HAMMOND | The Hammond Education Foundation recently awarded 13 Acorn Grants valued at $11,667 to School City of Hammond teachers to advance extraordinary learning that helps students succeed.
The grants, awarded from the 2012 cycle, are being applied to learning activities and experiences this spring.
The foundation is a volunteer organization of business, civic and educational leaders that awards grants to further innovative learning activities that cannot be funded through the regular school budget.
To qualify for grant support, each learning activity must include components of academic and interpersonal skills, character enhancement and literacy development.
Acorn Grants awarded for spring include:
- Hammond Academy for the Performing Arts – “Composition Commission,” $1,000 to Daniel Cummins. Instrumental music students will research contemporary composers of band literature and give presentations. A work will be commissioned by a contemporary band composer.
- Morton High School – “WriteToLearn: Improving English 10 ECA Scores,” $390 to Lori Jones. Funding for four WriteToLearn software licenses to supplement 30 purchased last spring. This technology tool assesses reading comprehension and writing abilities to target and remediate weaknesses.
- Columbia Elementary – “Enhanced Wellness through Literacy and Sport Activities,” $1,000 to Joshua Stamper. Kindergarten through fifth-graders will participate in physical activities aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle, read health-promoting signs and write about activities and sports and how they impact overall health.
- Columbia Elementary – “No Reader Left Behind," $495 to Maria Rohrman and Tiffany Mack. Provides Leveled Literacy Intervention Take Home Books to give parents of struggling readers tools to implement good literacy practices with their children while developing life-long readers.
- Edison Elementary – “Leap into Reading: Tag, You’re It!” $882.56 to Kelly Hall, Allison Lenzo and Kim Doppler. Provides Leap Frog TAG reading systems for kindergarten classes to help give students confidence while reading.
- Franklin and Kenwood elementary schools – “The Man in the Mirror,” $618.90 to Daniel Wolff. Provides opportunity for music students to rewrite lyrics to pop songs that reflect the school’s core values. They will read related books, create posters, and perform their songs in the spring concert.
- Irving Elementary – “The Reading Rhombus,” $450 to Judy Zahn and Cecilia Weigle. This extension of last year’s “The Reading Triangle” grant funds Literacy Nights and Side-by-Side visits, where students will read a favorite book with their parents, fostering a love of reading at school and at home.
- Irving Elementary – “Greenhouse Gardening,” $988 to Judy Zahn, Cecilia Weigle and Mary Atkins. Special education students and general education students will work together to build an indoor greenhouse, research about growing plants and flowers, plant seeds, and keep a journal of plant growth.
- Irving Elementary – “Hooked on Nooks,” $1,103.70 to Jessica Kuechenberg, literacy coach, and Mary Moriarty, Christine Quiroga, Doreen Crook, William Ferry, Laura Bajmakovich, Graziella Eenigenburg and Danette Florentine. One teacher at each grade level will receive a Nook Simple Touch e-reader as a pilot program. Students will access books and/or articles during the reading block for partner reading or individual reading and to study in the content areas.
- Lafayette Elementary – “Kindle Me a Story,” $1,009.92 to Rina Horgan. Provides eight Kindle e-readers and six selected titles for a fifth-grade class to use during guided reading instruction, literature circles, partner reading, and silent-self reading.
- Lafayette Elementary – “Reading Is a Civil Right,” $1,242.08 to Cheryl Jones, Sarah Michna and Pam Frick as the first Frank and Gladys Van Til Literacy Grant to be awarded annually. Provides fourth-grade classrooms with select libraries that will enable teachers to move students up levels of text complexity by providing them with many just-right, high-interest texts. These books are aligned with the Common Core Standards, which call for successful readers to have 45 minutes of reading at school and at home.
- Lincoln Elementary – “Pop Open a Good Book,” $991.32 to Nancy Johnston, Elizabeth Bustamante, Cynthia Vuckovich, Natalie Bevil, Tina Roznawski, Roger Mullins and Jason Rybinski. A comprehensive reading program for grades 4 and 5 that will increase student comprehension and enhance vocabulary skills. After reading 25 to 30 books and related activities, students will participate in popcorn-themed bonus activities.
- Lincoln Elementary – “Interaction, Collaboration, Language, and Literacy Development: Mobi – The Collaboration Tool,” $1,554 to Jason Rybinski. Provides six Mobile Interactive Whiteboards for a 4/5 grade classroom to place interactivity, collaboration, language development, and problem-solving skills as the center focus of classroom instruction.