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Teachers get grants to use technology that goes beyond

January 16, 2019
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

Boardman students are fortunate to have a community that stands behind the schools and education. That is no better displayed than by the Boardman Schools Fund for Educational Excellence (BSFEE) and the annual teacher mini grants that allows for the purchase of technology that takes the classroom beyond what is provided by state and local funding.

The BSFEE is 10 years old and has given out over $60,000 in mini grants over that decade, according to BSFEE board member Edie Davidson. In the beginning it was all done through donations, but today funds are raised through a reverse raffle fundraiser that can generate over $20,000.

The next step in the process is for the teachers to fill out a grant application. The applications go before the BSFEE board, who makes the decision whether or not to fund.

Article Photos

Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier

Posing with a $2,000 donation from the Boardman Education Association are Boardman Schools Fund for Educational Excellence board members, in front, Donny Riccitelli, Edie Davidson, Vicki Davis, and Tim Saxton. Standing are teachers who received a mini-grant for this school year. In second row are Candace Fabry, Debbie Seifert, Theresa D’Angelo, Chelsea Wisbar, and Jenefer Basista. In back row are teachers Shannon Soles, Jaclyn Disibio, Kendra Baltes, Scott Lenhart, Tim Harker, and Kyle Sheehan.

"We look for grants that enrich what the students are learning," Davidson said.

The board then makes a decision on what best fits that criteria, then the teachers are awarded the grants.

This years mini grants cover a wide range of technology. A group of 13 teachers from four of the district's school buildings were awarded the grants. Many worked together as a team on the grant.


Stadium Drive teachers Debbie Seifert, Shannon Soles, Nina Zordich and Jaclyn DiSibio joined together for a $720 grant regarding Integrating Literature for the fourth grade science and social studies that will provide kits and books. The grant will also provide Google Read and Write which can read to kids with disabilities.

"Hands On Learning" was the title of the $1,366 grant that Stadium teacher Candace Fabry was awarded. She said that grant will provide kits and books for kindergarteners that also includes Google Read and Write that has the computer reading to students with disabilities.

"The kits also enable kindergarteners to engage with peers in small groups," she said.

Teachers Kendra Baltes and Theresa D'Angelo from Market Street Elementary were awarded a $550 mini grant for "Wibble Wobble Work." This will provide for flexible seating for elementary students with special needs. The ball like chairs allow students in second and third grades to be active and comfortable while learning.

At Boardman Glenwood Junior High School, Chelsea Wisbar and Tim Harker received a $1,499.64 mini grant for Incorporating STEAM into Glenwood to purchase 3D printer pens for the eighth grade. Wisbar said, "This will introduce STEM into the arts." The 3D pens can actually draw out pieces that can be assembled into a finished model like a dinosaur or the Eiffel Tower.

Also from Glenwood were teachers Laura Frost and Scott Lenhart, whose $1,360.63 mini grant called "It's Boardman" provided special tablets and outdoor field kits that will allow classes to go outside and study bio diversity. The grant was for the seventh and eighth grades. The kits include Fire Tablets with protective cases, measuring tape reels, marking flags, and digital angle finder rulers.

At Boardman High School, teacher Kyle Sheehan was given a $1,436.63 mini grant for "Supporting ESL Students in the Classroom." The grant will purchase some high tech translators that students who don't have a good working knowledge of English can put on earpieces and have what the teacher is saying translated instantly. It would also work with the student's language for the teacher and is geared for students for whom English is a second language.

The final mini grant was for $650 for "Just Share It" that was the desire of high school teacher Jenefer Basista. This grant purchased an ELMO Visual Presenter Document Camera with remote for students to evaluate and edit writing and revise together as a class.

"These projects all have great merit, but as school districts work to control costs, the funding can be a challenge," said Superintendent Tim Saxton. "That's why the money raised by the Boardman Schools Fund for Educational Excellence and its partnership with the Boardman Education Association is so crucial, and appreciated!"

This year's grants came in at $7,583.20 and will immediately impact and enrich the courses for hundreds of Boardman students.

BSFEE board member Vick Davis said the grants are important, but shed some light on the teachers who received them this year.

"We are so blessed to have this staff," she said.



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