At its November 2022 meeting, the Manheim Township Educational Foundation Board of Directors  voted to approve the Grant Committee’s recommendation to award 9 grants totaling more than $61,000 for the Fall 2022 cycle. These grants are made possible though EITC donations, memorial funds, institutional grants, general donations and contributions from MTEF Community Partners.

Brecht Outdoor Learning Pavilion (Brecht) Gale Burkhart and Nicole Irish / $20,000

Outdoor learning has been shown to increase student engagement and promote positive student behavior. This grant supports the construction of an outdoor learning pavilion at Brecht Elementary School. This ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible space will provide room for an entire class to learn while being protected from the weather. The pavilion will be equipped with picnic tables and detached benches, which facilitate writing or material use, when necessary, while allowing the opportunity for flexible arrangements to facilitate the learning goal. The pavilion will support the quarterly lessons of the school/s garden educator.

Hands-on Science Investigations (Bucher) Kristen Rychener / $1,223

This grant provides students in grades 3 and 4 at Bucher Elementary several hands-on environmental science lessons, from water conversation to animal biodiversity, presented by a County Conservation Officer.   These lessons help students build a positive relationship between nature and community, including the stream on school property, while addressing PA State Standards in Environment and Ecology. These EITC approved programs have had a proven, positive academic impact on the students involved.

Lead Where You Are (MTSD) Jacqueline Druck, Brandi Swavely, Megan Smith / $9,500

Building on the success of author Thomas C. Murray’s keynote speech at MTSD’s 2022 convocation, this grant will allow the district to host educator and author Joseph M. Sanfelippo as a speaker at kick-off day in August 2023. Sanfelippo encourages educators to focus efforts on growth opportunities and to foster an environment where everyone has a chance to lead. Several possibilities exist to extend the event over the course of the school year, including self-reflection, Professional Learning Community activities, incorporating themes and strategies in administrator meetings with teachers and at mid-year check-ins.  This project supports district’s comprehensive plan goal to facilitate school-wide powerful learning, personal growth, and leadership opportunities, and aims to empower staff by addressing the positive impact they have on the school community.

Summer Reading Kick Off (Brecht) / $700

Brecht Elementary holds a “Summer Reading Kick-Off” and provides each student with an age-appropriate book to read over the summer. Students choose their book and make a craft designed to remind them to ready over the summer. This grant is made possible through the Louise Engle Memorial Fund established through MTEF.

The Martian Colonization Project (Middle School) Ryan Clarke, Olivia Grenter / $6,100

The Martian Colonization Project is an interdisciplinary, problem-based STEM learning experience, based on the novel “The Martian” by Andy Weir. Over the course of several months, 7th grade students will collaborate to solve real-world problems in non-traditional formats accessible for all learners.  Students will experience integrated learning: content from all their courses woven together to illustrate relationships, connections, and applications of 7th grade topics.  As a team-based, long-term immersive experience, this project is an opportunity for teaching teams to fully utilize the middle school’s schedule and teaming model, and to enhance a sense of student belonging for 7th graders in a new building.  This grant is funded by the Arthur F. Shirk Memorial Fund.

Quizbowl Nationals 2023 (High School) Missy Doll-Osterhout / $2,500

MTEF is helping to offset some of the costs for the MTHS Quiz Bowl team to compete at the national level through funds provided by an outside grant. Quiz Bowl enhances all areas of academics and encourages students to learn. MTHS Quiz Bowl has established a legacy of success at Manheim Township and has a great amount of support among the high school students, staff, and alumni.

Bone Clone Hominid Skulls (Middle School) Alexander Swavely / $1,887

This grant provides a set of high-end replicas of skulls of ancient hominids for use in 7th grade science classes. The skulls will facilitate a hands-on investigation at the culmination of the life-science unit to make comparisons and draw conclusions about how humans have changed over millions of years. Hands-on learning experiences are proven to be more engaging and powerful learning experiences, though the rarity of fossils and price of materials means tactile options for at the secondary level students are often limited. As relevant hands-on materials, this project addresses multiple state science standards and will enable students to make inferences using tangible models in a real, physical experience.

Fitness Equipment for Kinesthetic Intervention (Landis Run) Wesley Smith Kristoffer Williams / $6,927.49

This project seeks to help students who struggle to stay focused in the classroom by providing them with a productive way to channel their excess energy. Working with 5th and 6th grade classroom teachers, Landis Run physical education will identify students who would benefit from additional cardio exercise throughout the school week. Students would utilize fitness equipment such as treadmills and stepper machines under supervision. Studies show that students who are physically active throughout the school day are more likely to perform better academically in the classroom. Physical activity improves concentration, reduces disruptive behavior, and improves engagement and motivation in the learning process. This program helps teachers to differentiate instruction and meet the needs of individual learners and offers students an opportunity to learn practices that can aid them in becoming lifelong learners.

Core STEAM Programming through Snapology (Bucher) JoEllen Castronova / $12,600

This grant supports a weekly after-school and summer program of STEAM enrichment for English Language Learners and at-risk students at Bucher Elementary.  Utilizing the resources of Snapology, a community provider of STEAM education, this project will teach students about science, technology, engineering, art and math through the building and manipulation of a variety of hands-on and technology. Through robotics and engineering builds and challenges, students will cultivate problem-solving skills and build confidence.  This grant creates an after-school and academic enrichment opportunity often inaccessible to many at-risk and ELL students.