The Westerville Education Foundation has announced that four grants totaling $2,490.16 will be funded as follows:
- Danielle Brown, Kris Konik and Debbie Pellington, Heritage Middle School, $326.90 for We are All Wonderfully Unique. This grant will enable students in grades 6, 7 and 8, as well as incoming sixth graders, to participate in reading and studying the book Wonder, by R. J. Palacio. Wonder tells the story of a boy born with a facial deformity that prevented him from receiving a mainstream education – until middle school. It teaches life lessons centered on acceptance, perseverance, accepting differences and diversity, bullying, and standing up for what one believes is right. Pre-book and post book surveys will be conducted and students will be asked to complete a reflection diary.
- Kathy Gauen, Huber Ridge Elementary School, $175 for Hatching Eggs in the Kindergarten Classroom. Hatching chicks in kindergarten at Huber Ridge has been a tradition for many years, but the school needs to replace its broken incubator. This grant will allow for the purchase of a new unit so youngsters can read about and study how chicks develop inside eggs; write papers and color illustrations about their findings; chart how long it takes to hatch; witness the miracle of birth; and use pan scales to weigh the newborns. As hatch day approaches, they will create a list of what will be needed to care for the baby chicks. They will also engage in discussions about rural versus urban communities.
- Michelle Lowe and Jaclyn Gafford, Cherrington Elementary School, $991.50 for littleBits. littleBits are tiny circuit-boards with specific functions engineered to snap together with magnets. No soldering or wiring or programming – they just snap together for prototyping, learning and fun. Each bit has a specific function (light, sound, sensors, buttons, thresholds, pulse, motors, etc.) and modules snap to make larger circuits. This grant will allow for the purchase of four classroom sets which will be used by students to create circuits and combine them with craft materials to make projects. The classroom set is said to be the ideal resource for STEM and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) teaching and learning.
- Katie Wirthlin and Sheila Ebbrecht, McVay Elementary School, $996.76 for Emotional Regulation through Pottery. Students with emotional disabilities will have access to work on a pottery wheel in order to give them a positive, creative and physical outlet to release their emotions. They will create works of art and experience the relaxing quality of clay, while gaining knowledge of problem solving and planning methods as they map out their projects. Clay has a quality that can focus the child’s attention and help them feel calm and relaxed. They will learn to use their hands to assist with regulating emotions and feeling successful at school. The goal is for the children to focus their attention on a task, experience it, and stay on topic.
Grant recipients will be recognized at an awards ceremony held March 21 at the Westerville Public Library.