The Manheim Township Educational Foundation Board of Directors has voted to approve the Grant Committee’s recommendation to award 12 grants totaling more than $123,000 for the Spring 2021 cycle. Despite challenges of the pandemic, MTEF was able to award a record amount of grant funding this fiscal year — over $240,000 to support educational programs for MT students. These grants are made possible though EITC donations, memorial funds, institutional grants, general donations and contributions from MTEF Community Partners. Grants awarded include Mystery Science at all six elementary schools, Ebooks for research projects at the Middle School, and several more programs across the district.

Reidenbaugh Outdoor Classrooms (Reidenbaugh) Lizzette Anders / $15,000
This grant will create two outdoor classrooms in the area behind or next to Reidenbaugh Elementary School. The classrooms will be for 25 students each. Each classroom would allow space for social distancing and group learning, as well as, a play space that limits touchpoints. One area would be a circle/amphitheater design in a naturally shaded area. This area would include seating made from stumps and logs. The second outdoor classroom would be grid configuration in a naturally tiered area Studies show that students who experience an outdoor learning environment tend to be more attentive and recall what they learned.  In addition, exposure to nature and the outdoors decreases stress and anxiety and inspires children to be more physically active.  A team of teachers will participate in a training session on how to facilitate learning outdoors and fourth graders will make sit-upons for students to share. 

Design + Build Lab (MTHS) Aaron Krause and Rich Nolt / $65,000
Through EITC funding from APR Supply Company and a grant received from the High Foundation, MTEF is able to provide direct support of STEM initiatives for Manheim Township students by funding phase 2 of the Design + Build Lab. This phase will lay the groundwork for physically transforming the current Wood Tech and Metal Tech room spaces into a Design + Build Lab environment that is functional, relevant, and attractive with the intent of preparing as many students as possible for technical and creative design careers of the future.  This space will include new technology, task furniture, project storage, and equipment for three unique lab zone work areas.  The Design + Build Lab will offer opportunities for those who are college-bound, those pursuing a two-year degree, and those who may seek employment immediately after graduation 

Ebooks for Research Projects (Middle School) Steven Mellinger / $1,000
This grant will provide funds to purchase ebooks that align to the research projects that we currently do at the middle school. E-books can be accessed anytime, anywhere. Many of the titles have unlimited access privileges, so they can be used by many students at the same time. This way, many of these materials may be used by in person, or remote students, simultaneously to conduct research. Ebooks are also easy to maintain. Other students throughout the district would be able to use these resources as well.  

Headsprout (All Elementary) Krista Templin / $2,850
Headsprout Early Reading is a supplemental early reading program that ensures reading success for every Kindergarten child in all 6 elementary schools.  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.   

One District, One Book (Bucher) Nicole Reiker, Kelli Eachus, Andy Martin, Sharon Schaefer, Jessica O’Gorman / $19,953
One District, One Book is a school-wide reading event where all K-6th grade students and their families spend 15 minutes each evening reading the same book together. During the month it takes to read the selection, schools implement a variety of activities each day to heighten and promote interest in and discussion of the book, from daily trivia questions to exciting assemblies to school-wide art and music projects. The program is designed to improve listening comprehension, increase vocabulary, lengthen attention spans, and create a positive attitude toward books and reading.   

Quizbowl (MTHS) 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 is very successful and has a great amount of support among the high school students, staff, and alumni. 

Sprouting Learners (All Elementary) Tess Wales and Josh Stehman / $3,000
Through this grant, district students and families will be able to participate in parent-child workshops which will help prepare students for school.  During each workshop we will have 6 stations focused on pre-literacy, early math, fine and gross motor skills, STEM, and health and safety. Additionally, we will embed community resources into the workshops so that families can connect with other community partners such as the Manheim Township Public Library, Hands on House, Community Action Partnership, Manheim Township Fire and Police Departments and community health professionals. Our goal is that early school readiness opportunities are available to all families in our community. 

All First Graders Can Read (Schaeffer) Emily Winters, Angeline Bertuola, and Amanda Bass / $3,600
With this grant, we will purchase a set of leveled books for 1st grade students to “borrow” and take home 1-2 each night to read.  All students will benefit from having high interest, readily available books that match their reading level.  Our mission is to ensure that all students become the best readers they can be by the end of the year, and these books help achieve that goal.  Additionally, daily practice at home engages parents in their child’s learning and ensures every student adopts the independent reading routines of academically successful learners.   

Mystery Science (All K-4 Elementary) Rebecca Hyde and Megan Smith / $7,494
This grant will support a subscription for Mystery Science that provides all K-4 classroom teachers access to the Mystery Science Units. Mystery Science is a digital subscription program that has focused lessons that are effective in traditional classrooms, socially distanced classrooms, and online-distance learning. Mystery Science lessons use digital, paper, common household, and/or common school items to make hands-on learning accessible in a variety of learning environments. The materials needed for our current science lessons are not accessible to students at home, nor do classrooms have the quantity in order to conduct science activities in a socially distanced manner which makes Mystery Science a viable option for all students in all learning situations. The grant will support a subscription for Mystery Science that provides all K-4 classroom teachers access to the Mystery Science Units.  

Ceramics Club (Brecht and Schaeffer) Elisa Hannay / $1,545
Due to the number of students at each elementary school, each student is only given the opportunity to do one clay project a year. Because of this, it can be challenging for a student to master basic clay skills. Through this opportunity, we will create a Ceramics Club for 3rd and 4th graders where students will have the chance to learn more advanced ceramic skills such as: pottery wheel, wedging clay, rolling slabs and creating hand-built clay pieces. They will also learn proper safety of working with clay, how clay is made, and how the kiln works. In turn, these same students will have the chance to help younger students in a future art club for 1st and 2nd grade students.  

James L and Jane L Wertz Memorial Scholarship (HS) / $200 

Sally Hawthorne Art Education Scholarship (HS) / $1,000