MEF Round 42 Grants – November, 2023

Round 42 Grants – November, 2023

  1. Science Club School-Wide Science Fair
    This grant would provide much-needed resources to enhance the quality and scope of our science fair projects. With access to additional funding, our students would be able to conduct more sophisticated experiments, procure high-quality materials, and explore innovative scientific concepts that might otherwise be beyond our current budget constraints. This not only enriches the learning experience for our science club members but also elevates the overall scientific caliber of our school, fostering a culture of curiosity and discovery among students from various grade levels. Moreover, a well-funded science fair serves as an open invitation to our parents and the broader community to engage with our students’ educational journeys. When parents attend the science fair to witness their children’s creative and scientific achievements, it strengthens the home-school partnership and encourages active involvement in their child’s education. It becomes a platform for students to proudly showcase their talents and passion for science while fostering meaningful conversations between parents, teachers, and students. The grant’s impact extends beyond the science club, touching the lives of all students, families, and educators within our school, making it a valuable investment in our collective growth and progress.
    Mohammad Arifee, Pierce Middle School Grades 7-8, 20+ students, $300.00


  2. School Science Fair
    Science Fair Project is important to me as an activity for Edgar Miller Elementary School because learning hands on is what students need to improve their scientific knowledge. Science projects and science fairs are a powerful combination for encouraging students to deep-dive in an area of interest, synthesizing science and engineering concepts, exposing students to STEM career paths, and integrating critical soft skills. Science projects also emphasize personalized learning, which makes them invaluable in our learning.
    Melissa Humpfer, Miller Elementary School Grades 3-4, 50 students, $500.00


  3. Sound Check
    Students will benefit from this project by utilizing headphones to complete weekly assigned I-Ready lessons. The headphones will also be used for state standardized assessments. Students need to be able to listen to the assigned weekly lessons in order to learn from them. If students try to complete the lessons without the proper equipment, they are unable to hear/learn from the assigned lessons. Also, students with accommodations will benefit from the use of headphone by being able to listen to grade level materials. Furthermore, students will need these headphones to take the I-Learn assessments. If this project were to be funded it has the potential to benefit future classrooms.
    Sara Stafford, Merrillville Intermediate School Grade 5, 40 students, $250.00


  4. Mountain Language Centers
    Research shows that students’ minds learn better with repetition. All teachers at Fieler would like to use Mountain Language for spiral review in grammar for the Indiana standards covered throughout the year. Each week students will build on their mastery of standards and retention of skills taught throughout the year. The purpose of these materials is to provide students with the opportunity to review and/or learn the standards presented in a quick efficient manner to boost standardized test scores and overall academic performance. Fieler School, Gr. K-4, 400 students, Amy Hinkel, $1999.
    Amy Hinkel, School Grades K-4, 400 students, $1,999.00


  5. Clue On Stage – Clue On Stage!
    The annual MHS Fall Play provides students with multiple opportunities to engage with the performing arts. Whether as performers, designers, or stage crew, MHS students will have firsthand experience of what it takes to bring a script to life from conceptualization all the way to realization. Along the way each student will develop specific techniques and skills necessary for their area of aptitude, thereby developing into highly trained team members that can contribute to this production, future productions, and other future endeavors. The MEF Grant will help cover the necessary costs for the production, giving all students the best possible production experience. Merrillville High School, Gr. 9-12, 50+ students, Tom Mackey, $500.
    Tom Mackey, Merrillville High School Grades 9-12, 50+ students, $500.00


  6. Fun Fridays
    My 5th-grade students need more variety in their classroom seating to add excitement. I’m exploring flexible seating options to give them choices and keep them engaged while allowing for some wiggling. We also enjoy Fun Fridays, and we require playground equipment, especially during the winter when we’re indoors. Board games and playground equipment would be a great addition.
    DeEtta Grubbs, Merrillville Intermediate School Grade 5, 37 students, $200.00


  7. Little Ones Learn to Love the Library
    Little Ones Learn to Love the Library is a collaborative project between the Merrillville Preschool Program and the Merrillville Media Centers. The goal is to welcome the youngest of the Merrillville students into the school libraries and give them literacy experiences in an effort to grow the love of reading and an appreciation for the school library. Vox Books will be purchased for preschool children and children at the emerging stages of reading to enjoy. The purchase of these books will encourage the love of reading and make children excited to visit the school library.
    Christine Waugh, All Elementary Schools Grades Pre-K, K-1, 940 students, $940.28


  8. 50 State Post Card Challenge
    I am signed up already for a 50 State Postcard Exchange through a Facebook group with members from all 50 states. Students will individually write a postcard to another 5th grade student from another state. In return, our students are supposed to receive a postcard from the state they sent one to. We are keeping track of the different states on a large United States floor rug that I am going to put on a bulletin board once we start receiving postcards. My hope is that this a fun activity that the students enjoy, but also one that they learn about the geography of our great United States. Students will also be completing a state report on their postcard state in May.
    Kim Herbert, Merrillville Intermediate School Grade 5, 50 students, $70.00


  9. The Arts: Our Journey Back (Keeping Our Kids Involved)
    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. As we navigate The Arts: Our Journey Back, I personally have pledged to make the performance experiences/opportunities available to our students as “normal” as possible. Although our lives are getting back to a “new normal,” 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. Unlike the neighboring school corporations, our Performing Arts Department does not receive funding from the corporation General Fund to help cover production costs for our annual school productions. 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 opportunities for our Arts students to apply what they have learned in our classrooms to help fulfill our new Civic Arts Pathway, a graduation requirement, as they create live musical theatre productions to share with our community. We thank you in advance for your consideration to help us fund our spring musical production in April 2024.
    Melinda Reinhart, Merrillville High School Grades 9-12, 75+ students, $1,500.00


  10. Mighty Miller Cursive Masters
    “Mighty Miller Cursive Masters” will be the first in the school’s district to implement the importance of this declining skill. With a personalized “Laser -Engraved Writing Board” we as a school we will introduce, develop and instill better fine motor skills, improve their handwriting and enhance their communication abilities through the use of a unique and expressive writing style. Connecting the parent’s with this new activity will also strengthen the bond of learning a new activity together and establish a greater rapport. In conclusion, introducing children to cursive writing can be a fun and creative experience that enhances their writing skills and fosters their creativity. By Personalizing it, makes it more memorable and unique to each child. This will pave the way for the future leaders of not just Miller Elementary School, but will spark every Elementary School in our district to join.
    LaToya Carter, Miller Elementary School Grades K-4, 271 students, $200.00


  11. I’m Growing with I-Ready
    We are seeking funding for a school-wide push to improve our students’ growth on I-Ready. We want them to take more pride in their work on lessons, and believe that our rewards and recognition will help with this effort. We will recognize our students who get continuous 100% scores on their I-Ready lessons, and provide raffle prizes for growth on the diagnostic assessments. Through our effort, we plan to see improved learning, accelerated intervention efforts, and more student buy-in with I-Ready.
    Kristina Shultz, Salk Elementary School Grades K-4, 600 students, $500.00


  12. Art, Music, Action!
    Arts and music education are crucial to developing America’s next generation of creative and innovative thinkers. Having students develop projects during art, music, math, and science classes as an example of students’ creativity that will be displayed at a special event, to which friends and families will be invited, will help them in the development of these skills.
    Morgan Vlassopoulos, John Wood Elementary School Grades K-4, 250 students, $806.55


  13. Sewing Studio Center
    Students are the artists and the classroom is OUR studio. This is the philosophy of our art studio at Merrillville Intermediate School, and students enjoy choice. The different media and processes are demonstrated for each center. Then students choose what they would like to learn. They complete projects of their choice. In our current fiber arts center, students are learning to crochet and wish they had sewing machines to design and construct their own clothing and accessories. I learned to sew using a sewing machine at the age of eight, so I have the knowledge and expertise to teach these young artists how to sew and make quilts, pillows, clothing, and accessories. However, to facilitate the design and sewing process, students need sewing machines and additional sewing materials. This project would provide students with a more complete fiber arts studio center that includes fabric, sewing notions, and most importantly, sewing machines that will help them fulfill their clothing and accessory design dreams. I would use this as an additional fiber arts studio choice in the classroom. It would also be an option for students who choose to attend the Art Club after school. My purpose is for students to collaborate throughout the school to design and construct a large quilt top for display at the school. In the process of designing and sewing the blocks for the quilt, they will learn sewing basics and proceed to more challenging sewing projects. The sewing machines and accessories will be used throughout the year and in the years to come as students pursue another important aspect of fiber arts and design.
    Carolyn Mojica, Merrillville Intermediate School Grades 5-6, 450 students, $250.00


  14. Media Club
    The Digital Media Club engages students interested in photography, videography, and journalism. Students will be given relevant training weekly to develop their skills in video editing, photo taking, writing articles, and conducting interviews. They will build their confidence and communication skills through various media tools. The media club will be open to 7th and 8th grade students interested, but accessible to all students through streaming during SRT class weekly. Students will explore their creativity in digital media. This will include the fundamentals of the video production process, cinematography, video editing, learning script-writing, basics of using a green screen, using camera and microphones, through group projects like promotional videos, school spotlight videos, podcasting and live streaming. Students will develop their skills in the production of creative media messages that showcase the achievements of the school and students.
    Aynnayka Davis, Pierce Middle School Grades 7-8, 900 students, $600.00


  15. Multifaceted Ways to Inspire Reading
    Many of our students do not always enjoy reading or learning new words, but when I utilize various ways such as playing an educational game, there is a spark and they engage and truly enjoy it The title of the project is “Multifaceted Ways to Inspire Reading.” The activities will include the spelling, synonyms, and reading comprehension (cause and effect) games. In addition, the word scramble has a multitude of word searches that accompanies the book that will help students to improve on their spelling, vocabulary, and critical thinking skills. The purpose of the project is to inspire student to read in a variety of creative ways, cause them to see reading as both educational and fun, and aim for an “individualized” reading grade level for themselves.
    Sonya Johnson, Pierce Middle School Grade 7, 52 students, $364.72



TOTAL ROUND 42 GRANTS:  $8,980.55

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