The Westerville Education Foundation (WEF), an independent, volunteer, non-profit organization, founded in 1993 for the purpose of enhancing the education of Westerville students, has announced that 10 new grants will be funded. WEF grants are the longest-established component of the group’s GAP (Grants, Adoption, Programs) funding initiatives. Recipients are:
- Elizabeth Meta, Fouse Elementary School, $1,516 for “Imagination Stations.” Activity stations will be set up in the library to allow 21st century learners the opportunity to create, problem solve and cooperatively work with each other. Activities will be engaging and changing and students will get to decide what they want to attempt based on their interests.
- Ann Genuisz, Hawthorne Elementary School, $488.81 for “School Store.” Knowing that students learn best when they are prepared, Hawthorne plans to have fifth graders operate a school store, to be open each week, creating a leadership opportunity and giving pupils the chance to purchase supplies.
- Sheila Ebbrecht, Huber Ridge Elementary School, $996.76 for “Collaboration, Calmness, and Community through a Pottery Wheel.” Through the use of working on an electric pottery wheel and with clay, students with emotional disabilities will have access to use this device to promote a positive, creative and physical outlet of their emotions.
- Christopher Henricksen, Mark Twain Elementary School, $5,984.23 for “Stand Up for Learning.” Thirty standing desks and stools will be purchased for one fifth grade science classroom to help incorporate healthier habits into young people’s daily routines, and to evaluate the efficacy and effects of standing-bias desks versus the typical desk-and-chair configuration.
- Jennifer Eckstein, Jeff McMillan and Lisa Patko, Blendon Middle School, $1,200 for “Using Geospatial Technologies Across the Curriculum – Educaching.” Using GPS receivers, students will be exposed to real-world mathematics and geospatial science. They will learn about geography skills, map reading skills, and navigational techniques, all while problem solving and working in teams.
- Amy Levine, Blendon Middle School, $1,000 for “Jazz Education for All.” The Jazz Arts Group will provide teaching artists to work with the middle school jazz band on fundamentals of improvisation and standard jazz repertoire. The program utilizes the Sher Music Real Easy Book in conjunction with existing practices of the ensemble to increase proficiency and develop teamwork and collaboration.
- Anne Bates, Heritage Middle School, $4,550 for “Heritage Means Success PRIDE Initiatives.” As part of the Positive Behavior Intervention System, students and staff at Heritage are working to create an environment that is safe, supportive, and conducive to teaching and learning for all students and staff members. Funds will cover fees for speakers, entertainers, awards, books, t-shirts, a button maker and printing costs.
- Jen Kiko, Westerville Central High School, $420 for “The Memory Project.” The Memory Project is a unique service project organization that pairs high school artists with children from orphanages around the world. Before completing a realistic painting of each child on canvas paper, students will study portraiture. Upon completion, the organization delivers the actual piece of art to the child.
- Erin Zacharias, Kyle Campbell, Cait Maloy and Matt Whistle, Westerville North High School, $600 for “The Indoor Monarch Sanctuary.” An indoor monarch butterfly sanctuary will be established that will raise more than 150 adult monarch butterflies annually. In addition, two outdoor butterfly gardens will be constructed.
- Jill Smith and Noelle Spriestersbach, $716 for “Wildcats Read.” This project proposes collecting new and gently used books from students and staff and distributing them and/or making them available for students to select and keep. The focus is to increase book ownership and choice for students who are identified or self-identify as “in need,” low-income, or low socioeconomic status. Donated books will also be available to any student who is interested.
WEF will be holding its inaugural Adopt-a-Classroom Drive from November 2 through November 20, 2015. During this time, families, friends and community members can show their support and appreciation to their favorite teachers by adopting their classroom or program with a donation from $10 to $100.
Funds generated during the drive will go directly into the adopted classroom and be used to buy special materials, supplies and consumables that staff otherwise may purchase using their personal funds. Schools and educators also have an opportunity to win fun rewards during the drive, such as donuts and coffee, a staff pizza party from Papa John’s, and matching funds from WEF up to $250.
Anyone interested in adopting a classroom between November 2 and November 20, 2015, may visit www.westervilleeducationfoundation.com and click the “Adopt-a-Classroom” link to begin the process. Questions about the drive may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.