MEF Round 29 Awarded Grants – October, 2016

Round 29 Grants – October, 2016

  1. Crazy Traits Genetic Models
    “Crazy Traits” is a hands-on, modeling kit that engages students while teaching them the role that chance plays, in an organism’s inherited traits. Additionally, it gives students an opportunity to model things they can’t see, such as the genotypes of parents and the alleles inherited from each, and those of the offspring resulting from parent crosses.  The concepts of genotypes, phenotypes, and allele segregation, are difficult for students to grasp. Having a game-like model to help students understand how traits such as gender, skin color, eye color, etc., are passed from one generation to the next, will enhance student learning.
    Cheryl Austin, MHS Grade 9,100 students, $1,218.84

  2. Coordinating Units Using Inquiry Math
    The goal with Inquiry Math is to encourage deeper thinking, foster questioning strategies and techniques to promote higher level thinking and problem solving skills.  The objective is to supply the students with the foundation necessary to be successful when taking state mandated assessments (ISTEP).  By starting the inquiry process early and correctly, we are providing the tools necessary for a smooth educational transition. I am confident that the tools needed to teach Inquiry Math will increase their overall success. Thank you for considering this proposal so that Iddings Elementary School may do what’s “BEST” for our students.
    Jennifer Pozdzal, Iddings Grade 3, 125 students, $600.00

  3. String Instrument Acquisition
    The purpose of this project is to provide loaner instruments for promising string students with limited resources with a scholarship instrument program. The orchestra program in the Merrillville Community Schools has expanded rapidly over the past four years to include more than 450 students, including a high percentage of economically at-risk students which can then potentially be on the ISTEP pass list. Studying an instrument helps in areas such as mathematical computation and reading skills. Orchestra students are expected to provide their own instrument for use in the program. This project would allow the provision of school-owned instruments to promising string students whose lack of resources would otherwise prevent their participation in the orchestra program. Continued participation by these students would be beneficial, not only to the recipients of the instruments, but to all the students in the orchestra, whose ensemble experience would be richer with the participation of these students.
    Kristin Hughes, Orchestra Grades 6-12, 450 students, $1,800.00

  4. Read and Roll
    Traveling Literacy Carts would be used to hold leveled books to enhance classroom libraries. Students would choose the books they would be reading during their independent reading time from the selection of books on the cart.  The carts would be rotated each month in order to provide a variety of choices for the students.  With this grant students would be exposed to approximately 150 new books each month, reaching over 1,200 books each year.  This would expose them to a variety of genres from which to choose.    The more books students have access to, the more they will read.  Traveling Literacy Carts would make that a reality in every primary classroom at Iddings.
    Sandra Hillman, Iddings K-2, 132 students, $1,154.33

  5. Believe and Achieve
    “Believe and Achieve” grant will celebrate student improvement and achievement every trimester.  The purpose is to motivate our students to truly believe that they can achieve.  It is also helping our teachers understand that all students have things to celebrate!  All students can succeed with motivation, belief, and encouragement.  We also will promote to our students and parents that we do recognize our students.  By doing this frequently, our students will want to come to school, want to commit to our goals, and want to prove to everyone that MIS is a successful school.
    Kara Bonin, MIS, 917 students, $620.86

  6. Reading is a Real Treasure
    The goal of our project is to provide new and exciting books and bags to our kindergarten through fourth grade students that will enhance the development of their reading skills and promote recreational reading over the summer months. By providing our students with their own books they will be able to develop their own home libraries. Approximately, 2,314 students will benefit from this project. In each bag, students will receive three books, a reading log, summer reading Bingo sheet, and a bookmark. Providing students with a bag to store their materials in will allow them to reading at home or on the go this summer. Students in grades K-4 will receive an economy size plastic book bag. Students will be encouraged to bring in their reading logs and summer reading Bingo sheets to share with their new teacher. When the students return the log and Bingo sheet to their teacher they will be entered into a drawing to win a $50 gift certificate to their schools’ bookfair later in the year. All other books and incentive items will be purchased through grants, school, PTO funds, and donations.
    Janelle Bowen, Director of Media Services, 2,314 students K-4, $754.92

  7. Frist Robotics Build
    This program is a great way to get more of our students involved in many of the areas of high demand in the future.  It allows our students to become more and more involved in science, technology, engineering, and math without them even noticing they were working with these high-end concepts.
    Charles Seligman, MHS, 20-25 students, $1,000.00

  8. “Thinking Outside of the Box” with Breakout EDU
    The purpose of Breakout projects is to provide an engaging way to introduce and review materials while helping students increase critical-thinking and collaboration skills. Students work together to solve a series of puzzles that provide the combinations to break into a locked box. Working under a time limit, students must work together in order to be successful and move from one clue to the next, which eventually give them the combinations to various types of locks (number, letter, directional, etc.) while relying on their math and language arts skills to decipher the puzzles.
    Allison Skertic, MHS Grade 9, 200 students, $436.00

  9. Amydgala “Climate Change” Area
    The Fieler Kindergarten teachers have experienced some very challenging students for the past several years.  These children are coming to us with many severe needs.  There are moments in the day,  that these children simply need a “climate change” in their brains in order to get back to focus and back to learning.  Research has proven that learning cannot occur when a child is in the amygdala part of their brain.  Rather than punishing these students for their inability to regulate their moods and behavior, we like being able to offer them a safe and comforting environment to learn how to regulate their outbursts and moods.
    Kathy Machura, Fieler, 75 students, $460.00 

  10. Inclusion Dance for Special Needs Students
    FCCLA’s Inclusion Dance is very beneficial to many people.  The Inclusion Dance is held for special needs students of seven schools.  This dance helps the high school students by allowing them to interact with other teens.  It makes them feel special because they have a school activity created just for them.  However, it does not only benefit these special students.  When FCCLA members see the students interact, it gives them a brand new respect for special needs students.  Members realize that special needs students aren’t that different, they just have some special needs.  Because FCCLA wants to see this very important and much needed high school dance continue, they, Ms. Von Behren, and Mrs. O’Halek are submitting this grant.
    Carol A. Von Behron, MHS +6 area high schools, 110-120 students, $500.00

  11. Teaching Letters & Sounds through Technology. This grant will utilize the Jolly Phonics Program, which is a computer based program that will present letters, sounds, and sight words to our students at their own individual pace, with progress monitoring and goal setting along the way. This goes along with our differentiated instruction model, and will be used throughout the year. All three of these things are a necessary foundation for reading success, and we want to give our kindergartners this opportunity to be their best.
    Stacie Anderson, Wood-K, 75 students, $370.22

TOTAL ROUND 29 GRANTS:  $8,915.17

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