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Six Fall 2017 Gripp Grants Awarded in November!

Six Gripp Grants were funded for the 2017 Fall grant cycle:

Mayaan Sloane and Samantha Sutton, Highcrest Technology Innovation Specialists, were granted the purchase of video and recording equipment to transition the weekly WHMS News into a live student written, directed and executed broadcast. Currently only two students per homeroom participate in the broadcast creation and all of the editing, filming, etc. is done by Ms. Sloane and Ms. Sutton. The new, student-led format allows one homeroom each week to write, prepare, film and star in the broadcast. Students will choose roles: scriptwriter, feature creator, anchor, editor, camera operator, sound mixer, meteorologist, or producer. Every student who desires to participate will have the chance to actively create a final live broadcast shared with their classmates and community. 

The elementary school Differentiation Specialist Teachers, led by McKenzie’s Julie Garry, were awarded a grant to create individual recording studios.  This inventive grant will fund the creation of sound-proof cubes to be used across all 4 elementary schools.  The cubes will enable students to record assignments onto their laptops and iPads in a “soundproof booth”.  The cubes will aid in the production quality of individual recordings and provide a private space for less confident learners.  Thanks to this grant each school will have 12 recording studios available for use in their Learning Commons.

Rachel Frost, WJHS Technology Applications Teacher, will purchase 9 Cue the Cleverbots to augment the current Technology Applications courses with a more sophisticated hands-on coding experience. These robots bridge the gap between simplicity and complexity experienced by 8th grade students learning to code. When students are coding in Python, it is difficult for them to visualize what they’re creating, because they only see output of numbers and letters. This does not align with the advanced, flashy technology they know and use daily. By programming a robot using Python, students will be able to test and see the physical output of their program. This experience helps them actualize what they’re coding, build confidence and interest, and bridge the gap between the computer and physical worlds.

WJHS and Highcrest Library/Information Specialists, Daphna Neirick and Kristy Rieger, were awarded a grant to pilot a NewsELA Pro news subscription service providing quality news and article sources tailored to students’ individual learning abilities. This pilot will allow Highcrest and WJHS to evaluate the usability of NewsELA Pro, a high-quality, reliable reading subscription series that can be tailored to a student’s reading and understanding level, in relation to other subscription series currently used within the district.

Harper School’s art teacher, Katherine Robinson was awarded a grant to purchase materials to fund her school wide Only You art project.  All children at Harper will read Only You by Linda Kranz.  Following class discussion students will have the opportunity to paint a small rock inspired by the book’s message: There is only one you in this big world, make it a better place.  Upon completion, the rocks will be used to create a pathway in the Harper School Outdoor classroom.

Central School’s Julie Mirabelli and Kathleen Peth partnered on a grant to purchase Kid Power Bands for Mrs. Mirabelli’s third grade classroom.  The bands combine individual fitness tracking with the reward of assisting individuals in underdeveloped countries.  As the students track their physical activity they will unlock charity funding for the country of their choice.  In addition to directing charity dollars to their chosen country they will learn more about the part of the world they are assisting.  The grant will help Mrs. Mirabelli’s third graders improve their fitness, set and achieve personal goals, and gain a broader global perspective.

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