2022 TEACHER GRANT AWARDS
THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS DONORS
15 Grants Awarded for a Total of $7,500
John W. and Dorothy Steinhauer Scholarship/Mini Grant Fund
1. Brittany Everett - Cuyahoga Falls High School
Title: Visible Student (Anatomy & Physiology)
While teaching Anatomy & Physiology for the first time, it became clear to Brittany Everett that students were often struggling to make the connection between the content and their own bodies. For this project, as students learn about the various body structure of organs, muscles, bones, etc., they will draw and label them on their suits, a plain white, paper painters suit. The teacher will assess student understanding by asking them to put on their suits, identify the location(s) of organs/bones/etc., describe its structure, functions, and any other “need to know” information.
Kat Skoff - DeWitt Elementary School
Title: Letters of Gratitude
This project will teach formal letter-writing skills to every grade level (K-5). Students will select 2-3 members of the Cuyahoga Falls Community to compose a letter, use online search tools to find an address for their business or company, and learn the mechanics of letter-writing in order to compose a formal letter, showing appreciation for what these individuals do for the town and how they enrich the lives of those around them. This project aligns with one of the district’s areas of focus, to increase proficiency in oral and written communication. This project will help build reading and writing skills, and language fluency for our native speakers and our growing EL population, and will encourage the expression of appreciation. Students will also learn about stamps, including a brief history, how the designs and price has changed over the years and why, what a Forever Stamp is, how to properly address an envelope, affix the stamp, include a return address, and learn why and when extra postage is required.
The Louise Flickinger Kittel Memorial Professional Grant Fund
Danielle Hansford - Cuyahoga Falls High School
Title: Stove Replacement
One of the primary goals of the Autism Program is to provide students who receive a functional curriculum with opportunities to develop the skills needed to be as independent as possible by the time they exit high school. Kitchen safety and the ability to cook for oneself is a critical component to their autonomy as they transition to life after high school. The current stove is old and unreliable. The act of cooking is more than just a daily living skill. Cooking lessons address extended standards in the areas of math, language arts, and even science through reading recipes, measuring ingredients, setting timers, and everything else that goes into cooking. Hands-on and practical learning experiences are imperative to not only our students’ academic success, but also their independence as they transition out of high school.
S. Berry, K. Engelhardt, A. Hilkert, & T. Reno - Lincoln Elementary School
Title: Reset Spot-Managing Emotions in a Safe Way
This year, more students have struggled to handle emotions. Providing a reset spot will give students a safe space and tools to help regulate emotions. It will allow students to have tools that can help them to calm down and they will be ready to learn sooner. Students who are in a safe environment are able to make more progress and growth in their classroom. The project will include purchasing the materials and creating the safe space. The kit includes a mat, posters to help reset the student’s emotions and fidget toys to help calm the student.
The Helen Erf Marshall & Alfred “Al” Marshall Family Fund (Kenneth Pengelly: donor)
Renee Mihalyov - Cuyahoga Falls High School
Title: Theater Outreach - Children’s Shows
For the past several years Renee Mihalyov’s Advanced Acting Class has been putting together a Children’s show for the district Elementary Schools and traveling to each of the 6 schools to perform for the students. Recently, they focused on grades K-2 and found that students at this age are most engaged when there are some visual focus points: costuming; backdrop; props; and minor set pieces. This grant will help cover the costs of production rights and performance necessities. The theater students benefit from planning and producing a performance. They get to experience what it is like to tour with a production and how to adapt to the needs of a changing environment and audience. For the elementary school audience, they benefit by being able to see and experience a live theatrical performance. It gives them a greater connection to the arts and to their own home school system.
The Cuyahoga Falls High School Class of 1971 Professional Grant Fund
R. Winkler, B. Kiser, & P. Mulvaney - Preston Elementary School
Title: Students Actively Learning with Manipulatives
Mr. Kiser is a first grade teacher in his third year of teaching. Mr. Mulvaney is an Intervention Specialist assigned to this classroom in his ninth year of teaching.
Mr. Winkler is a Technology Integration Specialist who travels to three elementary buildings. Manipulative items allow students to actively engage in mathematical and language arts lessons. Students learn in many different ways. A classroom with a variety of manipulative materials is at an advantage to help students learn concepts and explore ideas in a hands-on, experimental way for mathematical and language arts critical thinking skills. They also help students build communication and team skills.
Julie Haluch - Price and Richardson Elementary Schools
Title: Teacher Study Groups
This project is intended to provide meaningful professional development for the teachers at Price and Richardson schools and is presented by the Literacy Specialist, Julie Haluch, who works with the teachers and will facilitate the group. The voluntary groups will meet monthly for one hour October through April, and focus on a district goal through the reading of a professional text. The groups will provide teachers the opportunity to direct, reflect, and facilitate their own learning at the start of summer break, giving them the opportunity to read a book over the summer if they choose. The books include:
“Shifting the Balance” by Jan Burkins and Kari Yates. It focuses on six ways to bring the Science of Reading into the Balanced Literacy Classroom. With the passage of Ohio House Bill 436, our teachers want to learn more about how to make literacy instruction work for all students in their classrooms.
“Who’s Doing the Work?” by Jan Burkins and Kari Yates. This book suggests ways to make small but powerful adjustments to instruction that hold students accountable for their own learning. It offers a vision for adjusting reading instruction in guided reading and other areas of literacy instruction to better align with the goal of creating independent, proficient, and joyful readers.
Study groups are a very effective form of professional development for teachers. This project invests in our teachers as teachers gain insights from the author’s best practices in literacy. By investing in our teachers, we are investing in our students.
The Cuyahoga Falls High School Class of 1958 Professional Grant Fund
Courtney Lambert - Cuyahoga Falls High School
Title - Operation: Build Our Chops
Due to the nature of their instrument, percussionists are often not able to focus on their specific skill set during the band’s daily warm-up session. They produce sound by striking something which is different from the wind players who produce sound with their lips, mouth and air. This means percussionists often play along during the wind player warm-ups but using the “real” equipment (xylophones,snare drums, bass drum, campari) and the full band curriculum requires them to perform the exact same exercises as the wind players instead of exercises developing the specific technical skills required of percussionists.
A classroom set of practice pads and stands would allow percussion students to develop their “chops' ' or technical skills simultaneously with the rest of the group, but would not restrict them to playing exactly the same exercises as the wind instruments. The percussion section could work through a percussion based curriculum instead, which would serve their learning needs much better. Purchasing practice pads will allow percussionists the independence they need to pursue their own curriculum while the wind players pursue theirs, creating a much better differentiated learning opportunity on a daily basis.
Rebekah Chaffee - Preston Elementary School
Title: A Peaceful Classroom
Social-emotional learning (SEL) refers to the development of self-awareness, self-control, self-regulation, social skills, and responsible decision-making, all of which are essential for school and life success. Children will learn how to handle overwhelming feelings, develop a positive self-image, and learn how to improve social and emotional skills needed to show empathy, compassion and kindness. The supplies purchased through this grant will give us thought-provoking lessons, discussions, and activities to help children identify emotions and feelings. Students who participated in SEL programs saw an 11 percentile increase in their overall grades and better attendance. In this program, students will use an Emotion Exploration with handouts and worksheets and an Emotion Overview with learning topics around feelings and emotions from themselves and others.
Janelle Patchin - Price Elementary School
Title: Tiger Den
One out of five students a year experience a mental health disorder. With children’s mental health on the rise, Janelle Patchin wants to create a space within the school building for students that will allow them to de-stress, relax, and diffuse anxiety. This space will be a safe space where students can practice mindfulness and learn to utilize coping tools, as well as stimulate and calm their nervous systems. The space will have items to aid students in this process such as the following: breathing activities demonstrated through pictures/posters, stress coloring, glitter jars, fidgets, calming music, crash mats, bean bag chairs and window and light covers. In addition, this space will have a resource center where staff can borrow activities, books, and/or tools to aid students across all school settings. One of the resources is the social-emotional series called Little Spot Series by Diane Alber. This series helps students learn about different emotions and how to use strategies when in that state of emotion.
Lisa Tecco - Richardson Elementary School
Title: Scientific Readers Success
Scientific Readers Succeed is designed to integrate reading into the science classroom. Specifically, interactive read alouds that are connected to the NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) for grade 5 will be integrated into instruction. Reading is the gateway to all learning. That being said, we know that literacy skills are critical for students to reach high levels of success in all content acres. As the Cuyahoga Falls City School District’s population becomes more diverse, data shows that we must continue to find ways to support our English Language Learners, African American, economically disadvantaged and students with disabilities populations. This can be accomplished through helping students acquire background knowledge and content-specific vocabulary through interactive read-alouds in the science classroom. Interactive read-alouds have been proven to provide students with language experience, enhance imagination, creativity, memory, and curiosity, help students make connections across cultures to real life situations, introduce students to the pleasures of reading and texts of all kinds, build classroom community, improve independent reading proficiency, and increase students’ interest in independent reading.
The Dr. Sandra S. Fishel Memorial Professional Grant Fund
Stephen Newlon - Cuyahoga Falls High School
Title: Urban Agriculture
The goal of any school should be to have students college or career ready upon graduation and to provide them with as many unique and inspiring learning opportunities as possible. In our effort to build a more robust Urban Agriculture program for our main student body and the pending CTE Urban Agriculture program, the need to include instruction not only in plant science, but also animal science is becoming quite apparent. We have found that a hands-on approach and real world application is necessary to build lasting knowledge and skills. By providing our students with an opportunity to raise and care for a small flock of hens, we are providing them an opportunity to learn where their food comes from (in the form of eggs) and also allow them to take what they have learned in science and health classes and apply it to a real-life situation. Students will gain independence by raising their flock
The money offered through this grant will help to bring new learning experiences and growth to our students’ skill sets and will better prepare them to meet their post-secondary goals in the Green Industry. Through this project, students will demonstrate an increased ownership over their learning. This responsibility is known to have a lasting impact on their cognitive development and creates pathways to skills such as problem solving and collaboration.
Stephanie Petit - Richardson Elementary School
Title: We Grow Here; We Grow Everywhere
Richardson Elementary School is proud of its many cross-curricular connections, including their teaching gardens. “We Grow Here; ’We Grow There; We Grow Everywhere” will teach students valuable lessons about plants, gardening, health, wellness, and self-sustainability. As we continue to build upon this work, we have mobile grow carts for classrooms. These “grow carts” allow students to plant seeds and observe the daily changes of plant growth. The seedlings that grow will be transplanted into the teaching and learning garden. Students will care for the gardens and reap the fruits of their labor. Harvested produce will be served to students in the school cafeteria and classrooms. Extra produce will be sent home to families who are in need of fresh produce. Aspects of student learning that will be positively impacted by this project include Science, Health and Social Emotional Learning. In the Spring, students will plant seeds, grow them into seedlings in grow carts in K-5 classroom, collaboratively clean out teaching gardens, transplant seedlings to gardens, and care for the newly transplanted seedlings and observe plant growth. In the Summer, families will have the opportunity to care for the teaching and learning gardens. In the Fall, students will harvest the produce, eat it and share it with families. Then they will clear out the gardens to prepare for the next year.
Amanda Hackbarth - Richardson, Bolich, & CFHS
Title: Speak Up Through Play
All students need a voice. All students need to communicate effectively and efficiently with others. Students who are nonverbal need us to advocate for them. This project will incorporate the use of adapted toys and switches to teach cause and effect and purposeful intent to our students who are nonverbal and those with limited cognitive abilities. These items will be added to the speech-language repertoire of items we are developing to share across the district. Students who are noverbal will begin the journey to finding their voice. Students who are nonverbal or suffer cognitive impairments struggle to learn through typical learning channels and using adapted toys will provide a unique and fun way to acquire the first stages of communication development. This will lead a student through the hierarchy of language development and hopefully use more sophisticated means for communicating (i.e. adapted switches/communication devices). Adapted switches and toys are expensive and the funds for this project will help support our students as they develop language skills with reduced cost to staff. Over the course of the year, students will play with these adapted toys and switches without realizing they are learning during their structured therapy sessions. Students who need to find an effective way to communicate will use these toys and switches as a jumping off point.
Leslie Dougherty - Silver Lake Elementary School
Title: Earth Science; Erosion Stream Tables
The Ohio Learning Standards (OLS) for Fourth Grade include Earth and Space Standards (ESS). These standards focus on the Earth’s surface. There are 3 specific content statements that fourth graders are to “explore and investigate”. These are:
1. Earth’s surface has specific characteristics and landforms that can be identified;
2. The surface of Earth changes due to weathering; and 3. The surface of Earth changes due to erosion and deposition. A Stream Table is a long plastic tray in which sand and a water source are placed. The Stream Table helps to model the effects of river processes on the Earth’s surface. Reading about landforms, weathering, erosion and deposition in a book or looking at the effects in pictures or videos is not nearly as effective as watching it happen and being able to manipulate it yourself. With the grant, students will be able to examine kinesthetically how the Earth’s surface changes. Students learn best when they are doing rather than passively receiving information. Having hands-on learning ties into Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) principals. The earlier students are exposed to these experiences, the more beneficial to the child.
2021 TEACHER GRANT AWARDS
THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS DONORS
7 Grants Awarded for a Total of $3,500
Bill Bailey - Cuyahoga Falls City Schools District Food Manager
Title: The Back Tiger Cafe Channel
The Black Tiger Cafe Channel is dedicated to creating nutritional and culinary videos for Black Tiger students, families, staff members and community members. The goal is to promote community wellness with a staple that we cannot do without: food. Promoting healthy eating and healthy lifestyles is a part of learning and helps to contribute to a collective growth.
Culinary videos will be filmed and posted twice each month, with a focus on live demonstrations on how to cook and connect with the curriculum. Planning will take place every other week with teachers, students and families. The process for each show will take approximately two weeks to complete. The goal will be to have a show or video at least twice a month.
Jessica Reichley-Silver Lake Elementary - Kindergarten
Title: Hands on Math
Kindergarten students need more help with one-to-one correspondence and understanding math through play based learning that is appropriate. Having center based activities that can be completed either individually or in small groups ( with COVID-19 safety measures) will help with this understanding. This grant will help provide ready to go math centers and manipulatives that are age appropriate. This will help students improve in the area of math understanding as well as with their fine motor skills.
Lauren Bittner-Preston and Silver Lake Elementary- Art
Title: Flex Curriculum-Designed ;by the Art of Education University
To develop methods in incorporating more contemporary art and art history content across all elementary grade level art curriculums (grades K-5), in an engaging way with a more current curriculum tool. The Flex Curriculum tool will be a resource to use in class to engage students in meaningful connections to art history, contemporary art, and their own art making process. The digital curriculum tool will allow access to a variety of resources that can be digitally shared or presented in class. This will include digital and print versions of worksheets, artist biographies, instructional videos that tie directly to National Art Content Standards.
Steve McIntosh-Cuyahoga Falls High School-intervention Specialist
Title: Intro to Urban Agriculture
To develop and implement a course that will provide students with a basic understanding of urban agriculture through hands-on learning, classroom instruction and off-campus authentic learning experiences. After years of using the CFHS Fresh Farm as an extension of the classroom, it has now developed into a year long course. With the funds provided through this grant, students will be able to construct additional beds that will grow food for both donation (community engagement) as well as for sale at a student-lead market, (entrepreneurial skills.)
Last year, student volunteers grew and harvested almost 3,000 lbs. of food for local food pantries in Cuyahoga Falls.
Cindy Pribonic-Preston Elementary School- Second Grade
Title: Science Exploration
The goal of the “Science Exploration” is to provide students with hands-on Science activities that meet the state science academic standards. The main focus in 2nd grade is Observations of the Environment by understanding: The Earth and Space Science, Changes in Motion, and Interactions with Habitats. In order to help students understand these topics, it would be beneficial to have models, figures and engaging lab activities. The project will provide at least one model/figure or an engaging lab activity to go along with each science unit and reading materials to reinforce learning activities.