The Southeast Polk Education Foundation has completed its fall grant cycle. Seven recipients within the Southeast Polk School District have received grants totaling $42,568.
Willowbrook Elementary STEM Innovation Center
$5,000 was awarded for the Willowbrook Innovation Center that will offer our students a variety of STEM-related learning opportunities. The center will include a 3D printer so students can make their ideas come to life and solve real-world problems, a Makerspace Center where students can use household materials to construct a prototype of an idea or concept, resources to help students learn how to write code based on their grade level, and materials for a green screen production room. The Willowbrook Innovation Center will be the hub for all of the latest technology tools in our school. All of these items will be set up and available to students in a room attached to the media center.
Spring Creek 3D Printer and Tinkercard Program
$5,000 was awarded for the purchase of a 3D printer and Tickercard program for students at the sixth-grade center. Students will be able to design and print projects on the 3D printer as a part of the Makerspace Unit.
Multi-sensory Instructional Resources
$19,968 was granted to fund multi-sensory instructional resources to support preschool through second-grade students. The resources will be pivotal in supporting students with dyslexia, autism, and students in need of a strong structured language literacy routine such as English learners. These routines are based on a methodology called Orton-Gillingham, which includes multi-sensory materials such as sand, sand trays, and blending boards. Current research states that a multi-sensory approach is the key to success in teaching reading, writing, and comprehension. Additionally, a book called The Recipe Book by Nina Traub would be covered by this grant. This professional resource would be distributed to teachers. It supports a very specific scope and sequence of phonics instruction for students with dyslexia and other reading disabilities.
Math Reflex Program
$2,500 was awarded to Delaware Elementary for the Math Reflex program for students in first – fifth grade. Math fact fluency refers to the ability to recall the basic facts in all four operations accurately, quickly and effortlessly. When students achieve automaticity with these facts, they have attained a level of mastery that enables them to retrieve them from long-term memory without conscious effort or attention. Brain imaging studies have revealed how the progression from effortful processes such as finger counting and explicit strategy use to automatized retrieval is associated with actual changes in the regions of the brain involved in mathematical computation (e.g., Rivera, Reiss, Eckert, & Menon, 2005).
Swivl C5 Complete Classroom Set
$1,200 was granted for the Swivl C5 at Four Mile Elementary that will be used to video record teachers and their instructional lessons within the building. The idea behind purchasing these materials is to easily allow video recording of teachers, to encourage 1-on-1 coaching cycles with teachers and to increase student engagement. Video recording is a great way to increase student engagement, improve teacher lessons, and to truly showcase what is happening within a classroom. Video recording allows the viewer(s) to take out personal perceptions and opinions, and focus on what is really happening during instruction. It will help teachers determine what they are passionate about changing or adjusting so that they can enhance student learning.
Automated Weather Stations
$3,900 was granted to purchase Automated Weather Stations for each elementary building. This technology will assist our K-5 students to monitor and collect local data on weather and the environment. For example, Kindergarten science looks for patterns in the weather. First grade studies daylight and seasons. Third-grade studies weather, climate, and natural hazards. Fifth grade studies the atmosphere. Also, lessons from the environmental learning center can be linked to information gathered from these weather stations. All eight elementary schools will have access to information. A widget can be added to the school website to monitor conditions in real-time.
Altoona Elementary Next Generation Classroom
$5,000 was given to help pilot a next-generation classroom in Altoona Elementary’s first grade. This project will provide students with more engaging learning opportunities to access the world outside of the classroom. The pilot classroom will also provide the district’s technology department with valuable data on what is most effective in the classroom to help with the upgrading of future classrooms.
A pilot classroom will consist of the following:
– Clevertouch Interactive Flat Panel with mount
– An audio enhancement sound system to include teacher and student amplification
– Small NUC computer to mount to Clevertouch
– Touch-Screen Convertible Chromebook
– Monitor, wireless keyboard and mouse, and various other accessories
About the Southeast Polk Education Foundation
Established in 2014 as an independently governed, not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization, the mission of the Southeast Polk Education Foundation (SEPEF) is to engage and focus local, regional, and national support to enhance opportunities for Southeast Polk students, PK through 12th grade. The Foundation works with the district to develop and implement the securing of funds to support district initiatives.
The Southeast Polk Education Foundation is the only funding organization with the unique mission of supporting Southeast Polk Schools. Our efforts involve corporations, foundations, civic organizations, professional associations, school alumni, and other concerned individuals. We will assist private donors in making informed decisions that will enhance educational opportunities for Southeast Polk students.