Recipients of the MTEF 2011 Teacher Mini Grants: (L-R) Geri Szoke, Crystal Policastro & Robyn Pilcher (co-applicants),
Kerry White, Nellianne Parr, Jessica Brosnan, Jennifer Ansbach, and Tim Apgar
The MTEF presented over $4.400 in teacher mini-grants and $5,970 in technology equipment to the district at the January 2011 Board of Education meeting.
MTEF President Ken Palmer said he was thrilled this year to present each of the five schools in the district with a set of 3 MOBI mobile computer tablets. Director of Curriculum, Judith Nappi, showed one of the units, which she said would facilitate collaborative learning at all grade levels and in all subject areas. “We can’t thank you enough for this donation,” she remarked.
Palmer said that this year, the second year of the MTEF mini-grant program, the amount awarded is more than double that of last year. Teachers applied for the grants in the fall of this year. The recipients are:
Jessica Brosnan, 1st Grade Teacher, MTES, was awarded $456 for the project, "Going Digital with Our Listening Library for the 21st Century" for 15 MP-3 players and audio cable. She said these would replace books on tape and are a great way for young students to listen to stories individually.
Geri Szoke, Media Center Specialist, Ridgeway School,received $515 for the project, "Money Matters" math/economics books, DVDs, and teaching kit. Szoke said that she would be teaching a unit on economics and personal finance.
Jennifer Ansbach, English Teacher, MTHS, was awarded $600 for the project, "Outside Reading Book Club" to purchase paperback books. She said that students would be able to all read the same book outside of class and discuss it together.
Tim Apgar, Music Teacher, Whiting School, received $900 for the project, "Elementary Music Equipment" for the purchase of 9 guitars. He said he wanted to allow general music students to experience instrumental as well as vocal music.
Nelliane Parr, STARS Teacher, MTMS, received $760 for the project, "Kindle! TheNew Way to Read and Learn." for the purchase of four Kindles. She said she hoped the technology would encourage reluctant readers during silent reading.
Robyn Pilcher & Crystal Policastro, 3rd Grade Teachers, Ridgeway School, was awarded $760 for the project, "Digital Libraries" for the purchase of four Kindles to supplement her classroom library. She said the Kindles are not only exciting for the students, but also save space in the classroom with multiple books downloaded on each unit.
Kerry White, 2nd Grade Teacher, Ridgeway School, was awarded $687 for the project, "Plants and Animals," for books, seeds, grow pots and growing medium. She said the materials would enhance the science curriculum for the entire grade level.
“As you can see, there is no shortage of ideas here,” said David Trethaway, Superintendent of Schools. “We only need funding and, thankfully, the Foundation continues to find ways to give supplies and technology to our students that we are not able to provide through our budget. With the difficult budget situation we are facing again this year, it is more important than ever that we have their support.”