Turning Foundation 2019 Innovative Teacher Mini-Grant Award Winners

The Turning Foundation has announced award winners for the 2019 round of Innovative Teacher Mini Grants. Cash awards of up to $5,000 were available for creative and innovative classroom projects. The grant competition included additional support again this year from The Raymond John Wean Foundation. A total of 23 applications were submitted requesting $84,949 in funding.  The thirteen grant winners will receive a total of $53,407.71 in cash awards that will impact a total of 3,022 students in PK-12 classrooms during the rest of the 2019-20 school year. Award winners include:

Teacher: Amy Walters Amount: $5,000.00

School: Paul C. Bunn Elementary – Youngstown City Schools
Population: 220 students Grades: K-4

Overview: This school/community project models local/national collaboration by integrating visual arts into the reading/writing process in K-4 classrooms with the utilization of a renowned author/illustrator in residence. Students’ roles of authors/illustrators will engage/excite students about their performance on the 3rd grade assessments.

Teacher: Jill Redmond Amount: $3,766.56

School: McGuffey PK-8 – Warren City Schools
Population: 25 students Grades: 5-8

Overview: “McGuffey Explores Wellness” is an after school program exposing students to careers promoting wellness.  Students experience hands on opportunities both in the school and community.  Fitness and nutrition are promoted in team settings.  Students are exposed to careers in fitness and nutrition which will make them healthy productive workers. This program expands on a previous grant award.

Teacher: Heather Smith Amount: $1,052.00

School: Rayen Early College Middle School – Youngstown City Schools
Population: 263 students Grades: 5-8

Overview: Students will use the Thrively Strength Assessment to develop a sense of self-awareness and to help teachers learn who their students are and what interests them. This information will help teachers create engaging classrooms and develop lessons aligned to student interests as well as promote student empowerment.

Teacher: David Murduck Amount: $5,000.00

School: Champion Middle School – Champion Local Schools
Population: 1,400 students Grades: K-12

Overview: This effort will support the development of the Outdoor Learning Lab for Champion Schools by expanding the use of technology for the outdoor education program used by all 1400 students in the district.  Providing digital microscopes and stereoscopes will help connect the use of technology with outdoor education programs in the district and expand collaboration with other community partners.

Teacher: Heather Floran Amount: $4,993.55

School: McGuffey Elementary – Youngstown City Schools
Population: 200 students Grades: 1-3

Overview: This project is about getting students to read using Accelerated Reader to monitor students’ independent reading.  New books will be purchased from Scholastic and designed for this project.  The project will also work with Youngstown Public Library to teach students how to choose books on their reading level.

Teacher: Maria Stratis Amount: $5,000.00

School: Youngtown Rayen Early College – Youngstown City Schools
Population: 161 students Grades: 9-12

Overview: This project will provide planning sessions to ensure that every student at Youngstown Early College is on track for graduating and achieving an Associate’s Degree from YSU.  It provides access to experts in selected careers via Topic Seminars that will help students select college courses of study that are a good fit for all.

Teacher: Tracy Archuleta Amount: $5,000.00

School: Jefferson Senior High & Middle School – Jefferson Local Schools
Population: 250 students Grades: 9-12

Overview: This project expands a previous grant award. The school’s makerspace is growing and with the addition of more equipment and supplies more students will be reached by collaborating with the Jr. High mentorship/makerspace relationship. This will show students what our makerspace is, how to use it and what impact it has on them.

Teacher: Haylie Keylor Amount: $1,915.04

School: Champion Central Elementary – Champion Local School
Population: 42 students Grades: K-4

Overview: The objective of this project is to use Virtual Reality headsets and the CoSpaces Edu app so students can build their own 3D creations, animate them with code, and explore them in Virtual Reality. This program will improve digital literacy skills, enhance creativity, and foster collaboration in the classroom.

Teacher: Eleanna Vlahos-Hall Amount: $5,000.00

School: Jefferson PK-8 – Warren City Schools
Population: 10 students Grades: 5-7

Overview: This award expands the Men of Distinction program awarded last year. The program assists in the process of developing young males into emotionally competent men who are assets to their families and communities. Students are paired with volunteer males from the community helping to guide and motivate participants.

Teacher: Amy Gordiejew Amount: $1,994.56

School: Taft Elementary — Youngstown City Schools
Population: 148 students Grades: K-8

Overview: Accessing culturally relevant literary materials is essential to growing reading interest and proficiency in urban students. Taft’s book club project aims to get K-8th grade students diving into high-interest books as members of a new literacy group that encourages deep thinking, writing and dialogue in a safe and engaging space.

Teacher: Jaclyn Kuntz Amount: $4,936.00

School: Struthers Middle School – Struthers Schools
Population: 130 students Grades: 5-8

Overview: The program is focused on improving 8th grade reading using the Lexia learning system. The program will benefit all students by improving their performance index and self-confidence in reading. Data can be used to create lessons that are specifically designed for each student.

Teacher: Kelly Hutchinson Amount: $5,000.00

School: Warren City Schools
Population: 309 students Grades: Preschool

Overview: To make connections and apply scientific concepts, children need multiple opportunities and multimodal experiences. This preschool project, “Race to Space” celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the moon landing, and promotes inquiry and exploration with young children.

Teacher: Tia Phillips Amount: $4,750.00

School: Willard PK-8 – Warren City Schools
Population: 10 students Grades: 5-7

Overview: The Men of Distinction program assists in the process of developing young males into emotionally competent men who are assets to their families, communities and generation who follow. The program connects students with men from the community making themselves available to help guide students into motivated, responsible, informed, and capable young men of noble character. This program replicates a grant award winner from last year at Jefferson PK-8.