Educational Foundation Awards Grants to Manchester Teachers
Seven teachers awarded more than $4,600 to fund projects throughout the district
The Manchester Township Educational Foundation last week awarded over $4,600 in grants to seven teachers throughout the district.
Funds will be used to purchase paperback and electronic books, musical instruments and science supplies. Recipients were present to accept their awards from MTEF President Kenneth Palmer during the Jan. 19 Manchester Township Board of Education meeting.
Noting that it is the second year the foundation distributed grants, Palmer said that this year's distribution of funds was "more than double than we awarded last year."
Palmer said that over the past calendar year, the foundation has distributed over $21,000 to various causes in the school district. This includes scholarships, mini-grants and the purchase of MOBI devices.
Award recipients were:
Nelliane Parr, STARS teacher at Manchester Middle School. Parr said that she received an Amazon Kindle e-book reader for Christmas and thought it would be a good way to get students interested in reading. The foundation awarded her $760 to purchase four Kindles for the classroom.
Whiting Elementary teacher Tim Apgar received $900 to further music education. "Not all general music should be singing," he said. "So I really wanted to get the children involved in instrumental music." Agnar said he bought nine guitar and received an additional donation of one guitar.
Geri Szoke, media center specialist at Ridgeway Elementary, received $515 that she said will be used to purchase books to teach children about finances. "We're going to do a problem based unit with fourth graders on money and economics," she said.
Ridgeway third grade teacher Robyn Pilcher was awarded $760 for the purchase of four Kindles. "We wanted more technology in our classroom and we wanted to build our library without taking up more space," she said. The units, Pilcher said, will "hopefully inspire reluctant readers to read."
One of the lower-tech awards of the bunch was Jennifer Ansbach, a Manchester Township High School English teacher who was awarded $600 for paperback books. "My students are not all book lovers, and I'm trying to inspire a love of reading in them," she said. "We're using this grant to buy extra copies of books in our school libraries. We wanted to have enough so that kids can read them in small school book groups in class," giving students the feeling of "grown-up, outside book clubs."
First grade Manchester Township Elementary School teacher Jessica Brosnan said that she will use her $456 award to purchase MP3 players so students can listen to audio books. "It's a great way for them to listen to something quietly on their own," she said, adding that the players will be shared with all of the school's first grade teachers.
Kerry White, second grade Ridgeway Elementary teacher, was given $687 to support a new science curriculum. She said that the money will fund the purchase of gardening supplies and new books on plants and animals.
The foundation also gave away nearly $6,000 worth of MOBI devices to each school in the district, Palmer said.
The MOBI, a wireless tablet that can control a computer from anywhere in a classroom, was demonstrated by the foundation on Jan. 13.
"This is such a nice compliment to our learning, active, 21st century classrooms," said Director of Curriculum Judith Nappi of the donated devices. "It's a very cost-effective way to bring technology into the classroom."
Superintendent David Trethaway said that he appreciates the creativity of staff throughout the district and is pleased that the MTEF is able to fund endeavors that the financially-strapped school system cannot.
A "big part of our school district is our foundation," Trethaway said. "They continue to find ways to give supplies, technology to our students, which we cannot normally put into our budget. They serve a great purpose for the district and we're very happy that they're with us."
The foundation will hold its next fundraiser, a golf outing, in May.