activities, with the unique implementation of the Arts as appropriate.  The room will provide students a chance to collaborate, explore, problem-solve, and demonstrate leadership skills among their peers.   

STEM Bins (Nitrauer) Allyson Weitzel / $1,400.00

With the addition of STEM bins funded by an EITC approved grant, teachers will be able to provide in-class activities that will introduce kindergarten and first grade students to foundational engineering skills, play based exploration, problem solving, communication and creativity.  The STEM bins can be implemented across the curriculum and allow for the addition of writing components while also expanding math concepts and skills.   

Tiling the Future (MTMS) Amanda Marie Stine / $4,000

The goal of this project is to create a beautiful collaborative ceramic mosaic for the lobby of the new middle school.  Students, staff and school visitors will benefit as they are able to view the final collaborative artwork showcased in the entrance of the school for years to come.  After testing the processes and equipment for one year, teachers will hold Tiling the Future community art making events where community members can make individual clay tiles which will become part of a larger mosaic.   The project will enhance the curriculum and demonstrate how art can bring a community together to support a cause.   

Voice for the Voiceless (Reidenbaugh/Neff) Amanda McGinnis and Music Department / $4,499.25

At Manheim Township, music education is provided to all students and offers adapted music classes for students with Autism, multiple disabilities, and those in the Life Skills classrooms.  This grant will give provide the elementary music department with Skoogs, accessible, tactile devices that allow students with verbal or physical disabilities to participate in music classes.  Using an iPad or Mac, the teacher can pre-record herself singing the student’s name and when the non-verbal student presses the Skoog to sing their name the device will essentially provide a “voice for the voiceless.”  

Wellness Works: Mindfulness Training (MTHS) Bill Ziegler / $2,730.00

Mindfulness is part of the curriculum of the General Psychology course offered at the high school.  Students learn how stress affects the body and mind, what stressors are, and how to deal with stress in a positive way.  To give the students tools they can learn and share with others, MTEF is providing a grant to bring in Wynne Kinder of Wellness Works in Schools, a local evidence-based program, to present a series of in-class sessions to give students a direct experience with mindfulness as a tool for life.  They will also provide a one-day training option for teachers as part of an in-service day.