Each year the Batavia Foundation hosts our main fundraiser, a golf outing, in June. Throughout the year we are lucky enough to receive donations from many people who value innovation in education. In these harsh economic times even the small donations are extremely generous. The times are tough which makes it even more rewarding that the Foundation can continue to fund exciting grants that will enhance the learning of students throughout Batavia.
We don’t do this alone. Sure, we work hard to raise the money, but the ideas come from the teachers and staff in our schools. Our educators strive to motivate students and enrich their lesson plans with innovative ideas. Below are the grants the Foundation funded this fall thanks to the generosity of all those who have made donations and to all the teachers who want to help our children learn and enjoy learning.
Skinny Books: Using Social Networking to Create a Special Collection for Reluctant Readers – Batavia High School
The definition of a “skinny book” is described of 125 pages or less. This proposal would use social network technology, such as blogs and Facebook to gather suggestions from teens about the best high interest in skinny books. These books would then be purchased, promoted, and made available to all students in general and to reluctant readers in particular. Students (9-12), teachers, and librarians from across the state who use social networking sites are able to submit suggestions for consideration and approximately 50 paperback books will available in this special collection.
Embedding Communication through Technology – Rotolo Middle School
The RMS Computer, Foreign Language, and Challenge departments would like to implement podcasting and Skype in their curricula. Skype is a program that allows users to make free phone calls and participate in video conferencing over the Internet. Three types of devices are necessary in order to bring this technology into the classroom. Devices include web cams, high quality “snowball” microphones and individual USB microphones. Skype activities and podcasting activities will provide opportunities for students to express themselves creatively, share their expertise, improve communication between their instructors, classmates and others around the world.
Improving Student Learning in PLC’s – Batavia High School
Funding would provide for the purchase of a new test scoring machine entitled the Advantage 1200 from Apperson. This machine would be able to score test blanks for multiple choice tests just like previous machines, however, this machine has the ability to connect to computers and produce detailed reports about how students performed (which answers were selected most often, which students met proficiency for the exam, and the class’ proficiency). This precise data would allow for corrective approaches to teaching and student’s learning to enable the math instructor to more accurately measure whether or not the corrections were effective or not. Approximately 2,250 math students (counting students who take two courses a year twice) will participate in the project. Training for all high school math teachers is minimal.
An Electronic Database for Our Youngest Researchers – Grace McWayne School
PebbleGo is an interactive electronic database created just for young researchers. This database includes hundreds of animals, presented with audio and video clips, carefully leveled text, and educational games. Even non-readers construct meaning easily because of the multimodal organization of PebbleGo. Because this database is web-based, students are able to access PebbleGo anywhere and any time they have Internet access at home or at school. There is no limit as to the number of students who can access the database at the same time. Approximately 350 students will benefit from a year’s subscription.
Creating Readers of the World through Authentic Reading Experiences – Rotolo Middle School
This activity would include weekly class sets subscription to Weekly Reader: Current Events for 50 Read 180 Students (struggling readers). The Current Events magazine is specifically for grades 6-10 and would be delivered each week. This activity would compass the students to take the magazine home once a week and have assignments that encourage decision making/critical thinking. The magazine will be read in and out of the classroom and students will be choosing one article per trimester to create a presentation on the computer, using Photo story 3 (similar to power point but allows students to be creative by downloading images from the Internet and adding music). Fifty middle school students will be participating in this proposed project.
School Bytes – Alice Gustafson School
The purpose of this project is to provide a digital reference library for Alice Gustafson students and their families. Teachers will produce digital videos and recordings that will be made available via the Internet to share information and promote learning at home. This grant requests funding for the purchase of webcams to enable video conferencing from the classrooms, a video camera and memory card to enable production of videos to post to the internet, and a computer microphone to enable digital voice recording. Posting video and sound to the Internet enables participation to this project by all students and their families.
Batavia Foundation for Educational Excellence
P.O. Box 1003
Batavia, IL 60510