2012-2013 Funded Grants

Announcing the 2012 Excel Grant Winners!

Bow Lake Elementary: Susan Bjelke & Foundation Trustee Erin Ambrozic

Susan Bjelke, Music Specialist at Bow Lake Elementary pictured with Erin Ambrozic, Foundation Trustee

Congratulations to all the winners! The Highline Schools Foundation applauds each and every Highline teacher for their dedication to providing the best possible education for our students!

This year Highline Schools Foundation awarded $41,539 in Excel/MAD grants for 78 grants at 35 different schools throughout Highline Public Schools. The Grant Review Committee (comprised of Foundation Trustees) had a very difficult time selecting grants to fund with so many original and worthwhile projects!

While the Foundation makes a concerted effort to give to as many schools as possible who have applied for grants, sometimes restricted monies or extraordinary grant requests make this

impossible. The Foundation takes its grant process very seriously and spends a great deal of time and energy on making funding decisions in order to benefit our students and further the Foundation’s goals. We thank all applicants for their initiative and we hope to fund even more grants in 2013!

The following list is in alphabetical order by school — with each teacher listed below the school. Looking for pictures of the Prize Patrol? You can find those on the Foundation’s Facebook page.

Academy of Citizenship & Empowerment
Michelle Castillo, Science Teacher
MICROSCOPY
Discovering Microscopy: What would a biology course be without lessons on the microscope? I remember the first time I looked into a microscope and watched in wonder as protozoans and darted in and out of my field of vision. Or that time when I looked at onion cells in their various states of cell division and thought how fascinating to see plants reproducing frozen in time. I would like purchase prepared microscope slides for various Biology lessons. These slides are non-consummable, meaning they can be re-used over a long period of time. With these slides I will be able to reinforce critical science skills like microscopy techniques, and observation skills to my students. (EXCEL grant)
Arts & Academics Academy
Joanne Glasgow, Teacher Librarian
Feed our souls with art and music (books)
We have a very diverse student body on the Evergreen Campus, with a high poverty level, with many special needs students. The last few years of economic downturn hit the Highline School District hard and my budget has been reduced from $5.25 per student 3 years ago to just $1.25 per student today. Yet the needs continue to grow. Sadly, this amount of funding does not even cover the basics and the first thing to always be cut in times of belt tightening are the ARTS. But it’s also true that feeding the soul with art and music can lead to deeper learning and appreciation of all academic disciplines influenced by art and music. My arts and music collection is ancient! The average copyright date for drawing books is 1988, photography book 1986, painting and painters, 1985 and sculpture 1987. Please realize that my seniors were born in 1994 or 1995. Think of all the great art, sculpture and music that has happened since 1994 and you can see that we are failing these kids. If we cannot modernize our collection, we will be failing these kids on a deeply spiritual level. Your generous support of this request will put a smile on their faces and a book in their hands!(EXCEL grant)
Beverly Park Elementary School
Heidi Jacobson, Physical Education Specialist
Fit Club
Fit Club is a morning program before school at Beverly Park. If a student has eaten their breakfast,they may come to the gym to practice their fitness skills – some days we do rhythm dances and movement activitie and other times we do fitness stataions. Some of the stations include: Juggling; jump rope; tumbling; climbing rope; free throws; wall ball; rock wall; double dutch; hula hoops; cup stacking; yoga and more. This club is getting really popular and I have many kids coming to Fit Club to challenge themselves to get better at their skills. I like to provide this club because exercise the brain is a great way to start the school day and we provide a safe and fun enviornment for kids to be before school. To keep this club exciting and fun, we could use some fun new equipment such as: new music for rhythms and dance; hula hoops holders and hoops and a tumbling aid mat. Programs like this help students get off to a great start. Thank you for making a difference. (EXCEL grant)
Big Picture High School
Angie Erdman, Teacher
Juniors’ College Hop
We would like to take our juniors on a “College Hop” in central and eastern Washington. We would like our students, mostly first generation college students, to experience life on a college campus, including shadowing college classes and spending the night in a residence hall. (EXCEL grant)
Bow Lake Elementary
Susan Bjelke, Music specialist
Help the Visual and Kinesthetic Learners!
Please help my visual and kinesthetic musicians! I am proud to be a music teacher at Bow Lake Elementary school in SeaTac. 86% of our 650 students are “free and reduced lunch” recipients and my goal is to provide them with the best possible arts education. This year, our district adopted a wonderful new music curriculum. The students and I are thrilled with this engaging program however, due to the high cost of the curriculum and budget constraints, the district was not able to purchase the accompanying charts/visuals, music examples, and children’s books. I am requesting funds to purchase the visually stimulating charts and visuals to accompany the 4th grade curriculum. The 22 beautifully made charts and over 70 visuals, manipulatives, and cards are engaging and motivating. They would be a great aid to the students who are not auditory learners. Please help me enhance the musical education of my 4th graders by providing them these vital aids. I would like to thank you in advance for any assistance you are able to provide for my students. (EXCEL grant)
Ruth Gardner, Subsitute Teacher and Volunteer
FIRST Lego League Robotics/WildCats
We are a second year FIRST Lego League team at Bow Lake Elementary. The students are 5th and 6th graders with two returning students and eight new students that are excited to learn more about STEM education. This year the students will use the core values of FIRST to learn how to program a robot to complete missions and find a real world solution for a senior citizen in their research project. To enhance the programming skills for this year’s challenge, we would like to add a color sensor, accelerometer and a power cord to our kit. (MAD grant)
Carlyn Roedell, teacher
The Marvelous Mummy Museum!
The 6th grade teaching team at Bow Lake plans to take our students to the King Tut exhibit and the IMAX movie, “Mummies” to further extend our social studies curruicum on Ancient Egypt. Beforehand, the geography, government and culture of Ancient Egypt will be examined and researched. At the exhibition students will observe actual artifacts to compare and contrast them to items we use in today’s world. When we return the students will write about and create a model of an artifact to share with our 4th and 5th graders at our “Mummy Museum” for motivation, deeper understanding, assessment, and fun! Thank you for this grant opportunity! (MAD grant)
Cascade Middle School
Amy Carlson, Art Teacher
Art Exhibit
Students spend a part of the class working with photography. They use the elements of art that they explored earlier in the semester and show how this is reflected in a photo. It is great to have them end the year with a matted print to display at our end of the year art show. Each student’s work will be put on display and parents and teachers are invited to come and view their work. It gives them an amazing sense of pride to see their work displayed. Teachers and parents have the options of purchasing the prints and the money raised goes back into the art program. It has been so great to be a part of building the arts back at Cascade. (EXCEL grant)
Judy Cullen, ELL Teacher
Girls Soccer Team
Girls’ Soccer is a new sport for middle school in the Highline District. In years past, the girls played as part of a co-ed team with the boys. Last year, they finally got to have their own team. Unfortunately, there were no uniforms. The uniforms from the co-ed team were used by the boys. The girls had to make do with left-over volleyball jerseys. I would like purchase new jerseys to be used by the girls soccer team. We plan to fundraise through out the year to supplement any extra costs for the uniforms and to pay for socks and shin guards for the girls. Many of our girls have never played soccer on an official team. Participating in sports is essential to keeping girls in school. Please help the girls of Cascade Middle School to be the best that they can be. Thank you! (MAD grant)
Kyle Homad, Teacher
Save the Fitness Center
According to the Center for Disease Control, around 61% of adults when evaluated in Washington were over weight. The cited reasons for these numbers are: 1) a lack of daily, quality physical activity in all schools; and 2) a lack of safe and appealing places to play or be active in and around a person’s community. At Cascade Middle School, we have a fitness center in dire need of repair, re-arranging and new equipment. The current equipment is 12 years old, falling apart and will be dumped due to liabilities. In order to continue our goal to be a healthy school dedicated to life long fitness education, we need new equipment in the fitness center to continue our high standards of teaching. This equipment also gives the students a safe place to work out and interact with their peers in a physically healthy environment. Please help our students continue to stay in shape and help us instill in them a commitment to life long fitness! (EXCEL grant)
Anna Kramer, Teacher
Let’s Do Science Safely!
Two of three 7th grade science teachers at Cascade are using non-science rooms with inadequate electrical outlets. This results in unsafe power strip/extension cord combinations. Cordless microscopes would allow us to teach life science without the added risk of tripping or electrical fires. Additional microscopes would provide sufficient technology for all 7th grade classes to engage with the technology simultaneously, allowing students full access to the content and 7th grade teachers to enhance their collaboration and fully align their curriculum. Thank you for your consideration as we aim to adapt to our teaching environment in order to reach all children. (EXCEL grant)
Trish McGuire, Bookkeeper
Hoops
I am requesting money for the girls basketball team to buy new uniforms. They have not gotten new uniforms in over 7 years. The girls have had to share uniforms with the boys. The uniforms are too big for many of our girls, are falling apart and ripped. It would benefit our team to receive new uniforms in that they would take pride in their appearance and our school. At this time we just really do not have the funds in our ASB account to fulfill this need for our girls. Your consideration is greatly appreciated. (EXCEL grant)
Cedarhurst Elementary School
John Garibaldi, 6th grade teacher
Micro-Curiosity
6th graders are curious and need to socialize as they make sense of their changing world and new learning. They need tools that encourage and support their curiosity and need to socialize. Our 6th grade team would like each of our classes to have one digital microscope and a set of prepared slides. The microscopes can be connected to our classroom computers. The slides provide examples of various organisms ready for observation. We will integrate these microscopes into our current science studies, allowing students to observe in pairs (the social part!), and capture images for reports and science fair presentations. (EXCEL grant)
Janyce Lauhon-Horton, Teacher 6th grade
Authentic Measurement for Sixth Grade
On a recent field trip to South Seattle Community College’s apprenticeship program, I came to realize that most kids of high school age have never used a construction tape measure. We teach our students to use rulers and yard sticks but how many times when measuring an item at home does one reach for a ruler? Kids today need to learn to measure with the tools they will use in real life. Students need to have a good understanding of distances and how to measure accurately to 1/32 of an inch or nearest millimeter. Having an authentic way to measure will allow them facility with measuring the larger distances that are impossible to accurately measure using a ruler. I am requesting funds to purchase a class set of 25 foot measuring tapes so I can teach my students how to measure large objects. With proper measuring tools, we will measure everything and become adept at doing so! (MAD grant)
Chinook Middle School
Rita Miller Margaret Ward, Special Education Teachers
Classroom Suite Program
The extraordinary product that we wish to purchase for our students with severe to profound disabilities is Classroom Suite from Cambium Learning. Classroom Suite provides students with explicit instruction, constructive practice and embedded assessments to allow teachers to gauge progress and individualize instruction for their students. The program has endless possibilities because we get to format and target our student’s skills with the use of the program and the ability to develop specific lessons. We can share this program between the two classrooms. We are pleased the program is theoretically based and will bring a tool into our classroom to assist our students in multiple subjects. Although it targets academics, our life skills components can easily be included in the lessons because the program allows us to make our own templates. The best component is that assessment is built in and scoring is graphed for us so we can easily share the student’s progress with parents. Thank you for considering us for this grant opportunity. (EXCEL grant)
Kim Meschter, Teacher Librarian
Literature Circles & High-Interest Literature
In order for students to be successful in reading, they need to be engaged in what they are reading. For young adults, timeliness of the literature is essential in engaging them in reading. This grant would purchase 16 sets of 4 books each of highly engaging literature so that students could read and be engaged in class. These books span genres and reading levels but are challenging and would help students achieve reading proficiency. (EXCEL grant)
Cindy Miller Davis, Counselor
School Uniform Project
Thank you for the work you do for Highline School District! At Chinook Middle School we are making great progress and significant change. We are working extremely hard to change the culture of the school from one of Apathy to one of Excellence. Our 2012 MSP scores are up in every category! The number of students tardy to class is down and our office discipline referrals are as well. You can feel a difference when you walk in the door and in talking to students who express positive thoughts about the changes. A BIG CHANGE for students beginning in this current school year is a new school policy that every student will be in uniform. This idea came from a parent group as they had experienced positive outcomes at HSD elementary schools using uniforms. We have noticed, here at Chinook, that students seem calmer, and they look sharp, studious and proud. This contributes greatly to our new culture of excellence. To sustain our efforts and to support families who cannot afford a uniform, we would like to purchase some uniform clothes to have available to share with families. So far, our staff have been donating their own resources but we have frequent new students (30% transition rate) in a school that is approximately 84% free and reduced (reported). Thank you for considering Chinook. (EXCEL grant)
CHOICE Academy Middle School
George Wheeler, Science and Technology Teacher
Robitics in the Classroom – Introducing Students to STEM
My goal is to help motivate students to become more interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by introducing them to robotics technology. By using hands-on and thought-provoking tools such as LEGO’s Mindstorms robotics kits, I believe my students will become more engaged in their learning and will be more motivated to pursue STEM careers. Students will explore the concepts of scientific design through experimentation, collaborative work and problem-solving, thereby enhancing their critical thinking skills and technological literacy. (EXCEL grant)
Community Based Services
Melissa Charette, Special Education Teacher
Getting Ready for the Real World
We work with special education students who are 18-21 years old, getting them ready for “The Real World.” For each student this looks different and has different levels of independence. Work being one of the most important. We need to have as many different job tasks to train them on as possible to have them ready to get a job once they graduate. Being trained on a wide variety of options gives them more versatility when they enter the job force. Our school would like to develop a work skills room that would be a job site for kids to go to practice different job skills. These would be things like assembly items, sorting items, office work (collating, stapling, copying, alphabatizing, filing)packaging, stacking, etc. Each student would spend a portion of their day practicing these skills. (EXCEL grant)
Des Moines Elementary School
Margaret Mary Ptacek, Library Teacher
Ready Readers
We are excited to bring the joy of reading to our youngest students. I propose to offer early and emerging reading materials for our kindergarten students especially Dr. Seuss books that assist students in learning to read. (EXCEL grant)
Margaret Mary Ptacek, Library Teacher
Reading Fluency
We would like to purchase two levels of the Read Naturally fluency program (1.5 and 2.0) to assist our primary students with their reading practice. This is a program that increases a student’s fluency as well as checks for comprehension. We presently have this software program and would love to add to its capabilities. (EXCEL grant)
Global Connections High School
Alana Vinther, Teacher
Youth Venture
Youth Venture provides a perfect way to for my Advanced Marketing classes to experience social entrepreneurship and engage with Bow Lake Elementary. Youth Venture helps students create a social venture which involves high schoolers leading and mentoring elementary school students. The High School students will spend the first part of the semester developing a plan and curriculum to use with the younger students. In the second half of the semester, the high school students will work with the younger students to develop a class project where both classes are creating a solution to a community issue. Ultimately the students will work together to take action around the project they plan. All Students develop skills in: Researching and critical thinking, strategic planning, goal setting, leadership, and public speaking. (EXCEL grant)
Rachel Walker, Learning Specialist, Upward Bound Teacher
Ethiopian Cooking & Culture
Each year, members of the Africa United Club at Global Connections High School are living up to the school’s mission statement by being “world citizens who actively contribute to the global community.” This year, the 21 club members (of all different backgrounds and nationalities) are busy collecting books and raising money to help build a library in Botswana. Aside from the charitable work, the club is actively engaged in learning more about African culture and traditions. The group would like to take an Ethiopian cooking class! The class consists of step-by-step cooking instructions, information about Ethiopian traditions, and the opportunity for the students to share a special meal together. (EXCEL grant)
Gregory Heights Elementary School
Michael Bento, Librarian
Graphic Novels for Girls and Guys
The graphic novel is a new and popular book form that is written like a comic book but bound like a printed novel. Children’s graphic novels have illustrations full of action and color, can be in any genre and are very popular with our students. Quoting Wikipedia, “graphic novels … have gained increasing acceptance as desirable materials for libraries …” Much of our current library collection of graphic novels has been purchased from local thrift stores in a used condition. If awarded, this grant money would help us purchase 59 new graphic novels with strong library bindings, improving and expanding this popular book form for our eager students in grades kindergarten through sixth. (EXCEL grant)
Nancy Sparks, 2nd Grade Teacher
Leveled Literacy Intervention Kits
Powerful early intervention can change the path of a child’s journey to literacy. Children who experience difficulty in the early grades fall behind their peers and fail to fully benefit from the reading and writing instruction provided by the classroom teacher. Research shows that children who read below grade level at the end of Grade 1 are likely to continue to read below grade level as they progress through the grades. The Leveled Literacy Intervention Kit I am requesting will help me meet the reading needs of students who are lagging behind in their reading development. (EXCEL grant)
Hazel Valley Elementary School
Joyce Boewe, Teacher Librarian
What Happens Next? Gotta Read
Have you ever started a series, lived with the characters, anxious for the next twist? Think: Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Percy Jackson, Babymouse. Now imagine the frustration when you discover the next in the series is lost or has long waiting lists. GRRRRR! Series hook kids. Once they find a favorite, kids keep coming back. Many of our popular series have holes or we’ve never had funds to buy sequels. Series create habits, generate momentum. When readers are forced to stop a series, they often just give up. This grant will fill gaps and expand popular series. No more long waits or feuds over who gets the next copy. Fewer disappointing sighs when making a special trip for the next book. If they easily get the coveted title, they keep coming back. It breaks my heart to say “Sorry, you’ll have to skip that part of the story, we don’t have a copy.” (EXCEL grant)
Health Sciences & Human Services
Alexanne Madison, language arts and social studies teacher
Shakespeare Starter Kit
My tenth grade students will be reading Romeo and Juliet. For most students, this is their first-ever experience with Shakespeare, and it provides important access to academic discourse about Shakespeare that students will encounter throughout high school and in college. Not only Shakespeare’s language challenging for my students, many of who speak other languages before English (just as Shakespeare is challenging for all readers!), but most students come into the class with no idea about who Shakespeare was, when he lived and what his world was like. These resources would be invaluable in helping build schema that would support the students’ reading and learning and allow us to use the unit to reach Common Core Standards. (MAD grant)
Luke McPhee, Special education teacher
Finding success in a technological world
I work in a special education classroom with 21 amazing and incredibly unique students, each with their own range of strengths and needs. I feel that the one item we really at this time is a new computer that we can count on day in and day out. Computers play an important role in meeting the needs and goals of the vast majority of our students. For our higher needs students, computers serve as major reinforcer and give them something to work toward as they go throughout their day. We see a sharp increase in behavior issues during times when our computers are not working properly, which is quite often as of late. There are also many computer programs available for our students that bring skills and ideas alive in new and exciting ways. For example, programs like ST Math teach mathematic concepts without the use of any written or spoken language. With this program many of our non-verbal students have seen rapid improvement in their math skills that would be very difficult to reproduce without access to this technology. Currently the computers that we have in our room are very slow and unreliable. They often freeze and it seems to vary from day to day whether the sound will work or not. I think that having at least one computer that we know we can count on will allow us to incorporate more technology into our daily curriculum and help many students lead more successful lives when they leave our class and head into the world. Thank you for taking the time to consider this proposal. (EXCEL grant)
Carrie O’Brien, Upward Bound Learning Specialist
Upward Bound
We are planning to take our student to the Univeristy of Washington for two purposes. Firstly, we will be reciving a mock college lecture from a real UW professor. Our students are involved in a college prep program and giving them the opportunity to expereince taking notes and listening to a real lecture will help give them an experience to further prepare them for the next step. Secondly, the same day we’ll watch a cultural dance performance at UW. It’s important to expose students to culutral activities they don’t normally have the opportunity to attend. Along with the cultural enrichment,it gives them the opportunity to see some of the activities avialable to students on college campuses. It will show them learning doesn’t only happen in the classroom. (EXCEL grant)
Magdalena Winters, Sports Medicine Teacher, District Athletic Trainer
Three Dimensional Imaging for Sports Medicine
Students need the three dimensional imaging sports medicine professionals use. iPads® bring career to classroom. Students experienced this using my iPad® to learn skeletal structures’ alignment to injury pathology. Previously, I used pictures and a skeleton. This time, the iPad® scaffolded pictures to skeleton. The few who used my iPad®, met standard quickly. This is a boon for applying academic language for career/college. When I connect my iPad® to the document camera, it doesn’t foster curiosity like small group investigation on the iPad®. Brain research is clear, when a student directs his/her learning, knowledge is better retained. iPads® will vastly improve academic literacy. (EXCEL grant)
Highline High School
Felicia Kern, Business Ed Teacher
Youth Venture Business Plan Project
Youth Venture helps students experience social entrepreneurship by creating business plans that they are able to get funding for and implement within their communities. Students develop skills in researching, critical thinking, strategic planning, goal setting, leadership, and public speaking. Ultimately students present their ideas for funding and feedback and then participate in a Puget Sound Youth Venture Showcase with over 100 youth teams, helping to create a community of young Changemakers that lasts long after my class finishes. Last year four successful student-led teams were launched at HHS. More info: http://www.youthventure.org (EXCEL grant)
Mary Legate, Physical Education/Health Teacher
Hop to be Fit!
I try to find activities for fitness stations in Physical Education classes. After cleaning my son’s closet I noticed his pogo stick and decided to bring it to school. My students loved it. Pogo sticks are making a comeback, even celebrities like Matthew McConaughey are jumping and bringing fun into fitness. Pogo sticks are a great addition; increasing student’s cardio, core and leg strength. It builds coordinaton and confidence. Students work out in groups, four pogo sticks would add an awesome contribution. (MAD grant)
Nanci Leonard, teacher
Let Your Mind Run Wild!!
It is my pleasure to be with my Advisory students all four years of high school. Some of my students are not yet entering into the purple and gold spirit of HHS. Being fully engaged in high school activities helps students be fully engaged academically. Fridays are purple and gold days, so I would like for my Advisory to create some exciting accessories that they can proudly wear to support school spirit. I am requesting rolls of purple/gold duct tape along with scissors so that we can create bracelets, earrings and pins; decorate belts and cellphones; embellish jeans, t-shirts and backpacks … the duct tape options found on-line are limitless. Students will collaborate to create and model school spirit. (MAD grant) GO PIRATES!! >>read more
Hilltop Elementary School
Janet G. Moore, General Music Teacher
Procurement of Musical Instruments
Hilltop Elementary has just this year gone to the 45 minute twice a week model per classroom for general music. As a result of this expansion, our existing instruments are stretched very thin between 3 music teachers. New instruments could be used by the entire school, Kindergarten through 6th grades, and are critical with the new music curriculum that we are using. Our current enrollment is 640 students, with 550 of these students on free and reduced lunches. Thank you for considering our request for this grant. We look forward to your decision. (EXCEL grant)
Terre Salzer, Librarian
BOOKS-BOOKS-BOOKS!
Several years of budget cuts are beginning to have a devastating effect on school libraries in the Highline district. As the librarian, I have found it difficult to provide the materials that are requested by students and staff. I would like to purchase books for three different areas that are in need. One area is Big Books. These are “giant” versions of picture books. They are used by teachers to read aloud to their class. Students and teachers alike, benefit from them because they are so engaging. Even the students in the back rows can easily see the pictures and much of the story in picture books is told through the illustrations. The library now has a few, but they are dated and in poor condition. I would like to invest $160 in this area of the library. I’d also like to purchase 2 copies of the books that are nominated for the Washington Sasquatch Award. Each year, 10 titles are nominated by 4-6th grade students in Washington. Students who read 3 or more titles are eligible to vote for their favorite in April. Encouraging students to read books in various genres and by various authors, helps broaden their perspective. Since these titles are nominated by students in Washington State, they have proven to be popular titles. Another area in the library that is in dire need of help is our Spanish chapter book collection. We currently have approximately 40 chapter books available to our Spanish population. Nearly half of our students are literate in Spanish and as our Dual Language program expands to the intermediate grades, we have seen an increased demand for current titles in Spanish. Thank you for your consideration. (EXCEL grant)
Terre Salzer, Librarian
Wildlife Discovery – Owl Pellets
In conjunction with the 6th grade trip to Camp Waskowitz, I would like to have the three sixth grade classes learn about the Barn Owl, its’ habitat and the food chain, by dissecting an owl pellet (the regurgitated material that owls don’t digest). I am fortunate to have a salvage permit that allows me to collect birds. I have a stuffed Barn Owl that I will use to introduce the students to the owl, and discover the specific adaptations that they have. Dissecting the pellets takes the lesson one step further, allowing them to discover what the owl ate, by reconstructing the skeleton from fragments found in the pellet. From a previous grant, I have sustainable supplies, a DVD, and bone sorting charts that I will use again. I believe that we are better stewards of our environment when we are aware of the animals that we share space with. I am excited to share my love of native NW wildlife with students. This unit is engaging and the amount of knowledge they gain is tremendous. Thank you for your consideration, (EXCEL grant)
Grace Whitney, Kindergarten Teacher
Listening Center
In my first kindergarten class, I have 25 students. Of which, 19 are English Language Learners. The listening center is a place for them to hear stories of different genres being read aloud while they follow along with the text. The listening center builds sight vocabulary and confidence in reading and speaking English. Students also gain confidence as they run the listening center completely on their own. (EXCEL grant)
Madrona Elementary School
Kathy Allen, Family Support Liasion
Clothes in Need
Our school has a dress code policy and we have many low income, high need famillies, who are unable to pay for new clothes throughout the school year. Along with this, students who are balanced or move into our school after the first day, often require dress code clothing and cannot afford it. The teachers and staff members buy clothing for these students as often as their salaries permit, but we really need more funding to keep up with the turnover of students. (EXCEL grant)
Kathryn Galeana, 4th Grade Teacher
Scholastic News Weekly Reader
Getting kids to read these days is becoming increasingly difficult, especially with all the electronic gadget distractions. Teachers need to make every effort to locate reading materials that peak the interest of the young readers and maintain their curiosity. Through current events with engaging illustrations and photographs, kids are highly motivated to read to appease their curiosity. The Weekly Reader also encourages students to share at home what they have read and learned which increases parental communication and deepens the understanding of the text. With this magazine, we are able to explore the world and its happeneings while engaging in reading and discovery. This magazine also offers a science component as well. (EXCEL grant)
Kathryn Galeana, 4th grade teacher
Magnetic Forces
It is well known that kids learn more by engaging them in activities that excite them, use their bodies, and involve a final product of their own design. Part of our science discovery with magnets could include the building of a magnetic pendelum that will show the magnetic forces at work. Through the construction of the pendelum, students will gain a stronger understanding of magnetic fields and forces while applying their knowledge in a real life product. (MAD grant)
Heidi Hong, 4th grade classroom teacher
Literacy Station
Our literacy curriculum this year contains Word Study, Read aloud, Shared Reading, Guided Reading, Independent reading, and Writing. The student outcomes are based on common core standard and they have to face more presice literacy skills and strategies by different activities daily basis. As a 4th grade teacher I strongly believe the student’s organization skills is the key of success to reach their learning goal each lesson daily basis. I really want to make sure all the students show the outcomes of teaching points in my literacy lesson. To organize all the notes, handouts, and writing pieces, I have all the students set their binders with dividers and 3 composition notebooks. And sometimes we have to cut and paste some important document or craft their writing pieces in their binders. That means students need 3 hole punch, pencil sharpener,2″ binders, dividers, pencils, glue sticks, which neither their homes or school can support. I know it sounds just basic school supplies, but so many days we are wasting times of learning because of lack of those basic supplies to proceed our teaching and learning effectively. when a student really needs to record or organize important information in their binder, frequently there is no hole punch and no sharpener. When a student needs to pull out a handout to review from the past lesson, often he/she cannot find it because they didn’t have dividers or binders. I have asked the parents but with the population of 98% students of free meal it’s just hard. I also requested our school but they cannot support all of these just for my class. We are just in lower budget every year. Please consider these items are very valuable tools and supplies that students need daily basis to reach their literacy goals. Thank you. (EXCEL grant)
Marvista Elementary School
Jordan Kimmerly, 6th Grade Teacher
Intermediate Bookroom
The district’s vision includes guided reading as a part of the workshop model, but our building is missing the necessary support texts. Less than a fourth of the short, guided reading texts that we currently have available for working with intermediate students is fiction, but the majority of our literacy instruction is in fiction. We hope to purchase high interest, fiction texts for use with intermediate students for small group instruction. We would create a user-friendly bookroom that would allow teachers to easily access the materials they need to lead effective guided reading lessons that pair appropriately with the fiction units in the comprehension frameworks. (EXCEL grant)
McMicken Heights Elementary School
Karen Smith, Teacher/Librarian
Learning to Read with BOB Books
SeaTac is a Gateway to America for many refugees and other immigrants seeking a better life. These families enroll their children in McMicken Heights where they are immersed in a new culture and language. In the early grades, especially kindergarten and 1st, beginning-to-read instruction is part of the normal day. From 2nd grade and beyond, instruction begins to shift more toward understanding what you read, and less on learning the words. All students have an opportunity to visit the school library to select a “just right” reading book. However, for these older ELL newcomers, there are simply not enough early, beginning-to-read books available in our school library because many of our younger students have checked them out. I would like to have a special collection geared specifically for these ELL newcomers and their tutors/interpreters. BOB Books contain several titles within a boxed collection. They will allow our non-English speaking students to be able to start learning English with their families/tutors. These books are very simplistic – few pages, starting with very short, 3-letter words, that will not only help them learn English, but learn to read and feel successful. Thank you very much for your consideration. (EXCEL grant)
Jennifer Walsh, First Grade Teacher
More Learning, Less Buffering
We have been using YouTube videos to teach letter sounds and spellings and singing different counting songs from varying videos. Often students are disappointed when the video stops downloading or freezes. This particular set of videos from “Have Fun Teaching”, engages students with fun beats, pictures and repretition making this an exciting opportunity for all students. I have seen much success for limited English speakers due to the words and sounds being repeated and pictures that go with the words. It is great for visual, linguisitc, musical and/or tactile learners. Feel free to watch some of the entertaining and engaging sample videos on the site or YouTube. http://havefunteaching.com/videos/alphabet-videos/ Thank you for the consideration. (EXCEL grant)
Midway Elementary School
Michelle Frasene, First Grade Teacher
Reading Success for All With Nonfiction with Audio CDs
The students in my first grade classroom are working on new letter and vowel sounds and practicing their fluency. Everyday my students work for 30 minutes in small groups at their skill level. I would like my students to use the Read Naturally program during this time because it is a structured intervention program that combines teacher modeling, repeated reading, and progress monitoring — three strategies that research has shown are effective in improving students’ reading proficiency. Using audio support and graphs of their progress, students work with high-interest material at their skill level. Students read along while listening to a recording of a fluent reader. This helps students learn new words and encourages proper pronunciation, expression, and phrasing. This program engages young readers with high-interest, nonfiction, age-appropriate stories. (EXCEL grant)
Colleen Grady, Teacher-Librarian
Picture This … Life
The current Biography section of the Midway Library is predominantly chapter books (with a few pictures and dense text). Our population includes many ELL students who could benefit greatly from a more accessible (user-friendly) collection. There are many beautiful picture book biographies being published now we would like to purchase that would go a long way toward converting our collection from chapter books to picture book biographies to assist more students in learning about real people’s lives and accomplishments of course, any amount the Foundation could grant would be appreciated as we begin our biography section transformation. (EXCEL grant)
Mount Rainier High School
Tom Coraggio, Teacher – Social Studies
MRHS “We the People” Program
“We the People” is an educational program on the U.S. Constitution. The backbone of the curriculum is the textbooks, which were provided free because the program was funded through an act of Congress. The funding was completely cut two years ago, and our books are getting old and beat up. We need to purchase at least one new class set as they are used with both my 11th and 12th grade classes. The program does so much to educate young people about our constitutional system and to foster a strong spirit of citizenship upon which a healthy democracy is built. Through team-work, my 12th grade students compete against classes from other schools in mock Congressional hearings on the U.S. Constitution. Panels of community members serve as judges as students, playing the part of “expert witnesses”, deliver prepared speeches and answer follow-up questions. They become highly motivated and enjoy the experience. Many have commented that they never worked so hard, learned so much, or had such a good time in an academic class. Many of Tom’s former students sent in supportive emails about this project. Here’s a few of the comments: “I gained considerable insight and experience with our legislative and congressional system thanks to this course work. In an age of political polarization, I think it’s exceedingly important to help our youth understand what our country stands for, and their obligations as citizens. ” “It has been eleven years since I took Mr. Coraggio’s “We the People” class at Mount Rainier High School as a junior, and ten years since I graduated in 2002. Of everything I learned in high school the knowledge I gained from “We the People” – about our history, our constitution, the importance of knowing the issues and of voting, knowing how to debate and discuss the issues in an informed and respectable manner – has been, by far, the most important lessons and knowledge that I took out of high school.” “I have encountered endless opportunities to further exercise the skills I obtained in the We the People program. The invaluable experience of studying the progression of American government and exercising argumentative skills through speeches at the district and state competitions, have helped me immensely as a college student and citizen of the United States. “ (EXCEL grant)
Teresa Hansen, School Counselor
Applying for College and Financial Aid
At Mt. Rainier High School, we host two evening programs for high school seniors to help them prepare for college: The College Application Event and College Goal Sunday (filing the FAFSA for financial aid). These events help students accomplish necessary college access requirements that they might not complete without support. Our teachers generously offer the use of their classrooms, computers, and printers but the cost of printing can be high. I am requesting funds to buy two printer cartridges. (EXCEL grant)
Stephanie Hogan, Department Head, ELL Program – ELL Instructor
Paying it Forward with Video Journalism
At Mount Rainier High School, we have a small community of ELL learners who can often get lost in the crowds of 1600+ students. Although eclectic, our community of ELL learners is close and look to each other for support. As part of our efforts to make ELL students, especially newcomers, feel comfortable more quickly, our Program is developing a project in which the current ELL students will develop a blog for news that is of interest to ELL students in particular, as well as important information that is often not understood in the verbal daily announcements. The MAD grant request is for video cameras to use to make short videos and conduct interviews to post on the blog. The topics would range from a visual tour of the school and the important people in it to know (ex. The attendance person) to interviews of former ELL Program students who would give advice to new and present students. Current students in the program would gain and strengthen verbal skills in these high-interest projects, as well as gain confidence when they are given the chance to show traits such as responsibility, creativity, cooperation and self-efficacy. The idea that they will be able to leave a product that can be used by newcomers is the “pay it forward” part; the newcomers will then want to contribute a video when they become more integrated into the ELL Program and whole school community, thus perpetuating the cycle. (MAD grant)
Kimmie Marton, Special Education Teacher/Adaptive P.E. and Math
Got PE? Need Equipment!
When I took the job at MRHS I was thrilled to get one class of Adaptive P.E., serving students with disabilities. However when I arrived, there was literally no equipment for the class. This class, perhaps more than any other, requires specialized equipment because of the students that I am serving: one student is partially blind, one student is in a wheelchair, and others have their own mobility issues. Because the general education classes use and need the gym and track also, space is limited and my 10-12 students are not always a priority. I have to create and make space where I can find it; sometimes conducting P.E. in the hallway between the gyms. Having an XBOX Kinect gaming system would allow all the students to participate at their physical ability, without the need for a controller. It would also provide activities for rainy days and shortened class periods. I have chosen a variety of games, from sports, to dancing, so all students will be engaged. In addition, I chose some balance equipment and other physical mobility type strengthening equipment for students to play on. My goal is for students with various disabilities to realize they “can” be active and help strengthen their bodies. The beanbags will be used toss into the Target Net while counting or spelling, and may also be utilized for other classroom activities. It’s time my students had some equipment to work with during P.E.!! My special education students deserve to have equipment for P.E. just like the general education students. I am their biggest advocate/fan and I only want what is best for them. (EXCEL grant)
Mathew Montgomery, Band Director
Keep Our Percussionists Awesome
Our percussionists are great! This is a blessing and a curse to our ensembles. The blessing is that they are great musicians and help the ensembles perform at a superior level. The curse is that they learn their music so fast and, the rest of the reheasal, find creative ways to use their drum sticks. If they had practice pads set up, they could be working on more difficult rudiments and music while the rest of the band is rehearsing. This would keep them involved and improving without distracting the rest of the band. Also, with two stick bags, we could keep all of our sticks in good condition and organized to make rehearsals more efficiant. (EXCEL grant)
Mathew Montgomery, Band Director
Authentic Trumpet Section
Our zero-hour jazz band has been growing over the past couple of years. This means that more students are willing to wake up an hour early to participate in a big band. This year our focus is on listening to the professional big bands and using them as a model for our sound. We discovered that there are two mutes that trumpet sections use frequently in their music: the cup mute and the harmon mute. These same mutes are also called for in our music. In order to produce the authentic big band sounds of big bands like The Count Basie Orchestra, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, and The Glenn Miller Orchestra, our trumpets need cup mutes and harmon mutes. Please help us produce authentic big band sounds! (MAD grant)
Mount View Elementary School
Shoshanna Cohen, ELL Interventionist
We want to read in Spanish!
Our library is seriously lacking quality books in Spanish, Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Arabic for our students. We are specifically looking for chapter books for older students, which we have very few of. An incredible amount of research has been published to show that continuing a student’s language acquisition in their first language is incredibly beneficial to language acquisition in their second language. In addition, we have a dual immersion program at our school, but not enough books to support guided reading when teaching non-fiction. Therefore we ask you to grant us enough money to buy a healthy supply of chapter books in our students’ home languages and guided reading books for our Spanish classes so that we can continue to empower our students to grow in both their first, second, (and some cases) third languages. (EXCEL grant)
Rath Mann, Sixth Grade Teacher
Making the Dream of College REAL!
This culminating trip involves Mount View sixth-graders, who will experience the UW college campus to visualize their future as college students! UW School of Education students will lead small group tours and conduct Q & A session over lunch; issues to include preparing now for college readiness and financial options. Prior to this field trip, students will visit Puget Sound Skills Center, attend Mount View Career Fair, and then engage with “Career Cruising”, a web-based resource exploring careers. Students then prepare draft written project about one career; after UW trip, students synthesize real-world UW experiences into their written project. (EXCEL grant)
New Start
Andrea Love, Counselor
1st Generation College Students
The funds from this grant will support the college application process for 25 at-risk, first generation students at New Start High School. Students will receive information on the community college application process, financial aid, and college success. The course will include quest speakers, field trips, and an opportunity to complete the COMPASS Tests. The field trips will take all interested Seniors to Highline Community College (where they will take the COMPASS Test), South Seattle Community College and Renton Technical College. (EXCEL grant)
North Hill Elementary
Terri Juberg, Third grade teacher
Of Cedar and Salmon
For the past 5 years, our third graders have enjoyed having Ronn Wilson from Of Cedar and Salmon come to North Hill. It has been the best cultural experience possible for our kids! Ronn is of the Kwaguilth people of the Northwest Coast. His message is based on “reverence, respect and remembering”. He melds the people of the past, and the environment they lived in, to our current role in the world. This year we are asking for your support in having Ronn Wilson return to North Hill. The program consists of two complete days of lessons, dancing in full costume, art, silk-screening, and story telling surrounded by carvings, pelts, painted screens, and a 16 foot long serpent drum. Long Claw (as Mr. Wilson prefers to be called) provides all of the materials the students need (except the tee-shirt for silk-screening). He ends the program with a magical evening potlatch. The families of our students were invited to a rare cultural event. We are always amazed at the valuable and delicate artifacts the students are allowed to hold and admire. (There are 9 tables full of them!) The lessons of trust, respect (for each other, adults, and the environment), and listening are incredibly valuable and taught in fascinating and accessible ways! We’re just MAD enough to hope you will agree Of Cedar and Salmon is too good to miss! Please fund this request! (EXCEL grant)
Solany Uno, teacher
Imagine Learning English
We would like to have computers in the Pod to be able to have students use for the ILE program as well as others. With the help of a para-tutor! It will help with many students needs! (EXCEL grant)
Odyssey High School
Renee Gallagher, instructional coach
Expanding Our Horizons
The Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) conference held at Bellevue Community College is a hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math career conference for high school girls. Sessions are led by women in math and science professions. Students choose classes then arrive on campus, get a map and head off “to class”. Many of our students have commented in the past, “This is what it must feel like to be a college student!” (EXCEL grant)
Melissa Struyk, Art Teacher
School Mural
Visual Arts is a new class that is being offered at Odyssey High School. In years past, art was taught during intersession. Students at Odyssey are VERY excited about having art class, and all 35 of my students come to class each day ready and excited to learn! This year, we will be working on various painting and drawing projects, but when I asked students what they would like to do, students have voiced their interest in creating a school mural in the hallway (the wall just outside the art classroom). When talking to students, we want to involve the whole school by putting out a “call to artists” in each advisory class. The WHOLE school would participate in submitting AND voting on a design for the mural! The mural theme and design would be decided by students, and would help to represent student involvement and student empowerment. I have worked for a youth empowerment – mural organization in the past (Urban ArtWorks), so implementing the mural with my art classes would be very managable. The really special part of this project is that the WHOLE school could be involved and feel like they had a say. It will also beautify and unify our school hallways. This would be a project that would last forever and the art students implementing the painting will be able to have “bragging rights”, giving them the opportunity to feel good about being a part of a positive impact on their school community. (MAD grant)
Pacific Middle School
Kathryn Hardesty, Librarian
New Books for Viking Readers
To keep our students reading, we try to have the latest in a series and more than on copy of the most popular books. This year I am asking for a grant to update several of our country books (from the 1980s!); and I have chosen those most in the news and from which new students have arrived (notably Somalia, American Samoa, Ivory Coast). It is essential that these students feel welcome and comfortable in the library and being able to check out a book about their country is fantastic. Washington State studies needs an updated atlas of the Pacific Northwest (ours is 1979). (MAD grant)
Philip Wallen, fitness teacher
Go to the mat for these kids
I would like to update the mats used at Pacific. Many of the activities we do during fitness class require the use of mats and the ones we have are probably over twenty years old. They are used during fitness testing pre and post test, for relays, during work out days twice a week, and during yoga and most have tears in them and the foam is coming out. Mats are very expensive but new ones will be used for years to come in fitness. (EXCEL grant)
Parkside Elementary
Celeste Borowiak Timulak, 6th Grade Teacher
Book Club Historical Fiction Books
In spring, my sixth graders participate in book clubs where they read and discuss a chosen historical fiction book together. Students look forward to this activity. However, I get quite crazed (mad) trying to find enough copies of books for each group member. Last year I went to three different school libraries, three public libraries, and had at least four librarians helping me to acquire the books needed. I would be so grateful if MAD grants could help prevent this from happening again by providing two sets of historical fiction books. In particular, I would like the new award-winning historical fiction books Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai which is about a girl and her family escaping war-torn Vietnam in the 1970’s to find refuge in Alabama, and Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes which is about a girl who lived through Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Both these books are beautifully written and speak of survival, the heartache of losing a home, the value of community, and the courage to start again. I am certain that these stories would engage my students and promote excellent discussion in their book clubs. (EXCEL grant)
Dan Azer, 4th grade Teacher
Pottery 101: The Four Clay Handbuilding Techniques
We have a kiln in our school and almost nobody uses it! I want to change that! I will develop and pilot a four project ceramics unit to teach the basic clay handbuilding techniques: pinch, mold, coil and slab. I will use beginning potter books as a source as I simplify the written instructions to target 3rd – 5th grade level procedural text standards. Then I will use photos of all four projects from start to finish to supplement my customized instructions and create a draft ceramics curriculum for the other teachers in my school to use. (EXCEL grant)
Celeste B. Timulak, 6th Grade Teacher
Ancient Egypt Connections
Our sixth graders are studying Ancient Egypt. A field trip to see the Tutankhamun exhibit at the Pacific Science Center would be the perfect real-life connection for them. In art, we would also like students to create a sarcophagus where they would use their own faces as molds. This requires the use of plaster cloth. We would be so grateful if the Highline Schools Foundation could pay the admission to the Pacific Science Center for our students, whom over 60% of them receive free or reduced lunch, and to provide the packs of plaster cloth for their sarcophagus art project. (MAD grant)
Jeanette Yee, 3rd and 4th Grade Teacher
Car Boats
This year, we expanded the Car Boat project for 2 Classes. Grade Level Teachers will collaborate to teach the Electric Circuits unit and have students build their own air propelled Car Boat. Students will combine the joy and excitement of mechanical toys with science content, “Electric Circuits” by constructing an air propelled motor boat for their culminating project. Students will use functional reading and apply science skills by building circuits and troubleshooting. Students will be engaged because they love to build science models and will have an opportunity to participate in a car boat time trials. Students will race their car twice and use their math skills by taking the average time between trials. We will then rank order the car boats based on their average. It was an important learning experience for my students last year and I wanted to provide an opportunity for more students to participate this year. (MAD grant)
Seahurst Elementary
Micheline Cooke, Emotional Behavior Classroom Teacher
Timers and Sand Timers
I would like to purchase a set of timers to help my students be more engaged in learning activities. Many of our students are learning how to take breaks instead of acting out physically. The timers will help them transition from a break back to a learning task. I would also like to purchase a set of sand timers.The sand timers will help my students work through challenging academic tasks because they will know how much of the activity is left by seeing the sand timers. Kids in the emotional behavior classroom are sometimes 1 or more grade levels behind in reading. Having a variety of timers will help our students practice reading quickly to beat the timer which will increase their reading fluency. (EXCEL grant)
R. Mimi Krsak, ELL Newcomer Teacher
Outdoors Means Open Doors
It’s a dark, October night. I sit at my computer, so full of gratitude for the children you have helped. I’m bawling, and begging again for kids from Burma, Iraq, Nepal, Mexico, and Ethiopia. I promise the parents I will take care of their children. I promise them their eyes and hearts will be opened by unimagined wonders like a flag raising or a s’more at a campfire. I will be going this year, with a group of 12 boys, from 3 blended classrooms. (That is enough to make me laugh through my tears.) Thanks for believing in the Waskowitz miracle. (MAD grant)
Shorewood Elementary School
Nancy A. Holmes, Librarian/Teacher
Celebrating Cultural and Religious Diversity
My request is for funds to purchase books about world religions for the Shorewood Library. The books will encourage among our students an appreciation for, and understand of, one another’s beliefs and practices. Using the books, the students will research a cultural or religious holiday celebrated by their families. Students will create a poster on which each child will explain the history of the holiday, the meaning of its symbols and how the student’s family uniquely celebrates the holiday. These posters will be displayed in our hallways and giving a special display during our annual multicultural celebration. (EXCEL grant)
Jenny Lin, 1st Grade Teacher
Empowering Families in Literacy
Research shows that when students have a strong foundation in reading in their first language they will develop reading skills in English at a faster rate. Many families try to support their children in reading, but may not have strong English skills themselves. With this grant money, I would like to purchase sets of picture books in Spanish that parents can check out and read at home with their children. I want to support and celebrate their literacy in Spanish as well as promote good reading skills and behaviors for the family. Students will now have the opportunity to hear fluent reading in both English and Spanish. (EXCEL grant)
Andrea O’Ferrall, 5th grade teacher
Hands on Science
In my three years of teaching 5th grade at Shorewood our MSP scores have gone from 18 percent passing to over 50 percent. I would like to step things up a notch by purchasing the True books experiment book set and Simple machines Set and activity cards (one set for each class). (EXCEL grant)
Southern Heights Elementary School
Jennifer Ferry, Librarian
Guys Read
Statistics show that more and more boys are having trouble reading. No one quite knows why, but research tells us that if boys are able to choose from titles and subjects that interest them, they have a greater chance of becoming more fluent, capable readers. The books I have chosen for the Guys Read project are high interest, high impact books that boys will love. I have also made sure that many of the titles are accessible to the struggling reader. By choosing books that are the latest and greatest titles coveted by boys, I have a surefire way to inspire more of my “guy readers” to be lifelong readers! Finding high quality, high interest books that appeal to boys may seem like an easy task, but it unfortunately can be very difficult. When I go book shopping for new titles, I have to be very careful to evenly weigh my titles for boys and girls, because many of the trade books have stronger girl appeal. Your support of Guys Read will help supply high quality, high interest titles that will help build strong male readers. Each book will bring us a step closer to closing the achievement gap. Unfortunately, my district library budget is under $400.00 ($1.25 per student), so I am relying on grants and our small PTA to help fill the book void. I still believe that it is necessary for our students to have new titles in the library, even though our budget is limited. Each new book makes a difference! Thank you for your consideration, (EXCEL grant)
Kaia Tomokiyo, 1st grade teacher
Interactive Engagement thruough Smoothboards
We are writing this grant in hopes of receiving materials to create interactive whiteboards in our classrooms. This technology was tested by a teacher at our school and it was extremely successful. Students were able to use the interactive whiteboard during many activities throughout the day. The benefits of an interactive whiteboard are many, including: increased student engagement, tactile learning, technology exposure, and teacher task efficiency. Most interactive whiteboards are incredibly costly, but Smoothboard acts as an inexpensive, working alternative. The setup worked well, with large-scale participation from our students in areas like the Math in Focus online manipulatives, ST Math, online behavior management, interactive reading and math games, etc. Instructionally, it truly simplified the task of involving and engaging students through technology in all subject areas; a true “kid magnet.” (EXCEL grant)
Sylvester Middle School
Stephanie Codorniz, Special Education Teacher
Language! Smartboard Interactive Activities
I teach 54 students with disabilities. My school is a focus school to help these students’ scores improve in reading and writing. We have a curriculum called “Language!” that helps students with reading and writing. It comes with Smartboard activities that help students solidify their understanding hands on. However, I don’t have a Smartboard in my classroom. With one, I could use word games with my students and make words come to life. (EXCEL grant)
Rachel Good, IAC teacher
Learning Really Can Be Fun
Students in my middle school Intensive Academic Center (IAC) have had a lot of negative experiences in school. From social to academic to behavior struggles, they have had 7 or more years of proof that learning is frustrating, not fun. My wish for my students is that they leave me able and willing to take charge of their own learning. To get them to this point, I need to provide meaningful and fun learning experiences that are tailored to each student’s specific needs. Worksheets are too often the only timely way to provide each student the level of individualization they need. I would like to buy a series of learning games that my students could play as fun alternates to worksheets while still practicing essential skills and strategies. Students could play these games in small groups while I work with a small group to address a specific need or skill. These games would increase student motivation and enjoyment f! or the learning process, which is essential to their perseverance when a subject or concept is frustrating. I have selected a assortment of games that cover a wide variety of skills, strategies, and levels from Lakeshore Learning Materials. (EXCEL grant)
Technology, Engineering & Communications
Stefanie Skiljan, Spanish Teacher
World Language Audio Exploration
The World Language/Spanish program at T.E.C. High School would greatly benefit from the purchase of a class set of headphones. We have up to 5 computers in the room at all times, and also the great resource of the school’s netbook cart, but students are limited to to using these for silent purposes only. There are many authentic resources online where students can see and/or hear a native-speaker talking to them or sounding out accents. Additionally, on-line resources can connect T.E.C. students to radio and video resources that other young people have made, and provide an important linguistic and cultural link to their studies. In order for this to be possible, we need a class set of headphones so that students can access different audio resources at the same time, and benefit from hearing them up close and personal. (EXCEL grant)
Waskowitz Environmental Leadership School
Tim Hall, Teacher
College Bound – Prep
Waskowitz Environmental Leadership Schools (WELS) began 11 years ago as a semester program for high school students within the Highline School District. The purpose is to support the 6th grade Waskowitz Outdoor School programs while engaging in an experiential project based curriculum supporting their leadership journey as well as academics and environmental education. WELS is now a year-long option for high school students. Last year we were able to connect 8 of our seniors with community college programs that will support their status as a college student. I would like to help students also prepare for a 4-year college application process with after school SAT and ACT prep classes. I am requesting this grant to build our library with books that will familiarize and prepare our students for these important tests which are a stepping stone (and a barrier for some) to college entrance. (EXCEL grant)
White Center Heights Elementary School
Camille Churchill, Kindergarten Teacher and acting PTA President
Bringing Theatre to Life!
We would like to have the students put on a full-length, large-cast play with costumes and sets. Though our students have seen a few plays, they do not understand the concept of “putting on a play” or “getting a lead role”. The inherent growth our students will receive in reading as they learn their lines, the real-life application of math and science as they construct the sets, and the confidence-building through performance will be invaluable to our students. (EXCEL grant)
Sally Wilma, 6th grade teacher
Waskowitz for All
At White Center Heights, we have over 85% free and reduced lunch. Many of our families struggle to make ends meet and many families cannot afford the charge to attend Waskowitz. We would like to provide some partial scholarships so our students can attend this valuable program. (MAD grant)