June 22, 2012
BCCF awards Classroom Innovations Grants
On Wednesday, June 13, the Bethlehem Central Community Foundation hosted a reception to honor BCCF scholarship winners and the recipients of the BCCF Classroom Innovations Grants.
This is the first time that BCCF, through a donation, was able to offer teachers and staff of BCSD the opportunity to apply for Classroom Innovation Grants. The purpose of these grants is to fund programs and capital projects that are not traditionally funded through the annual school budget and allow teachers to offer innovative programs that promote academic achievement and student well being. BCSD teachers and staff could apply for grants of up to $1,000 each.
This year BCCF awarded three Classroom Innovations Grants:
Project: Learning/Exercise Trail and Outdoor Classroom at Hamagrael Elementary
Applicants: Kellee deOlde, Dave Ksanznak, and Chris Berschwinger
Hamagrael received a donation of 2.5 acres of land last year and applied for funds to create nature trail stations and observation posts to enhance the outdoor learning environment for their students. As stated in the application “this grant opportunity will allow our students to shine and help those students who have more difficulty with traditional teaching methods become excited about learning. It will invigorate our staff to create exciting new real-life learning opportunities for our students.” Students will be involved in creating the learning stations along the trail and teachers will use the nature trail for classroom lessons involving ecology, science, health education, literature, and math.
Project: Raz-Kids and Writing A-Z website subscription for Elsmere Elementary
Applicants: Elsmere Elementary Teachers
Raz-Kids and Writing A-Z are websites that allow teachers to create individualized reading plans and writing programs for each of their students. With this grant, 12 teachers will be able to provide modified instruction to target the specific learning needs of their students, make connections to the Common Core Learning Standards, track individual student progress and monitor Student Learning Outcomes. The use of these websites will support and enhance the literacy instruction at Elsmere Elementary.
Project: 21st Century Kindergarten: iPods in the Classroom
Applicant: Allison Hepfer
This grant will allow Ms. Hepfer, a kindergarten teacher at Hamagrael Elementary, to purchase four iPod touches. The iPods will be used for small group instruction by allowing students to work on various apps at their appropriate levels during both math and literacy stations. The students will be able to use the iPods to identify sight words, trace letters, reinforce phonics, read eBooks, increase reading fluency and practice math skills such as shape recognition and addition and subtraction facts. The iPods will be a fun, motivating, and innovative learning tool and will help Ms. Hepfer differentiate her instruction and increase student learning.
The BCCF Grants Committee was overwhelmed by the positive response it received.
“We hope to be able to offer grants every year,” said Patty Michaelson, BCCF Grants Committee Chair. “With more and more programs being cut due to budget restraints, we think it is important to offer teachers and staff this opportunity to enhance their students’ learning experience.”
To find out more about BCCF, the Classroom
Innovation Grants or how to contribute to BCCF,