MEF Round 38 Grants – November, 2021

Round 38 Grants – November, 2021

  1. Kinesthetic Phonics for Kindergarten
    Our grant proposal, Kinesthetic Phonics for Kindergarten, would be an extension of what we already do using Jolly Phonics. We are looking to bring a supplemental phonics program to our students that will not only help them remember their letter names and sounds, but is also practical and makes sense. These students need to get up and move. Teaching them actions/movements to go along with the letter sounds will help them remember the sounds, as not all children are auditory learners. The Nellie Edge ABC Phonics: Sing, Sign, and Read program is a multisensory ABC & phonics immersion program. Our students would not only be learning letter names and sounds, but sign language as well, and this is something that can go with them into adulthood.
    Stacie Anderson, Wood Elementary School Grade K, 60 students, $263.70


  2. Merrillville String Orchestras Cello Replacement Project
    The purpose of this project is to acquire string instruments for student use in the MCSC Orchestra Program. This project would provide school-owned instruments to promising string students whose lack of resources would otherwise prevent their participation in our program. It would also provide students with better quality equipment, yielding more satisfying results. Having these new cellos would enrich the orchestra program, enhance at-risk student learning in core subjects, and would create a resource to be used for years to come.
    Bethany Borgo, MHS, Pierce & MIS Grades 6-12, 250 students, $665.00


  3. Learning Mathematics Visually
    Our project is geared towards improving the understanding of functions, their transformations, properties, and graphs through the use of graphing calculators, which will ultimately lead to increased success in precalculus and beyond. The desire of this project is to allow students to each have a graphing calculator to use while in class. This will be able to affect students in each class of precalculus for years to come. Very few students enrolled in “Pre-Calculus A: Algebra” own a graphing calculator. With this grant, most students in our precalculus classes will be given the opportunity to use these calculators with money not being an issue.
    Eric Curosh, Merrillville High School Math Department Grades 11-12, 80 students daily each trimester, $2,899.70


  4. Treasure Chest Sensory Path
    “Treasure Alphabet Hop” from The Sensory Path is a social-emotional tool to provide our students sensory input that regulates their brains and bodies when they are overstimulated or emotionally unregulated. Sensory paths are adhesives with specific instructions that can be placed on the floor to provide cognitive stimulation to anyone who walks over them. The sensory movements, such as walking, jumping, following, and counting, allow the brain to refocus. This is useful for academic learning and for emotional regulation. This could be used to serve academic goals and behavioral goals. It can be used by all students and staff, as it will be placed in a location accessible to everyone. It can also be used for several years, as it will stay there, stuck to the ground. This is one more tool that would promote social-emotional learning in our school and district.
    Nicole Dominguez, Iddings School Grades Pre-K-4, 525 students, $431.25


  5. Kindergarten Alphabet Learning
    The Kindergarten Alphabet Learning grant will include activities for developing fine motor skills by using print practice books with dry erase markers, building letters, use mini magnet boards to free write letters, and build letter knowledge while using the resources. Students will also use listening skills to follow directions during the use of movement with the letter bean bags and the activity mats. Hands on activities like these are essential for kindergarten learning. Students will also be able to use this project to build independent learning and strengthen letter knowledge and writing.
    Michelle Frey, Fieler School Grade K, 40 students, $574.49


  6. STEM Kits – Creativity is the Power to Connect the Seemingly Unconnected
    The term STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) is progressively becoming an important fixture in education and the world economy. The reason for this is that the careers of the future will most certainly be centered around STEM fields, while also invoking 21st century skills such as critical thinking, creativity, cultural awareness, collaboration and problem-solving. Learning is evolving into more of a fun activity. STEM kits give curious students the skills to tackle problems confidently. The kits spark positive feelings about learning and promote greater self-confidence in students when faced with challenges.
    Kent-Choi-Cervantes-Wells, Merrillville Intermediate School, Grade 5, 200+ students, $465.35


  7. STATE OF THE ARTS: Together We Perform
    Although our lives are starting to get back to a “new normal” with pandemic protocols, our Arts programs are truly struggling to get audiences back in the seats. Audiences (box office sales) are our sole means of recouping our production costs and funds are needed. 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, not to mention the additional life-lessons as a result of performing during a global pandemic. From auditions through 8 weeks of rehearsals and 5 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 theatre production.
    Melinda Reinhart, Merrillville High School Grades 9-12, 75 students, $1,500.00


  8. SEL Literacy
    SEL Literacy will use the Ninja Hacks Books Sets along with PATHS to help develop first grade students’ SEL tools and strategies. These tools will help students regulate themselves and problem solve with their peers. These stories will help us teach the whole child so each child is emotionally ready to learn academics each day. We will read stories daily as they correlate with our PATHS lesson for the week. We will also review stories as issues arise in our classroom throughout the year.
    Amber Welsh, Wood School Grade 1, 60 students, $492.87



TOTAL ROUND 38 GRANTS:  $7,292.36 

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