Three Fall Gripp Grants totaling $10,026 were awarded to our D39 schools which will have a positive impact on our students. These grants will provide innovative opportunities for a range of students in our elementary schools and at Highcrest Middle School.
Sensory Board Gripp Grant
The D39 Educational Foundation is excited to award a grant to the learning behavior specialists and occupational therapists at each of our D39 elementary schools for sensory boards. Sensory boards are large stationary boards which have tactile, functional and visual objects which are attached to the board for students to touch and explore. These boards support fine and gross motor skills, language development, cognitive growth, problem solving skills and social interaction for our early learners who benefit from having various sensory inputs throughout their day in order to engage and participate in daily activities appropriately and effectively. Students in the comprehensive needs program, students with IEPs, and early learners will benefit from using these boards. These boards add innovation to sensory rooms in that they bring calmness and organization to sensory rooms giving students a more structured opportunity to explore and learn.
Congratulations to Cori Piper – LBS McKenzie, Rochelle Hanawalt – OT McKenzie, Melissa Hansen – LBS Central, Mary Frandsen – LBS Central, Hallie Saperstein – LBS Romona, Andy Parker – LBS Romona, Michelle Mermelstein – OT Romona, Linnea Beader – OT Romoma, Justyna Lostumbo – LBS Romona Early Childhood, Katherine Llanes-Smith – LBS Romona Early Childhood, Barri Werth – LBS Romona Early Childhood, Rebecca Bennett – OT Harper, and Kristin Spalo – PT District 39.and events.
Podcast Gripp Grant
The D39 Educational Foundation has awarded a Gripp Grant to Highcrest Middle School for the purchase of podcasting equipment. Podcasting has become an incredibly robust platform for sharing information and this grant will be used to purchase the tools to teach students at HMS how to create podcasts. Students in the newly formed Learning Commons Club will get to explore and learn the equipment first by creating book review podcasts. Students will have the opportunity to construct scripts, interview one another, and record, edit, and publish their podcasts. Students will foster collaboration and enhance their public speaking skills as well as apply digital citizenship skills in their creations. Once the pilot in the LC is successful, the podcasting equipment will be expanded for use to other clubs and classrooms. Congratulations to Matt Aho – Library Information Specialist HMS!
Living Wall Gripp Grant
The D39 Educational Foundation awarded a Gripp Grant to the Highcrest Middle School principal and several teachers for the purchase of a Living Wall for the Outdoor Classroom. A Living Wall is a vertical garden created from a tiered module system that provides space for different plants in containers. The purpose of the Living Wall will be to engage, empower, and inspire all students at HMS. Students will engage through their research and design as they investigate the best types of plants to install in the wall as well as in the care of the plants by watering, weeding, and ensuring growth. Students will share ownership of the Living Wall by taking on various roles which will support a sense of accomplishment and empower them to be active in their school community.
The Living Wall will be student-led and student-designed and will provide project-based learning opportunities in various classes (science,art, global studies, social studies, etc.) across the curriculum. Through their work and engagement in the design, maintenance, and engagement with the Living Wall, students will be inspired as they develop essential skills in leadership, creativity, and collaboration, all of which are central to D39’s Portrait of a Learner. Congratulations to Kelly Jackson, HMS principal, and the collaboration team of Matt Aho, Brenda Raccuglia, Katie Fox, Allison Eakley, and Kelsey Treon!