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2020 GEF Grant Award Winners



Our Prize Patrol issued $54,531.04 in grants for 2020

Over the years, GEF has had the pleasure of awarding close to 100 teacher/staff district-wide educational grants on an annual basis totaling nearly $400,00.  Their stories inspire us to continue funding projects that will have a lasting impact on large numbers of students. During the 2020 grant cycle, the GEF Grant Committee was happy to report that they awarded 11 grants to the districts totaling nearly $55,000. 


2020 GEF grants include:

Transforming Biomedical Science-PLTW 2.0                                                     $2347.00 awarded to Micki Schreiner, GHS - PLTW/Science Teacher

Grant Overview: The durable kits will be used to update the Principles of Biomedical Science (PBS) curriculum, which is part of Project Lead the Way (PLTW). This will enable students to work collaboratively and hands on in a safe, but realistic learning environment. Students will learn to analyze and interpret cytogenetic information using the Disorder Detectives Kit and Ward’s Fingerprint ID Magnetic Powder Kit. Students will use the Phlebotomy Arm Kit to practice using aseptic techniques to draw blood that would be used for research, transfusions and medical testing as well as learn how to set up IV’s. The Ward’s Controlled Bleeding Full Kit will help students develop valuable life-saving skills in the event of a traumatic injury or even a basic surgery.

The pulse oximeters will provide students with a means to analyze the health of patients during surgeries, major cardiac events, respiratory distress, etc. Students will use simulations of real-world events that are not just part of the medical profession, but a part of life as a positive and productive member of society. 8 Project Description: 

 Spanish Reading Materials for Beginning Learners      

$2,400.00 awarded to Jennifer Jurss, JLMS & GHS - Spanish Teacher

Grant Overview: “There is overwhelming research showing that recreational reading in a second language is a powerful means of improving grammar, vocabulary, spelling and writing ability…” (Stephen Krashen). I would like to provide my Level 1 students with comprehensible, interesting, fictional reading materials in my classroom and give them class time to explore these resources. These resources can also be used as enrichment for those who would like to expand their knowledge beyond what is learned/acquired in class. Along with these novice level novels, I also hope to purchase shelving units to manage these new materials. The outcome that I am hoping for is to create enthusiastic, lifetime readers so they can acquire language joyfully. By providing them with engaging stories they will hopefully be so caught up in the content that they forget that they are reading in another language!

Launching Students into S.T.E.A.M. Careers with Project Lead the Way Project

$12,000 awarded to Elementary 4K-5 Science Curriculum Team                                                                                                                         

Grant Overview: PLTW Launch taps into the exploratory nature of students, engages them in learning that feels like play, and encourages them to keep discovering – now and for years to come. The program empowers students to adopt a design-thinking mindset through compelling activities, projects, and problems that build upon each other and relate to the world around them. Additionally, as students engage in hands-on activities in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science, they become creative, collaborative problem solvers ready to take on any challenge.

Through PLTW Launch, students become hands-on problem solvers and learn to collaborate with their fellow students. Then, in a series of activities that build upon each other, students are challenged to become confident in trying new things, to learn from mistakes, and to apply what they know to find solutions. PLTW Launch empowers Grafton students to think like engineers, designers, and scientists. Our students explore various units that tap into their curiosity and engage them in inquiry investigations to solve real life situations and problems. Through PLTW Launch, students become hands-on problem solvers, learn to collaborate, and are encouraged to discover – now and for years to come.


Vertical Play and Work Surface Project

$2,076.56 awarded to April Shanks, Kennedy - 4K  Teacher

Project Overview: All 4K students in Grafton will have the opportunity to build upon and improve their fine motor performance by working and playing on a vertical surface. Children will build with blocks, work with magnets, draw, and write vertically. Using vertical tools, children will be engaged in learning opportunities across all areas of the 4K curriculum.

Infusing Robotics Across the Curriculum with Ozobots       

$4000.00 awarded to Adan Burgos, Woodview - 5th Grade Teacher

Grant Overview: Two Ozobot robot kits that include 18 robots each, lesson plans, and other support content. The kits will be used to enhance our current content infusing engineering and problem-solving principles as well as 21st century College and Career Readiness Skills using robotics. The Ozobots provide hands on practice in the S.T.E.A.M. fields, but also incorporate reading and writing standards. Robotics across the elementary schools! Students in Grafton as young as kindergarten are learning to code robots through various challenges. Students are learning to design, code and think like designers and engineers as they build courses and solve complex problems using robots.


Student Success Center - Furniture

$12,262.53 awarded to Jodie Ladd, GHS - At Risk Coordinator

Grant Overview: The Student Success Center provides extra assistance to those students who are lacking skills necessary to achieve success in their content area classes and may be at risk of not graduating from high school. These students may be recommended by their counselors or teachers based on grades, test scores, or emotional concerns. The Student Success Center also offers a credit recovery program designed for students who have been unsuccessful in mastering content or skills required to receive course credit. Students with course deficiencies benefit from the credit recovery program by mastering learning standards rather than repeating the entire course. 


This furniture will boost morale and provide feelings of equality, allow for multiple activities carried on in the classroom; computer work, collaboration, test-taking, and teacher conferencing with the at-risk population at Grafton High School. This student-centered furniture will empower students, develop cooperation, and increase motivation. This furniture will enable student flexibility in choosing seating that is most suitable for their learning styles. 

Skoog Music Project

$2,269.27 awarded to Christina Scheer, District Occupational Therapist

Grant Overview: The Skoog is a musical cube instrument with a tactile interface that allows all students access to play and create music. For some students with disabilities, access to any musical instrument, participation in music class, or showcasing talent at a musical performance can be limited or not possible without significant adult assistance. The Skoog is portable, easy to access, and accommodates a wide variety of disabilities and tolerances. Ultimately, the Skoog promotes an inclusive practice to allow students with disabilities and their peers to engage together to create music throughout the music programs within each building at the Grafton School District.


Music Keyboards for Woodview

$540.00 awarded to Jennifer Andrews, Woodview - Music Teacher

Grant Overview:  Every student at Woodview Elementary learns and plays music keyboards as part of our excellent music curriculum. Students have access to their own keyboard and can learn to read notes, play songs, compose, and arrange songs and become music literate as they enter upper grade performance ensembles (choir, band). To continue this great unit and hands-on music learning, more keyboards are needed.

Flexible Furniture for the Falcon’s Nest Writing Center

$7,400.11 awarded to Elizabeth Mintie

Grant Overview: This grant will help the Falcon’s Nest Writing Center create a comfortable and welcoming environment for students seeking 1:1 peer tutoring for writing and for classes engaging in small group discussions and collaborative projects. Flexible furniture will support the Writing Center’s growth by making its space more welcoming, efficient, and effective and will make the Falcon’s Nest a more usable space for JLMS classes throughout the day.

Artist in Residence

5,000.00 awarded to Lauran Stone, Woodview - Art Teacher 


Grant Overview: Woodview Elementary is initiating an Artist in Residence program starting in March 2021. The intent is to establish a yearly tradition of students working with creative professionals. The goal is to foster the arts in our community and encourage innovation, self-expression, and school pride through collaboration. Students will participate in making a large-scale mural with artist Paula DeStefanis.

Swivl Technology Integration Project

$4,235.57 awarded to Nicole Pabst, JLMS - English Teacher

Grant Overview: The middle school teaches English Language Arts through a workshop model of instruction. The workshop model of instruction revolves around the idea that students must be independent readers, writers, thinkers, and communicators. Part of being an independent learner requires the learner to take an active role in evaluating themselves and setting goals for themselves to improve. In order to do this, students need to be able to assess themselves as readers and writers, which they can do via their written work; however, it also requires that students are able to assess themselves as thinkers and communicators. We believe the Swivl technology is just what we need to provide our students with the opportunity to self-assess their communication skills. The Swivl records students’ conversations using individual microphones. When it is time for students to reflect on their participation, the Swivl allows students to hone in on their voice only, reducing the noise of their peers in the background. The use of the iPad with the Swivl allows students to watch how they interact with their peers as well.


Grants In Action

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