2021 Grant Recipients
Virtual STEM Extravaganza:
Burleigh Elementary School
The Virtual STEM Extravaganza grant will allow Marlo Dentice-Johnson, a teacher at Burleigh, to host a STEM night in the Spring across all the elementary schools in the district. The hope is this will turn into an annual event, similar to nights like Literacy Night that the district already holds annually. Marlo will work with businesses in the area and LAUNCH students to create stations that families would travel to and have an opportunity to participate in STEM activities. STEM lessons will also be implemented throughout the year in the classrooms across the district so that all students could experience these enrichment opportunities. The creation of the lessons would be lead by Marlo and the team she is working with.
Growing Healthy Minds:
Brookfield East High School Student
The Growing Healthy Minds grant would help to restore the greenhouse at Brookfield East. This grant was written by Claire Peplinski, a student at Brookfield East. She will be working alongside a Brookfield East science teacher who will be helping to ensure that the greenhouse stays maintained. This will be a wonderful enrichment opportunity that teachers could use now to add to their classroom lessons and provides an opportunity for a club to be established. Harvested food from the greenhouse could potentially be donated to a local food pantry. The business that helps Parkside 23 with their garden has also offered to collaborate with Claire and the team working with her at Brookfield East.
Today a Reader,
Tomorrow a Leader:
Pilgrim Park Middle School
Stacy Klein, teacher at Pilgrim Park Middle School, would like to enhance classroom libraries through her grant and specifically looks to add additional texts designed for struggling and unmotivated readers. These books would provide opportunities for students to independently practice and apply strategies being taught. Much of what is currently available to students in classroom libraries focuses on grade-appropriate literature. For struggling readers, reading independently often becomes an extremely frustrating task. By providing high interest materials at more appropriate readability levels, success is much more likely to occur for these students.
Sensory Path for Swanson:
Swanson Elementary Parent
Holli Lenell, a parent at Swanson Elementary School, has applied for a grant that will allow a sensory pathway to be put into one of the hallways at Swanson. A sensory path is a series of guided movements for kids to follow, shown by markings on the ground. As students follow the path and complete the movements, they work off excess energy and develop their gross motor skills. The various movements on a path are often designed to engage different parts of the body and brain, from frog hops to spins and wall pushes. Teachers often use sensory paths as their kids walk through a hallway between activities. These paths can be especially effective for students who experience frustration, anger, or other sensory overloads during a learning activity. Having an adult go with them to the hall to work off some of those emotions can help them refocus when they return to their desk.
Pond Improvement Project:
Julia Della Penna
Brookfield Central High School Student
The Pond Improvement Project grant will help to enhance the pond at Brookfield Central. This grant was written by Julia Della Penna, student at Brookfield Central. The grant includes adding wildlife-friendly features to the pond (such as native plants and homes for butterflies and birds). If permitted, building an outdoor canoe rack for the BCHS canoes, removing invasive plants, and improving the bridge over the dam of the pond would also happen. Work would be completed over the course of this summer (2021). Currently, BCHS's Environmental Science Class, Biology and Ecology Classes all use the pond in some capacity. The science department is committed to maintaining the area.
Tonawanda Bird Feeders:
Tonawanda Elementary School
The Tonawanda Bird Feeders grant would provide bird feeders to the property at Tonawanda. There is a possibility of adding bird feeders that have live cameras built in. When a bird comes to the bird feeder, the camera will be able to identify the bird and keep an inventory of birds that have visited. Tonawanda teacher, David Schimpf, will be overseeing this project and will have a group of students that help maintain it. The grant also included bird seed. School-wide lessons during "Tiger Time" would be focused on bird related topics. For more information about the possible smart bird feeder click on the following link: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/bird-buddy-a-smart-bird-feeder#/
Tonawanda Elementary School
The Playground Blocks grant written by principal, Kristin Olson at Tonawanda Elementary School, will provide inclusive playground blocks. They would provide an alternative option for students who may be unable to or who are uninterested in playing on the larger playground equipment. This equipment is also moveable, unlike many other inclusive playground equipment. These blocks can also be brought inside and used in the gym during PE or indoor recess.