The Girard School District Foundation awarded seven innovative grants in 2018-2019. The grants are designed to encourage faculty to develop and implement projects which will enhance and enrich educational programs and be a direct benefit to our students.
Congratulations to the following faculty and staff:
Behrend Engineering Field Trip, Ms. Ashley Church (EVES)
The entire fourth-grade class (120 students) from Elk Valley Elementary School will visit Behrend's School of Engineering to learn about what engineers do and what type of education they need, and to participate in hands-on problem-solving activities. This field trip closely aligns with the "Engineers' Journals" classroom curriculum that the students will be working on throughout the school year. The students are exploring civil, mechanical, biomedical, aerospace, and environmental engineering. The May trip to Behrend will demonstrate real-world examples of those types of engineering principles. It will also expose the students to a highly ranked regional college to learn more about higher education opportunities.
Read-Along Listening Center, Mrs. Tricia McKenzie and Mrs. Leslye Durst (EVES)
Pre-kindergarten students (60) at Elk Valley will benefit from the purchase of additional Read-Along sets for the existing reading/listening center, which includes headphones and book CD sets. Pre-kindergarten curriculum focuses on listening skills and increases their comprehension level. The Read-Along sets will promote critical comprehension skills, reinforcement of listening skills, and depth and interest in students' reading experience. These Read-Along sets will become an asset to the school by creating a fun way for the students to see how the words on the page can come alive in a fluid, expressive way. Another important benefit to reading/listening centers for young children is that by following along visually while listening, the students' word-recognition ability is enhanced and vocabulary is increased.
Classroom Set of TI-84 Plus CE Calculators, Mr. Mark Andrews (GHS)
Thirty outdated graphing calculators will be replaced with the latest technology at Girard High School. Classes benefitting are trigonometry, pre-calculus, and calculus. The previous calculators were 10 â€“ 20 years old, and were no longer a useful tool for these math courses (but will still have use in lower level math classes). The new calculators will be used on a nearly daily basis by 100 â€“ 150 students. The students will become skilled in the latest graphing calculator technology, which will be important to them as high school students and in the future at college.
PreK through First Grade STEM and Gross Motor Exploration, Mrs. Ashley Church (EVES)
Funding for this innovative project will help transform a storage area into a multi-faceted learning space for younger students at EVES. Plans for the space include a gross motor area allowing students to continuously move through a sensory walk including letter and number stones, a balance beam, tunnels and target games. Students will benefit from the creation of a STEM area as well. These three sections will allow students to explore the areas of Science, Technology and Engineering. Materials such as a live ant farm, color mixing glasses and a digital microscope in the science area will allow students to experiment and explore. While in the technology area, students will experience coding through robots and manipulatives, all without the use of a screen. Students will become Engineers by drawing blueprints, building three dimensional creations, and even testing some of them against the forces of an earthquake!
Childrens Water Festival, Mrs. Amy Coughlin (RAMS)
The GSD Foundation provided funds for transportation and lunch enabling the RAMS 5th grade class to attend the Children's Water Festival at Penn State Erie, the Behrend College. This water festival educates students about the importance of water, including ground water, surface water, watersheds, water quality and water conservation through dynamic, interactive activities. It is never too early to learn that everyone has a role in water conservation and environmental protection.
2000 in 40, Ms. Kailynn Noon (RAMS)
John F. Kennedy once said "physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of a dynamic and creative intellectual activity". Through the use of physical activity tracking devices (PATs), 2000 in 40 hopes to 'plant the seed' for students to understand the importance of getting at least 10,000 steps every single day and becoming more aware of their physical activity levels. Students will engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity, document and calculate the steps taken during their class with the goal of reaching 2,000 steps in 40 minutes. Throughout the program students will identify and apply ways to monitor and assess the body's response to moderate to vigorous physical activity, creating healthy minds and bodies one step at a time.
PA Business Week, Ms. Antonella Spinelli (GHS)
With the support of community businesses, volunteer mentors, faculty advisors and a little help from the GSD Foundation, students embarked on a week-long business venture. Business Week is an in-school program that teaches students about the American Economic system. Students are divided into management teams that run their own companies through a computer simulation for the equivalent of 12 business quarters. They make all of the management decisions dealing with product pricing, investing, marketing and production, research and development, and human resources. Volunteer business advisors from the local business community along with education advisors were on hand to offer guidance and assistance throughout the week. Simulating real-world business decision-making helps students learn leadership skills, teamwork, time management, analytical thinking, problem solving, and people skills.