The Westerville Education Foundation (WEF) has announced it will fund a number of spring grant requests, as follows:
- $912.66 to Melissa Palmore, Westerville North High School, for Social Skills for Today and Tomorrow: Developing Social Skills and Life Skills for Students with High Functioning Autism. Westerville City Schools provides a Social Skills training classes for students who are identified with having high functioning autism or Asperger’s. Currently, social skills are taught to pupils based off their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and transition goals with limited resources in the classroom. Palmore wants to develop a more functional, real-time social skills program by incorporating the Movie Time Social Skills Program, including transitional skills such as cooking, money management and community and relationship skill building and increase school support by teaching executive functioning skills, self-regulation skills, social self-awareness, perspective taking and social-emotional understanding.
- $10,000 to Ann Engelhart, Westerville North High School, for CRIS Community Connectors Mentorship Program. Community Refugee & Immigration Services has a mentoring program for middle and high school students called Community Connectors, which has been serving Columbus City Schools since 2017 and Westerville City Schools since 2018. The program matches interested Westerville students from Central and North with trained and qualified mentors for weekly mentoring in the school, home, or community setting. The program is goal oriented and focuses around academic and employment support, as well as social and civic engagement within Westerville and greater Columbus communities. The request is to maintain and expand services into Westerville North. The $10,000 award is pending the outcome of other grants submitted to other sources for funding.
- $1,200 to Christina Isaacs, Cait Maloy and Kyle Campbell, Westerville North High School, for Counting Critters with Cameras. This project involves the use of trail cameras a means for students to assess the health of the Westerville North Land Lab through the lens of biodiversity. The cameras will allow for a multitude of studies about local wildlife in several different science classes. Biology students will analyze and compare observed species at different times of the year. In Zoology and Ecology classes, the cameras will be used for animal identification, behavioral studies, and extrapolating ecological interactions at the Land Lab.
- $5,082.52 to Noelle Spriestersbach and Tammy Hanby, Westerville South High School, for Mindfulness and Yoga Program. South hopes to build mindfulness and yoga practice as an integral and sustained part of the school culture. In partnership with The Youth Yoga Project and Balanced Yoga Studio, they plan to train specific staff members in yoga and mindfulness instruction. These staff members will be leaders in a program that will foster mindfulness skills and activities to be used throughout the building in multiple settings. In addition, they would establish an alternative discipline intervention involving yoga and mindfulness for at-risk students being frequently referred to detention. This project is funded by the Mount Carmel St. Ann’s Project HEALTH grant.
- $5,800 to Kim Glaser, Mark Twain Elementary School, for Mark Twain Tutoring. The Mark Twain Tutoring project is in its third year. English Learners (EL) who are seeking additional time to learn are invited to stay after school and attend the library in the summer. School and summer sessions meet twice a week with teacher volunteers helping students reach their learning targets and close the achievement gap so often linked to the EL population. All grades and abilities are invited based on teacher recommendations. Teacher volunteers use their professional judgment and personal relationships with students to determine teaching objectives for each pupil. They use Lexia, F and P reading levels, TenMarks and DreamBox to measure student growth. All materials for this program are donated except for the cost to transport students. Money awarded will split transportation funding over two years – $2,900 during FY20, and $2,900 during FY 21. This project is funded by the Alliance Data After School English Learning Grant.
- $397 to Nichole Price, Wilder Elementary, for Dinosaur Excavation. Students in second grade learn about animals and plants that lived long ago. In the process, they talk about how scientists learn about these animals and plants that we no longer can see or hear, and they discuss fossils. In the past, Price has bought kits with her own money so her pupils can experience what it would be like to “dig” for fossils. Money received will be used to purchase Dinosaur Fossil Dig Kit Toys from Amazon. WEF Treasurer Mark C. Faubel personally donated funding for this grant.
WEF Grant funding is available thanks to support for Education First Credit Union, Mount Carmel St. Ann’s, Alliance Data and many other generous community partners. Learn more about the Westerville Education Foundation by visiting www.westervilleeducationfoundation.com.