At the May 21st School Board meeting, the Council Rock Education Foundation distributed $35,000 in Innovative Learning Grants to teachers and classrooms throughout Council Rock.
Rolling Hills Elementary teachers partnered with their Home and School association on an idea on how to increase student’s knowledge of world geography through the National Geographic Bee. “We are excited to be introducing this great program to Rolling Hills students next year,” said 4th grade teacher Rebecca Rice “It’s like the National Spelling Bee, but focused on world geography – an area that students in today need to know more than ever!”
Newtown Middle School science teacher Laura Lutton received a grant for NexStar telescopes and thermal energy software to expand her students’ study of near-Earth objects astronomical occurrences. “This grant is going to make a huge impact on our students” said Lutton. “Accessing knowledge through technology is an essential skill for students today, so I am excited to have these resources to be able to help them develop a deeper understanding of scientific concepts like astronomy, heat transfer and thermodynamics.”
Goodnoe Elementary received a grant to support the building of an outdoor interactive learning garden for the entire Goodnoe community. “This is a fabulous opportunity for our students to learn through hands-on experiences” said Goodnoe teacher Lindsay Chalela. “From science and math to social studies and healthy eating – this garden will be blooming with learning opportunities for years to come!”
“These grants are the result of generous donations from businesses and individuals throughout the community who believe in supporting innovation in public schools”, said Suzanne Wray, the Foundation’s Executive Director. “We are grateful for their support which has brought our total grants giving to $150,000 this year!”
This year, three Goodnoe students assisted in writing the grant for the STEM Makerspace Program – Bella Carpentier, Marissa Cohen and Kiya Snyder – all of whom attended the reception to accept the grant on behalf of Goodnoe Elementary.
Additional grants include programs in literacy, robotics , music and a NASA flight and rocketry program.
Superintendent Mark Klein extended his congratulations to the Foundation for their dedication and commitment to the students of Council Rock. “The Education Foundation has become an important resource in supporting the District’s goal to provide the best possible educational opportunities to our students.”
2015-2016 CREF Grant Recipients
Reading Writing and Robotics: Charyl Hills and Lauren McCusker from Goodnoe Elementary Mary Doherty and Kim Bender from Churchville Elementary.
Kindergarten teachers and math specialists at these two elementary schools will utliize BeeBots robotic technology to foster learning in all academic areas, including problem solving and developing basic coding skills.
National Geographic Bee: Jeanne Lindros, Rebecca Rice and Alyse Sciolla from Rolling Hills Elementary.
Participation in the National Geographic Bee will augment the social studies curriculum for 4-6th graders through a blended learning approach. The will be utilizing traditional classroom modalities & real-time interactive collaborative learning and problem solving.
Goodnoe Garden: Julie Crowell and Lindsay Chalela from Goodnoe Elementary. Creating an interactive learning space to extend students’ learning and encourage teachers to develop innovative learning opportunities for students K-6. Collaborative program w/Goodnoe PTO and Newtown Community.
Skys the Limit: Laura Lutton – Newtown Middle School
Students will use cutting edge technology including NexStar telescopes and thermal energy software, to expand their study of near-Earth objects & explore astronomical occurrences.
STEM Expansion: Renee Devlin & Julie Eastburn –All 10 elementary schools districtwide
Expanding the number of teachers & students involved with teaching STEM concepts at the elementary school level to engage students’ interest in STEM courses, careers and opportunities.
One Book One School: Lisa Weiss – Wrightstown Elementary
This project builds literacy skills at home and school through a nationally recognized program that brings together school communities through a shared reading experience. Students, family members and all staff will participate in the reading of a carefully selected book and activities are developed throughout the school and community to promote and enrich the reading and learning experience.
STEM Club Makerspace Pilot Program: Charlene Borah-Wrightstown Elementary/ Maryann Molishus, Noel Marcus, Angela Walsh – Goodnoe Elementary. Three Goodnoe Elementary students assisted in writing this grant: Bella Carpentier, Kiya Snyder and Marissa Cohen.
Students will utilize conference technology to create elementary level makerspaces as extensions from established STEM clubs. Students in the STEM clubs at Wrightstown and Goodnoe elementary will connect using video conferencing, Moodle and blogs to share projects, ask questions and engage in collaborative learning.
Literature Buddies: Nancy Adams and Lisa Lohwasser – Newtown Elementary
An innovative intergenerational literacy program, this pilot project will establish a multigenerational book club that will utilize books and reading to cultivate both a relationship and love of literature between members of Gloria Dei Living Home and Newtown First Grade Students.
Handchimes in the Music Classroom: Nanette Lutz, Holland Elementary
This project will implementing the use of handchimes in the music classroom to fulfill multiple curriculum goals at once – from teaching music literacy concepts to building student confidence and fostering collaboration between students and classes.
Culinary Kids: Judy Holt and Heather Wade – Hillcrest Elementary
This grant will provide create a specialized culinary program for students with low incidence disabilities – and fostering both their independence and interest in the culinary arts.
STEM Flight & Rocketry Club: The 2015 Robert H. Winters Memorial Grant – Andrea Mangold at Holland Elementary.
Using a plan developed by as part of the PA Space Grant Consortium, students will learn about flight dynamics by building and testing a variety of aircraft and gain an understanding of the physical laws governing flight and the engineering