MEF Round 13 Awarded Grants – December, 2008

Round 13 Grants – December, 2008

1. Readers and Leaders.
Using a motivation speaker ($1700), gift cards from Barnes and Noble for rewards ($200), and a book corner with books, shelves, etc ($800), the project will be an extension of the Required Reading Program. Students may select I hour during the school week to sit in the readers corner. Students will gain recognition and motivation of their own literacy and will practice reading more to make them better readers.
Pierce, 7th and 8th, 1180 students, $2700, Lisa Hanlon

2. Words and Music.
Students will create musical soundscapes for poems and short stories. The purpose of this project is to provide tools for students to be creative, to provide elemental music composition opportunities, and to promote literacy. Students will be provided with various “color” percussion instruments and movement props with which to experiment and create. Initial experiences will be done as a class to familiarize students with the process, and later experiences will progress to small groups work. By creating soundscapes and movement pieces, students will demonstrate comprehension of the poem or story they are presenting and an understanding of grade appropriate musical concepts.
Wood, K through 4,300 students, $921.43, Barbara Timmerman.

3. Expanding on 4 Ps for Merrillville -Phantastic Percussion for Percussive Pirates #2.
This project engages all music students and helps them enjoy their daily General Music classes. More students will be able to benefit from the highly desired bongos by providing 3 bongo stands for the existing bongos and 2 bongos with stands, and the stands will allow for maximum benefit since that way a bongo can be used for two students at a time. The adding on to the drumming project from last year will make 5th Grade General Music more exciting and enjoyable and will contribute with encouraging more students to continue with music and support the band/orchestra or choir programs. We are already using the percussion instruments on a daily basis in order to accompany songs, improvise rhythms with which to move, practice echo, and respond and create different rhythmical arrangements representing natural events, moods, accompanying stories and much more.
Merrillville Intermediate School, Grade 5, 550 students, $291.58, Sandra Maytan

4. Freshmen Mentoring Program (Pilot).
This program has been specifically designed to address transitional issues for freshman entering high school. The program also targets developmental and social issues that are very much a part of the adolescent experience and does this by providing a supportive group environment facilitated by upper class students. The program will highlight seven themes such as Respect, Goal Setting, and Problem solving etc with specific goals and activities in mind. Currently the plan is to implement the pilot program in January, 2009, which seriously impacts the ability to access traditional grants due to timeline limitations.
MHS, 9th grade, 150 students, $1500, Danny Lackey

5. Phonics Phones.
This grant will provide students with a useful tool that can be used to enhance not only reading instruction, but other academic instructional areas. This instruction tool will be another way we can meet the needs of all students and help us improve reading instruction in order to close the achievement gap. This grant would provide all students with their own individual phonics phones so they can hear their reading aloud, enabling them to self-correct and to develop fluency in their reading Phonics Phones can also be used for learning math facts, speech activities, spelling practice, proofreading papers, ESL, special education, practicing for a play and much more.
Salk, K-4, 600 students, S1200, Kara Bonin.

6. String Instrument Acquisition Project.
The purpose of this project is to provide loaner instruments for promising string students with limited resources. The orchestra program in the school system has expanded rapidly over the past four years to include more than 275 students. including a high percentage of economically at-risk students. Orchestra students are expected to provide their own instrument for use in the program. This would allow students to participate who would otherwise be prevented to do so.
MIS, Pierce, MHS, Grades 6-12, 8 students, S1520.95, Diane Kowalski

7. Freshmen Academy Math Tools.
This proposal seeks to obtain funding for math materials and products, helping students to become more interested and proficient in math. It’s become abundantly clear the basic rules of supply and demand need to be applied to our education system. Improving math education is an increasingly urgent endeavor and not investing in quality products has implications for our young people as they compete in today’s global job market and economy. The materials will provide a more hands-on and relevance approach to learning math concepts.
MHS, 9th Grade, 80 students, $800, Julie Fregien

8. Equipping the MIS Keyboard Lab.
The existing keyboard lab at MIS cannot be used in its present state due to its lack of working headphones. This grant will enable the acquisition of new headphones and, therefore, usage of the keyboard lab which is of high instructional value during general music classes.
MIS, 51h and 6th music, band, and choir, 800 students, $299.85, Sandra Maytan

9. Leveled Library.
The first grade teachers at Iddings will begin implementing the Balanced Literacy Program. One of the key components of this program is guided reading. We will need a large library of leveled books to properly instruct our first graders. Research has show that children respond well when given materials at the level they are reading. Struggling children make gains at an accelerated pace, and advanced children are challenged. Research has also shown that when fluency is stressed in guided reading lessons, comprehension is enhanced. These results should show up on test scores.
Iddings, Grade I, 161 students, $500, Joy Stinson.

10. Leveled Library.
Same basic grant as 13.
Iddings, Grade 2, 160, $500, Linda Zorich

11. Making Connections.
The purpose of the project is to purchase backpacks, books, and supplemental activities to send home with the students in order to bridge the gap between the classroom and the home. The goal is to make parents active participants in the success of each kindergarten student at John Wood. The backpacks will be filled with activities to be completed with parents over the course of a week and the results will be evaluated in the classroom setting.
Wood, Kindergarten, 80 students, $718.50, Donna Steele

12. Yes, You Can–Make A Difference!
This project would provide a reward activity to the existing mentoring program. Students who show improvement would be given a bus trip to the State House in Indianapolis to spend the day touring and observing some our state’s elected officials making a difference.
MIS, 5th and 6th grades, 60, $742, Sandra CoIlins.

13. Kindergarten Baggie Books.
This project would give each kindergarten student a baggie containing a leveled book, vocabulary cards and a “pointer finger.” The book will be at the student’s specific individual reading level. The students will take the books home and practice reading the book until he/she can read it fluently. When the book is returned to school, the student will read the book to the teacher and then receive the next book. This independent reading will help the students build stamina for reading, as well as provide opportunities to apply the reading strategies taught during guided reading in the classroom. In order for children to improve in reading, they must have repeated opportunities to read often every day. Total cost for this project is less than $16 per student.
Salk, Kindergarten, 100, $700, Mickey Prowse.

14. Successful Starts for All at Salk School. The purpose of the project is to enhance our differentiated instruction within our Balanced Literacy Framework in all the Kindergarten classrooms. Students will have the appropriate materials that meet their individual needs. Observations and ongoing assessments of standards will track student mastery of essential early literacy concepts. Salk, Kindergarten, 100 students, $678, Jamie Norris.

TOTAL ROUND 13 GRANTS:  $13,072.31

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