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North Royalton Educational Foundation Announces Grant Recipients

The North Royalton Educational Foundation (NREF) presented several grants to teachers and staff at its Annual Reception held on April 25. More than 25 teachers received grants that covered all grade levels and types of learners, a wide range of curriculum subjects that focus on student-centered learning through the 4C’s - communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity, as well as technology, flexible seating options, books, sensory tools, art and music supplies, robotics, and even a weather station. The total dollar amount granted to staff this year was more than $15,000 this year. The NREF raises money throughout the year through a number of fundraisers, including the popular Taste of North Royalton held in the fall.

North Royalton Educational Foundation Grants

Janet Boyer – Middle School – Art to Go
The Art to Go program, through the Cleveland Museum of Art, is an interactive session. Museum staff brings art objects from the museum to the classroom for the students to see and touch. The emphasis will be on Greek and Roman art and the cultural connections to modern Western culture.

Sarah Burrows – Valley Vista – The Science of Sound: Building Frame Drums
The second graders will be invited to come in the evening to build a frame drum, assisted by their parents. In the music classroom, the students will have four lessons on the science of sound. Various sized frame drums will also be purchased to be used in the classroom and at activity night.

Jessica Connelly- The 4C’s of Sixth Grade Science
This project’s high level of collaboration and technological education will support the students in their growth of science, technology, engineering and math. Coding has become an important part of our culture and the coding tools in this project will introduce the students to coding in a fun and collaborative way.

Sarah Franko – Middle School – Flexible Seating = Focused Minds
The wobble chairs, Hokki chairs and rockers provide seating that will increase focus and concentration. As the students move, they engage their core muscles. The students can quietly move, not distracting the learning environment for their peers.

Deanna Gordon – Valley Vista – The Calm Kindergarten
Individual bouncy bands for all student chairs will help children move while they work. Wobble chairs will help increase blood flow to the brain and help quiet the need for fidgety bodies to move. Fluorescent light filters will set a relaxing atmosphere for learning and reduce harsh glare from flickering lights.

Dave Hartmann – High School – Solar-Powered Wireless Remote Monitoring Weather Station
This grant allows the implementation of a weather station for the school district and the community. Weather information can be accessed over smart devices, computers and social media sites like Twitter and Weather Underground. Students will be involved in laboratory investigations using weather data from North Royalton and around the country.

Beth Iafigliola – Albion – I Can Create Music (Differentiation in the Music Classroom)
The purchased soprano glockenspiels (small bells) will be used by all students as they explore sounds and create tonal patterns. Bells with removal bars can help students focus on a fixed tonal set. Additional bars within the tone set can enrich students with musical experience.

Cherrie Jackman – Middle School – Distance Learning in the Social Studies Classroom
The fifth grade students will be participating in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s distance learning program. The lesson; Aztec, Maya and More, will give students an opportunity to view art and artifacts while having a two-way conversation with museum educators.

Janele Kauffman – Middle School – Stand4Success
The standing desks are important to special education students with ADD/ADHD who have trouble sitting to learn. Standing promotes blood flow while keeping students alert and focused. The footbar integrates physical activity in the classroom.

Arynn Leety (Beeble)– Valley Vista – Flexible Seating for Engaged Learners
To begin implementing flexible seating in the co-teaching classroom, students will be using the wobble chairs and rockers. This will be the first step in developing a classroom environment that is conducive to open collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking.

Amanda McClain – Albion – Flexible Seating for Active Learners
Seven and eight year old children are active and need to move. The Wobble chairs incorporate the need to move within the classroom environment during learning time, helping the students to be more engaged and focused.

Deanna Mikin – Middle School – The 4 C’s of Sixth Grade Science
This project will create hands-on stations and engaging lessons. Cubelets introduce students to robotics, coding and design thinking. Cubelets will reach a diversity of students as they work collaboratively to problem solve.

Beth O’Donnell – Middle School - #ReadersGonnaRead
This grant is being used to provide the students with a literature-rich classroom that is comfortable and enjoyable. A variety of books are organized by genre and available for students to check out. The “comfy” seats will be used to motivate and differentiate.

Brandon Speers – High School – Art and Portable Partitions
The portable display panel will foster student efforts in the classroom in areas such as art critiques, presentations and general display. It will also be used to expose the community in new capacities such as the Junior and Senior art show. The panel can also be used to alter the classroom environment.

Gina Stabile – Middle School – The 4 C’s of Sixth Grade Science
A collaborative area has been established with the table and wobble chairs purchased through this grant. The Makey Makey kits can be used at this center. The kits provide opportunities for creativity and critical thinking. With these kits there are hundreds of ways to be inventive with everyday objects.

Rachel Tarnowski – Albion – Differentiated Seating
Focus comes from the core. Wobble chairs and Hokki stools will help the students release stress while strengthening their posture and focus. Giving the students an opportunity to continuously move while working decreases obesity and increases attention span.

Brittany Troyer and Antonietta Wanko – Royal View – Flexible Seating
The students in this second grade co-op class have different learning needs. We are developing a classroom with many flexible seating options. The Hokki stools that are being added allow for movement in all directions, increasing student engagement and productivity.

Olga Zhakunets – Royal View – Flexible Seating
In this third grade co-teaching model classroom the wobble chairs and rockers will be flexible seating options. The use of different seats helps the students to focus and stay on task.

Ellie Rechkemmer Literacy Fund

Kate Hindall and Amy Ness – Albion - Biographies and Book Bins
The “Who Is” biography series, written on a variety of reading levels, will be used
by students as they do their research. The bins will be used for organization. This project will help enrich the reading programs in our classroom.

Amanda Scott – Valley Vista – High Interest Reading at Accessible Levels
These fiction and non-fiction chapter books have interesting content and are written
at appropriate levels for the students, including the struggling readers. They will help provide practice with learning vocabulary and promote reading fluency and comprehension.

Judy Sholtis – Elementary Media Centers – Biographies for Believers
These quality biographies will be available for all students, grades K-4, at all three elementary buildings. These current biographies will engage our young readers. The use of these books will support student learning in the classroom and provide additional resources for required assignments and pleasure reading.

Dr. Kasey Spirakus Memorial Fund for Special Education

Laura Kunz – Royal View – Gemiini Systems
This video program will be used in the Extended Day Preschool Program to help students increase their success with communication skills. The videos are designed as discrete video modeling tools which means they are filmed in a sensory-managed approach to block out background noise.

Jennifer Nemeth and April Robins – Albion – Sensory Support
The sensory items provided by this grant will be used to establish a sensory room. This room will provide a space where students will be able to access a variety of sensory activities in short bursts. Access to these items will enable students to return to the classroom ready to learn.

Jennifer Petty – Royal View – Oral Motor/Sensory Assistance
These tools will be used by the students in the MD classroom. They will help the students continue developing in their abilities to promote speech, to eat and to self-regulate behaviors In the area of oral motor sensory needs.

Briana Raleigh – Royal View – Sensory Exploration For All
Early learners learn best through play. Sensory-based play gives the children opportunities to explore new materials in a hands-on manner. The materials will change based on weekly themes and student interest, but the sensory table will be a constant.

Meredith Stanton – Middle School – Character Education/Team Building
This project encourages student character trait development. Lessons that are taught twice a week will continue throughout the year with the additional supplies that are being provided.

Kate West – High School – Manipulatives for Movement Math
Providing hands-on and kinesthetic opportunities in math helps with the understanding of many abstract concepts. These manipulatives will afford the students those opportunities for movement–based learning.