Batavia Foundation for Educational Excellence
Batavia Foundation for Educational Excellence

2011 Spring 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 spring 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.

Engaged Learning for Students with Special Needs – J.B. Nelson School
The purpose of this proposed project is to provide sensory input support, opportunities to incorporate technology within the classroom, and hands-on learning opportunities for students w/special needs. At this time, students who are out-placed through MidValley have access to sensory support through the Mid-Valley Cooperative and their specialized schools or classrooms. Funding would provide a sensory area for students who need to have their sensory needs met to improve their ability to attend to instruction, plus allow students access to technology and hands-on materials to provide multi-sensory learning opportunities. These items will be placed in the new self-contained K-2 classroom that is being brought back to our school district and likely be housed at JB Nelson School. The room will service about 10 students each year from Kindergarten, first, and second grades. Approximately 35 other students, some of whom are receiving intervention support and others who have special education labels, would have access to the new items. No additional staff training will be needed to implement this project.

iPads for At-Risk Freshman Academy Students – Batavia High School
This grant would provide an Apple iPad to at-risk freshman students for in-class use. Many other districts in the area have done similar projects with amazing success. With this hand-held technology, students can gain access to knowledge and take ownership over their own learning. Teachers can load applications such as books, research aides, collaboration tools, and mathematics tools. Applications are released everyday into the “App Store” for download. Many of the applications are free or available for a volume discount for educational institutions. Students will be able to gather and read more information at the click of a button and can be personalized to their reading level and interests. The iPads would primarily be used by a group of about 100 students in all of their classes.

Fabulous Fingers – Fine Motor Cart – J.B. Nelson School
Funding would provide kindergarten students with resources to enhance and support their fine motor development critical to this level to ensure future success in school. The development, creation, and usage of a fine motor cart would address each kindergarten standard and ensure that each student is successful in reaching each standard by the end of the kindergarten school year. Students would be able to participate in using all materials included in the fine motor cart, i.e., lacing cards, nuts and bolts, manual dexterity boards, pencil grippers, tracing stencils, play dough and tools, manipulatives and other supplies. All kindergarten students and children w/special needs, will benefit from additional fine moto support.

 

Tiny Techies – J.B. Nelson School
By purchasing 12 Apple iPads, kindergarteners would benefit from the idea of differentiated learning in the classroom by reinforcing their curriculum skills. Within a typical kindergarten classroom, there is a wide range of academic skills and teachers are given the job of teaching the core curriculum to all students. However, some students need additional practice above and beyond that of their peers to master these concepts. These iPads and available application would give teachers unlimited opportunities to engage students in appropriately leveled reinforcement activities. All J.B. Nelson kindergarten students will benefit from using the iPads.



Everyone Reads By the End of Kindergarten!
– Administration Center
Each year, approximately 450 kindergarteners enter Batavia Public Schools. Some of these students have previously attended preschool and have learned many of the academic and social skills needed to be successful kindergarteners. However, some have not attended preschool and their parents may not have been able to spend the time to read to their children or practice basic skills such as the letters of the alphabet and their sounds. In May, all prospective kindergarten students will be administered the district kindergarten screening instrument which is a 15-minute assessment to evaluate a child’s readiness to learn reading, writing, and mathematics. Based on the results of their performance, some students would be given the Letter Factory DVD. Later in the summer, the Talking Words Factory DVD would be mailed to these parents. Parents would be asked to return the DVD’s at the end of the summer so that future kindergarteners can use them. Approximately 75 students would benefit from this ongoing project.

Marine Science and AP Environmental Science – BioLab Fish Activities – Batavia High School
This BioLab Fish computer program would enhance the lab experience in the Marine Science course and the AP Environmental Science course. This program allows students to virtually dissect a Lamprey, Dogfish and Perch and also contains a comparing fish activity and three mini labs: Respiration rate, Capillary Flow and Dissolved Oxygen. This program would enhance the Marine Biology units by exploring in more depth the animal kingdom in the Marine Science course and would provide a more cost efficient way to provide more of a dissection experience in this course. The Biolab program would also be used to enhance the Ecosystem and Global water Resources. The Marine Science Course is composed of juniors and seniors with approximately 72 students while the AP Environmental Science course will have a maximum of 24 students, composed mostly of juniors and seniors.

EBook District Library– Louise White/H.C. Storm Schools
This online library is made available through Follett Library Resources and consists of both English and Spanish eBooks available for all students in the district. Students would check out eBooks from the online library at any time to download to read. This can be done from a school computer, home computer, or mobile device with internet access. Students would have to “return” an eBook by a predetermined date and once the eBooks are purchased, the district owns them and they become part of circulation just like printed books. This online library would consist of both fiction and nonfiction titles, as well as books in a wide range of reading levels, interest and genres. The EBook library would be available to all students and staff of Batavia Public Schools.

 

i Connect in EC – Alice Gustafson School
The purchase of 6 iPads w/cases or stands would support children, educators, and families to improve overall communication pre-academic, motor, and social skills. By integrating iPad applications into the educational environment, students receiving speech and language therapy and special education would have the opportunity to benefit from a multitude of opportunities to enhance their learning capabilities. There are approximately 100-110 students serviced in the early childhood program yearly. All children in EC would have opportunities to use the IPad as part of therapy and/or education activities.

Fine Tuning Fine Motor Skills for Achievement, Growth and Successy – Alice Gustafson School
This project is targeted for elementary students who need additional practice to develop fine motor skills. The purchase of fine motor kits would provide these students w/the items to develop hand strength, stamina and coordination to successfully complete academic tasks. The kits would include inexpensive items that encourage exploration and play, as well as directions for parents to support their child’s fine motor development and coordination. Approximately 20 students would benefit from additional fine motor practice.

Leaping Literacy – H.C. Storm School
This award would provide for the purchase of 30 Yamaha guitars with guitar straps, picks, guitar books, etc. The addition of these guitars into the 4th/5th grade curriculum focuses on increased literacy. The guitar is a vehicle that would provide this instruction in a fast and fun way that connects kids to the real world in a manner that the recorder would not do. This connection to the real world would help students to learn and grow as musicians and music literacy would help students in any endeavor they would like to pursue. At the end of a 12-week unit of study, all 4th/5th grade students would recognize and be able to name all of the notes on the treble and bass clef w/80%accuracy. Approximately 160 students would be impacted by this award and, after the 2011-2012 school year, this unit of study could be offered to include 3rd grade, also.


Update and improve the audio quality of the Physical Education classroom
– Hoover-Wood School
This award would provide for the purchase of a pair of large format, 2-way speakers. These speakers would be mounted on either side of the proscenium, and would replace the original low wattage amplifier w/a higher wattage amplifier w/microphone for the teacher as well as adding noise absorbing materials to the ceiling and rebalancing the HVAC system. The instructor in the gym would be heard anywhere in the gym despite the deficiencies of the facility and their current system. Another benefit of this system would allow students to hear emergency announcements that cannot currently be heard during gym class. Other special events held throughout the school year would enjoy this new sound system. All kindergarten through 5th grade students would benefit from this proposal.


Drawing Children Into Reading – Project 64 Kindergarten
– Hoover-Wood School
The WHEEL Kindergarten is an extension of the half-day kindergarten program for those students who come to kindergarten lacking reading readiness skills. Students attend a regular half-day kindergarten class in the morning and then in the afternoon attend an additional half-day of instruction that focuses on reading and writing. This project would provide materials for approximately 12 kindergarten students designed to teach fine motor skills to young children through drawing and coloring in a group setting.



First Grade Technology Garden: The Next Generation is Now
– Grace McWayne School
The purpose of this proposal would be to purchase IPad2 computers for use in two classrooms at McWayne School. Presently, students only have the use of their school computer lab once a week. This does not meet the needs of 25+ students in each of these classrooms. Research shows that students benefit from working together and the IPad 2’s would allow more flexibility in allowing students to work collaboratively at more times throughout the day. Research shows that learning through collaboration w/peers is a vital component to any curriculum model. The IPad2’s would also allow immediate access to current events as they happen in real time, further engaging students in every curricular area. Approximately 50 first grade students would benefit from this proposal and, over time, eventually 200+ students would be impacted w/this technology purchase.

Where to Find Us:

Batavia Foundation for Educational Excellence
 P.O. Box 1003
 Batavia, IL  60510


 

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