MEF Round 36 Grants – May, 2020

Round 36 Grants – May, 2020

  1. Salk Elementary School Classkick Pro Renewal
    Classkick is an interactive web-based application that supports teacher creativity, classroom feedback, and availability anywhere. While using Classkick the teacher can see each student’s screen whether using an iPad or a Chromebook. This allows for both monitoring of actions and instant feedback between teacher and student. This app allows for monitoring and communicating with students anywhere in the school building. The 4 c’s of 21st-century skills are communication, critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity. These four skills are each profoundly impacted and nurtured while using Classkick. Salk School currently uses this program and would like to renew it for one more year. Classkick aligns with the goals and curriculum of the Merrillville schools. With the new direction of 1:1 in these last few years, Classkick is directly aligned with that movement.
    Kevin Kerr, Salk Elementary Grades K-4, 592 students, $999.00

  2. Raise the Score in Reading
    The fourth-grade teachers at Miller Elementary are requesting funds to purchase materials to supplement English and Language Arts curriculum through educational, non-fiction magazines. Storyworks is a 32-page print magazine with extensive digital resources. The students receive six magazines. The magazine contains nonfiction, fiction, debates, poetry, paired texts and drama. It is designed to support our challenging standards with authentic text. Nonfiction articles do come in lower lexile versions which meet the needs of our LRE students. In addition, there are ELL activities included. Visual support is included to reinforce vocabulary content.
    Heather Barsich, Miller Elementary School, Grade 4, 75 students, $700.43

  3. Flocabulary Fun with John Wood
    Flocabulary is a creative, multisensory form of instruction that benefits all students, including special education and English Language Learners. Its innovative, colorful, upbeat videos incorporate auditory and visual representation, which assists in both pronunciation and reinforcement of a variety of skills. Flocabulary offers fun, engaging pedagogy that supplements teachers’ direct instruction. It can be used as an introduction to a topic, as a review, and as a formal or informal assessment. Children in grades K-4 will be delighted by the songs and rhymes and will sing the melodies long after the lesson is over, thereby greatly increasing their retention of and proficiency in a variety of learning standards. Finally, because Flocabulary integrates with Google classroom, it is easy for teachers to track the learning performance of students.
    Morgan Vlassopoulos, John Wood Elementary School, Gr. K-4, 275 students, $1500.00

  4. Out in the Garden
    Students will have the opportunity of an outdoor learning component for their Math and Science classes where they can apply the skills that they learned in the classroom to the gardens. Students will grow their own seedlings in the classrooms and monitor their growth (Math). Students will see first-hand how plants grow and thrive (Science). By having the opportunity to grow their own plants and work outdoors, students will see if a career in the Environmental & Agricultural Systems career pathway is something they would like to pursue in the future; students will learn about various careers in the Environmental & Agricultural Systems career pathway and how those careers tie-in to the vegetable gardens (College & Career Readiness). The hope is to give students the opportunity of a hands-on experience to apply what they have learned in their classrooms and therefore help them to have a lasting impression of what they learned.
    Nichole Perez, Merrillville Intermediate School, Gr. 5-6, 900 students, $483.64

  5. Qball in the Classroom – Everyone Has a Voice!
    The goal of this grant is to seek funding for the purchase of two Qballs and covers, in order to help increase student engagement in the classroom. The Qball is a portable, throwable microphone ball made of soft durable foam. The Qball can be a useful and practical tool in the classroom that enables students to listen to and interact with each other. The Qball in the classroom is feedback-based and process-driven. Using the Qball in the classroom setting is an innovative tool that engages students. Students are able to improve and share their understanding of concepts taught, along with advancing their social and emotional growth through their interaction with peers and their teachers. Through the funding of this grant, students will be able to express gained knowledge in a new and exciting way.
    Joy Kent and Angela Wells, Merrillville Intermediate School, Grade 5, 100 students, $407.00

  6. Classroom Amygdala Stations
    The Classroom Amygdala Station (sensory activities and books) will teach children how to build self-awareness, effectively handle their emotions by properly utilizing the tools and strategies taught to help them get back into the right mindset for learning. When students can effectively manage their emotions, it will help reduce conflicts between students which will result in a decrease in discipline referrals leading to less in-school and out-of-school suspensions. Students that are aware are more productive and perform better academically and socially.
    Toni Blaszczyk and Nancy Fleming, Miller Elementary School, Gr. K-4, 400 students, $600.00

  7. Coffee Cart
    The Autism and Intense classrooms would like to begin a coffee cart at MIS to help the students develop and continue to work on their social, functional, and academic skills. The students, staff and school climate will greatly benefit from this real-world opportunity. Our hope is to utilize the funds from this grant to begin our coffee cart program. Funds earned from this program will be used to reinvest and continue our coffee cart program for future students and staff.
    Merrillville Intermediate School, Grades 5-6, 20 students, Harmony Hofstra and Jeanine Harley, $150.00

  8. Robotics Club
    The Robotics team is requesting money to replace the control system of the robots for the next season. Included in this request is the replacement of the telephones (main means of communication between the robot and the students) which were outlawed by FIRST this year. This team gives our students a chance to compete against other students in the arena of robotics. It gives our students a chance to learn how to solve complex problems at every competition. The students are challenged both mechanically as well as analytical. This program allows our students to participate in advanced STEM programs.
    Charles Seligman, Merrillville High School, Grade 9-12, 15 students, $1000.00 (through the John Anderson Foundation Grant awarded to the MEF)

  9. DynaMath for DynaPirates
    DynaMath is an offshoot of the popular Scholastic News magazine. It offers high-powered math instruction that incorporates language arts standards through a combination of non-fiction reading and problem-solving practice. The purpose of DynaMath is to use real-world problems to teach math, which helps students connect standards to real-life situations. DynaMath is a colorful, interesting magazine that supplements teachers’ direct instruction. The purpose of this additional material will give educators another way to keep students engaged through small group, whole group, peer group work, and even individualized, independent instruction. The variety of activities outlined above will engage and encourage students of all abilities. It will be a very useful tool for remediation or enrichment purposes.
    Morgan Vlassopoulos, John Wood Elementary School and Miller Elementary School, Grade 4, 150 students, $943.65

  10. Little Free Libraries
    The purpose of our project is to provide free books to students in the Merrillville community by building Little Free Libraries outside each of the Merrillville Schools and Central Office. Little Free Libraries are community libraries where people can take a book or share a book in the area where they live. Students at MHS would build and paint the Little Free Libraries using the theme, “Merrillville pride; we are all readers.” An MHS service club and the MHS libraries will collect new and used books. Library stewards in each building would maintain the Little Free Libraries for their school. Students in all buildings would be able to select books or donate books to the Little Free Libraries as community members. All students and their families will benefit since anyone can take or share a book at any time.
    Janelle Bowen, Merrillville High School, Grades 9-12, 160 students, $1158.41


TOTAL ROUND 36 GRANTS:  $7,943.11

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