By Sophie Pappas
On Oct. 13, the Zionsville Education Foundation awarded the group’s annual fall grants to educators around Zionsville. The final total was $32,202.13 in fall classroom grants funded.
Teacher Andy Kistner received $5,754 for a digital piano. Nearly two-thirds of the student body of Zionsville West Middle School are touched by music, and the life span of the current piano at Z’West has run out. The new Yamaha digital piano will help develop vocal performance skills, aural abilities, and accompany musical literature.
Jenny Froehle received $6,800 for all ZCS elementary schools. ZCS is the only school system in the metropolitan area without physical education teachers delivering wellness/fitness lessons to students. With this grant, ZCS elementary teachers will be given the tools they need: detailed curriculum, an Artist in Residence, consulting, equipment assessment, and a partnership with IUPUI’s School of Education with pre-service PE teachers to work in ZCS schools.
Sara Hunter and Ryan LaPlante received $1,123.90 to help bring robotic curriculum to eager K-1 students. Robotics develops more than programming skills, and the Bee-Bot kits will ensure that our youngest students develop their problem solving, collaboration, critical thinking and mathematical skills.
Kara Benson at Boone Meadow Elementary received $964.23 to purchase Lego WeDo Robotics kits needed by Boone Meadow as a result of the school’s population growth. These will allow more students to actively participate in problem-solving, building, and programming robots in their STEM classes.
Sara Hunter and Ryan LaPlante received $6,446 for use at all the elementary schools/ This grant harnesses the creativity of Do It Yourself and channels it through designing, inventing and tinkering to solve problems and improve or create new products. A Makers Space will be created in each elementary STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Lab with kits building on students’ knowledge of electricity, design, and computer programming.
Brittany Moon of Zionsville Middle School received $2,495 for her project titled “Chickens and Children.” This will allow for ZMS to rebuild a chicken coop that is an integral part of social and academic growth. Renovation of the coop will allow this essential program to continue by providing lessons in communication skills, self-regulation of behavior, functional math, motor and job readiness skills as students feed, collect eggs, maintain the coop and sell the eggs.
Johnathan Grismore of ZCHS received $2,685. With ZCS moving to 1:1 laptop technology, Virtual Business will allow students to be hands-on and interactive with management, finance and retail course content. Students will be exposed to the start-up of a business, sending high school students to college or entrepreneurial endeavors.
Cindy King and Steve Cripe of ZCHS received $5,123. CS is a leader in the state in testing in a number of science levels and adding advanced studies in spectrometry will affect 750 students. Used in biology, chemistry and physics, spectrometers will be used in copper analysis in AP chemistry, evidence in blood samples in forensics and photosynthesis pigments in biology.
Jennifer Davis of ZCHS received $1,240 for the “Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication-Handicapped Children.” This is a program in which individual work stations teach skills to students with disabilities. Best practice indicates breaking large tasks into many smaller steps when working with students with disabilities, and these shoe-box sized activities will allow students to conquer tasks step-by-step on the path to independence.