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With the help of funds raised at the Beach Ball, the Schools Foundation provides classroom enrichment grants to district teachers to foster creative, innovative teaching. Projects funded in the 2013-2014 school year include:


Kindergarten Tag Readers (Sarka Grant). Kelly Allar, Hilton Elementary & Stephanie Roberts, Chippewa Elementary. LeapFrog Tag Reader devices allow students to read along with, listen to, and interact with many different books. Tag Readers allow for individualized instructions, hands-on exposure to technology and practice with early literacy skills.


Stomp Rocket Launch. Kathy Auble, Central School. Students will use scientific method to explore how various angles of a rocket launch can deliver different distances with application of a constant force.


Environmental Agents Ready to Help. Beverly Cornett, Middle School. Students will analyze and interpret data on natural hazards, develop or explore technologies to mitigate human impact on the environment, assess feasible solutions, and design and evaluate solutions that could reduce such human impact, including to design a method for monitoring and/or minimizing such an impact.


Orienteering Journey (Sarka Grant). Theresa Dean, Central School. Students will engage in an orienteering/geocaching adventure as teams, using critical thinking and problem solving to measure a course, orient themselves on a map, and then document their adventure in a class book.


Field Trips. Patrick Farrell, Middle School. To support Mr. Farrell in his tireless efforts in fundraising. This grant will assist with the costs of participation in field trips, such as the annual 8th grade Washington, D.C. trip, for families in financial need.


Everyone “CAN” Learn Math. Lisa Hallis, Central School. Using music, pictures, and games to provide visual and auditory cues that move students toward a better mastery of math through recall, relation, definition, and application of key math terms. Math games help students reason strategically, build conceptual skills, and apply math in meaningful and useful situations.


Dreaming BIG with LEGO Education. Morgan Kolis, Highland Elementary. While building with LEGOs, special needs students will practice following directions, communicating what they are learning, think creatively, use their imaginations, and get an elementary level introduction to robotics.


iPad Therapy. Effie Konstas, Hilton Elementary. iPads and apps will assist in language development in students with speech and language disabilities and data accumulated will establish baseline assessments and track consequent progress. The flexibility in the variety of available apps allow for individualized strategies for developing comprehension, articulation and pragmatic social development in this student population.


Robotics in Engineering CAD. Craig Kowatch, High School. Within our District’s technical training program, students build robots that compete against other student’s robots on a playing field. With this grant, sensor kits will be purchased moving students’ robots toward autonomous and teleoperated control.


Local Water Quality Testing & The Environmental Stewardship Project. Kelly Kroesen & Vanessa Russell, Middle School. Students will partner with The Sierra Club Water Sentinels, Brecksville Reservation Cleveland Metroparks, and The Watershed Stewardship Center at West Creek to explore the health of our local environment by testing water quality of our local streams and rivers, including by identifying creatures living there and testing for dissolved oxygen, salinity, nitrates, pH, and phosphates.


Evolve, Lead, Achieve: Effective Leadership Program. Kelly Lazar, Middle School & High School. Presentations by Justin Bachman, a student known in this region for his personal success overcoming the social challenges associated with his diagnosis for Tourette Syndrome, will increase education and awareness for tolerance and acceptance of others.


You Are Here. A mural. Christine Litkovitz, Central School. Visiting artist Mark Yasenchack will lead groups of students through the clay tile making process as they create a mural that will be installed at Central School while developing their ability to work and problem-solve as a group.


If You Build It They Will Come. Eva O’Mara, Highland Elementary. Using LEGOs as hands-on manipulatives, students will engage in higher-order thinking to address open-ended, non-judgmental challenges and then use reflective language to describe their work thereby developing a deeper understanding of the learning itself.


iRead-Aloud and iConnect. Tonya Pagel, Hilton Elementary. Using iPad technology, students will connect with classrooms across the country who have all read a common book and will ask and answer questions about story themes and characters and write and share opinion pieces.


LaMotte Air Pollution Test Kit. Dan Reynolds, High School. Using high-volume air samples and a LaMotte Air Pollution Test Kit, students will study air pollutants in surrounding air, both in the classroom and during previously planned field trips, and using microscopes they will analyze specimens for concentration of various particulates.  Data collected then will be analyzed using EPA technology and, if appropriate, be submitted to the EPA, along with requests for specific action to improve local air quality.


It’s a Breeze, Part 2. Alyson Robertson, High School. Provide a stipend to the owner of the therapy dog, Breezy, who assists special needs students at the High School who benefit specifically from Breezy’s physical presence in the learning and testing environment.


A Day at the Museum. Barbara Stupp, Hilton Elementary. Provide 3rd graders with an Active Learning Tour of the Cleveland Museum of Art’s “Gallery One” using the Museum’s iPads equipped with the ArtLens app that enhances and extends student experience with art.


Getting Science to Click (Lego Robotics). Kimberly Taylor, Middle School. Using LEGO and Snap Circuits kits to provide hands-on exposure for students with significant cognitive delays to models featuring working motors and sensors and developing these students’ skills in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and language and exposing them to the concepts of cause and effect, teamwork and problem-solving with an exciting and creative tool.

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