LOWELL | The Tri-Creek Education Foundation Inc. was able to increase its 12th annual $10,000 competitive grant opportunity to almost $25,000 this year due to generous donations from the community and a $5,000 grant from the Lake County Solid Waste Management District for grants that highlight a "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" theme.
Lynn Bochart, foundation director and chairperson of the Grant Committee, introduced the 2013-14 recipients of 15 grants that will impact more than 2,800 students at a recent Tri-Creek School Board meeting.
The recipients are:
- Oak Hill Elementary School teacher Amanda Hill, $130 for a “Bully Prevention Video/Tech Integration in the Classroom.” A Blue Yeti microphone will be purchased to use during the filming of short videos about being a bully-free school by members of the Anti-Bullying Committee.
- Lake Prairie Elementary School teachers Mary Ann Sytsma, Michelle Nichols, Nikki Chapranda, $900 for “Rendezvous with a Comet.” In preparation for a mock space mission at the Challenger Learning Center at Purdue University Calumet, all fifth-graders will learn and practice the tasks they will undertake on the mission.
- Lake Prairie teacher Dawn Johannsen and the Lake Prairie School Leadership Team, $2,595 for “Computation that’s Outta This World,” a math fact program that will help students increase fact fluency.
- Lake Prairie art teacher Jill Sayers, $2,785.94 for “Art Connects,” giving the art classroom access to iPads in on a regular basis and expanding learning opportunities for students from animation to writing.
- Three Creeks Elementary School teachers Linsey Waterstraat, Jennifer Del Real, Trisha Stanton, $900 for “Rendezvous with a Comet.”
- Kristen Hughes, Three Creeks Title 1 reading teacher, $934.99 for “Time for Kids Nonfiction Bookset: Challenging” to benefit fifth-graders who struggle with many aspects of reading and comprehension.
- Three Creeks teachers Mary Stinnett, Janet Bailey, and Julie Nomanson, $1,000 for a “Study Trip to Indianapolis.” by all fourth-graders to theIndiana State Museum and Indiana State House.
- Three Creeks teachers Trish Stanton, Jennifer DelReal and Linsey Waterstraat, $1,000 for “Trout in the Classroom.” This grant through the Lake County Solid Waste Management District will provide fifth-graders monthly lessons on trout, fostering an understanding of ecosystem connectivity and conservation ethics.
- Three Creeks teachers Kassie Hanger, Holly Carter, Katie Taylor and Susan Mitsch, $458.98 for “Using VersaTiles to Create Versatile Accomplished Learners,” a logic based, brain-researched approach in which students activate and complete a puzzle based on a learning skill.
- Lowell Middle School teacher Megan McCollister Iussig, $840 for “The Hero as Inspiration to Catch the Stars,” giving accelerated eighth grade students the opportunity to see the Chicago play "Peter and the Starcatcher" as the impetus of project-based learning exploring the role of the hero and storytelling.
- Iussig also received $1,854 for “Dreaming Even Greener: The LMS Composting Initiative” from the LCSWMD to create a school-wide composting program at LMS to educate about reducing and recycling lunchroom waste.
- Lowell High School teachers Mary Cusic and Steve Harker, $2,400 for “Facets of the Bridges Program” to “bridge” students’ middle school experiences into high school so that the transition is as seamless as possible.
- LHS guidance counselor Christina Thomas and teacher Joe Swanson, $5,298 for “Red Devil Mentor Program,” facilitating the successful transition of freshman students to LHS with mentor training at DePauw University and a professional contract with Brian Dobias.
- LHS teacher/Literacy Coach Kendra McPheeters-Neal, $2,146 for “Sustainable Collaborative Spaces,” supported by the LCSWMD to create a prototype for a custom piece of furniture to be made out of recycled bottle caps.
- Tri-Creek Technology Specialist Dan Gibson, $1,650.64 for a “Mobile Media Production Studio.”
“The Grant Committee had the difficult task of reviewing grant applications totaling over $43,000," Bochart said. "Every application we received highlighted wonderful projects that would bring excellence and innovation into classrooms and we were excited that we were able to increase our grant funding this year.”
Gifts in any amount are appreciated and can be made in the donor’s name or in the name of a loved one. Since the foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization, all donations qualify to be tax-deductible.
For more information, contact foundation President Luan Brown at: Tri-Creek Education Foundation Inc., 195 W. Oakley Ave., Lowell, IN 46356 or (219) 750-1262.