SEF funds 18 grants totaling $8667 for the 2018-2019 school year
Grants are made possible with investment funds earned from endowments and donations.
You can help us award more grants next year!
Just click on the DONATIONS tab at the top of this page.
You can help us award more grants next year!
Just click on the DONATIONS tab at the top of this page.
Melanie Bouzek, SHS Science
I am interested in purchasing foldscopes for the science department. Foldscopes are paper-foldable microscopes that students can attach to their phones to take pictures or video of objects highly magnified. There are several classes where we could continually use foldscopes for projects. In biology, students could use them to take pictures of diseased blood slides for the cell unit. In zoology, students can use these to better sketch animals and protists when we take our weekly water samples to see the development of biodiversity of the pond in the spring. Botany can use these to take more detailed photos/videos of cells in leaves or petals. Microbiology can use the foldscopes to take pictures and keep record of the different types of bacteria they are analyzing. Foldscopes can be used in several different classes, in several different ways. Students will love being able to use their phones and take pictures of the microscopic world.
Keith Duster, SHS Building Trades
With the renewed focus on Career Tech courses at Solon high school, a need has presented itself in our workshop space. A dust collection system beyond our basic individual tool vacuums will ensure that our shop stays clean after each work session and is safe from fine dust particulates in the air. Dust collection units from Oneida Air Systems are custom designed for each shop. We are working with the Oneida company to find the best fit for our particular needs. Our intent is to purchase the main dust collection unit using CTE Perkins funding for the 2019-2020 school year. In addition to this unit, we need to purchase a ductwork system to connect the unit to each tool in the shop. This is what we are asking the SEF to fund. Installation of the system as well as the electrical connections needed would be funded by and coordinated with the district facility and maintenance department. Each year when the students complete their shop safety assessment, I ask what they see as potential improvements to our work space. The most common response is improved dust collection, and I am hoping that through SEF and Perkins funding we can provide this upgrade. This installation will benefit not only all the students in the Industrial Technology courses, but any other groups that use our work shop, including our theatrical scenery construction sessions throughout the year.
Aaron Farnsworth, SHS Language Arts
One of the core initiatives of the Solon Community School District has been to increase student literacy at all grade levels. With this initiative, all four ELA teachers at the high school began building classroom libraries to supplement the number of literary choices that are available to our students. With the help from SEF and some funding from the district, our individual libraries got a good start last year, but they are by no means complete or sufficient. I am seeking addition funding this year to supplement my resources. I hope to expand on the fictional selections that and to add depth to the currently slim selection of non-fiction material. My hope is that we can have a plentiful selection of literature to meet the needs of all of our students. The goal is to help each of our learners find a passion for reading and become lifelong readers.
Kate Gordon, SMS Language Arts
I am hoping SEF can help me build my classroom library with books that I know my students will love to read. I recently made the change from 5th to 8th grade, and in previous years I've prided myself on having bookshelves full of texts that were of high interest to my students. After moving up three grade levels, although my shelves are full, they aren't full of texts my 8th graders want to get their hands on. My proposal is to let students choose and order books they want on the shelves and they feel their classmates will want to read as well. By having an Amazon gift card of $500, I'd be able to let the students get on Amazon, shop for the book they are requesting, and have it delivered to our classroom for them to open and add to the shelf. This would be an addition of roughly 50 new titles. Not only would we be increasing the accessible texts to our readers, but giving them ownership and pride. I love the excitement a good book creates and how we can work to make all of our students view themselves as readers! [Note from SEF: Gift cards are not available through SEF, but requested funds may be spent through the district's purchasing process]
Michelle Lyons, Lakeview Music
Kari Mai for the Lakeview 2nd Grade Team
Dear SEF Grant Committee Members,
Thank you so much for the generous grant that has helped enrich our 2nd grade classrooms. We used the grant money to purchase new books and math manipulatives. Upon discovering how much our students loved the 'choose your own adventure' type format, each classroom was able to add 7 news books of the type to our classroom library. The students love making different choices within the books, and seeing how the consequence of that choice plays out. They will read these books over and over again to discover all of the different outcomes.
During independent math rotations, we were looking for activities that would encourage critical thinking and problem solving skills. We were able to purchase a variety of STEM based, spatial learning games that encourage this kind of thinking. Our classes have enjoyed the new choices, and it has kept them engaged and learning.
We are grateful for the support of the Solon Education Foundation. Thank you for all you do for our students!
The 2nd Grade Team
Ivy Nielsen, SHS Language Arts
The English Language Arts department is continuing its initiative to improve literacy through offering students more choice in their reading. Classroom libraries have been shown increase the amount of reading students do. https://www.jstor.org/stable/41482811?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
Dawn Posekany, SHS Science
I am seeking financial support for the purchase of a lab incubator. Adding this incubator to the classroom will allow us to house organisms, especially microbes, at multiple temperatures under controlled conditions. Microbiology students need multiple temperatures for experiments and Biology students often test duckweed, planaria, germinating seeds, and other organisms or goods. This will also help us accommodate class sizes and lab groups.
Tim Sheeley, SHS Science
I am requesting funds for studying wave phenomena. Specifically I am asking to purchase a Ruben’s Tube (displays sound waves with fire), a Chladini Plate Kit (reveals frequency patterns using vibrating sand) a Tesla Coil (high voltage electricity arching). As we move next year to Physics being required for all district students and also work to align our local curriculum to the national science standards (NGSS), I am constantly on the look out for memorable events/investigations for students to deepen understandings and experiences, as well as, better expose them to all areas under the standards including waves. See this short video on Cymatics made by Nigel Stanford a musician and science enthusiast who combines cross-curricular areas of physics & music within this display of Waves or “Cymatics”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3oItpVa9fs
Betsy Brown, Lakeview First Grade
I am requesting funding to purchase 3 Osmo kits to be used in my first grade classroom. Osmo makes hands-on learning games in which players use objects in the real world to interact with the digital world shown on their iPad. The will be connected to my existing classroom iPads during both math and reading. Osmo games promote embodied learning through physical-digital interactions to teach abstract concepts.
Andrea Dibble, Lakeview First Grade
I am writing to request $400 to purchase Big Books for my first grade classroom. First graders love to read these large, bright, beautiful books with friends. They lay on the floor or they put the book on the easel and pretend to be the teacher. We would like some new titles as well as some old favorites. Many of the books come with 6 small books too. This will allow students to reread the books they enjoyed by putting the smaller books in their book boxes. Below is a list of favorites we would love to have in 1E! We appreciate your consideration of our literacy learning! All are from Scholastic. Tar Beach The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear The Snowy Day Miss Mary Mack Good Night, Gorilla How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon? The Little Red Hen Over In The Meadow No, David! Today is Monday A Color of His Own The Itsy Bitsy Spider Owen A Good Night Walk Caps, Hats, Socks, and Mittens
Jim Erickson, SHS Language Arts
Last year we received some money to begin building a classroom library consisting of books that are popular with teenage students. It was a great beginning, but there is still room for many more books. Across the district, it has been a focus to increase literacy and to help students develop a lifelong love of reading. Giving them more opportunities outside of the media center to explore fiction and nonfiction titles increases the chances of meeting this district goal. This grant would be a definite step in the right direction. Books would be purchased through Amazon and immediately placed into my classroom. I'm the main personnel in this project, and I'm looking to supplement the fiction with more nonfiction this year.
Jessie Frerich, SIS/SMS Music
Solon Middle School presents Alice in Wonderland Jr is a musical that closely follows the classic children's book and movie we all know and love. It is filled with song, dance, color, and plenty of memorable characters. This exciting opportunity will be directed by high school students: Saylor Mcilravy, Stetson Mcilravy, Lauran Schwake, Maggie Hickman, Cece Mcsweeney, Trinity Chapman, Emalyn Foster and Jessie Frerich as sponsor. Most rehearsals will be directly after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Show dates will be on Saturday, January 18th and Sunday, January 19th. An SEF grant would help with purchasing of a backdrop from Grosh Backdrops. Alice in Wonderland Jr. is open to all Solon Middle School students on stage and off stage. We expect to serve over 200 kids!
Kearce Lindner and Amy Becicka, SMS 6th Grade Language Arts
In the last two years, the sixth grade team has taken on the mission of promoting the love of reading to students via the 40 Book Challenge and incorporation of book clubs as core curriculum. While researching ways to increase student investment in reading, we have found that audiobooks are not only incredibly motivating, but also increase students’ reading abilities. https://www.weareteachers.com/audiobooks-benefit-students/ Audiobooks increase students’ reading fluency and comprehension. We see this as an urgent need for our current sixth grade class. After compiling reading data for our students, 80% of of them were not at the 6th grade proficiency level for fluency. Not only does it increase reading ability, but it makes texts accessible for all students. We have found that sometimes popular novels amongst our sixth graders are too hard for some of our students, so reading these books independently can be challenging. However, if students also have audio to support their printed text, this can make those popular, engaging texts much more accessible. In order to provide this accessible text for students, we need the technology to do so. The 6th grade team of Kearce Lindner and Amy Becicka are each requesting a $500 Amazon gift card. The $500 card will be used to purchase three Kindle Fire tablets - $50/each (to listen to audio books), a yearly Audible membership - $149.50 (a subscription app designed to purchase, download, and listen to audio books), and $200 to make audio book purchases based on student interest at the 6th grade level. Students would have access to these audiobooks to support their 40 Book Challenge goal, daily independent reading and during curricular reading units. [Note from SEF: Gift cards are not available through SEF, but requested funds may be spent through the district's purchasing process]
Kari Mai for the Lakeview 2nd Grade Team
Last year, I invested in the book "What Should Danny Do?" to help teach responsibility and kindness in my classroom. My class enjoyed the lessons in the book, but really could not get enough of the format. This book is designed as a choose-your-own-path, allowing students to make choices, and experience different consequences and outcomes based upon those choices. The books can be reread time and time again to achieve different outcomes. Even my most reluctant readers could not wait to get their hands on this book! While the Lakeview Library has some amazing You Choose: History books available, the content and reading level required to access these books did not make them a great fit for my 2nd grade readers. I am requesting funds to purchase six grade level appropriate books for each 2nd grade classroom that uses this format. This will help expand each of our classroom libraries, and provide another opportunity to engage every reader.
Megan Meyers, SIS 4th Grade
Recently, the Solon Community School District purchased approximately 625 books for each classroom library at SIS. Literacy experts often recommend sorting books into categories by bins to help students find good fit books such as "graphic novels", "historical fiction", "animals", etc. I am writing this grant in hopes to purchase 72 more book boxes to organize my classroom library and make finding books engaging and fun!
Jennifer Noonan, SMS 8th Grade Language Arts
According to "180 Days Two Teachers Quest to Engage and Empower Adolescents" (Gallagher & Kittle, 2018) the central goal of Language Arts is to maintain a reading habit in the busy lives of students. Reading is a foundational skill for leading a literate life. One way we try to get the right book into a student’s hands is through our classroom library. Research shows that availability of books is a major motivating factor to get teens to read. Last year, SEF graciously granted my request for funding to be used to enable students to immediately order books they want to read. This allowed them to get the books into their hands quickly and was extremely motivating for them! My Twitter feed from last year would shows examples of this in action. Funding for this request is always a struggle, so I would sincerely appreciate SEF considering my request again this year to make this possible for my 8th grade readers. If possible, it would be great if this could be in the form of a gift card to Amazon, so students could immediately order books from my classroom and the books would arrive within 2 days. This project would continue throughout this school year, until the funds are gone. Thank you for your consideration again! [Note from SEF: Gift cards are not available through SEF, but requested funds may be spent through the district's purchasing process]
Robert Taylor, SHS Language Arts
As a part of the English team at the high school, I am committed to building my classroom library with the latest titles that students are reading. Data collected through reading conferences shows that student taste in books is expanding into wider genres than before, and while the previous funding we received through the SEF has been invaluable, the initiative to fill my classroom library with more relevant titles is an ongoing process. Exposing students to books in their classrooms is more likely to engage them in reading, and having a wider selection of books is even more likely to engage those students who are reluctant readers. The English team is in the process of seeking additional funding from the district to help purchase classroom library books as well. All titles are determined from classroom conference data, and the funds provided from SEF will be used to purchase the titles to include in my classroom library.