2017-2018 Grant Summaries
1 - Capabilities-Dawn Moore, Jessica Filangeri, Diane Umsetter (Middle School)
Sixth grade students will learn about specific disabilities, such as Autism, Tourette Syndrome, Learning Disabilities, Down Syndrome, etc.) and understanding the challenges, characteristics and abilities associated with each. Our objectives center on diversity, awareness, acceptance of peers, and overcoming challenges in one’s life. The opening assembly that kicks off the program and highlights people’s strengths and abilities highlights Jessica Cox, an international motivational speaker who was born without arms and has overcome a multitude of challenges including being the first person without arms to pilot a plane. Her message is “Disability does not mean Inability.” During Capabilities Week, students will attend stations in the Middle School library where they engage in activities and will participate in a class project to internalize the message.
2. Star Lab-Barbara Hackett and Jennifer Grimaldi (Berea)
This year, students and teachers are faced with more rigorous science standards. One topic that students will be learning about is the Earth’s place in the universe. They will make observations of the sun, moon, and stars to describe patterns that can be predicted. This grant will enable a Star Lab Ambassador from the Children’s Museum in Poughkeepsie to visit the school for an onsite field trip. Students will be able to see the stars, constellations, phases of the moon, and observe seasonal changes that occur.
3. Worm Composting-Barbara Hackett (Berea)
Students and teachers are faced with new and more rigorous science standards. Students will learn about a unit called “From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes.” This grant will allow students to get down and dirty with science as they conduct worm composting. Students will read about composting, learn about the materials that can be composted and make observations about composting and its importance to the environment.
4. Digital Portfolios-Tracy Addington (Montgomery)
This grant enables students to create student led digital portfolios across all content areas. The portfolios encourage 21st century skill building, collaboration and parent involvement. Students will use tablets to document their work and create a dialogue among diverse groupings of students. Students will explain their work and support their learning with evidence. This work will be privately shared with parents on students’ personal Class Dojo accounts.
5. Kindergarten Math-Ann Marie Herman (Berea)
Students will be introduced to centers and games through small group instruction during Math Center Time. Students will have access to games during many periods throughout the day such as Morning Math Job Time, Math Center Time, Work Board Time, Recess and Indoor Playtime. Students will increase and enhance number sense through Hands-On Cooperative Math Centers and Math Games. These activities provide students with opportunities to “Talk Math” by using math vocabulary and by expressing their mathematical thinking and problem solving. While supporting academic goals, students gain skills in cooperation, strategic planning, sharing, and turn taking.
6. Helping Our Homeless-Barbara Gravel (District)
These monies will accomplish many things...backpacks will be placed on the backs of needy students and warm coats and hats on others. The monies will allow a student to participate in physical education by providing sneakers that fit. Necessary hygiene supplies such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, etc. will help raise the self-esteem of children who need it most. The monies will pay for an AP class final so that student can receive college credit. It will cover admission to a dance for an unaccompanied youth and a new white shirt and tie for an 8th grader to stand tall at his June award’s ceremony. The benefits are priceless.
7. First Grade Literacy Tubs - Purposeful Play to Start the Day! Amy Wendel, Kristie Buchalski, Stacey DeSantis, Ayne Darley (Walden)
This grant supports first grade readers, writers and word solvers. The goal is to start each day with literacy exploration that is student-centered, collaborative, self-regulated, engaging and focused. By doing so, the grant will provide the materials to allow for first grade students to increase reading, writing and word study skills. Each morning, students will spend approximately the first 15 minutes of the day having students work in small collaborative groups investigating and exploring literacy materials in bins.
8. Play Day with Greg Tang Jr. -Kathy Bordone and Nancy Phelps (Walden)
Walden Elementary School will have the opportunity to participate in a fun family math day with Greg Tang Jr. The games and activities foster mathematically appropriate practices while stimulating a love for math! Greg Tang Jr. created these games target the critical number sense and fluency skills that all of our students need to be successful mathematicians. The students (and teachers) will develop an improved attitude toward math practice and better habits will be formed, which will be formed, which will have lifelong impacts on math and school success.
9. Positive Behavior Interventions- Greg Heidemann and Catherine Tavormina (Walden)
This program assists the Walden Elementary School staff and students by improving the overall school climate while helping to maintain a focus on learning. This program assists in identifying students who need additional support in school and provide interventions that will help them. “Viking Bucks” will be used to reward positive behavior which will be exchanged for school related items.
10. Farm to Friendship- Trisha LaFronz, Nakresha Joseph, Michael Stoduto (ALC)
Farm to Friendship brings students together in nature to complete and accomplish a mutual goal and in doing so, provide students the opportunities for peer bonding, establishing new friendships, improving self-esteem and confidence, helping each other and fostering a sense of community. Farm to Friendship provides students regular contact with nature providing numerous benefits for both physical, emotional, and social well being. Students work together to build three raised wooden garden beds and small wooden/mesh living structure (coop) to house 4 chickens, They learn to prepare the garden bed, plant vegetables, care for the garden, pick produce and prepare healthy meals. In addition, they learn about the human-animal bond while caring for the young growing hens and collecting the eggs for use in healthy meals.
11. Two By Two Zoo-Andrea deCastro and Mary Rodriguez (Walden)
Two By Two Zoo is an educational traveling zoo with a message. Students will learn about endangered species, destruction of their habitat and conservation efforts being made. Students will develop respect for animals, why endangered animals do not make good pets and how endangered animals are kept safe and in good health.
12. Flexible Seating-Julie Ardito (Montgomery)
Research shows that 4,5, and 6 year olds need to move and be active in order to learn best. Students will be provided with the seating option that best fits their learning style. When children have control over their learning, they tend to be more engaged in their learning.
13. First Grade Fluency-Kristine Buchalski, Leayn Darley, Stacia DeSantis (Walden)
The purpose of this project is to provide differentiated hands-on activities to strengthen fact fluency to 10.
14. Math Games-Kerry Devine (Walden)
Math Night will be enhanced by the addition of Greg Tang’s Family Math Night Kit. Math games give students opportunities to explore number concepts and practice computation strategies. Engaging mathematical games also encourages students to explore number combinations, place value, patterns and other important mathematical concepts.
15. Sensory Room-Kelly DiBernardo and Tracy Koutros (Montgomery)
A therapeutic space will be created with a variety of equipment that provides all students with personalized sensory input which helps them to calm and focus themselves so they can be better prepared for learning and interacting with others.
16. “Only One You” River Rock Project-Terri VanPelt and Maria Taylor (Montgomery)
Students will combine creativity and literature to create a beautiful piece of art that will encourage students for years to come to be true to themselves. Students will paint river rocks as inspired by the book Only One You.
17. Recipe Book and Class Snacks-Tracey Koutros and Kelly DiBernardo (Montgomery)
Through this hands on activity, students will follow directions and work together to create their own snacks and classroom recipe book.
Valley Central Education Foundation