MEF Round 35 Grants – October, 2019

Round 35 Grants – October, 2019

  1. Ultimate Coding and Circuit Kits to Teach C++
    Computer Science is a career field that the United States, as a whole, is struggling to fill with Americans. Many companies are hiring individuals from other countries to fill these jobs. One of the main reasons that these jobs are not sought after is because students are not being exposed to the computer science concepts. With the purchase of four Ultimate Coding and Circuit Kits, I will be able to teach my students C++ concepts in a hands-on way. The students
    will learn variables, functions, loops, statements, and syntax & troubleshooting through fun activities and projects like building a ‘clapper’ light switch.
    Danielle Kowalewicz, Pierce Middle School Grades 7-8, 375+ students, $492.16


  2. Who Is, Who Was, and What Was
    Sixty-five books from the “Who Was, Who Is, What Was” book series will be purchased for students to use to research and learn about a person or event. Students will have the opportunity to teach not only their peers but other adults and community members by showcasing their research during our Living Wax Museum. The purpose of this project is to introduce a person or event that was influential in history that students can then delve deeper into the subject to educate others about this topic.
    Julie DiFiore, Merrillville Intermediate School Grade 5, 65 students, $487.00


  3. Puppets as a Teaching Tool
    With the addition of the Inky Mouse puppet from the MVSC Jolly Phonics Curriculum, the Kindergarten teachers have noticed a growth in letter recognition and sound scores plus student engagement has gone through the roof! Teachers must adjust to the times and modify their teaching accordingly. Today’s youngster has far less imaginative play time at both home and school. Having additional puppets — a dolphin “swim around the world” (social studies), an alligator “chomp” the greater number (math) and a Labrador puppy in his science “lab” makes the request for “Puppets as a Learning Tool” an opportunity to see learning and engagement in ALL Kindergarten subject areas.
    Kathy Machura and Amy Burkhart, Fieler School Grade K, 44 students, $275.00


  4. Explore Opera with Lyric Opera of Chicago
    Explore Opera engages students in grades 9–12 in an in-depth study of opera through activities that integrate language arts, music, drama, and performance skills. Students gain a rich understanding of a selected work, its history and context, and important themes. Working in collaboration with the classroom teacher, a Lyric Opera Teaching Artist guides students through a creative process to reinterpret select operatic scenes with their own words and music.
    Tom Mackey, Merrillville High School Grades 9-12, 35-85 students, $934.00


  5. Sing, Move, and Learn!
    The goal of Sing, Move, and Learn is to get students up, moving, learning, and having fun! Kindergarten students LOVE to sing and dance! I want my students to be engaged and excited about what we are learning. Incorporating HeidiSongs, with multisensory activities, is another strategy to meet the unique needs of the students that enter my classroom. HeidiSongs uses lyrics, music, and movement to teach sight words, numbers, counting/skip counting, letter sounds, letter identification/formation, word families, colors, shapes, and nursery rhymes.
    Shannon Cicero, Iddings School Grade K, 100-125 students, $288.43


  6. Teaching ELA and Math with Problem Solving Technology
    This program will utilize the OSMO Program, which is a technology (iPad) based program that will present activities for letters, sounds, CVC words, numbers, counting, shapes, and problem solving 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. Not only will this give our students a foundation for reading success, it also gives them experience with STEM activities and problem solving. We want to give our kindergartners every opportunity to be their best.
    Stacie Anderson, Wood School Grade K, 65 students, $320.46


  7. Manipulatives for Remedial Math
    Flexible groups meeting four times a week will allow students time and opportunity to review the skills and concepts set by the Indiana State Standards. Using several types of manipulatives in these mathematics groups will provide hands-on assistance for students. Students are chosen for groups if they do not master concepts on their formative and summative assessments. These hands-on remedial math groups will boost the student’s confidence, assist them with difficult skills, prepare them for the iLearn test, and build a foundation for their future classrooms.
    Rachael Hull, Salk School Grade 1, 106 students, $300.00


  8. Inclusion Dance
    FCCLA’s Inclusion Dance is very beneficial to many people. The Inclusion Dance is held for special needs students from seven local schools. This dance helps these students by allowing them to interact with other teens. It makes them feel special because they have a school activity created just for them. There is no cost to the special needs students and young adults to attend the dance. We do not want any special needs students or young adults to be excluded from this activity because they could not afford to come. The Inclusion Dance does not only benefit the special needs students. When FCCLA members see these students interact, it gives them a new respect for these students. They realize that special needs students aren’t different from any other teenager – they just have some special needs. FCCLA wants to see this very important and much needed high school dance continue.
    Carol von Behren, Merrillville High School Grades 9-12, 350 students, $600.00


  9. MIS Music Boomwhackers
    The MIS Music Department will be using boomwhackers in their 5th grade general music classrooms. Boomwhackers are musical instruments that are made from plastic tubes that range in size and pitch. Students will have the opportunity to play music with a hands-on instrument and will also gain teamwork skills during this project because one tube is only one note in a piece of music. This requires several students playing different boomwhackers to play a song. This is a fun and creative way for students to work as a team to play a variety of music from simple songs like Mary Had a Little Lamb all the way to more popular and advanced music like Africa by Toto.
    Laura Dinkins, Merrillville Intermediate School Grade 5, 500+ students, $400.00


  10. 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, 2,150 students will benefit from this project. In each bag, students will receive three books, a reading log/Bingo sheet, summer reading information and a bookmark. Providing students with an economy book bag to store their materials in will allow them to read at home or on the go this summer. Students will be encouraged to bring in their reading logs/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 $15 gift certificate to their school’s bookfair later in the year. Students will be able to start their own home libraries.
    Janelle Bowen, All Elementary Schools Grades PreK-4, 2150 students, $1,112.00


  11. Building Our Brains with STEM
    The project, Building Our Brains with Stem, will be an interactive, hands on approach utilizing progressive building projects that will eventually be incorporated into my first-grade classroom on a daily basis. The students will have the opportunity to work with the STEM tubs each morning and when they are done with their work. They will use task cards to build new and exciting creations that they will record with their iPad and share with the classroom community and their families. Students will have this new opportunity to use hands on activities to problem solve in a play-based learning approach to deepen and enrich their first-grade experience.
    Carrie Brown, Salk School Grade 1, 24 students, $250.00


  12. STATE OF THE ARTS: Together We Perform at a High Standard
    When students participate in a Merrillville High School spring musical production, they learn so much more than lyrics to songs, lines of dialogue, and a few dance steps. They learn, cultivate, practice and hopefully master numerous life skills throughout our journey in rehearsals. From auditions through eight weeks of rehearsals and five live performances over two weekends, we will strive for excellence onstage and in life as we work together and learn together to perform our “roles” in our musical theater production.
    Melinda Reinhart, Merrillville High School Grade 9-12, 40-70 students, $1,500.00


  13. Reset to Refocus
    The goal with Reset to Refocus is to decrease our number of discipline referrals by increasing our students’ awareness of their own neuroanatomy and providing them with an area supplied with manipulating textural objects to help regulate their brain. Students with a high number of ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) tend to come to school lacking coping skills for when their amygdala becomes deregulated. This deficiency causes many students to become enraged, act out, have inattentiveness, and a lack of focus on learning. The objective is to supply the teachers with the resources and supplies necessary to create a reset area in their room and be successful in helping to regulate their students.
    Jennifer Pozdzal, Iddings School Grades K-4, 580 students, $500.00


  14. 2019-20 Half Field for Robotics Club
    The Robotics team is applying for a grant to help cover the shipping for this year’s half field in order to practice for this year’s competition. The MEF gave us a grant during the last round to purchase the storage cabinet the team so desperately needed. We had a balance left over and used it for the half field, but a little more is needed. We ask that these funds be available as soon as possible as the new game has already started and it will be advantageous for the team to purchase the half field quickly.
    Charles Seligman, Merrillville High School Grades 9-12, 30 students, $47.64



TOTAL ROUND 35 GRANTS:  $7,506.69

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