Grant Spotlight – The Great Kindness Challenge

GRANT TITLE
The Great Kindness Challenge

GRANT AUTHOR, SCHOOL, IMPACT & FUNDING
Kara Bonin – Merrillville Intermediate School – 950+ Gr. 5 & 6 students – $553.17

GRANT PERIOD
Round 32 for Spring 2018; implemented in Fall 2018

GRANT APPLICATION
Every month, we create activities and projects to promote kindness, respect, empathy, and unity throughout the building. Our PBIS team, along with our Student Council and STAND club collaborate to create these themes and projects together, and staff members including the PBIS team, the Therapeutic Counselor and Social Worker, create monthly lessons focused on the theme.  Students are also able to write “Acts of Kindness” that are announced on morning announcements.

Research shows that kindness is learned not just be talking about or thinking about it, but by feeling kindness so we can reproduce that emotion and feeling to others by sharing kindness. The feel-good experience also produces endorphins in the brain that are associated with pleasure, social connection and trust. When our brains are in this state, our students can learn better and concentrate more on schoolwork. This project will also help to teach relationships and meaningful connections with other human beings. By doing this, our peer acceptance will likely increase leading to a reduction in bullying and behavior referrals. Finally, being intentional in focusing on kindness, we will continue to develop happy, confident, well-rounded individuals who will be able to collaborate, cooperate, and accept differences in other human beings. These skills are needed for our children as they become adults to help change our world.

GRANT OUTCOMES
We have been working hard to create a Culture of Kindness at MIS.  So far, we have demonstrated 5,775 acts of kindness since the inception of the program.  Every month we set a goal as a school.  We celebrate every month with the “Act of Kindness MVP” award. When a staff member recognizes our students demonstrating acts of kindness, the students are given a Kindness Coin. The coin is turned in for an entry into a drawing.  Students and teams have been recognized for their acts of kindness with rewards and prizes. Every month, we draw one name for 5th grade and one for 6th grade as our MVP. That student receives a trophy, and they have their picture on our Kindness Wall of Pride.

Grant Spotlight Archives

Grant Spotlight – Family Engineering Nights

Approximately 100 families attended and participated in a variety of STEM activities. The purpose of the program was to introduce our parents to the engineering process and the new Makerspace Room at MIS.

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Grant Spotlight – Robotics Club

The new Robotics Club expanded to two teams for competition in 2018. These students will be exposed to a CAD program donated to all first teams to develop their robot virtually before they start building one.

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Grant Spotlight – Family Engineering Nights

GRANT TITLE
Family Engineering Nights

GRANT AUTHOR, SCHOOL, IMPACT & FUNDING
Kara Bonin – Merrillville Intermediate School – up to 120 people at each of three events – $895.00

GRANT PERIOD
Round 32 for Spring 2018; implemented in Fall 2018

GRANT APPLICATION
We will host a Family Engineering Night each trimester. Parents and students will be invited in to participate together in a variety of STEM activities. The purpose is to introduce our parents to the engineering process and the new Makerspace at our school.

Activities will include: Arches, Boxing Beans, Glue is the Clue, Inspired by Nature, Let’s Communicate, Make It Loud, Shifting Shapes, Who Engineered It, Domino Diving Board, Happy Feet, Solid Ground, Assembly Line, Launcher, Stop and Think, Team UP.

Students and families will learn the engineering process and be encouraged to participate in our Time to Invent Club as well as seeking interest in future STEM professions. This will also support our three STEM projects that we are incorporating throughout the school year. Students and families will learn collaboration, thinking, problem solving, and simply a great way to have fun as a family.

GRANT OUTCOMES
We have held two Family Engineering Nights. Approximately 100 families attended and participated in a variety of STEM activities.  The purpose of the program is to introduce our parents to the engineering process and the new Makerspace Room at MIS.  Students and families learn the engineering process, be encouraged to participate in our Time to Invent Club, and seek interest in future STEM professions.                                            

Families worked together in the Launch activity, designing a catapult with only a spoon, rubber bands, and popsicle sticks.  The Tower Activity challenged them to build the tallest free-standing tower with only pipe cleaners.  Throughout the challenge, different parameters were put into place such as no talking with team, one hand only for each team member, etc.  The final activity was the assembly line, where the teams had to create the most efficient and effective way to build something.  Students and families used collaboration, thinking skills, and problem solving.  Everyone enjoyed themselves, and this was a wonderful and fun family learning experience for all.

PHOTO GALLERY

 

Grant Spotlight Archives

Grant Spotlight – Family Engineering Nights

Approximately 100 families attended and participated in a variety of STEM activities. The purpose of the program was to introduce our parents to the engineering process and the new Makerspace Room at MIS.

read more

Grant Spotlight – Robotics Club

The new Robotics Club expanded to two teams for competition in 2018. These students will be exposed to a CAD program donated to all first teams to develop their robot virtually before they start building one.

read more

Round 33 grants for 13 MCSC programs awarded

The grants for Round 33 were awarded in October of 2018.  Thirteen grants totaling $6,461.77 were awarded to enhance learning experiences for Merrillville students.  Enriching a Student’s Experience through the use of Chroma Key Technology, Inclusion Dance, African American History and the College Experience, and Simple Machines Are Not That Simple are just a few of the winning grant ideas.

Since 2002, the Merrillville Education Foundation has awarded 273 grants to teachers totaling $335,835.94.  These grants have impacted more than 109,009 student experiences in grades Pre-K through 12.

To get more details about these programs, view the complete listing of the Round 33 awarded grants…

Spring 2019 grant application now available; submission deadline October 11

Don't miss the deadline!The latest MEF grant application is now available online. Round 33 will fund innovative projects for the Spring Semester of 2019.

Application deadline is Thursday, October 11, 2018. Notification of Awards will be on or about Thursday, November 1, 2018. ONLY APPLICATIONS SENT TO MEFGRANT@GMAIL.COM WILL BE CONSIDERED.  You will receive a confirmation reply that your application has been received. (more…)

Round 32 grants for nine MCSC programs awarded

The grants for Round 32 were awarded in April of 2018.  Nine grants totaling $6,484.38 were awarded to enhance learning experiences for Merrillville students.  Listen, Learn, and Love the World Around You, Train Your Brain, There Is More To See Than Selfies!, Math Makeover, and The Great Kindness Challenge are just a few of the winning grant ideas.

Since 2002, the Merrillville Education Foundation has awarded 260 grants to teachers totaling $329,374.17.  These grants have impacted more than 101,488 student experiences in grades PK through 12.

To get more details about these programs, view the complete listing of the Round 32 awarded grants…