FRONT ROYAL – The Warren County Educational Endowment awarded 12 grants this week totaling $41,590 to various educator projects in the Warren County Public School System.
Grants were awarded for the following projects:
Ø A.S. Rhodes After-school STEM CLUB – Charity Lease/A. S. Rhodes Elementary School – $5,000 – The grant will be used to establish an after-school STEM club for all grades. The club will offer a place to enrich minds and open up student creativity through hands on, rigorous, and fun STEM projects.
Ø Digital Science Lab Tools – Robin Jensen/Skyline Middle School – $3,995 – The grant will allow the Science Department to purchase 8-10 digital microscopes that are compatible with Google Chromebooks along with a subscription to ExploreLearning.com (Gismos) to provide students access to virtual labs that they would otherwise not be able to create in the classroom.
Ø Greenhouse – Grace Bucklen/Skyline High School – $7,500 – The project provides funding to construct a greenhouse at Skyline High School. With the greenhouse, agriculture students will be able to fulfill many state
competencies while gaining hands-on horticulture industry experience. Students will grow mums and poinsettias in the fall, as well as spring annuals, perennials, and vegetables.
Ø Hatching Chickens: The Experience – Laurel Gilliom/Brighter Futures Learning Community – $440 – The grant will fund the purchase of a Brinsea Classroom Egg Incubator kit that includes an automatic incubator, lesson plans, an egg scope to watch the stages of development, and a heater for the chicks when they hatch. Students will learn about animal cells as it relates to the development of the embryo in the eggs.
Ø Learning with a Focus – Jessica Hamilton/E. Wilson Morrison Elementary School – $775 – The project will provide funding for flexible seating (20 wobble stools) for the kindergarten classroom.
Ø Mindfulness and Theraplay Resources – Kristin Frankel/Ressie Jeffries Elementary School – $1,400 – Studies have shown a relationship between academic performance and discipline referrals. Also, studies have shown many benefits to incorporating mindfulness in schools, including a decrease in discipline referrals and an increase in academic performance. The project will purchase yoga mats, chimes, game activity cards, fidgets, play-dough, and stress balls in order to create a warm and nurturing atmosphere for Sunshine Circle Club for students.
Ø SLP Toolkit – Julie Haines/WCPS Special Services – Speech & Language Services – $180 – Project will provide software for effective and efficient caseload management, assessment, and reports for students receiving Speech-Language Services.
Ø STEM Lab – Beth Cayer/Ressie Jeffries Elementary School – $5,000 – The grant will fund materials for a room dedicated to STEM instruction for the whole school to utilize to enhance and encourage instruction of science, technology, engineering, and math, providing students with hands-on, real-life problem solving opportunities. Students will be able to use technology to develop design briefs and ideas, streamlining the process and providing them a learning springboard for using technology in future years for more complex projects.
Ø Division-wide Activities Director – Alan Fox/Central Office – $2,500 – The retention of quality teachers in WCPS has a direct impact on the instruction that the students receive on a daily basis. Unfortunately WCPS, like many neighboring school systems, has experienced a high teacher turnover rate. This grant will fund an Activities Director position to address teacher retention. The Activities Director will be responsible
for coordinating activities and social events to build connection between our newer teachers and the community in which they work.
Ø Wobble While Working – Moriah Rush/E. Wilson Morrison Elementary School – $1,600 – Research shows that movement during instruction improves focus, increases the oxygen to the brain, enhances engagement, and helps dispel excess energy. Project will purchase up to 20 wobble stools for a 4th Grade class as one of two system-wide pilot projects.
Ø Do You See What I See? The Google Virtual Reality Expedition and Field Trip – Heather Lupton/E. Wilson Morrison and Leslie Fox Keyser Elementary Schools – $10,000 – The goal of the project is to stimulate learning opportunities for students by traveling to new places and exploring new ideas through the use of Google Expeditions Virtual Reality devices. Project will purchase a Google Expedition Kit that includes 30 student virtual reality devices/viewers, teacher device, chargers, cart, and associated equipment. Equipment will be shared at EWM and LFK Elementary Schools and be available for use by other schools in the WCPS.
Ø Film Production – Chris Whitney/Warren County High School – $3,200 – Project will fund the purchase of a professional video camera, green screen, sound equipment, and computer and editing software to aid in the production of film and video projects. Students will learn how to run a production set and shoot film, creating video and film projects for class, WCPS, and the community.
In a media release, WCEE President Doug Stanley stated, “The Warren County Educational Endowment maintains its commitment to our mission of helping the local school system support high level and creative programs for our children. The Board was extremely excited to see the collaboration shown by the teachers in developing the grant proposals. With these twelve grant awards we feel that we have been able to provide additional tools to our dedicated teachers to continue to push innovation for our students in their Trek-to-Excellence.”
According to School Superintendent Greg Drescher, “The Warren County Educational Endowment provides funding for learning activities in our schools that often involve cutting edge technology or unique instructional practices that teachers are interested in trying in their classrooms. This funding allows our school system to try out something new before making a large investment. This year the Endowment is funding projects related to STEM, Agriculture, Film Production, Virtual Reality, Alternative Seating and activities that support our teachers. There is no doubt the Endowment has had a profound and important impact on our school system. They are a perfect example of the community support our school system enjoys.”
To date the Endowment has awarded 135 grants totaling $454,428.67. Anyone interested in supporting the Endowment can contact the Endowment or make a donation at: Warren County Educational Endowment.