The MTEF Board of Directors voted to approve the Grant Committee’s recommendation to award 15 grants totaling just over $77,176 for the Spring 2019 cycle. 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 Go Venture Business Simulation Software at the high school, Phase 2 of the MT SkyLab Observatory, a Sensory Pathway at Landis Run and many more.
Choosing the Right Path (LRIS) Amy Houck and Beth Faehling / $1,500.00
This grant will provide 5th and 6th grade students at Landis Run with a sensory pathway in one of their main hallways. Along these colorful paths, students complete various tasks in order to regulate and calm their bodies. It is a time to unplug from technology and use their physical, cognitive, fine and gross motor skills to release sensory buildup so they can return to the classroom ready to learn. Sensory pathways are shown to be directly related to positive behavior and help to create positive school climate. Therefore, this also supports the district goal of adding Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports (PBIS) to create a climate where behavioral expectations are taught to promote student success.
Go Venture Business Simulation Software (MTHS) Jerri Guttman and Steve Brenner / $3,195.00
The simulations provided with this software will support the in class learning and enhance the curriculum concepts taught in the high school business department. The teachers will incorporate the Go Venture Food Truck, Small Business, and CEO simulation software into their courses to give students a fun way to apply the lessons they learned in the classroom. The simulations will allow students to visualize the results of various decisions. By applying what they learn, students will gain business knowledge that will help them in their future careers.
Google Expeditions: Additional 10 Headsets (MTMS) Steven Mellinger / $2,900.00
In the spring of 2018, MTEF awarded a grant to the Middle School librarians for the purchase of Google Expedition kits. The kits enhance every curricular area through Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. The tools allow students to experience over 200 separate expeditions from hiking Mount Everest to going inside the human body. With the addition of ten more Google Expedition headsets, entire classes will now be able to take virtual journeys together.
Inclusive Technology for MDS Classroom (MTHS) Teresa McCully / $2,990.91
The goal of this project is to provide assistive technology and equipment to students with various disabilities. This will enable these students to participate, learn, grow and demonstrate and understanding of the classroom concepts. By utilizing this technology, students in the MDS classroom will be able to better communicate and participate in lessons. It will promote independence while also allowing them to demonstrate mastery of standards and IEP goals.
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 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.
MT Skylab Observatory Phase 2 (MTHS) David Farina / $37,150.15
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. It will provide a “home” for observational astronomy where equipment can be permanently mounted reducing set up time, protecting equipment, and allowing more time for observation and discussion. In partnership with the planetarium program, the MT SkyLab Observatory will provide countless amazing experiences for our students and the community.
One School One Book (Bucher) Cristiana Means and Jessica Siedman / $2,380.00
When applying for this grant, the educators set a goal to reach every student at Bucher Elementary school with this literacy initiative. After a kick-off assembly, the entire student body will receive a copy of the same book which they will read at home and discuss during school. The program is designed to improve listening comprehension, increase vocabulary, lengthen attention spans, and create a positive attitude toward books and reading. It will also bridge the gap between home and school in a meaningful way. This program supports the school’s comprehensive plan.
Read Naturally Live for All (Neff) Rachel Welsh / $4,655.00
This grant is designed to address reading fluency for students who are in learning support, emotional support, autistic support, and life skills classrooms as well as those receiving assistance from a reading specialist in elementary schools across the district. Read Naturally is an interactive, web-based program that allows students to practice reading fluency, predictions, vocabulary, and retelling. The audio support allows students to hear the appropriate expressions while reading along. This online program enables more students to practice their reading fluency at one time.
Reading and Writing for a Lifetime (MTMS) Andrea Adams and Ashley Gill / $2,630.00
The 7th grade English Language Arts teachers strive to show students the connection between writing skills and the elements of the stories they read. This grant will allow them to host author Margaret Peterson Haddix for an assembly where she will discuss her writing process, inspiration, and the process of crafting, revising, editing, and publishing a novel. This will give them real-world insight into what goes into the stories they read.
School Climate Change through FOR Clubs (MTMS) Nicole Ellis and team / $10,971.00
Manheim Township is working to make create a positive school climate in all their buildings. Recently middle school students were introduced to Rachel’s Challenge. Rachel was the first student shot during the Columbine tragedy. She was an amazing young woman that embodied kindness, compassion, respect, helping others, and reaching out. This grant will provide the initial materials to start FOR (Friends of Rachel) clubs at the middle school for the next school year. The staff wants to ensure students feel wanted, welcomed, encourage, and accepted from the time they enter the school building. These student run clubs will then fundraise as they continue to grow and serve the community.
SOS Signs of Suicide Prevention Program (MTHS) Annie Cappelli / $945.00
The effect of mental health on education impacts more students each day. It affects classroom learning and social interactions, both of which are critical to student success. The SOS program has demonstrated an improvement in student knowledge and adaptive attitudes about suicide risk and depression, as well as a reduction in suicide attempts. The program provides students with ways to identify warning sign and symptoms of depression in themselves and their friends, teaches them how to support a friend, and provides tools for how to reach out for help. The SOS program uses a proven peer-to-peer model that encourages kids to ACT (Acknowledge, Care, and Tell a trusted adult) when concerned about a friend. This grant will allow school psychologists to implement the SOS program at the high school for the next 4 years.
Sphero Bolt Power Pack (MTHS) Karen Leisey / $2,499.99
Sphero Bolts are tennis ball sized robots that are programmed using a range of apps. A set of these robots will be added to the high school library for staff to check out for classroom use. Teachers do not need a computer science background to operate these robots and they can be used in a variety of ways. Spheros can use a variable to collect data, record time, follow a course, measure distance, calculate mean, median, and mode, and because they are waterproof, can spread paint or water to create a canvas. Having these available in the library will allow teachers to complete experiments that can enhance any area of the curriculum.
Sprouting Learners (Reidenbaugh/Brecht) Barbara Kurtz and Tess Wales / $1,500.00
Through this grant, district students and families will be able to participate in parent-child workshops which will help prepare students for school. The workshops will promote early literacy and math skills as well as social and emotional growth. Each workshop will encourage parent involvement and education. Students will receive a take-home bag with early learning materials to foster at-home literacy, math, and fine motor skills. Leaders will also discuss available community resources and help families connect with local community organizations.
James L and Jane L Wertz Memorial Scholarship HS) / $200.00
Sally Hawthorne Art Education Scholarship (HS) / $1,000.00