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BSFEE teacher grants for 2020 total over $9,700

January 15, 2020
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

On Jan. 8, the 2019-2020 BSFEE (Boardman Schools Fund for Educational Excellence) teacher grants were announced. This year's total came in at $9,762.41.

Several of the grants went to West Boulevard Elementary. West teachers Krista Schmied, Dan Kibby, Dawn Fleming, Jenn Bennett and Dan Conway submitted a request in the amount of $1,499.68 for the language arts literacy centers for the kindergarten classes. Schmied said it takes the paper and pencil away and gives the kids new technology that will allow for more trial and error.

More technology at West involves OSMO, a starter kit for the Ipad that allows for cross-curriculum study. The technology not only makes learning fun, but helps kids with problem solving, coding app, physica puzzles, fractions, and spatial relations activities. It can also provide the teacher with valuable feedback for each student. Teachers Justin Coffin, Gina Hammerton, Dana McKnight and Karen Sutton received $1,500 to bring the program to West second graders, and Tamara Socie got $1,500 to bring the program for the entire school at Stadium Drive Elementary.

Katie Becherer got her grant for $500 to provide "flex seating" for the third grade at West. This grant will provide some new-style seating geared to children.

"Kids are wired to move," Becherer said. "With flex-seating they can sit around the classroom using wobble chairs and yoga-ball chairs. They will also have standing desks."

She said it has been proven to help children learn better. And the grant will also cover mini exercise bike foot peddlers and an under-the-desk leg swing.

The remaining elementary school grant was for a $800 Qball technology and sound system. The grant request was written by Casey Putko and Cindy Bassett and will bring in technology to advance reading, phonics, English, writing, math, science, and social studies at West. It provides an interactive speaker-microphone that integrates critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity.

The largest grant was for $2,994.42 and will affect fifth through eighth graders at Boardman Center Intermediate School and Boardman Glenwood Junior High School. The grant was written by teachers Laura Frost and Megan Turillo and is called Re-boot Boardman.

"This gives us technology that will get the students outside the classroom and into the environment while using technology," Frost said.

The grant covers Ipod Touch devices, Fire Tablets, and Treds 6-inch rubber overboots. It will coincide with the Ohio EPA grant recently awarded to Boardman Schools.

The final grant was for $968.31 and was written by science teachers Tim Harker and Eric Diefenderfer. The grant will bring some upgrades to the wind turbine models that are designed and built in the classroom.

The supplies for Maker Space/KidWind/ Pollinator projects involved under the grant are to be used by seventh and eighth grade students to provide tools including electric cutting tools, cutting mats for utility knives, replacement bandsaw blades, plywood, wood glue and other supplies for hands-on projects in learning labs and maker space.

"This is our fourth year for the wind turbines," Diefenderfer said. "We are going to use our grant money to upgrade the gear system and obtain digital voltmeters to help record data."

He said the students really enjoy the program and last spring, then seventh grader Cameran Jeffrey was named a national winner in the wind turbine models.

All the programs under this year's BSFEE grants are basically bringing better technology to Boardman schools. Without the grants, these programs may not have come into being, but Superintendent Tim Saxton is glad for the BSFEE and the advancements that have been made because of the grants.

"These are all great creative ideas to bring our classrooms into 2020," Saxton said. "These projects all have great merit, but as school districts work to control costs, the funding can be a challenge. 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."

Each project was capped at $1,500, but one that collaborated between Center and Glenwood was doubled to reach students in both buildings.



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