Bay Village groups announce annual grants for innovative classroom programs

Bay Village Education Foundation 2015 grant winners, left-to-right: front row, seated -- Bridgit McFarland, Helen Smith, Maria Stansbury, Mary Jo Mahall, Ellie Bricmont (BVEF); back row, standing -- Martha Fisher, Colin Lackey, Nancy McLaughlin, Megan Basel, Robert Dougherty, Darci Sanders (LENSC), Jim Kotora, Brian Reynolds, Char Shryock, Carrie Engelbrecht, Carol Brajdic, Danielle Jeglie, and Susan Bixler (OSU). Not pictured are Jodi Higgins, Diana Lee, Julia Papcke-Russell and Ron Rutt.

The Bay Village Education Foundation (BVEF) awarded nine grants totaling $15,135 for its 2015 classroom grants award program. In partnership with the BVEF, the Bay Village Kiwanis funded three additional grants totaling $2,125.

Grant applications were submitted this fall by Bay Village City School District teachers and other staff members to enrich classroom education. All four Bay Village City School District K-12 buildings received grants.

“I am especially pleased that our collaborations with the Bay Village City School District will result not only in these wonderful classroom enrichment projects, but in alternative funding for other projects as well, based on the district’s goals and budget,” said Ellie Bricmont, chair of the BVEF grants committee. “The grants process has truly become a catalyst for moving the innovative ideas of our educators forward.”

Normandy Elementary music teacher Dr. James Kotora received $300 for Normandy Green Screen Adventures. Dr. Kotora began a weekly video newscast last school year using students as news anchors. This grant will replace a makeshift green screen that was used to create a virtual news studio background and will add some studio lighting to the program.

Westerly Elementary music teacher Carrie Engelbrecht was awarded up to $2,500 to bring back the "Mr. Hal Walker, Artist in Residence" program that was funded by the Westerly PTA last year. Musician and songwriter Hal Walker spent time with Westerly music students over several weeks teaching elements of songwriting, lyrics and some basic instruments. He will also work with students who are interested in composing music.

Westerly Elementary fourth-grade teacher Mary Jo Mahall received $93 to purchase Alligator Clips, devices that will let young students easily connect and disconnect wires as they study electrical circuits with batteries, light bulbs and primitive power sources in a variety of ways.

Bay Middle School teachers Carol Brajdic, Colin Lackey, Nancy McLaughlin, and Julia Papcke-Russell were awarded up to $1,000 ($500 of which comes from the BVEF’s Maynard Bauer Leadership Fund) for Up with People. The grant takes advantage of Up With People’s national tour as it takes its weeklong program to nearby Chagrin Falls and brings the group into Bay Middle School for one day. The program supports the district’s core values of respect, kindness in actions and acceptance of others and will be done in honor of Anne Marie Young, a recently deceased special education teacher at Bay Middle School who took her Cultures class to see the touring group.

Bay High health and physical education teacher Robert Dougherty and staff members Jodi Higgins and Diana Lee were awarded $2,566.52 for Vitamix Health Benefits to Bay High School. Two Vitamix commercial-grade blenders will be purchased to allow students in Health class to make nutritious smoothies using recipes based upon USDA-recommended serving sizes for fruits and vegetables used as ingredients. Smoothies can also be sold during lunch periods to promote healthy eating choices.

Bay High family and consumer science teacher Bridgit McFarland received $1,264.49 for Village Project Cancer Quilts. The grant will purchase materials that will allow students to use their sewing skills to produce a lap quilt that will be donated to patients who are going through chemotherapy. The quilts will be given to the local Village Project, who will then distribute the quilts to families in need of some comfort.

Bay High technology education teacher Ron Rutt was awarded $1,950 to purchase a plotter (large scale printer) that will print large-scale technical drawings, architectural plans, and 3-D renderings. Others at the school will also have access to the printer for printing artwork, posters, etc.

Elementary school-level speech therapists Danielle Jeglie, Helen Smith, and Maria Stansbury were awarded $460 for The Power of Better Communication with iPads, which will allow students to use iPad apps to help them work on increasing their communication skills (i.e. articulation, fluency, voice, receptive/expressive language and social/pragmatic language), and to provide diagnostic assistance to the therapists.

District Director of Curriculum Char Shryock was awarded $5,000 for Climate Kiosks which will, through the district's partnership with the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center and Ohio Sea Grant, give students access to real-world data on the Great Lakes, lake and forest habitat, and seasonal weather data as well as hands-on opportunities to interact with the plants, animals and geology of our region. (This was the second-largest grant ever awarded by the BVEF after the special 50th anniversary grant of $35,000 for a District Video Production Studio. This provides 10 percent local funding that is required to apply for a $50,000 Ohio Environmental Education Grant that the partners will pursue.)

In addition to the nine BVEF grants, the Bay Village Kiwanis awarded three grants:

Westerly Elementary Guidance Counselor Megan Basel was awarded $1,100 for Project Buddy Part 2. As part of the school’s Students of Character Club service project, two “buddy benches” will be built for the students to design, paint and have installed on the playground. Students will then promote the use of the benches to use if they need a friend to play with, as sitting on the bench signals to others to reach out and incorporate the seated student into the playground fun. Basel began the program at Normandy Elementary last year with a grant from BVEF.

Westerly Elementary third-grade teacher Martha Fisher was awarded $300 for Back Pack Math: Linking Math from School to Home. The funds will purchase new math enrichment materials aligned with the new Ohio math standards which students can take home through the already established Back Pack Math and use for practice and family participation.

District Technology Coordinator Brian Reynolds and Curriculum Director Char Shryock were awarded $725 for Sphero SPRK: Student-Parent-Robotics-Kids. Sphero SPRK is a robotic ball that can be controlled through a variety of free mobile apps using an iPhone or iPad via Bluetooth. The grant allows purchase of five Sphero SPRK balls, one for each building, that will provide a hands-on application for students to use computational thinking skills through the use of code to identify a problems and create a solution.

Karen Derby

Director of Communications for the Bay Village City School District

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Volume 7, Issue 23, Posted 9:52 AM, 12.01.2015