Teachers receive grant funding for innovative educational programming
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Several teachers in Albemarle County are getting grant funding to support innovative programming in their classrooms.
According to a release, 10 Albemarle County Public Schools’ teachers have received grants from the Edgar and Eleanor Shannon Foundation for Excellence in Public Education.
These funds will be used for programming at each level of schooling in the school division.
For example, Gay Baker, the media specialist and librarian at Brownsville Elementary School, will be using a $5,000 grant to create a StoryWalk exhibit on school grounds.
The foundation says teachers who have received these kinds of grants have documented increases in student test scores and more enthusiasm for learning every year.
“I was very impressed with similar learning experiences that I have seen created by schools and libraries in other parts of our country,” Baker said. “StoryWalks offer a wonderful opportunity for students to enjoy quality literature during time spent outdoors. Interaction with text will help students improve vocabulary, increase comprehension skills, and develop background knowledge in a variety of content areas such as math, social studies, and science. Related STEM activities will help students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.”
The outdoor StoryWalk she will be creating will be used by students in all grade levels at Brownsville, and she hopes children and their families will use it even when school is not in session.
Inside, Baker says she wants to create displays in partnership with community service organizations, such as Eagle Scouts, and stories that will be featured could be shared online with families.
Baker also hopes that through future enhancements, sound and other interactive features can be added to enhance the quality of learning.
Susi Page at Red Hill Elementary School plans to add a raised garden to the school’s outdoor learning space, where students will be able to learn about caring for plants and animals as well as interact with them in their natural environments.
And Lisa Boyce at Henley Middle School will be using grant funding to design science laboratory projects incorporating concepts in science, technology, engineering, art and math to help build student confidence and enthusiasm.
At Western Albemarle High School, Meghan Streit will be asking students to assist in researching, reading and analyzing books that may be added to the school’s library.
Catherine Simpson at Hollymead Elementary School will use the funding for an outdoor playground for special education students, utilizing sensory and active play materials in order to promote fine motor skills and to increase interaction.
Tina Goode and John Worozbyt at Burley Middle School will be sharing a grant to develop chances for science students to build rockets, solar ovens, derby cars and more in order to enrich their problem-solving, critical thinking and teamwork skills.
At Stone-Robinson Elementary School, Angie Foreman will be using grant funding to install a garden pond, which will let students use their observational skills in learning about ecosystems, life cycles, food chains and stewardship of the environment.
Lori Brodhead at Mountain View Elementary School is putting her grant toward a sensory learning station for students who are in the Bright Stars preschool program.
And Meriwether Lewis Elementary School’s Anne Straume will be working with third-grade students on the Eaten Alive! Project, which will have students researching how plants like the Venus flytrap interact with their environment.
The Shannon Foundation is also funding three projects at schools in Charlottesville.
This year’s grants total nearly $22,000.