MEF Round 40 Grants – November, 2022

Round 40 Grants – November, 2022

  1. Create A Sensory Room at Salk School
    A sensory room is a quiet place dedicated to stimulating, developing and relaxing the senses. This room will be unlike a school classroom; it allows students the freedom to explore the environments for themselves using all of the senses under the supervision of a staff member. The sensory room will help students improve their visual, auditory, and tactile processing as well as help children self-regulate their behaviors and focus on learning. They can also work on improving their fine and gross motor skills. We believe that this room will allow our students to regroup and recharge to maximize their learning experience at Salk School.
    Nick Petralia, Tammy Rassbach, Karin Brown, Salk Elementary School, Gr. K-4, 550 students, $500.00

  2. Wiggle Into Focus
    Wiggle into Focus will provide my wiggly students with a tool to help better regulate themselves. I would like to use Wobble Chairs to let them wiggle their energy out in an appropriate manner. This will cut down on disruptions in the learning environment and facilitate the calming of their brain amygdala area in order for the prefrontal cortex of their brains to function fully. I currently have 2 wobble chairs and have seen great improvement in behavior and focus in both students who use them.
    Deborah Czazasty, Fieler School, Gr. 3, 20 students, $350.00

  3. Amygdala Areas
    Fieler Elementary School is focusing on behavior as one of their SIP goals. Students are not able to regulate their behaviors in the classrooms, causing an increase in the number and frequency of discipline referrals. Having an Amygdala Area in each classroom would provide a safe place within the classroom where students can go when they feel overwhelmed and need to process their feelings and/or emotions that affect their day-to-day learning. The area will not only help the student in need but will also allow the other students to feel safe and comfortable. We believe that this will create a safe learning environment for all.
    Dawn Anthony and SEBW Committee, Fieler Elementary School, Gr. K-4, 500 students, $1,000.00

  4. Indoor Recess Equipment
    Playing helps students develop socially, emotionally, physically, and academically. During play, students learn and practice important skills, such as cooperation, conflict resolution, respect for others and self-regulation. Adult support is needed to facilitate optimal outcomes for successful structured activities to activities to contribute to healthy child development. Having the proper tools (games/activities) can provide an opportunity for safe and healthy play.
    Dawn Kazmierski and Kim Chagoya, Miller Elementary School, Gr. K-4, 350 students, $500.00

  5. Turning the Classroom into an “Eggciting” Gameshow
    The wireless “Eggspert” teaching aide consists of a teacher remote, six wireless student egg buzzers (all different colors), and the wireless egg homebase. The wireless “Eggspert” teaching aide can be integrated into nearly any classroom activity in a variety of subjects making learning more interactive and engaging for students. Poet, novelist, and playwright, Alfred Merciert, said, “What we learn with pleasure, we never forget.” The numerous, cross-curricular learning experience funded by this grant Turning the Classroom into an Eggciting Gameshow, will help bring energy to the classroom and create memorable experiences that students will not forget.
    Lauren Morando and Pierce 8th Grade Team, Pierce Middle School, Gr. 8, 550 students, $199.98

  6. THE ARTS: Rebuilding After the Pandemic
    As teachers of the Arts, we are keenly aware that recovery from this global pandemic has been and will continue to be a slow one. Although our lives are getting back to a “new normal” with pandemic protocols, our Arts programs continue to struggle to get audiences back in the seats. Audiences (box office sales) are our sole means of recouping our production costs. Being able to produce our annual school productions (fall play and spring musical) is vital to many of our students’ successes. These shows serve as an opportunity for our Arts students to apply what they have learned in our classrooms to help fulfill our new Civic Arts Pathway, a graduation requirement. 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 in a post-pandemic world. 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 theater production.
    Melinda Reinhart, Merrillville High School, Gr. 9-12, 75 students, $1,500.00

  7. Ssshhh… It’s a Secret!
    The Secret Stories Phonics program engages students in a fun, effective, and brain friendly way. Secret Stories aligns phonics instruction with how our brains actually work best, engaging more neural pathways for stronger learner connections and easier skill retrieval. The students will be using muscle memory to help them remember the sounds and secrets that different sounds make. Our brain learns through the stories we hear and learn. This is an effective way to teach phonics and will engage the students every day.
    Shannon Rosinski, Iddings Elementary School, Gr. K, 100 students, $599.50

  8. Actively Learning While Active
    Our purpose is to provide our more active students with seating that allows them to be active but remain learning. By providing active seating options such as wobble chairs and cushions, students will be able to move their bodies as they need and still remain on-task and learning with their peers. This will lead to less disruptions during learning from students who need to get out of their seats (which can lead to behavior redirections). We plan to use the seating on a daily basis after a period of modeling their proper usage. Being more on-task should lead to higher growth and test scores from our students.
    Kristina Shultz, Salk Elementary School, Gr. 3, 100 students, $500.00

  9. But FIRST We READ!
    This initiative will help first grade students achieve the overall goal…to become eager, successful, and independent readers. Our goal is to offer leveled reading books to the students in hopes of boosting student reading levels. Many of our students do NOT have books at home to read besides their library book in which they check out here at school. Studies have shown students who read at least 10 minutes a day gain fundamental reading skills geared towards a successful education. These additional books will help achieve the goals of the corporation.
    Monique Warren, Iddings Elementary School, Gr. 1, 100 students, $250.00


TOTAL ROUND 40 GRANTS:  $5,399.48

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