2011 Fall Mini Grants

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.

The BFEE awarded funding for Fall grants totaling $7,194.44

The following grants were awarded:

1. Technology Supported Literacy: Using Audiobooks to Enhance Reading submitted by Kirsten Hett – J. B. Nelson School
The 4th grade classes at JB Nelson have implemented the Daily 5 program.  This program focuses on 5 main literacy components: Read to Self, Read to Someone, Listen to Reading, Work on Writing, and Word Work.  Teachers use the Daily 5 in their classrooms every day, and have three 15-minute rotations where students can choose one of the 5 components. Their 4th grade team will purchase 4 MP3 players for each classroom, and cases to protect the players, along with a subscription to audible.com. for the purchase of  audio books that would support many of the books they already have in their classroom libraries.

2. “Are You Choking Kid?” submitted by Laura Abraham and Debbie Clasen – Rotolo Middle School
Funding will provide for the purchase of two child choking manikins.  The Foundation previously funded a project entitled “Are You Choking?” in 2010, and RMS is one of the few middle schools in Illinois to provide a comprehensive first aid class to include American Red Cross certification.  Each year, approximately 300 students choose to enroll in first aid classes and, since teachers for this class are certified, no additional training is required.

3. Balance Boards for the Classroom submitted by Kristy Giesen, Dee Mallie, Jody Stoneberg and Jeffrey Thomas – Rotolo Middle School
Balance Boards are a tool that teachers can use to help students to concentrate, listen, learn and enjoy the process.  These boards are manipulated by the feet under desks and larger boards are in the room to be stood on while other boards allow students to sit in their seat while receiving sensory input. They can be used in a variety of ways throughout the school day to bring kids soothing self-regulating motion to help them focus and relax.  Funding will provide for the purchase of various sizes of the Boards.

4. Girls on the Run submitted by Stacy Nalley – H.C. Storm School
Funding will provide for the start-up costs for this experimental learning program for 3rd-5th grade girls.  This program combines training for a 5K running event with an interactive curriculum targeting girls’ physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being. This program provides an opportunity for female students to expand their school experience beyond the classroom. For every 2 trained coaches, 15 girls will be able to participate and for the spring 2012 season, the goal is to have 30 students.  Volunteer coaches, that can include staff and/or parent volunteers, will attend a 5-hour coaches training session held on Saturdays in Chicago and all coaches will need to be CPR certified. A one-time charge of $500 is the start-up fee assessed to new sites.

5. I Listen submitted by Taylor Ryndak and Diane Kispert – H.C. Storm School
The National Institute for Literacy recommends that teachers can help students become more fluent readers by providing them with models of fluent reading and, by listening to good models, students learn how a reader’s voice can help written text make sense, thereby becoming more successful readers. This proposal includes two MP3 players for two of the fourth grade teachers, two IPOD docking stations, 6 headphones and a 1-year subscription to audible.com that would allow teachers to download up to 24 audible books for the year.  This company provides audible versions of books and other recordings for download that includes 2445 titles for children and young adults.

6. AGS has the Write Stuff  submitted by Tamra Ashby, Jennifer Mackey, Marcie Mefford and Kristy Vanderloon – Alice Gustafson School   PARTIAL FUNDING FOR NON-CONSUMABLES
This project provides funding for the creation of the AGS Publishing Center.  Students would be motivated since they would work very hard on a piece that would come back to them typed, set, and professionally bound with a dedication page and information about the author.  This AGS Publishing Center would serve all students by allowing them the opportunity to have a published piece of writing by the end of the year.

7. Home and School Literacy Connection submitted by Jennifer Mackey and Elaine Dugan –  Alice Gustafson School
To promote reading outside of school, it’s important to partner parents and children in engaging reading practices.  Funding will promote parent involvement with their students literacy reading by sending “We Both Read” books home to read nightly.  Three sets of books will be shared among the teachers so they can carefully select appropriate leveled books for their students. All first graders and their parents will have access to these books.  One side of the book has a more complicated page for the parent to read, and the reverse side has an age -appropriate page for the student to read.

8. Tablet Technology for Speech/Language Therapy submitted by Mary Ellen Adkins – Alice Gustafson School
Students with identified speech/language impairments will benefit from this technology.  This Tablet Technology of the iPad2 and iPad 2 speech/language applications will be used with efficacy as this technology should not replace speech/language therapy but rather compliment, enhance, increase, encourage, access and assist speech/language  service delivery.  The purchase of the iPad 2 and iPad 2 speech/language applications will be used with up to 50 students, not limited to use with only students with speech/language needs, but also with students identified with special education disabilities as their primary label.  Purchases will also include a Smart Cover, and funds for iTunes purchases.

9. iPad2 for Speech Language Therapy submitted by Linda Presternon – Batavia High School
Funding will be given to purchase an Apple iPad2 for use by high school students who receive speech language therapy services at BHS.  The use of hand held technology with students who have speech, language, and communication impairments can be easily incorporated into the therapy setting and has endless uses.  This technology will focus the implementation of the iPad2 with speech/language therapy students to target receptive and expressive language both spoken and written, as well as social skills in students who have social cognitive deficits. Currently, there are 50 students who receive direct speech language therapy services (grades 9-12).  Purchases include an iPad 2 w/cover, and  funding for App purchases on iTunes. 
10. At-Risk Freshmen iPads – Screen Covers submitted by Brian Gamlin – Batavia High School
This grant request is an extension of the At-Risk Freshmen iPads grant awarded by the Foundation in the spring of 2011.  The iPads are currently being used by approximately 96 at-risk freshmen in both Core Algebra & Core Intermediate Algebra.  Monies will be used to purchase covers from Sam’s Club.  This purchase is intended to help protect, preserve, and increase the lifespan of the iPads and should reduce any loss of instructional potential as a result of having any equipment malfunction with the iPads.

11. At-Risk Freshmen iPads – HMH Fuse Algebra 1 App submitted by Brian Gamlin – Batavia High School
This grant request is an extension of the At-Risk Freshmen iPads grant that was awarded by the Foundation in the spring of 2011.  The iPads usefulness in the classroom is almost exclusively dependent on the quality of the Applications that have been purchased and loaded onto the iPads.  Of all the Apps that were found and tried, Houghton Mifflin Publishing Co. has available a collection of outstanding Apps paired with their Algebra 1 textbook to create an iPad based curriculum.  Funding will provide for the partial purchase of 24 licenses of this App. Since mini grant awards are $700 or less, the additional monies will be made through the math departments supply budget.

12. Virtual Author Visit: Reaching Reluctant Readers submitted by Daniel Russo, Haley Nickolaou, and Tom Demos – Batavia High School
This grant will bring a young adult author, Paul Volponi, to the Batavia High School for a classroom visit using Skype video conferencing.  Mr. Volponi writes award-winning books for young adults, appeals to a wide audience w/a range of books on significant topics, pioneered virtual author visits in schools and shares his passion for both writing and reading (he shares the fact that he was a reluctant reader in school).  BHS has not previously hosted a virtual author visit so this grant will provide an opportunity to pilot this format.  This project will target freshman and sophomore students (approximately 60 students).  Funding includes the author visit and classroom books for literature circles.
13. Grizzly Grippers – Fine Motor Grant Proposal submitted by Marcy Biage, Chad Clarey, Carol Kessler, Jill Maercker, Barbara Spence, and Debbie VonOehsen – McWayne School (For Non-Consumables)
The McWayne kindergarten and first grade teams will purchase fine motor resources that will be available to all kindergarten/first grade students.  These tools will enhance fine motor development that is critical to ensure future success as students.  By developing a fine motor program, these students will have an extra provision for cutting, coloring, writing, tracing, lacing, building, and playing games.  These resources will also be available to special needs students at McWayne School at all grade levels.  Funding provides tools to assist students in developing their fine motor control, and covers only non-consumable items.

Batavia Foundation for Educational Excellence:

PO Box 1003

Batavia, IL 60510


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