Turning Foundation 2018 Innovative Teacher Mini-Grant Award Winners

The Turning Foundation has announced award winners for the 2018 round of Innovative Teacher Mini-Grants. Cash awards of up to $5,000 were available for creative and innovative classroom projects.  Applicants were required to align their projects with one of the four major goal areas of focus for the Eastern Ohio Education Partnership: kindergarten readiness, early grade reading proficiency, middle grade math proficiency and postsecondary/career readiness.

The grant competition included additional support again this year from The Raymond John Wean Foundation. A total of 47 applications were submitted requesting $147,287 in funding. The 15 grant winners will receive a total of $50,885 in cash awards that will impact a total of 7,354 students in PK-12 classrooms during the rest of the 2018-19 school year. Award winners include:

Teacher: Sharon Ragan Amount: $2,000

School: Paul C. Bunn Elementary – Youngstown City Schools
Population: 50 students Grades: 7-8
Goal Area:  Middle Grade Math Proficiency

Overview: This project will create a STEAM club that integrates aligned math standards into designing real-world learning projects. Students will use middle school math standards, the design process and problem solving skills to create their own innovative designs to real-life problems.

Teacher: Sarah Lowe Amount: $5,000

School: Beaver Local Middle School – Beaver Local Schools
Population: 520 students Grades: 4-8
Goal Area:  Middle Grade Math Proficiency

Overview: This program will ignite student learning and raise math proficiency through an integration of technology, design, problem solving and critical thinking activities that provide insight to college/career readiness. Students will also be provided with differentiated lessons meeting individual needs.

Teacher: Kelly Fussner Amount: $820.45

School: Rayen Early College Middle School – Youngstown City Schools
Population: 78 students Grades: 5
Goal Area:  Middle Grade Math Proficiency

Overview: The Aquaponics Indoor Gardening System is an incredible resource for students to combine math proficiency with scientific inquiry. Students will collect data on photosynthetic activity, measure plant growth incorporating operations with decimals and percentages, and analyze food production practice estimation techniques.

Teacher: Jill Redmond Amount: $4809.25

School: McGuffey PK-8 – Warren City Schools
Population: 25 students Grades: 5-8
Goal Area: Postsecondary/Career Readiness

Overview: “McGuffey Fitness and Wellness Challenge” is an innovative after school program exposing students to fitness and wellness careers.  Students will experience hands on opportunities both in our schools and community.  Our goal is to expose students to careers in fitness and nutrition which will make them healthy productive workers.

Teacher: Stephanie Gilligan Amount: $700

School: McGuffey PK-8 – Warren City Schools
Population: 20 students Grades: Preschool
Goal Area: Kindergarten Readiness

Overview: Incorporating dramatic play outside, through the use of an outdoor mud kitchen, will allow students to extend their oral language development and social emotional learning beyond the classroom while having fun interacting with their peers and learning through exploration.

Teacher: Rick Gurski Amount: $5,000

School: Taft Elementary – Youngstown City Schools
Population: 270 students Grades: K-3
Goal Area: Early Grade Reading Proficiency

Overview: This project will integrate the visual arts into the reading and writing process in our K-3 classrooms with the utilization of a renowned author and illustrator in residence. The project will engage and excite students as they take on the roles of authors and illustrators.  Final products will be disseminated locally.

Teacher: Mark Robinson Amount: $5,000

School: Youngtown Rayen Early College – Youngstown City Schools
Population: 270 students Grades: 9-12
Goal Area: Postsecondary/Career Readiness

Overview: YREC will create a Maker Space to enhance STEM and project-based learning across the curriculum.  Students will explore academic content visually and hands on, using emerging technologies and integrating design thinking, collaboration, creativity and innovation into core curriculum, providing for exploration and application of concepts in real world experiences.

Teacher: Tracy Archuleta Amount: $5,000

School: Jefferson Senior High School – Jefferson Local Schools
Population: 200 students Grades: 9-12
Goal Area: Postsecondary/Career Readiness

Overview: This cross-curricular makerspace will allow students to explore academic content visually using technology to integrate aspects of design.  Also, through hands on processes and collaboration they will expand their knowledge of a variety of careers.

Teacher: Sharon King Amount: $2,000

School: MLK Jr. Elementary – Youngstown City Schools
Population: 5 students Grades: 3-5
Goal Area: Early Grade Reading Proficiency

Overview: An interactive curriculum will be created for students with Autism, using Hot Dots and pens.  This curriculum enables learners to access a curriculum like their same age/grade level peers.  Students will benefit from this opportunity using multiple modalities of learning.

Teacher: Maria Pappas Amount: $5,000

School: Youngstown City Schools
Population: 5,500 students Grades: K-12
Goal Area: Early Grade Reading Proficiency – Postsecondary/Career Readiness

Overview: This school community project provides academic and career-related visioning via writing prompts for all students to inspire high quality, publishable student writing.  It also provides a painting workshop for select K-12 student artists.  Together, the student writers and artists will create a professionally printed and illustrated district Library Poster.

Teacher: Eleanna Vlahos-Hall Amount: $2,000

School: Jefferson PK-8 – Warren City Schools
Population: 10 students Grades: 6-8
Goal Area: Postsecondary/Career Readiness

Overview: “Men of Distinction” is a middle school male mentoring program designed to enhance academic and postsecondary success.  Students and mentors will have the opportunity to role model and build relationships that will guide them through various obstacles throughout the year and plan for future success.

Teacher: Amy Gordiejew Amount: $1,996.15

School: Taft Elementary – Youngstown City Schools
Population: 18 students Grades: K-4
Goal Area: Early Grade Reading Proficiency

Overview: Sing, Spell, Read & Write relies heavily on music to teach alphabetic principles, phonemic awareness, sound/letter correspondence and short vowel sounds in a fun way.  The project focuses this resource on our English Learner population, particularly the influx of students impacted by Hurricane Maria and coming from Puerto Rico.

Teacher: Tim Harker Amount: $5,000

School: Glenwood Junior High – Boardman Schools
Population: 60 students Grades: 6-8
Goal Area: Postsecondary/Career Readiness

Overview: This project will raise global awareness around one of the UN Sustainable Goals and its impact on a foreign country.  Our students will connect with students in the same age range in Thailand to learn about the impact of a Sustainable Goal and to help raise the empathy level of our students.

Teacher: Kelly Hutchison Amount: $5,000

School: Warren City Schools
Population: 310 students Grades: Preschool
Goal Area: Kindergarten Readiness and 3rd Grade Reading Proficiency

Overview:  Into the Hands of Families will provide families with knowledge and resources that promote kindergarten readiness. We will conduct family-friendly meetings and volunteer at Candyland Lane to engage families in educational opportunities which promote the use of the VROOM App.

Teacher: Carole Goffus Amount: $1,560.00

School: Willard PK-8 – Warren City Schools
Population: 18 students Grades: 3-4
Goal Area: Early Grade Reading Proficiency

Overview: The Branches Program is designed to help students who have been retained due to the Ohio Third Grade Reading Guarantee. Branches Leaders (6th-8th graders) will be trained to help their Branches buddies through fun reading, taking turns reading, reinforcing phonics, asking questions, modeling listening and being positive role models.