Highline Schools Foundation Awards over $110,000 Grants this December

Highline Schools Foundation is pleased to announce they awarded $110,550 in grants to teachers and staff in support of Highline Public Schools this December! These funds will support activities and experiences that expand the learning process and actively engage students. “We are all so grateful to the Highline Schools Foundation for supporting our teachers and staff with Excel grants. These grants encourage innovation and sustain great practices that benefit our students.” said Dr. Susan Enfield, Highline Public Schools Superintendent.

In additional to books, field trips, technology and supports for our special needs students throughout the district, other projects funded this year through the Excel Grant program include bicycle repair and specialized maintenance tools at Big Picture for hands-on learning apprenticeship; Djembes (hand drums) at Cedarbrook Elementary will improve their rich and diverse music program; author Jim Whiting will inspire students at North Hill Elementary; a camcorder at Sylvester Middle School will allow grade 8 students to direct and produce the news; and a new range for the kitchen at Tyee High School will be used weekly by 2 ILC classes as well as other special education programs, clubs, sports teams and other classes throughout the year.

“Recently our range that is more than 40 years old broke. As a result, we had to significantly modify our cooking program and independent living skills training because we no longer had the range as a tool to teach cooking. After we went to small schools, the home-ec rooms were taken apart and the kitchen in the ILC program is the only kitchen on campus where students can learn cooking. This Excel Grant made an immediate difference! Just last week we had not only our 2 ILC classes cooking, but also the Tyee Band and the Pacific Islander Club used it for making items to sell in the holiday bazaar.” said Linda Lambert, Tyee High School

The Foundation’s Excel Grant program was created to support classroom innovation throughout Highline Public Schools and to provide teachers resources they need to help students be successful. Some of the Excel Grants were given out via the Foundation’s “Prize Patrol”—surprise visits by Foundation Trustees to staff meetings, classrooms and assemblies during which the checks were presented to excited and deserving district staff.

The Foundation’s Impact Grant awards $10,000 to one school or program in the district for an opportunity that aligns with the Highline Public Schools strategic plan in a way that impacts a large number of students.

Congratulations to the 2017-2018 Impact Grant recipient “Equity and Computer Science for All” at North Hill Elementary! “This is the first year an Impact Grant is awarded to an elementary school and we were excited to be able to make such a significant impact on the entire student body.” said Anne Baunach, Highline Schools Foundation Executive Director.

Equity and Computer Science for All-May Ovalles

“Equity and Computer Science for All” – May Ovalles at North Hill Elementary School (Pictured (left to right) Scott Logan, Chief Operations Officer; May Ovalles, Assistant Principal; Chau Le, Math; Lisa Juvinall, Science; Trishia Sewell, Literacy; Travis Exstrom, HSF President-Elect; Anne Baunach, Highline Schools Foundation Executive Director, and Kimberly Gilmore, Principal

5th & 6th grade students at North Hill Elementary have participated in computer science exploration with Code.org’s Hour of Code the past few years. Thanks to funding through the Impact Grant, this year they will be able to go beyond the Hour of Code. This means that not only will students participate during Computer Science Week in December 2017, all our 6th graders will be immersed in a Computer Science Fundamentals unit and the 5th grade team will incorporate coding and computer science lessons into their math or science classes.

“Students are interested in doing more with computer programming. The strong computational thinking, problem-solving, group work and critical internet safety basics incorporated into these game-driven lessons and activities work to engage students while they learn coding and computer science fundamentals,” Assistant Principal May Ovalles wrote in the grant application.

A few this year’s Excel Grant recipients:

Des Moines Elementary-Lisa McMullen & Kevin Garber

Des Moines Elementary
(Pictured left to right) Kevin Garber, 3rd Grade Teacher, Crystal Krippaehne, Teacher, Lisa McMullen, 4th Grade Teacher, and Highline Schools Foundation Trustee Chad Harper

Broadening our Knowledge of Native American Cultures and Traditions – Kevin Garber: Des Moines Elementary 3rd graders are developing their research reading and writing skills through the lens of the different and diverse cultures among the many First nations of North America with newly updated books provided by the Highline Schools Foundation.

4th Grade Waskowitz Outdoor Field Trip – Lisa McMullen: Every year the 4th grade students at Des Moines Elementary attend a field trip at Camp Waskowitz for one day. The curriculum in 4th grade focuses on Washington State History and this field trip provides students with an opportunity to learn more about our state’s history in an environment that is both interesting and engaging. Students will participate in activities that will enrich their understanding of topics learned in class during our Living History day at Camp Waskowitz.

Native American Literacy Project (Pictured left to right) Superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield, Highline Public Schools, Amanda Rambayon, Native Education Literacy Liaison, Anne Baunach, Highline Schools Foundation Executive Director and Sara Ortiz, Native Student Success Program Manager. This project supports the Native American Programs at Highline Public Schools by purchasing books and bringing in local Native American presenters.

Native American Literacy Project
(Pictured left to right) Superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield, Highline Public Schools, Amanda Rambayon, Native Education Literacy Liaison, Anne Baunach, Highline Schools Foundation Executive Director and Sara Ortiz, Native Student Success Program Manager. This project supports the Native American Programs at Highline Public Schools by purchasing books and bringing in local Native American presenters.

Native American Literacy Project – Amanda Rambayon: This project supports the Native American Programs at Highline Schools by purchasing books and bringing in local Native American presenters. We currently have a library comprised of Native authored/illustrated books that accurately portray Native people and nations. These funds will help buy new books to add to our library. Also, funds will be used to invite local Native American presenters to share their knowledge at different Highline Schools.

(Pictured left to right) Michelle Mahurin, Stephanie Nelson, Luke Stromberg, Stefanie Skiljan, Anne Baunach, Jerome Upshaw, and Lisa Carlson Six grants were awarded this year at MRHS to support literacy & arts, career and college readiness, health & Sports and technology.

(Pictured left to right) Michelle Mahurin, Stephanie Nelson, Luke Stromberg, Stefanie Skiljan, Anne Baunach, Jerome Upshaw, and Lisa Carlson
Six grants were awarded this year at MRHS to support literacy & arts, career and college readiness, health & Sports and technology.

Continued Chromebook Connections – Michelle Mahurin: My students need Chromebooks in order to complete their assignments, their Advisory requirements, graduation requirements, apply for jobs and do other things that require technology and access to the internet. Technology is a requirement in this day and age and it’s part of Highline’s Strategic Plan. My students need to be able to learn how to use it responsibly and practically.

Civic Action Game! – Stephanie Nelson: https://www.politicraft.org/ is an action civics card game that helps students participate and learn. It is aligned to the C3 standards which are the standards for Social Studies and History.

Choral Clinic with a Professional – Luke Stromberg: Funds to hire Dr. Brad Pierson from the University of Toledo to come lead choral workshops and rehearsal at Mount Rainier High School. Having a choral professional in the choir rehearsal room is an irreplaceable experience that students will remember throughout the school year. This learning experience will give us tools and techniques to use for the rest of the school year and beyond.

Equitable Access to bathrooms at MRHS – Stefanie Skiljan: In order to create a safe, welcoming school for our LGBTQ+ students, students and staff at MRHS will make 4 staff restrooms gender inclusive. These restrooms will be used by staff and students with an access code. This project has been initiated and led by LGBTQ+ students who are advocating for their own sense of well-being. We hope this change can foster a sense of belonging for LGBTQ+ students and staff and make their presence at MRHS more visible.

Come Socialize at the Social Justice Social! – Jerome Upshaw: The Social Justice Social is a new program that cultivates a space for students to discuss and formulate opinions on the many social justice topics that impact them. Each month will focus on a different social justice topic, have different activities each week, and book to support the theme. We hope to have students come together to build their voices in the community. The program will help connect students with teachers who are sponsoring the book of the month. And students will build stronger relationships with their peers which will increase their engagement in school.

World Languages for a Larger Worldview – Lisa Carlson: Recent technologies and social media have made communication and literacy a prime requisite for interacting in the world around us. Encouraging and supporting bi-lingual and bi-literate skills and education through our school library enhances student learning and promotes greater proficiency. When students read books in a second or third language, they build vocabulary and grammar skills; they also learn structures in thinking that are unique to each culture. In turn, this opens students’ minds to other ways of thinking or perceiving the world around them.

A complete list of this year’s winners is available in the Grants/History section (click HERE) and photos can be found on Facebook and Twitter. We will also share stories as they come in.

Foundation Programs Supporting Students

The Highline Schools Foundation plays a critical role for Highline Public Schools—we provide our students with the resources they need to succeed in school. From classroom supplies to sports equipment, from field trips to scholarships, the Highline Schools Foundation raises funds to help our communities’ kids with what they need in school.

Poverty is a significant and growing problem for America – over 63% of our student population are on the free or reduced lunch program, meaning their family income falls below the poverty line. The Foundation supports these under-resourced students in a variety of ways.

Support for Homeless Students

boy with backpackAs of November 2016, Highline had 697 students who qualified for McKinney-Vento[1] services. Over the past few years, there has been a steady increase in the number of students and families that are homeless/in transition.

To help with the rising need, the Highline Schools Foundation provides support for these families’ basic needs like food and clothing, so they can come to school ready to learn.

Below is a success story of a McKinney-Vento (homeless) family that has transitioned from unstably housed to stable housing thanks to the district’s Rapid Rehousing Program: Student Family Stability Initiative (better known as SFSI).

A single mother of three with children attending Highline schools in SeaTac had been couch surfing for nearly six months, bouncing between relatives and friends. This was a great period of turmoil for the family as they did not know where they were going to be staying from one day to the next. The constant moving had taken its toll on the children.

Things finally changed for the family after being referred by the school counselor for the SFSI. Since the family already had a Section 8 voucher[2], the program was only able to assists with move in-cost. Determined not to let the voucher expire, this mother worked diligently to find a place for her family.  Less than two months after being enrolled in the SFSI program, this mother found a place for her family to live and with some assistance from HSF Partner Neighborhood House. After receiving assistance with move in costs, the family has now been stably housed for the past four months.

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, in effect since 1987, is a federal law that ensures immediate enrollment and educational stability for homeless children and youth. The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children and youth as “individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.”

Please visit the Highline Public Schools for more information about this program, including how to access McKinney-Vento Services in our district. If you would like information about donating gift cards or vouchers, please contact the Highline Schools Foundation: [email protected].

Project N.O.W.

apple and booksOne in five American children faces food insecurity. During the school week, most of these children depend on the federal free and reduced meal program their school offers. Sometimes, the meals at school are the only ones they get. When the school closes its doors on Friday afternoon, many of these children go home to empty cupboards.

That is why we started Project N.O.W. (Nutrition on Weekends) to ensure that our students have adequate healthy, easy-to-prepare meals on the weekends. The program launched in 2014 with one school and now serves five elementary schools plus a middle school and high school.

Project N.O.W. is a program that supports Highline Public School students who are food insecure. At the elementary and secondary level, a weekend’s supply of food is sent home with students each Friday in a backpack. The empty backpack is returned on Monday, and the process repeats itself each week. At the high school level, a food pantry is set up where students can access food to be eaten either at school or can be taken home at night.

Below is a story of one student who benefits from the new food pantry:

Brandon and his family parted ways when he was 17.  He is currently renting a room in a house and has a hotpot in his room.  The Highline High School Project N.O.W. pantry is a lifesaver for him because it allows him to select and take home in his backpack ready to eat, no-cook, and add-hot-water foods: Cup-o-Noodles, oatmeal; protein and energy bars, juice boxes.

Please contact your school counselor to see if this program is available at your school.  If you would like information about donating to this program, please visit the Project N.O.W. webpage or contact the Highline Schools Foundation: [email protected].

School Supplies

pencilsBack to School Fairs provide families with a fun, safe and supportive environment to ensure their children receive the proper vision, nutrition, medical, dental and academic resources they need to be ready for school as well as backpacks and school supplies.

Thanks to our partnership with the Rotary Club of Des Moines/Normandy Park – Des Moines area students from low-income families start school prepared with supplies and can focus on their education. We also partner with White Center Promise to serve students in the north end of our district. SeaTac students are served through several community organizations who come together to put on a Back to School Resource Fair for students who attend school in SeaTac, Washington.

Some resource fairs are focused on the needs of students in just one school, others are district-wide, and others are city-based like the SeaTac Back to School Fair. Please visit the Highline Public Schools calendar in the summer to see which schools are served through a local back to school fair.

The Highline Schools Foundation coordinates the collection of schools supplies with backpacks for students within Highline Public Schools. We have a wonderful company that we work with that allows us to buy name brand items at wholesale prices. We distribute to students schools throughout the district that need help with school supplies. Some of these students may be homeless; others are students who live below the poverty line.

Because of our ability to access the wholesale prices, the easiest way to support providing students with supplies is to send funding to us and we will take care of the purchasing and distribution. The cost of the backpacks filled with supplies is $12.89 for elementary school backpacks and $12.30 for middle school backpacks. You may send a check to the Highline Schools Foundation at 15675 Ambaum Blvd SW, Burien, WA 98166 or go online to donate through this link. (Put school supplies in the notes area.)


Shoe Library

The “Shoe Locker” at Pacific Middle School

Participation Fees: All middle and high school students in our district have to pay to play sports. Many students in our district that want to play sports, can’t afford the participation fee. Even as little as $50 is too much for some students and it is hard for them to make sports a priority when their family has basic expenses for basic needs like food, gas and clothing to worry about. The Highline Schools Foundation helps these students. since in 2014, we have helped all middle and high students who needed assistance.

Equipment: Through funding through an Excel Grant, Philip Wallen created a Shoe Library at Pacific Middle School with cleats in every size with multiple shoes in common sizes. Students are able to check them out for football, soccer, and softball and return them at the end of the season.  The shoe library will make a huge difference for the kids who can’t afford cleats for sports.

“When the shoes arrived, and I was sorting them, many kids were asking what they were for. A lot of kids were talking about not having cleats during the softball season and how this would have really helped.”  ~ Philip Wallen, Teacher Fitness/Leadership/Coach

Project PROMise™

Watch the video - Project PROMise: A Cinderalla Story

Project PROMise is Highline School’s Foundation’s outreach program in which new and gently used formal dresses are collected from our community and given to local students in need so they can attend their prom in style.

Every year, the Highline Schools Foundation collects beautiful new and gently worn formal dresses and gowns, shoes and accessories from throughout our community. Highline Public School high school students in need will be invited to “go shopping” in the spring for the perfect dress and accessories for their prom. The dresses are offered to the students to keep, or they may return them to the Foundation to be used the following year.

How can you help? The Highline Schools Foundation is always looking for donations. If you have new or gently worn dresses, shoes, jewelry and accessories, call the Foundation at 206-631-3120. It takes many volunteers to make this event special for Highline students. If you would like to be added to the volunteer list, please email us at [email protected] or call (206) 631-3120. Our volunteers make this event happen! Event sponsorship provides individuals and businesses great exposure in our community, and provides Highline Schools Foundation with resources to be able to support Project PROMise and other important programs to help students in Highline Public Schools.

Please contact our Executive Director, Anne Baunach for more information about sponsorship opportunities available for all Highline Schools Foundation events. [email protected] or (206) 631-3120.

Your donations make a difference in the lives of individual students and your gifts help to provide outstanding academic and athletic programs, scholarships, tools for our teachers, a rich community environment and so much more.

Please visit our “Ways to Donate” page to find out how you can put your gift to work immediately by making a gift today!

Highline Schools Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable corporation and your
donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by the law.

If you have any questions, please contact us at (206) 631-3120 or email us at [email protected]

[1] https://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/pg116.html
[2] https://www.kcha.org/housing/vouchers/

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Excel Grant Stories – Field Trips

The U.S. Travel Association recently conducted a study with 400 adults (balanced for gender, age, race and income), half of which had taken a learning trip in their youth, the other half had not. The study found that, regardless of gender, ethnicity or socioeconomic status, youth who take educational trips have better grades (59 percent), higher graduation rates from high school (95 percent) and college (63 percent), and greater income (12 percent higher annually). In fact, 89 percent said educational trips had a positive, lasting impact on their education and career because the trips made them more engaged, intellectually curious and interested in and out of school.

The Foundation applauds each teacher’s dedication to providing the best possible education for our students and one of the most impactful ways the Foundation supports students is with classroom grants for programs like these field trips.

4th Grade Living History at Waskowitz Outdoor School | Hazel Valley Elementary

4th Grade Living History at Waskowitz Outdoor School!This grant allowed us to get all 4th graders from Hazel Valley to attend Camp Waskowitz at a more reasonable price. It lowered the cost of each student from $28 to $6. In the past many families have asked for financial assistance but because of this grant only a small handful of families asked for assistance. This made the trip much more manageable for our schools community.

This grant made a huge difference in our school and helped create lifelong memories. Students got the opportunity to experience Camp Waskowitz before they go as 6th graders. 6th grade teachers have said this trip helps ease some of the anxiety of staying at Camp as 6th graders. One specific story I can share has to do with a LRC student that joined our class for this field trip. He normally is shy, timid and not willing to participate. Throughout the field trip he was the exact opposite, he was smiling, raising his hand to participate and using real tools. This grant has also set an expectation/tradition that as 4th graders we will be going to Camp Waskowitz.

“Thank you for continuing to grant this Excel Grant Application.  I’m not sure how we could continue to do this field trip without this grant! Much love and appreciation!!!” ~ Jairo Garcia

Big Picture Junior Year East Side College Hop-portunity

Big Picture Hop-portunity

“I learned that going to a college or university that requires me to live on campus might benefit me in the long run because I get to network and learn how to be more independent and engage in diverse groups and activities.”

With the grant money we received, we were able to take 14 of our juniors to visit three eastern Washington universities, including an overnight stay in the dorms at EWU. Our goal was to expose as many students as possible to schools beyond the typical Highline “commute”. The trip was incredibly positive and smooth, and all of our students reported they were planning on applying to at least one of the three schools we visited. I think we were also able to both answer students’ questions about college and the application process, and generate excitement about the possibility of attending a four-year institution.

We asked our students to reflect on the trip, their impressions of the schools, and what, if any, influence the experience had on their post-high school visions. Some quotes from the reflections:

  • “I’m now considering going to a college/university that is a little far from home, like Central. I learned that going to a college or university that requires me to live on campus might benefit me in the long run because I get to network and learn how to be more independent and engage in diverse groups and activities.”
  • “After going on this trip and visiting a few more schools I realized that the atmosphere between different schools can be so different in ways that I didn’t notice before…so that really reinforced the idea that you should visit a college before you actually commit to going there.”
  • “The best part of the trip was probably having [a former BP graduate] speak about how transition from an innovative school to a traditional school.”
  • “This trip pushed me forward to do better so that I can go to college. Being on an overnight trip with my best friends was awesome. We had hilarious conversations and I feel closer to them than ever. I would do this whole trip again in a heartbeat, so I hope there are more like this in the future.”

My co-advisor, Angie and I love the process and rely on HSF grants each year to run essential activities with our students. We are happy with both the process and the generosity of the Foundation’s support. Thanks again! ~ Steve Uydess

HOSA State, Here We Come! | Puget Sound Skills Center

HOSA State Here We ComeThe grant money gave students the opportunity to compete at HOSA, showcasing their leadership skills. By having supportive financial help, we were able to take 23 students to conference in Spokane while 21 students had the competed at the state level. Many students had not been to eastern Washington before nor experienced being away from their family by travels hundreds of miles away, staying overnight in a hotel. It was enlightening, amazing, special, friends formed, bonding, leadership, camaraderie, sharing, caring, challenging, educational.

It was back in September, a student joined our NAC community from Global Connections High School. She was a student who sat in the corner, very quiet and shy, struggling with course content and English was her 2nd language. Lul Abdinoor, a Muslim girl with a beautiful smile who has aspirations of becoming a nurse.

A month or two went by as I continued to try and engage Lul into conversations, pair her up in active groups but somehow she was still struggling in the classroom and not communicating with others. In November, our program was asked if I could rally volunteers for a community service event to feed the homeless. It was on Thanksgiving Day and I didn’t think I’d be able to gather a group together on this holiday. To my surprise, 16 students stepped up to volunteer for this special event. I asked Lul if her family made a big turkey dinner for the occasion and she said no, her mom didn’t know how to cook. I invited Lul to come with us. I said I’d pick her up. She was reluctant, stating she’d have to ask her parents and they agreed after coming in several times to talk to me about details.

Unbelievable on how that experience changed Lul, I saw an introverted girl suddenly blossom with radiance and charm. One of the highlights for Lul was taking home food for her family to try. The students were feeding her foods she’d never tasted before, laughing at her expressions, making her laugh. It truly was cultural diversity at its finest. She loved the interaction with others and made lasting friends that day. It was amazing to see this unfold.

Lul has become a friend to everyone in her class, creating strong bonds. She is thriving at clinicals and loves doing patient care. Since that day, she is no longer a student that struggles. She has become this incredible person who now is involved in everything, helps her peers, laughs, talks, questions information to learn more, her grades have dramatically improved and most of all, she is confident in her own skin. She no longer sits in the corner but sits in the middle so she can have all her friends around her.

The best part of this story is that in February, students signed up to compete in HOSA (CTSO for healthcare) and they were tested on their knowledge by a proctor. From there, 21 students qualified for state and on March 10th we headed east to Spokane for a three-day HOSA State conference and competition. Students fundraised for this event and Highline Schools Foundation so generously provided transportation and drive for this trek across Washington. It was exciting, fun and a whirlwind of activities. I share this story with you because Lul competed in three events at the state level. Her father and mother spent many late nights in my classroom, watching Lul prepare for her events. They were nervous in letting Lul go away as she had never done that before.

It was Lul’s 1st time staying with friends, nine other girls in adjoining rooms. I have to say, I can’t remember a slumber party being that much fun and seeing girls of many cultures embracing their differences. Muslims, Hispanics, Russians, White, African-American, Ukraine …..No one cared. They were all nursing assistants with the same goal.

HOSA State, Lul Abdinoor

On this trip, Lul Abdinoor took 1st Place in the Personal Care category at state, an honor I would have never have guessed back in September.

On this trip, Lul Abdinoor took 1st Place in the Personal Care category at state, an honor I would have never have guessed back in September. I feel blessed to teach a diverse classroom of students that have such passion for their beliefs and a drive to be the best they can be.

Lul has the honor of representing Washington State at the International Convention in Orlando, Florida this June. Her parents are thrilled and so proud of her and I am ecstatic that I will be there to share this amazing journey with Lul along with Maria Mercado and Jennifer Hernandez, also HOSA International winners from the NA-C program.

I am super proud of these 3 students as well as all the students that competed at the state level at HOSA this year! Thank you Highline Schools Foundation for supporting our future healthcare professionals and providing a life changing opportunity to them.

“Thank you for all you do! Education is an investment that benefits everyone, whether it be in community outreach projects or educating our students in our school systems, we all are awarded in some way. I appreciate the opportunity to work with such amazing people at the foundation.” ~ Jane Judd

Living History at Camp Waskowitz | Madrona Elementary

Madrona Elementary SchoolMy group of students had never had some of the outdoor experiences that Camp Waskowitz has to offer.  The students started their day doing team building activities working on trust, empathy and communication skills. After a morning of team building the students watched a counselor build a fire and learned how to cook hot dogs over the campfire. A majority of our students had never cooked over a campfire and were so amazed that they even roasted their carrots over the fire and were amazed how it changed the flavor. After s’mores we went on a hike and looked at nature. The students were mesmerized being surrounded by the tall trees of the forest and loved when we stopped and talked about how the slugs helped the ecosystem, nurse logs, and all the other wonderful parts of the forest. ~ Alexandria Skagen

New Start Sails | New Start High School

New Start SailsThis grant funded the sail of New Start students! It was a complete success! 35 students boarded the Schooner Adventuress on April 12th and sailed with a crew of 10 across the Puget Sound around Bainbridge Island and back. There was a lot of science learning, reflection, community building and engagement. Students were integrated into the life at sea, saw the career opportunities available and got a taste for leadership and maritime.

Many students attend New Start because they have been under-served at comprehensive high schools and are behind in credits. For the past several years, New Start students have come aboard Adventuress each spring for a boat sail. This time we sailed for 1 day instead of 3 which allowed more students to participate and allowed for us to have a more accessible experience for all students. It also allowed me to open the experience for both New Start and Learning Center students.

One particular impact that the trip had on one of my students: “When Alex came to New Start this year he was significantly behind in credits and had been disengaged from school for several years. He found a home at New Start when he started attending in the fall. His New Start family has helped him grow and the boat trip this year helped him bond with more people then he ever thought possible. He also saw how related his science class was to the experience on the boat and how important science is. He wants to participate in an internship with the Adventuress after this experience and explore a career in maritime. This opportunity also helped him catch up on his credits and will help him graduate this year.”

“We went on our fantastic sail and used our Grant money this last week. A local newspaper is doing interviews and writing a news story about it that I can send a link to you when I get it. Thank you  again for making this sail possible for my students!” ~ Kelsie Maney


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Impact Grant: Bots Build Brains

Bots Build Brains at Chinook Middle School

Bots Build Brains at Chinook Middle School

All students in Elizabeth Nelson’s semester 2 classes were able to use the 30 newly purchased Lego Mindstorm EV3s. In groups, the students built robots and then programmed them to solve challenges. Chinook staff created several partnerships as a result of having these robots: Skunk Works Robotics (a component of Raisbeck Aviation High School) and our feeder elementary schools. Students learned from Aviation’s Skunkworks Robotics Team. The high school students visited Chinook to demo their robot and meet with Chinook students. Elementary students (Bow Lake, Hilltop, Madrona, McMicken) visited Chinook one Saturday to build and program robots. Middle school students provided training and expertise to the elementary students.

Bots Build Brains at Chinook Middle School

Chinook Design & Engineering students now see themselves as capable problem solvers and programmers.

Because of the generous donation from the Highline Foundation and Alaska Airlines, Chinook’s CTE teacher was able to provide engaging opportunities to 7th and 8th graders. Students worked together to imagine, plan, create and make improvements to their robots. Student-teams programmed robots to complete challenges.

Chinook Design & Engineering students now see themselves as capable problem solvers and programmers. The 30 EV3 robots, that we purchased with grant funds, made children smile and willing to try new things – building robots and programming them. Students collaboratively engineered robots to solve problems.

There are a couple of students that we would like to highlight, IG and DR. For several years, these two students have struggled with staying focused, on-task and motivated enough to complete tasks. When they were introduced to robotics, their attitudes changed, they began coming to class on time and worked on-task the entire class period. They really strived, and became leaders, helping their peers work through problems in robotics. Their attitudes about school has improved overall, as well as, having a more positive and productive work ethic in their other classes.

Bots Build Brains at Chinook Middle School

Students worked together to imagine, plan, create and make improvements to their robots.

The details: Chinook Middle School purchased 30 Lego EV3 robotics kits. About 120 students had access to the robots during the school day. Students were taught how to build and program the robots. Outside of the school day, there were about 30 middle schoolers and 20 elementary students who interacted with the robots. After school gatherings happened weekly from April through June. There was a Saturday event in May where elementary students learned about robots from about 12 Chinook students.

“We would like you to know how truly thankful we are for receiving this grant. The Highline Foundation has made an impact at Chinook.” ~ Elizabeth Nelson & Sydni Neves

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Highline Schools Foundation College Scholarships Awarded

2017 College Scholarships Awarded

Highline Schools Foundation Scholarship Recipients and Donors at the 2017 Scholarship Reception

Highline Schools Foundation announced nearly $200,000 in scholarship awards to students enrolled in Highline Public Schools. The Highline Schools Foundation strives to be a bridge to opportunity for Highline Public School students. One of the many ways the Foundation makes an impact is with its generous scholarship program. All Highline Schools Foundation scholarships are available to graduating seniors who live in the Highline Public Schools service area and will graduate with a diploma from Highline Public Schools by June 30, 2017.

“The Foundation’s scholarship program started in 2002 with just three scholarships and has grown every year. We are excited to announce that thanks to the generosity of our community, the Foundation is able to increase the number of college scholarships to 19!” said Marco Milanese, Highline Schools Foundation President. “The cornerstone of our scholarship program is the commitment of our community to help the most vulnerable students in our district continue their education beyond high school. Brad and Danielle Tilden; Matt Griffin and Evelyne Rozner; and HPS retired teacher Carlyn Hove Roedell and her sister Robyn Hove Layng are funding new scholarships this year that will help families with the cost of college for their children.”

Scholarship winners were recognized last week at the Highline School Board Meeting followed by a reception at Puget Sound Skills Centers.

13th Year Scholarship:

  • Christina Naydyuk is a student at Academy of Citizenship & Empowerment and also a Running Start student at Highline College. She plans to attend the University of Washington this fall to study computer science.
  • Habtamu Kabeto is a student at Global Connections High School and also a Running Start student at Highline College. He plans to attend the University of Washington to study computer science and engineering.
  • Tseyon Nurilegn is a student from Highline High School who plans to attend the University of Washington this fall to become a nurse practitioner.
  • Leslie Garcia-Bobadilla is a student at Health Sciences & Human Services High School who is headed to Seattle University in the fall to study engineering

Evelyne Rozner & Matt Griffin Scholarship:

  • Karishama Vahora is a student at Health Sciences & Human Services High School and also a Running Start student at South Seattle College. She plans to attend the University of Washington in the fall to study Computer Science and Public Health.

Alaska Airlines:

  • Madison Hall-Lambert is a student at Highline High School and a Running Start student at Highline College. She will attend the University of Washington in the fall and is looking at an economics major with an emphasis in political science along her path to becoming a corporate attorney.
  • Sosna Woldemariam is a student at Raisbeck Aviation High School and a Running Start student at Highline College. She plans to attend the University of Washington in the fall to study molecular biology as a pre-med student.
  • Yasin Ali-Halane is also a student at Raisbeck Aviation. He plans to attend the University of Washington in the fall where he received direct admission into the Foster School of Business. He plans to study business and political science.
  • Andrun Lowerre is a Big Picture student headed to Western Washington University to work towards a career in the prosthetics industry and possibly one day be a pioneer in the human augmentation industry

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Scholarship:

  • Habtamu Kabeto is a student at Global Connections High School and also a Running Start student at Highline College. He plans to attend the University of Washington to study computer science and engineering.
  • Heidy Cruz Franco is a student at Mount Rainier High School and a Running Start student at Highline College. She will attend University of Washington in the fall where she plans to study nursing.
  • Mariam Alkorashy is a student at Highline High School. She is headed to Seattle Pacific University to study biology or bio chemistry as her first step toward her dream becoming a neurosurgeon.
  • Rasha Barem is a student at Highline High School. She will attend Seattle Pacific University in the fall where she is looking at studying biology on her path to becoming a surgeon.

CM Garrity Scholarship:

  • Rasha Barem is a student at Highline High School. She will attend Seattle Pacific University in the fall where she is looking at studying biology on her path to becoming a surgeon.
  • Mihret Haili is a full International Baccalaureate student from Mount Rainier High School. She plans to attend the University of Washington this fall to pursue a degree in International Business.
  • Milan Crone is also a full International Baccalaureate student from Mount Rainier High School. He plans to attend the University of Washington next year and major in either Computer Science or Software Engineering.

Bill Maynard Memorial Scholarship:

  • Lauren Powers is a student at Highline High School who has also been working on her Nursing Assistant Certification through Puget Sound Skills Center. She will attend Pacific Lutheran University in the fall to study nursing.

Civility & Social Responsibility Scholarship:

  • Bryanna Bui is a student at Mount Rainier High School. She will attend the University of Washington Bothell this fall to study either education or communications.

Light & Love Scholarship:

  • Jeraldi Gonzalez is a student at Big Picture School. She will attend South Seattle College in the fall and will determine her major once she gets there.

TinShip Scholarships:

  • Bryan Barco Fabela is a student from Mount Rainier High School & Puget Sound Skills Center headed to Renton Technical College to study welding.
  • Miguel Lopez-Morales is a student from Highline High School and PSSC headed also to Renton Technical College to study welding.

Congratulations to these scholarship winners. Thank you to the generous donors of the Highline community for providing these generous scholarships so that these students can attend higher education.

13th Year (2017)

13th Year Scholarship (pictured from left to right) Tseyon Nurilegn, Christina Naydyuk, Habtamu Kabeto, Leslie Garcia-Bobadilla

Evelyne Rozner & Matt Griffin Scholarship (2017)

Evelyne Rozner and Matt Griffin Scholarship: Karishama Vahora

Alaska Airlines Scholarship (2017)

Alaska Airlines Scholarship (pictured from left to right) Madison Hall-Lambert, Andrun Lowerre. Not pictured: Yasin Ali-Halane, Sosna Woldemariam

STIA Scholarship (2017)

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (STIA) Scholarship (pictured from left to right) Mariam Alkorashy, Heidy Cruz Franco, Rasha Barem, Habtamu Kabeto pictured with Marco Milanese, Port of Seattle and Highline Schools Foundation President

CM Garrity Scholarship (2017)

CM Garrity Scholarship (pictured from left to right) Rasha Barem, Mihret Haili, Milan Crone pictured with Charles Garrity

Bill Maynard Memorial Scholarship (2017)

Bill Maynard Memorial Scholarship: Lauren Powers pictured with Nancy & Tim Maynard

Civility & Social Responsibility Scholarship (2017)

Civility and Social Responsibility Scholarship: Bryanna Bui pictured with Carlyn Hove Roedell and Robyn Hove Layng

Light & Love Scholarship (2017)

Light and Love Scholarship: Jeraldi Gonzalez pictured with Nancy Pappas Barnhart and family

TinShip Scholarship (2017)

TinShip Scholarship (pictured from left to right) Bryan Barco Fabela and Miguel Lopez-Morales

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Excel Grant Stories – PBIS

Building a Positive School Culture at Pacific Middle School

Building a Positive School Culture - hidden figuresPositive Behavior Interventions and Supports are a school wide effort to encourage positive behavior and discourage negative behavior. HPS has made a huge push for PBIS in all of our schools. Best practice has shown us that this is the best way of promoting positive behavior in our schools. PBIS encourages students to make good decisions and do the right thing before negative behaviors become an issue. Anyone who has worked in a school can tell you that classroom management and behavior can be the two most influential factors in a successful or unsuccessful school year. Teaching students to be successful and make good choices for themselves in Middle School is a big step in reaching our goal of 95% of students graduating high school ready for post secondary options.

With this grant we were able to purchase items for our student store to help encourage students to make good choices. We use the student store as a way to reward students who are showing the community values of Pacific, Positive, Accepting, Compassionate, Inspired, Focused, InteGRITy and Courageous. We were also able to bring a group of 120 deserving students on a field trip to see the movie Hidden Figures. These students exemplified the above values and were able to “purchase” a ticket to the movie by spending their well earned Liveschool points. In using the Grant to plan this trip and help encourage students we were able to build a stronger more positive Pacific community.

This Grant has allowed us to support positive behaviors in our school by recognizing students who go above and beyond what is expected and those who live our community values each day. Students are recognized for the work they do and for how they treat one another.

“There was so much interest in our first semester PBIS field trip that we had to add 30 extra seats for students!” ~ Loren Liwanag

Sharing Our Success at McMicken Heights Elementary

Sharing Our Success - badge makerIn kindergarten, students work hard to master basic academic skills which are essential to their future academic success. This project involves creating buttons that students will wear for the day at school when they have reached their goals.

I purchased a button maker and button supplies for our classroom and made three sets of buttons for my kindergarten students. The buttons said, “I can count to 100,” “I know my letters” and “I know my letter sounds.” When the kids reached each milestone, they were given their button to wear at school for the day and then take home. The school staff knew about the significance of the buttons so they were able to congratulate the students when they saw the buttons being worn around campus.

The students felt great when they reached their academic milestone and when they received each button they wore it with pride throughout the day.  They were also very excited to take them home to show their families.  The buttons helped build community in the school as other teachers and students congratulated the kindergartners on their success.  In addition, the classroom environment was enriched as students learned to congratulate their peers and celebrate each other’s success.

“Thank you so much for providing these grants and for making the process streamlined and easy for us!” ~ Dawn Elwell


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The ART of Community

The ART of Community We definitely were able to accomplish what we set out to do – from beginning to end.

At the start, we introduced the project with a Skype call from the artist in New York. This inspired our 6th grade students to begin planning right away. The only limitations the students had were to create something meaningful to them. It was an entry point for almost ALL students. It’s amazing to see what students create when they are asked to merely show who they are.

The ART of Community The art night took place on May 18th, 2017 and along with the puzzle pieces we were able to display classroom art from all teachers and hold a silent art auction to raise money for future art at Hilltop Elementary. In addition, we had musical performances from our band students as well as our guitar club. It served as a wonderful way to bring our community together. We had well over 100 guests that attended and raised about $700 from our silent art auction pieces. Throughout the night, I had students, teachers, and families all thank me for such a lovely evening.

The ART of Community The Puzzle Project was a huge part of our Cohort Fridays. Students were excited to come to cohorts to have the time to work with paint with little restrictions. At the end of our cohort Fridays, the 6th grade team asked students to write a reflection about what their favorite part about cohort Fridays was, and many wrote, ‘being able to paint what we wanted’, ‘the puzzle project,’ and ‘art’. Cohort Fridays was also a new thing this year.

Overall, students had very positive experiences. It was great for the teachers, too, to be able to interact and get to know other 6th grade students by ‘name, strength, and need.’

In addition, at the art show we had classes donate art to raise money for future art at Hilltop. This inspired a few students to donate their own works of art to the auction (some of our highest bids!).

Not only did this project have a huge impact on our students this year, but the art show itself was a success among our staff. Although it took a lot of preparation, I feel all teachers felt inspired to make this an annual tradition. Because of the puzzle project, the art show was a booming success! I even had a Kindergarten teacher approach me saying that she had a mom that would be interested in helping with future art shows!

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Excel Grant Stories – Technology

One way the Foundation supports the HPS district’s Strategic Plan where every student in the class of 2026 will graduate tech-savvy and tech-literate is through our annual Excel Grants. The Foundation’s Excel Grant program was created to support classroom innovation throughout Highline Public Schools and to provide teachers resources they need to help students be successful. Below are technology grants funded this school year.

AP World History Scholars Achievement Fund at Highline High School

AP World History Scholars Achievement FundThis Excel Grant provided funds to increase the number of Chromebooks in our learning community by 25% as we went from 15 to 20. Having more technology has improved our ability to share ideas and collaborate on projects. It’s also made it less likely for kids to want to turn to their phones for distraction. All 100+ students enrolled in AP World History this school year have been touched by the grant.

“It was an honor to receive this grant. My students felt really special and they clapped loudly when showed them the check.” ~ David Ruby

Assistive Technology at White Center Heights Elementary

Augmentative communication app - LAMP for students This grant brought the technology of an iPad to the Early Childhood Special Education’s Extended Day Program at White Center Heights Elementary. This program serves only student’s age 3 to 5 years old with a diagnosis of autism or suspected autism. I have used an iPad, which was awarded through an Excel Grant last year, at the Program at Mount View Elementary for the past school year. The new iPad that was awarded at White Center Heights this year has brought the same quality instruction to those students. We use the iPad for instruction, including music based-instruction used for teaching imitation skills. We also use it for assistive technology through an augmentative communication app called LAMP for students that are non-verbal.

This has given the students a voice and increased both their receptive and expressive communication skills. The Extended Day program is extremely data driven; therefore, we use the iPad to collect data on each student on a daily basis. The iPad has streamlined how we are able to record and analyze data for our students which has improved the students programming and led to improved learning for students.

The grant/iPad has made collecting data easier and improved communication between my paraeducators and myself. It has also improved communication between all the students’ service providers. The grant has also improved services for students that need assistive technology by shortening time it usually takes to receive a trial device from the district. Instead of waiting months, which for a young student with early intervention services is a long time, we now have the tools immediately.

“The grant process is working very well, and I am very appreciative of receiving the award.” ~ Kristen Gainer

Equitable Technology at North Hill Elementary

Equitable Technology - MakeBeliefs ComicsWith the generous grant of the Highline Schools Foundation I was able to purchase 7 chromebooks that live in the library. These chromebooks have been used everyday by students. The 4th-6th graders worked in groups and researched other countries. The focus of this project was finding credible sources, digital citizenship, research skills, and appreciation for other cultures. Each group then used their research to design a travel brochure about their country using criteria that aligned with CCSS for social studies.

Our K-3 students have used them for myOn, typing, access to the King County website, creating graphic novels using Makebeliefs, and Destiny Quest. Having this technology accessible daily given me the opportunity to teach lessons on digital citizenship, cyber safety, google documents, and cultural diversity. These chrome books have been used by 610 students weeks. It has provided technology equitably to all of our students.

I cannot express how thankful we are for the technology that stays in the library. Before if I wanted to teach a unit on cultural diversity, I would have to run upstairs and borrow a cart of computers or sometimes borrow from different pods for each class session. Having these computers has allowed me to teach digital citizenship to my students and to have them have the technology available to practice.

We have a new family who just moved here from Samoa. The child is in 5th grade and they came to Seattle for his medical treatments. He has struggled leaving his country. He was so very proud when he and his partner turned in their travel brochure about Samoa. He was beaming. He was proud of his work and he appreciated the chance to show us about his country.

The 4th-6th graders are currently creating their own graphic novel with a comic program called Makebeliefs. They are working in groups to design comic strips and we are putting it in a book for our principal who is retiring.

“I just want you to know how grateful I am for everyone who works for the Foundation. You work countless hours to support the students of Highline. We know that not all schools have equitable resources, but you are leveling the playing field by supporting our kids.” ~ Tami Skeen

I don’t know how to say it in English | Seahurst Elementary

I don't know how to say it in EnglishI was able to sign out a dictionary to every Level 1 (or new-comer) family in our school. Students took the dictionaries home to assist with homework or referencing when they did not know a word. This also helped families have access to an easy to use dictionary to assist anyone in their home learning English vocabulary. Also, I was able to increase student access to Imagine Learning English with the iPad minis. One student was even able to find a great translation app to assist her throughout the day.

I think this grant has helped families the most. Often, newcomer students are unable to do homework or understand their reading because they do not know the vocabulary. It is hard for a parent to not have the ability to help their child. By giving every family a picture dictionary to keep at home, parents are able to learn alongside their student(s).

“Thank you for making this possible.” ~ Amanda Lattin

iPads for Our 2028 Grads at Parkside Elementary

iPads for Our 2028 Grads - ST MathMy students have made great progress in math and reading this year! We have four computers in the classroom and now the addition of five iPads has made a huge impact on accessibility to Lexia and ST Math. Students reading below grade level have had access to a program that targets their specific needs. I am able to work with a small group of students while other students are either reading or working on iPads to access MyOn or Lexia. Both programs offer meaningful work that is differentiated to meet the needs of each student at his/her level. I am able to spend more quality time with my small groups, as I know my remaining students are engaged in meaningful work that is teaching them the skills and strategies they need to know to make progress. I monitor our Lexia usage reports very closely; my class has met 100% usage almost every week since January!

The major difference is that I am able to have more students more often benefiting from all technology has to offer. Our reading workshop runs smoothly as students are engaged and focused for the entire hour. Most of my students started the year at or below the beginning Kindergarten level in Lexia, most have made more than a years growth and are at or above the mid First grade level in less than a years time. Our math workshop is one full hour of complete student engagement. I am able to work with three different ability groups, while others work independently or on ST Math. I am able to set the ST Math curriculum to match the skill that I am teaching. My students are at 65% for ST Math. I know this will be higher next year as I will be able to start my math workshop in September.

“I really appreciate having this Foundation, it has helped so many of our students.” ~ Kathy Patricelli

Let’s Be Tech Savvy! at Marvista Elementary

Let's Be Tech Savvy - iPad keyboardsWith the current writing curriculum, writing expectations have increased dramatically. Kindergarteners used to only be expected to know how to write their letters by the end of the year, now they are expected to sit silently for 45 minutes and continuously write sentences. Students are taught a little bit of handwriting but it does not carry over to when they do writing in writer’s workshop. They are also taught very little spelling as it is not required. Students that have both handwriting and spelling plus a little spatial difficulty of staying on lines equals to either very limited writing, writing non stop run on sentences or since they use peer writing partners all the time, the partners (and the teacher) cannot read what is written. It makes it very discouraging for the student that has the writing issues.

When the iPads finally got Word 2 years ago or so, it was a game changer. I have used my own personal iPad with external keyboard with many students and have seen enormous success. For a current OT student who has an iPad, I went through the time-consuming laborious process of getting her one from Special Education and it has made a huge difference. Here is a quote from her current 4th grade teacher, Cooper Johnson: ” I believe that students need to have a fair chance at showing their abilities as learners. I have a student in my classroom who, without a keyboard, has illegible writing. They keyboard and Ipad have allowed her to write stories and feel confident about her work. She used to not want to show her work to her peers, but because of her typing she now is eager to show writing off to her whole classroom. As a teacher, I now have the ability to read the her writing and truly grade her on her writing ability. Without the keyboard and Ipad, this would not be possible.”

There are a few reasons for an external keyboard instead of on-screen keyboard. One is so that there is more screen area for the students to see their work. If half the small screen is taken up by a keyboard it makes it more difficult to see what the student has already written. Two is the microphone feature. It is much more difficult and many more steps to access the microphone for a student to say a word they are having difficulty spelling. Probably the biggest issue is there are not arrow keys on the on-screen keyboard. This makes it very difficult to move around on the document.

RESULTS! The keyboards were purchased and most of them are in use. As teachers find out about the advantages of using Word with an iPad I am getting more and more requests. I love these keyboards. They are easy to type on and seem to last quite a while. One student was so successful with her writing using the iPad and keyboard that she no longer needs to go down to the resource room for writing support. I see her every week and there is independent quality writing every time on her iPad. Another student which was producing nothing with his on demand writing handwriting it is now coming up with a few sentences on the iPad.

“I don’t envy this process. It is much appreciated though!” ~ Kathleen O’Grady-Graham

The Sound of Success! Accessing Technology with Headphones at Southern Heights Elementary

The Sound of Success! Accessing Technology with Headphones - LEXIAWith this grant, I was able to purchase a class set of headphones for my K/1 students. Each student can now access the technology we have in class to its full potential. The headphones have held up really well and we’re very happy with the purchase!

Technology is part of our everyday life at school. We are lucky enough to have a class set of iPads shared with us, so we can use blended learning for math and reading. We use our new headphones to utilize Lexia, a reading and phonics program. Having more headphones has allowed me to have more students access the technology, and this allows me to reach more students in a variety of ways. Having more options for technology also allows my students to have more choice during the day. They can switch between reading books and doing phonics on Lexia. I have a group of students that is still struggling with letters and sounds, and it has been really helpful to have headphones so they can hear Lexia more clearly.

“I am so thankful for Highline Schools Foundation and the Excel grants every year. I am lucky to have received my grant this year.” ~ Kaia Tomokiyo

Sometimes grants fall under more than one category. Read more …

2nd Grade Television Studio at White Center Heights Elementary. We have been able to be more creative with lessons and activities while giving the students a fun opportunity to act, speak in public/on camera, and have fun! Read more about this grant: Excel Grant Stories: The ARTS

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! at Shorewood Elementary. The initial grant proposal was written to benefit the Music program (i.e., Shorewood Choir), the PE program (i.e., Field Day activities), and multicultural activities (i.e., Club de Lectura), We discovered that many more organizations and activities were able to benefit from the portable sound equipment purchased through our Highline Schools Foundation grant. Read more about this grant: Excel Grant Stories: The ARTS

“Come on Let’s Dance” with Ozobot 2.0 and Cozmo” at Pacific Middle School.  The purpose of the grant was to provide opportunities for my Design and Engineering students to go to the next level of computer programming by engaging with Ozobot 2 and Cosmo. We were very fortunate that the newest Ozobot, EVO was released, which is the third generation of Ozobots. Read more about this grant: Excel Grant Stories: STEM

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! at Shorewood Elementary. We discovered that many more organizations and activities were able to benefit from the portable sound equipment purchased through our Highline Schools Foundation grant. These include the after school Art Club, Girls On The Run, Jump Rope For Heart, and several PTA activities. Read more about this grant: Excel Grant Stories: The ARTS

Math for Independence and Understanding at Global Connections High School. The grant to purchase eight TI-84 calculators allowed the students in this Resource Room classroom to be more successful in their math class. Read more about this grant: Excel Grant Stories: STEM

Robots in Action at Gregory Heights Elementary. Every student in the sixth grade at Gregory Heights has been able to participate in hands-on coding experiences. Students are excited about coding and learning about careers in STEM. Read more about this grant: Excel Grant Stories: STEM



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Excel Grant Stories – STEM

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEM is important because it pervades every part of our lives. … By exposing students to STEM and giving them opportunities to explore STEM-related concepts, they will develop a passion for it and hopefully pursue a job in a STEM field.

All young people should be prepared to think deeply and to think well so that they have the chance to become the innovators, educators, researchers, and leaders who can solve the most pressing challenges facing our nation and our world, both today and tomorrow. But, right now, not enough of our youth have access to quality STEM learning opportunities and too few students see these disciplines as springboards for their careers.

~ U.S. Department of Education

Student’s race, zip code, or socioeconomic status should never determine their STEM fluency. HPS strives to provide all students equal access to high-quality STEM learning opportunities and the Highline Schools Foundation is a proud partner in that goal.

“Come on Let’s Dance” with Ozobot 2.0 and Cozmo” at Pacific Middle School

Come on Let’s DanceThe purpose of the grant was to provide opportunities for my Design and Engineering students to go to the next level of computer programming by engaging with Ozobot 2 and Cosmo. We were very fortunate that the newest Ozobot, EVO was released, which is the third generation of Ozobots.

Initially we had wanted to expand our programming abilities with Ozobot 2’s, but the new EVO opened up a whole new realm that would take the students beyond their initial expectations. EVO proved to be the perfect differentiated tool. Everyone had success at some level. Students saw others reach higher levels of accomplishments and wanted to emulate what they saw. EVO provided a new avenue for 21st Century skills, especially collaboration and communication.

The students were excited about the grant and could not wait to get their new Ozobot 2’s. Since using the first generation Ozobots, many of the students decided they wanted one of their own. They began following the updates on ozobot.com and were looking forward to the next level of challenges.

As it so happened, several of the tech savvy students discovered EVO, the third generation Ozobot was being released simultaneous to our receiving the grant. These students suggested we bypass Ozobot 2 and move right on to EVO, the third generation Ozobot. I tasked all five classes with doing the research between Ozobot 2 and EVO. They had to come up with a list of pros and cons and present their case to their class. Overwhelmingly, students wanted to bypass Ozobot 2 and go for the EVO.

Their reasoning was EVO did so much more in terms of programming and the ability it had to interface with their Smartphones. The most compelling argument was they had learned all they could from the original Ozobots. They knew they could take their programming skills further with Ozobot 2’s, but felt they would outgrow the Ozobot 2’s and then want the more advanced features of the EVO.

Their written proposal included the following: Come on Let’s Dance2“EVO is the third generation Ozobot, with autonomous LED lights, sounds and movements. Evo uses Infrared Proximity Sensing to avoid obstacles and App-Enabled RC Controls to explore the world with you. With EVO, we can program EVO mastering the basics with color codes on paper, then learn block-based programming with OzoBlockly. The ability to use our ios and Android devices, gives us the opportunity to program using OzoBlockly and interface with our own handheld devices.”

They were ecstatic when they discovered once they got the Ozobot Evo app they had the ability to connect with friends using OzoChat worldwide messaging as send and receive Ozojis, similar to emoji’s which emulated emotions that EVO could act out.

An unexpected benefit of EVO was when we discovered EVO was evolving daily based on the experiences and interactions it had with each group the day before. As students reached various levels of achievement, new experiences and challenges were unlocked. This feature excited the kids a lot because it allows them to be creative and think outside the box daily.

While the grant specifically benefited my Design and Engineering students, we also had the opportunity to bring the generation one Ozobots to Highline STEMfest held at Highline Community College. The 230 young ladies in attendance were able to experience Ozobots for the very first time. Twenty-three of my girls were in attendance and were able to share their experiences with EVO with the girls and their teachers from the other Highline schools. It was exciting to watch these girls interact with others from the district, showing them their Smartphone apps and explaining all EVO had taught them.

“I love how you guys provide the grants. They are fair and equitable. Everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed and meet the needs of students within our schools. My students are aware of the process and are not at all shy about asking me if I would write another grant for … I tell them I would be happy to, but I need their help. They are excited to sit with me after school and help brainstorm grant ideas and how they will be directly benefitted by the grant. This is a wonderful process because students are given a chance to make their voice known. When the grant is awarded, they feel vested in their learning and are proud of the equipment. One student in particular this year summed it up well. “I never thought adults would actually listen and care about what we think we need to learn.” You give them hope. Thank you.” ~ Sandy Gady

Dissection Materials and Tools at Highline High School

Dissection materials and toolsI wanted my students to have a hands on experience with body systems, through dissection. This grant made that possible. My students were incredibly engaged and students that often check out during class were leading the charge finding anatomical structures and asking interesting questions.

My students were thrilled every day to find out what body system we were exploring and wanted to start working with their pig immediately. One student, who struggles to engage with any content before now, was actively leading his group in the process. He was asking questions about how systems worked and helping his group explain how specific systems worked.

“This was a wildly successful project. Even though the pigs can’t be reused, the dissection supplies will be used in classes to come. Students noticed that they had new materials and were excited to use materials that were sharp and very functional (doesn’t often happen with our old lab supplies). Thanks again!” ~ Sara Ullmer

LEGO WeDo Robotic’s Kits to support Problem-Based Investigations at Beverly Park Elementary

LEGO WeDo Robotic's Kits I accomplished what I set out to do which was engage students in problem-based learning through LEGO robotic kits. I trained 8 staff members in order to use and maintain our kits with various grade levels. Over 100 students have used these kits and more will be doing so during SBA testing as a testing break.

The kits have provided opportunities for quiet and low performing students to become confident and excel. One student in particular who previously would have a hard time finding a partner to work with due to his shyness and quietness is now sought after as the best LEGO builder in class. Students have solved real problems and created unique designs for fans, amusement park rides, and construction machines. The interactive software teaches various ways to make their designs work the way they planned.

“I have been very pleased and very fortunate to have received such a large grant! Thanks!” ~ Charles Jamieson

Math for Independence and Understanding at Global Connections High School

The grant to purchase eight TI-84 calculators allowed the students in this Resource Room classroom to be more successful in their math class. Before receiving the grant, the students had no access to the one tool that would help them excel. Since receiving the calculators, the students are on more equitable footing with their peers and are able to excel to higher standards.

As an educator, it is painful to watch students unable to go as far as they can due to a lack of resources in a classroom. The grant to purchase the TI-84 Plus calculators has allowed the students to be more successful and have more access in their math class than they previously had. Because the students now have daily access to these calculators, they are no longer in danger of falling behind and have every opportunity to reach their full potential.

“Thank you so much for all of your hard work in providing these grants.” ~ Linda Lambert

Math Materials Needed for First Grade Mathematicians at Hazel Valley Elementary

Math Materials Needed for First Grade MathematiciansThe materials funded by this grant have been used by students throughout our entire math block both when working independently, when working with each other, and when working with the teacher in small groups. The materials have allowed us to differentiate our math instruction to meet the needs of our diverse students throughout our entire math block. Students can now engage in a variety of activities that challenge their thinking, and help them develop math fluency.

Every day in my classroom, the materials purchased by the grant are used. During the independent practice station, students use their number lines, laminated hundred boards, unifix cubes or counters to help them solve the problems they need to work on. During the game/activity station, students use the dice, spinners or dominoes to play games printed on the white/colored card stock. During the teacher station, we use the giant magnetic number bonds, fact family triangles, the rekenrek, and the reusable dry-erase pockets. The materials have made such a difference during our math block! They have helped students stay engaged, and have helped me challenge students in math. Without these materials, I would not be able to successfully implement the guided math model.

“Thank you! This grant has helped improve my math instruction tremendously.” ~ Tania Zaballa

Northwest Barn Owls & Owl Pellets at Hilltop Elementary

Northwest Barn Owls - Owl PelletsWith the money from my grant, I was able to purchase owl pellets for 4, 6th grade classes. Pellets are the non-digested bits of fur and bone, from prey that an owl eats. This unit takes place to support the 6th grade trip to Waskowitz.  I set out to give the 6th graders the experience of discovery and they loved it. Of course there is the “yuck” factor, but the excitement the students show for the process is fun to see.

I believe that the more we know about the natural world around us, and the animals we share that space with, the more we tend to be better stewards of our “space”. I begin that thinking by teaching about owls and their part in the food chain here in the Northwest. These lessons are continued during their time at Camp Waskowitz. Not only do the students enjoy the process of discovery, as they dissect the pellets, it helps them become aware of the food chain and how we are all connected. with this activity they really understand first hand how interdependent we all are.

“I see everyday that when students are excited about learning and engaged, they blossom. Maybe I can light that spark that will inspire the next biologist or environmental scientist.” ~ Terre Salzer

Portable Garden at Cedarhurst Elementary

Portable GardenThis project connected with our Environmental Science Unit and our Science Fair. I purchased materials to set up a small container garden in front of our portable. Students worked in groups to plan, plant, and take care of the garden. Two groups (8 students) used the garden for their science fair project.

I have a quiet and reserved class. I saw many students become more active and more interested in working together. As the plants grew, students became more interested in the type of plants and which plants grew best in our location. We measured growth and noticed that because of our chilly, rainy spring, some plants were not as robust as we predicted.  The group that grew spinach cut it for the rest of the class and we had a salad together. Students also worried about their plants, making sure they were watered before the weekend, and upset when one container was tipped over. A sense of ownership was obvious and also a lot of excitement for being outdoors.

“Thank you for supporting hands on science and outdoor learning. Student motivation is high in these areas and there are not enough opportunities for them to have garden experiences. Because I have containers and tools, I can easily create another garden next year!” ~ Roseanne Esposito

Preschoolers Move with Math at Gregory Heights Elementary

Preschoolers Move with MathAll students in my classroom are able to access math instruction, including those who have difficulty sitting still for more traditional math activities. Students’ abilities to count and name written numerals has greatly improved. The materials I received from this grant enabled me to accomplish both of these goals.

All students are able to access math and are motivated to engage in math activities. I gave my students a challenge one day to put all the stepping-stones with numerals on them in order starting with 1. We were setting up for an obstacle course, which they love to do, so they were all motivated. They worked together, named written numerals, communicated with each other, and explained their thinking in order to get the stepping-stones in order. During the obstacle course they proudly named each number as they counted and stepped on the stones. Incorporating math in to everyday activities such as these made math more real, motivating, engaging, and fun for all students.

“Thank you!!! This grant has made a huge difference in my class.” ~ Sharmaine Guyll

Robots in Action at Gregory Heights Elementary

Robots in ActionThe sixth grade team at Gregory Heights set out to get students coding through hands-on experiences. While a few of the details we had oped to accomplish are still in the beginning phases, every sixth grade student has participated in a variety of hands-on coding experiences with the Dot and Dash robots. In teams, students wrote movies and music videos, storyboarded their ideas, coded the robots to be the actors, filmed their movies, and edited their videos using a green screen app on the iPads. All students engaged in creative problem solving, teamwork, coding, and innovative blended learning.

Every student in the sixth grade at Gregory Heights has been able to participate in hands-on coding experiences. Students are excited about coding and learning about careers in STEM. Through the challenges we’ve given students, they’ve had to work together to creatively solve problems. Students are beginning to see that they can control technology and use it to solve problems and create new things. Students have become tech-savvy and tech-literate as they have worked with their classmates to persevere in creating innovative projects with the robots. As you can see through the following videos, every student is engaged and focused when working with the robots.

check it outCheck out these great YouTube Videos!
team planning session: https://youtu.be/hYyIPM_Nnbs
one team’s movie trailer: https://youtu.be/EApVFiZjkps
another team’s music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpJoYVsSey4
school board presentation video: https://youtu.be/WnhTL1Kg1qw

STEM Centers for 1st Grade at Shorewood Elementary

STEM centers for 1st gradeWe were so thankful to receive the excel grant to fund our STEM centers! Our students love these materials and always want a turn at this center. It is awesome to see students excited to work with STEM materials and practice their critical thinking skills through center time. I was also encouraged to see many more girls interested in choosing these STEM centers. It has been a fun way to expose the kids to STEM concepts and they have repeated practice to develop their skills. We also often have indoor recess during the winter months and these centers gave the students the opportunity to work together as a team, create models from blueprints, and be just be creative!

Our STEM centers have made a positive impact on 1st grade in many ways. It has helped our students improve their team work, are more excited to practice STEM concepts, and keeps them actively engaged in learning during indoor recess.

I had a new student come to our class from Somalia who did not speak any English. He was nervous and shy about being in school and his favorite activity was to create buildings with the magnet tiles. As he became more comfortable he starting asking his classmates to help him build and was able to start practicing simple English words and phrases through the center.

I have a group of girls who are struggling in math and do not like math. The STEM centers have been a great opportunity to show them how they can use math and that they can be successful. It is helping to build their confidence and show them some real world application to the math skills we have been practicing.

“Our office manager had a coupon with Lakeshore that gave us extra money to spend because we had such a large order. We added a few more STEM items. Thanks again for everything!” ~ Jenny Lin

Tech Bridge Loves STEM at Beverly Park Elementary

Tech Bridge Loves STEMTwenty 5th and 6th grade girls that are part of the Tech Bridge Program at Beverly Park visited Raisbeck Aviation High School. The girls toured the school and were given the opportunity to work in the shop using tools to complete their own key fob with the help of the girls on the Skunk Works Robotic team,

The girls really enjoyed seeing RAHS. One of them asked if it was a college. All the girls had their phones out and were talking pictures. Their faces were priceless as each girl used the shop tools .

“The idea for this field trip came from Sydney Gardner, a student at RAHS. Thank you for making it happen. It benefitted both groups of girls.” ~ Ruth Gardner

The Butterfly Scientists of 2nd Grade at Hazel Valley Elementary

The Butterfly Scientists of 2nd GradeWe were able to fully immerse our students in learning about the butterfly life cycle by providing them with caterpillar eggs to watch and observe. Not only are they able to have a real life experience seeing these caterpillars grow, it has allowed them to given them the opportunity to work on the following skills: Making connections, assessing cause and effect relationships, noticing and stating changes, and asking questions. We are currently in the process of accomplishing what we set to accomplish due to our caterpillars just arriving about a week and a half ago!

This grant made a difference in our classes by getting students excited about learning. Giving them butterfly eggs and taking them to the butterfly house at the Science Center provides them with a hands on, real world science experience that builds on their natural curiosity and wonder about how the world works. Students tracked the growth of their butterflies in fascination, taking detailed notes in their science journals, and several students went home or to the library to research butterflies in order to add new insights to our growing class knowledge. Discussions were rich and meaningful with so many first-hand experiences from which to draw.

“This grant helped our students see themselves as scientists, and see science as something that they love!” ~ Kristina Nicchi

“We Do” STEM with Legos at Seahurst Elementary

We Do STEM with Legos

With this grant, I was able to provide my students with an opportunity that they would not have had this year-learning STEM skills while coding and playing with Legos. My students were able to work on collaborative STEM projects that required them to problem solve and use reasoning skills to complete the various projects outlined in the WeDo 2.0 curriculum.

This grant has made a huge difference in my class. Students are more motivated to come to school and daily attendance by certain students has increased. Students have risen to the high expectations that I have placed on them to problem solve collaboratively with their partners. They also exceeded my expectations of assisting other partnerships when they are having difficulties. Students are highly engaged in the activities and want us to work on Legos everyday!

“Thank you so very much for the opportunity to provide this to my students.” ~ Wendy Colmus


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Excel Grant Stories – The Arts

Over the past several years, there has been a trend of schools cutting the arts from their curriculum. Music, art, theater—gone for so many. Because the Highline Public Schools Board recognizes that arts education (defined as dance, music, theater, and visual arts) is an essential part of the learning experience for all Highline students, they made a commitment to the Arts with Board Policy 2160: Arts Education. This policy encourages the development and implementation of arts education. However, funding for the arts is limited. Therefore, Highline Schools Foundation created the Excel Grant program over a decade ago.

The goal of the Excel Grant program is to fund innovative ideas and programs that school budgets can’t provide. We strive to support activities and experiences that expand the learning process and actively engage students – like ART!

2nd Grade Television Studio at White Center Heights Elementary

2nd Grade Television Studio

We have been able to be more creative with lessons and activities while giving the students a fun opportunity to act, speak in public/on camera, and have fun! We have the studio set up in the classroom and have used it for one big project (so far!). The students created artwork to go with poems about their culture. We took pictures of the artwork and then had the students stand in front of the green screen to read their poems. After a bit of movie magic, their artwork appeared (extra huge!) behind them as they were reading their poems.

“The completed project was presented during a school-wide assembly: Cultural Night in January 2017.” ~ Andrea Gardner

A Real Author is Coming to North Hill Elementary!

Jim WhitingThis grant brought a published author, Jim Whiting, to my 5th grade Reading classes. What was accomplished by inviting him was the gaining of insights for students as to the writing process, and what it takes to become an author in the “real world”. I accomplished more than I set out to do in that students were enthralled with his books and his life story and soaked in every word he said. The difference Mr. Whiting’s visit made with my students is it made it real for them to see the connection between writing and reading, He also touched several students with his comments on their essays they had written and sent to him ahead of his visit. He found the positive aspects of their style of writing and let them know what they had gotten right. It was easily seen how proud they were of their efforts. One student was so honored to be chosen to share his writing and join “Lunch with the Author” that he told his mom to put only “healthy” items in his lunch that day so he could impress his teacher and Mr. Whiting!

“I am grateful Highline Schools Foundation is willing to give grants to enhance the learning experience for our students. These are experiences and/or materials they would not otherwise have had.” ~ Sherry Edwards

All Instruments Matter-How piccolos, oboes, and bassoons can make the Arts & Academics Academy band great again

Thanks to this grant, our band now has instruments, accessories, and equipment which students are able to use to perform more expansive and complex music. We accomplished the goal, which was to give students the opportunity to play instruments which add color and texture to the band. Adding the instruments and accessories has increased student curiosity within the band. When the instruments arrived, students had questions and explored by listening to and viewing performances where oboes and bassoons were featured. Two of the students also have taken pride in our band’s ownership of the new piccolo and mallets, and have practiced individually to become successful. We have also seen how the addition of the bassoon and oboe reeds can affect recruitment as students are excited about new opportunities.

“The process was actually easier than I thought. Thank you so much!” ~ Matthew Duhrkoop

Aloha! Music Making for a Lifetime with Ukuleles at North Hill Elementary

Aloha! Music Making for a Lifetime with UkulelesI completed a set of 30 ukuleles to be used with my 5th and 6th graders. We have begun our study and the students are doing great! It is wonderful to see how engaged they are in the learning. Older Elementary students enjoy playing instruments. Historically I have done percussion ensembles, it is wonderful to have another option for students to engage in. I love that they can buy a ukulele for relatively little money and continue their love of music into their future.

“Thank you so much for your generosity. Your grants have helped me maintain and improve upon our music program several times now and I appreciate you very much.” ~ Colleen Thomas-Reitsma

Bringing WITS to Cascade

Bringing WITS to CascadeWe wanted to accomplish students learning about poetry and poetic devices as well as exploring creative writing and finding their voices as writers. We definitely accomplished this! Students wrote I am poems, where they used metaphors to compare themselves to objects/animals/colors. They also wrote zombie poems using narrative techniques and imagery to develop a fictional world around a zombie apocalypse.

The most exciting for most students, though, were the group poems in which students chose a topic and each contributed lines and stanzas to create and perform a spoken word/slam style poem to present to the group. During performances on our last day, every single student stood up and performed! Not a single student opted out or wasn’t prepared. It was inspiring to see the encouragement, support, and pride in every class.

Every student was impacted in terms of their increased knowledge of reading, writing, and poetry. Along with that, many students were just plain inspired. I overheard a conversation between two students in which one said, “I love poetry now” and the other replied, “I used to love poetry and doing this reminded me of that.” I also have quite a few students who have been more engaged in this work than they have been about any other project this year. And they used this opportunity to explore real issues, like racism and equality, instead of trying to make it into a joke (although there were also plenty of fun and funny poems as well). Beyond anything else, though, I think students realized the power of collaboration and sharing. My students are no longer afraid to share out loud with the class. Once you have PERFORMED poetry for your peers, not much else can scare you.

“Thank you so much for your support!! Having WITS work with our students is something I have been trying to make happen for literally seven years. This is a dream come true!” ~ Emily Harris

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! at Shorewood Elementary

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!The initial grant proposal was written to benefit the Music program (i.e., Shorewood Choir), the PE program (i.e., Field Day activities), and multicultural activities (i.e., Club de Lectura), We discovered that many more organizations and activities were able to benefit from the portable sound equipment purchased through our Highline Schools Foundation grant. These include the after school Art Club, Girls On The Run, Jump Rope For Heart, and several PTA activities. In addition, our school assemblies have enjoyed “snap-crackle-pop”-free audio as the old sound system has been replaced by the new portable sound system purchased with the Highline Schools Foundation grant. This has made a significant contribution to the school.

The sound system in the Multipurpose Room was so bad (“snap-crackle-pop”) that it was, in reality, barely usable. One after-school program (Club de Lectura) uses the Multipurpose Room weekly to hold club meetings for approximately 75 Spanish-speaking students. Because the sound system was so bad, the Director of Club de Lectura was forced to use a bull horn in an attempt to be heard! This is one of the reasons, specifically, why our grant “Hear Ye! Hear Ye!” was written. When the Director used the portable sound system for the first time, she literally cried.

The first thing we did was announce the grant in our ALLSHOES email list that goes out to all Shorewood employees. Then, we sent out a “blast” email to all Shorewood parents on the school email list. Next, we sent out the information on a Peach Jar to inform as many as possible. In each publicity, recognition and thanks was given to Highline Schools Foundation for its generosity and its tremendous impact on Shorewood Elementary School with the purchase of a portable sound system.

After the publicity went out about receiving the grant, a parent contacted the school. David May is a professional sound engineer for Impulse Audio, a recording studio in Seattle. He met with me to go over the specifications of the equipment to be ordered under the grant and indicated that he could purchase much higher quality equipment at wholesale prices through his company. Through this partnership, we were able to  purchase professional-grade sound equipment at the exact same price as the sound equipment described in the original grant proposal. And more good news – the Shorewood PTA immediately approved the purchase of 2 cordless microphones after their first meeting using the new sound system!

“In addition to Music events, PE events and Multicultural events, the portable sound system will be used for activities such as 6th Grade graduation, Talent Show, Shorewood Community Carnival, Open House (in the Fall), Write Night (in the Spring)…the list is endless. Thank you so much for the Highline Schools Foundation grant! It has made a HUGE difference at Shorewood Elementary School, and we are indeed grateful to you!” ~ Gary Ballou

Madrona’s Theater of the Future

Madrona's Theater of the Future group photoThis grant was a tremendous boon to our burgeoning theater program at Madrona Elementary. With the help of the money we received from the Highline Foundation, we were able to put on a terrific student performance of The Jungle Book. We had approximately forty student actors from third, fourth and fifth grade and we also had amazing costumes, sets and props that we have saved and plan to use for our second annual production next year. We put on two shows, one for all the students at Madrona Elementary and also an evening performance for our families. Most meaningfully, we saw this program really positively impact the behavior choices of some of our student performers who had been struggling with behavior during the year. Our teacher team bonded a lot and we are excited to continue this program at Madrona Elementary next year!

Two fifth grade boys in particular come to mind. They were both making some unsafe decisions at recess, showing a lack of investment in their classes and even bringing a negative attitude to our rehearsals during the first weeks of the program. However, with time (and with the responsibility of some lead roles and a lot of lines to learn) these two boys became leaders in our drama program. They were positive, working hard and put on an amazing performance. Even more heartening, we heard that misbehavior’s at recess had fallen and having a program like this to keep them busy after school helped them to stay away from some negative choices available. Overall, their story speaks to the power of the arts to positively impact the long-term trajectory of students and to build self-confidence and self-efficacy.

“We found this process to be accessible and organized. Thank you for the opportunity!” ~ Kathy Allen

Taproot Theatre “Cyber Zoo” performance / Highline High School

Taproot Theatre Cyber Zoo1,000 Highline High School students experienced the Taproot Theatre Company’s performance of Cyber Zoo: It’s Nothing Personal on Thursday, February 16. The play was presented in two performances during the school day.

Two Advisory class discussions followed the Taproot Theatre performance, addressing bullying and hate speech on February 17 and March 17. These follow-up lessons extended the messages presented in the play, encouraging students to consider the impact of their words and actions, and promoting the positive potential of bystanders to redirect, intervene or support victims in bullying situations.

As noted in this project’s proposal, live theater provides a non-traditional way to address important social-emotional issues like cyber-bullying and appropriate use of social media. The subject is of significant importance; students struggle to understand appropriate use of social media and are often unsure of how to respond when they or others around them are bullied in person or online. This topic is also difficult to address in traditional classroom settings; many high school students feel “too cool” to talk about bullying, or are quick to shut down and ignore the conversation.

A breakthrough moment occurred during the performance as the story reached a climax. As one of the characters who had been a bully was confronted with the negative impacts of her behavior, students in the audience responded verbally; the gasps and exclamations demonstrated their engagement with the performance and the relevance of the topic. I have no doubt that in that moment students were aware of the negative impacts of the cyber-bullying in the play, and also reflected on similar situations in their own lives.

“The grant process was easy to navigate. Thank you for your support of our work”!~ Owen Sallee

Unleashing the Power of Art at Gregory Heights Elementary

Unleashing the Power of Art

With the Excel Grant I was able to purchase a variety of quality art supplies (tempera paint cakes, liquid watercolor paints, oil pastels, chalk pastels, multi-colored pens, watercolor paper, and paint brushes). This has helped me begin a strong visual arts component for my class that integrates core subjects. With the help and inspiration of websites like The Kennedy Center ArtsEdge, I have provided art lessons in writing, reading, math, science, and social studies that help students practice and show understanding of many Common Core Standards. I have accomplished what I have set out to do; I will enjoy adding to my repertoire of art lessons over the next school years as the supplies should last well into future classes.

The students in my second grade class are so thrilled each time I set out new art supplies for us. It is exciting to see them anticipate the affect of each new supply on their art work. One project that we recently worked on integrated science, writing, reading, and art. We had been learning about the water cycle and how water vapor condensates to make clouds which eventually results in precipitation. We watched a slow motion video clip of rain dropping into a puddle (and observed outside in the rain), followed by a water color crayon resist of the rain in puddles. The quality of the paint and the water color paper made their art expression come alive as they saw their color choices blending together and the splash ringlets look so real.

Afterwards, we read Rain Talk by Mary Serfozo and considered language choices used to represent the sounds rain makes. The children then studied their own rain art and chose words to write that depicted their rain’s sounds. All of these parts to this project connected directly to Common Core Standards for second grade. The children are delighted to have this project on display in our hallway and love to view and read their classmates’ interpretation of the rain. This project and others like it have helped my students practice and show the standards in a deep and connected way that they wouldn’t have without receiving this grant.

“I am so grateful for your generous support for my arts project. Thank you!!” ~ Brenda Martin

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