ST. JOHN | School funding doesn’t cover innovative classroom projects that teachers create to make learning fun and relevant for students.
Since 1996, the Lake Central Education Foundation has helped encourage that creativity by awarding grants to teachers, parents and students to purchase supplies for those projects.
At a recent Lake Central School Board meeting, the foundation awarded 14 grants totaling $5,515.51 to 22 teachers in nine district schools.
To date the LCEF has funded 427 grants totaling $216,840.07, said Mike Seljan, foundation president. Applications for grants are submitted to the foundation in the fall and spring.
Funding for the grants comes from the Indiana Education license plates, donations and fundraising activities, Seljan said.
Rita Evanson of Watson Elementary in Schererville received a $309.66 grant for I Decide! The project uses interactive books and manipulatives that allow students to actively participate in experiences as they decide the course to take in activities.
Clark Middle School teacher Beth Hernandez designed a book study program with the novel “Marley: A Dog Like No Other” to help students gain necessary reading strategies used in mandatory reading as well as reading for entertainment.
She received a $224.43 grant to use in the St. John school.
Reading to Raise Writing is a project developed by four teachers from Bibich Elementary in Dyer and Kolling Elementary in St. John. Students in third and fourth grades read contemporary literature books to increase their reading and writing proficiency.
Julia Crary, Sheri Demy, Susan Torres and Rebecca Zaremba were awarded a $480.06 grant.
Robert J. Gustas of Clark Middle School developed Livescribe … To Infinity and Beyond and received a $269.73 grant.
Livescribe captures what’s done in the classroom so anyone can watch, listen and learn what was taught while outside the class.
Lake Central Science Olympiad sponsors Mary Joan Martin and Michael Plaskett of Lake Central High School in St. John were awarded a $500 foundation grant to help students “gain a competitive edge against top academic teams in the state to free up savings for other fees for academic competitions,” Seljan said.
Melissa Dillard of Protsman Elementary in Dyer designed the Digital Daily 5 project to provide critical reading and math skills for students while implementing the common core standards through engaging technology.
Dillard was awarded $486.16.
The Time to Make Change project teaches students in enrichment classes at Kahler Middle School in Dyer how to make change using realistic money manipulatives. Dian Handley received a $253.10 grant.
Students at Kahler can also work cooperatively using problem solving strategies to design and construct a variety of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math devices thanks to the Can You Build That? Kahler teacher Cindy Walsh was awarded a $297.16 grant.
Four second-grade teachers at Peifer Elementary in Schererville designed the Improving Engagement with Ipads which utilizes Ipads to increase reading achievement and enjoyment and expand classroom libraries for their students.
The teams of Amy Anderson and Doreen Webb, and Mickey Zolfo and Peggy Richard each received foundation grants of $471.89 for the project.
The goal of bringing together students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and typically-developing peers at Homan Elementary in Schererville is the goal of the Peer-Mediated Social Skill Groups project designed by Beth Hall and Michelle Stan.
This program allows students with ASD to learn about social behaviors and their peer models to learn how to interact with students with autism. The teachers received a $348.71 foundation grant.
Elana Arens of Lake Central High is using eBooks with students to explore the themes and historical context of Arthur Miller’s play about the Salem Witch Trials “The Crucible."
She was awarded a $468.97 grant.
Making learning come alive for the youngest Lake Central learners is the object of the Touching Makes It Real project by Kim Engel of Protsman Elementary. She received a $476.68 grant.
Kelly Horton and Heather Stammis of Kolling Elementary requested funding to purchase a Daily 5 Starter Kit. These reading and word work activities are practiced by students during the Daily 5 time in class.