Nearly $9,000 in Classroom Mini-Grant awards were presented by the Manchester Township Educational Foundation at the January 16, 2013 Board of Education meeting.
A record 19 grants were awarded this year, said MTEF President Ken Palmer, who presented the awards along with MTEF Vice President Jeff DeSimone. Fourteen Kindle Fire tablets, four iPads, three document cameras, and a science lab computer were among the items awarded.
Palmer said that the MTEF received 26 grant applications this year and it was difficult to try to provide for as many students as possible.
"We originally budgeted $5,000 for grants this year but we bumped it up to $9,000 to try to meet the needs," he said.
He thanked two community sponsors who stepped up to provide $870 of that $9,000: Donna Malloy of EyesFirst Vision in Manchester and the Bruzaitis family in memory of Ella & Anthony Bruzaitis.
Palmer thanked some of the applicants who were willing to modify their requests so that the available funds could be spread further. He noted that many of the Kindle and iPad recipients had also requested gift cards to use for apps, digital books and accessories.
"We had to cut those from the grants but we have started a campaign on our website at www.mtef4kids.org for people to donate Amazon and iTunes gift cards, so hopefully we'll be able to provide them to you."
Superintendent of Schools, David Trethaway, thanked the MTEF for their donations. "Given the opportunity, our teachers are phenomenal with technology and innovation, but unfortunately they have Cadillac wishes and we have a Chevy budget," he remarked.
"Thank you to the teachers for a great job and thank you to the MTEF for providing this equipment. Our students would not have these opportunities without your generous contributions. I hope you understand how many students' lives you have touched."
The 2012-13 MTEF Classroom Mini-Grant awardees are:
Jeffrey Bishop, Industrial Arts teacher at Regional Day School, $470 for a cooperative project pairing Regional Day students with third graders from MTES to make wooden holders in the RDS shop. This grant was sponsored by Dr. Donna Malloy of EyesFirst Vision in Manchester.
Jamie Velazquez, 4th Grade teacher at RS, $400 for 2 Kindle Fire tablets to create a math learning center for her students. This grant was sponsored by the Bruzaitis family in memory of Ella & Anthony Bruzaitis.
Patricia White, Physics/Chemistry teacher at MTHS, $832 for a high end computer to allow more students to actively participate in science laboratory activities
Toni Basile & Jennifer Gilbert, 2nd Grade teachers at MTES, $300 for 2 Tabeo Tablets for their Daily 5 Literacy Center.
Melissa Wettengel, 3rd Grade teacher at MTES, $500 for a large screen TV to connect to her classroom computer so that her students may view websites and presentations as a group.
Danielle Moreira, 1st Grade teacher at MTES, $500 for an iPad tablet to help provide an interactive learning experience to engage students with different learning styles.
Suzanne Cummings, 2nd Grade teacher at RS, $430 for two iPod Touch devices to create a mobile learning environment in her classroom.
Samantha Greenstein, 2nd Grade teacher at RS, $400 for 2 Kindle Fire tablets to help expand her classroom library and use in Daily 5 activities.
Marjorie Jennings, 5th Grade teachers at RS, $400 for 2 Kindle Fire tablets to infuse technology and enhance learning for her students.
Melissa Kelley, Kindergarten teacher at RS, $400 for 2 Kindle Fire tablets to give her students the opportunity to work independently and practice skills on the latest technology.
Peg Viola, 5th Grade teacher at RS, $400 for 2 Kindle Fire tablets to give students individualized practice time in multiple subject areas with immediate feedback for both the student and teacher.
Jessica Parsons, Special Education teacher at RS, $610 for an Elmo Document Camera that can enlarge documents and other items so they can be projected for the entire class to see.
Linda Scharibone, Special Education teacher at RS, $400 for 2 Kindle Fire tablets to reinforce skills and motivate her basic skills students.
Gina Foss, 1st Grade teacher at RS, $400 for 2 Kindle Fire tablets to enrich the math learning experience for her students and introduce them to new technology.
Raquel Bachonski, 4th Grade teacher at RS, $610 for an Elmo Document Camera that can enlarge documents and other items so they can be projected for the entire class to see.
Kelly Stevenson, Autism teacher at WS, $500 for an iPad to help her students implement daily living skills through video modeling using the iPad and apps.
SheriAnne Giacomo, Kindergarten teacher at WS, $500 for an iPad to create collaborative small group activities to engage her students.
Lindsay Yarnold, 2nd Grade teacher at WS, $300 for a document camera to engage her entire class with projected visual materials.
Tracy Kiernan, 4th Grade teacher at WS, $589 for an iPad and cover for the Ultimate Learning Center computer lab at WS.
Now in its fourth year, the MTEF Classroom Mini-Grant program provides funding for innovative new programs and equipment intended to enrich the curriculum and positively affect student learning in the Manchester Township Public Schools. The MTEF funds items not provided for in the regular school budget, with the intent that funded projects will have a lasting and positive impact on students.