Programs focused on enhancing recycling efforts, inspiring students with special needs and creating a new video game league that promotes teamwork were several of the innovative programs chosen to receive funding through the Chesterfield Education Foundation’s Making a Creative Difference (MCD) awards. In all, seven Chesterfield County Public Schools teachers received a total of $25,000 in grants.
The Foundation offers MCD grant opportunities to staff members and schools throughout Chesterfield County. The MCD program is designed to encourage and support innovative and new instructional strategies that will benefit Chesterfield’s schools and operations.
“Team Chesterfield members continue to identify new ways to engage students in innovative learning opportunities that draw immediate connections between classroom lessons and real-life work,” School Board Chair Dr. Javaid Siddiqi said. “I’m excited to see these projects implemented in our schools and how they will increase student engagement levels to build on a love of learning.”
Added Superintendent Dr. James Lane, “We applaud the innovative-thinking winners of the 2017-18 MCD grants who are creating the classroom of the future. We are extremely thankful for the Chesterfield Education Foundation’s continued support. Throughout the last 18 years, MCD grants have awarded more than $330,000 for 85 innovative educational projects!”
The following teachers and schools are recipients of the 2017-18 MCD grants:
Nicole Rowland, Providence Middle
Rowland received an MCD grant for $3,165 to implement a recycling program throughout the school that will target student lunches using vermicomposting.
Providence Middle worked hard during the 2016-17 school year to reduce waste sent to landfills by implementing a recycling program throughout the building. Through this grant, the students will collect leftover lunch materials, and by utilizing compost worms, the leftover food will be composted into fertilizer to use in school garden beds and other future garden projects.
Lynn Kitchens, Chesterfield Career and Technical Center @ Hull
Kitchens received an MCD grant for $4,910 to implement an evidence-based program, Get Ready to Learn, that will assist students with disabilities in achieving the self-regulation needed for more active and successful engagement in classroom learning.
Get Ready to Learn program, a routine-based, five part classroom program involving the use of centering, breathing exercises, physical exercises, deep relaxation and singing to promote development of self-regulation skills. The program uses 15-20 minute videos to model how to achieve a calm, alert state and transition into academic tasks, ready to focus on the learning process.
Get Ready to Learn offers classroom staff and occupational therapists a collaborative, innovative, evidence-based program to address challenging behaviors which can be exhibited by students with special needs.
Katie Ricard, Monacan High
Ricard received an MCD grant of $4,855 to provide a meditation space that would give students a chance to practice different coping skills at school.
Throughout the last few years, Monacan High has seen an increase in the number of students experiencing stress-related issues. In creating these relaxation spaces, students will have a place to go if they need to “cool down.”
Through the building of these meditation spaces, the school is creating a more trauma-informed culture where students will receive support for incidences from their past and present that could ultimately impact them academically, physically and emotionally.
Deanna Gravely, Carver College and Career Academy
Gravely received an MCD grant of $5,000 to purchase broadcast journalism studio equipment, including professional camcorders and sound equipment, for a school news broadcast.
Students will be responsible for interviewing others, filming and editing videos in order to produce the broadcast, which will air school-wide and appear on the school’s social media pages. The project sparked out of the current Broadcast Club at the school. Gravely is exploring the possibility of turning the club into a class.
Edward Tynan, Elizabeth Davis Middle
Tynan received an MCD grant for $3,000 to create an inclusive video game league that would help students with teamwork, sportsmanship, self confidence and eye-hand coordination.
The concept is to develop a countywide video game league that would function in the same way as traditional sports and other competitive clubs. Students would participate in league practices and competitions after school. League matches would lead to a tournament held at the end of each season. There would be a fall and spring season with each focusing on a different video game. This type of league would be a first in Chesterfield County.
Terri Jeanes, Watkins Elementary
Jeanes received a MCD grant for $3,325 for the purchase of additional intervention kits called Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) for PALS tutors and instructional assistants to use in guided reading groups.
The biggest obstacles to overcome for struggling readers are motivation and engagement. LLI helps get past these obstacles by being different from other intervention and guided reading models, and allowing students to read a different book every day.
Katie White, Clover Hill High
White received a grant for $850 to create a soothing “cave-like” environment where students suffering from a concussion and/or in need of an emotional/stress related “time out” could rest. There is an increasing number of students at Clover Hill High who have been diagnosed with concussions, migraine headaches and anxiety, and one of the many academic and physician-ordered accommodations is periods of student rest during the school day. By creating a comfortable environment, students would be more willing to be compliant with resting throughout the school day. These periods of rest for concussion management, migraine headaches or periods of anxiety will allow students to stay in school during the academic day, decrease recovery time and increase quality of academic outcomes.
ABOUT THE CHESTERFIELD EDUCATION FOUNDATION
The Chesterfield Education Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing quality pre-K-12 public education in Chesterfield, supports Chesterfield County Public Schools by awarding MCD grants to teachers and schools throughout the county. The foundation is represented by business, civic and community leaders from throughout Chesterfield County.