Marion Community Foundation’s Teaching, Educating And Classroom Help (TEACH) Grants program, now in its second year, has made nine awards in support of Marion area teachers, increasing awards by 50 percent over the inaugural year, and providing more than $12,000 in support of education in Marion.
The 2021-22 TEACH Awards include:
Tri-Rivers Career Center, $1,050, to upgrade specialized equipment for the school’s successful Swivl system. The upgrades will allow Tri-Rivers’ teachers to share, edit, and provide live videos for both the career technical and academic classrooms.
Elgin Middle School, $700, for Design Thinking Kits to provide hands-on activities in a variety of STEM areas designed to solve life problems. The kits are designed to challenge students in the fields of forensic science, engineering and STEM careers.
Elgin Middle School, $1,350, for the Green Screen Video Project, which will create a dedicated green screen area for the school’s Digital Media Center, providing students with instruction in video recording, script writing, set design, news casts, and editing.
Harding High School, $2,250, Alcohol and Drug Impairment Program. Led by teacher John Godfrey, 400+ Harding students will be educated on the dangers of drugs and alcohol using a unique and effective program called Fatal Vision.
“Fatal Vision is an eye-opening experience which simulates impaired driving through the use of specialized googles and software,” said Godfrey. “Students experience hands-on and realistic impairment simulations and learn strategies to protect themselves from drugs and alcohol.”
The Fatal Vision program covers impairment caused by alcohol, marijuana, and drowsy and distracted driving. Googles and software impair the wearer’s balance and equilibrium, reaction time, judgment, and concentration, and disrupts memory and information processing.
“I have a passion for students wanting to make the right decisions and choices in their life,” said Godfrey, who has taught literally thousands of students in his 33 years as an educator.
Pleasant High School, $594, for BreakoutEDU, a subscription and physical kit to enhance social studies content with escape room- style learning and an emphasis on communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity.
Marion City Schools/Harding High School, $2,180, to purchase technological archiving equipment for the popular History of Marion, Ohio, class. The equipment will allow students to learn about primary sources that have not been archived digitally, the importance of archiving, proper methods, and to explore area history.
Marion City Schools/Harding High School, $2,250, for the replacement and purchase of music equipment. Having an award winning program means Harding’s music program sees a lot of students and a lot of instruments getting a lot of wear. This TEACH Grant will allow band director Jacob Hartman and his colleagues, Yuji Jones, Jami Rawlins, Steve Patterson, and Sam Weibel, to purchase a new, high quality drum set and travelling cases for it.
With more than 300 students participating in Harding’s music program, Hartman said, “We have a very active music department and, because of how well we work together as a department, there are many instances of shared equipment. The drum set gets used by band, choir, and orchestra.”
The new drum set purchased with the TEACH grant is, according to Hartman, of a quality better suited to travel. And, Harding music students travel a lot.
“We regularly travel across the state and sometimes beyond,” he said. “Equipment wears out from use, and travel damage adds to that. We are using this TEACH grant to purchase quality equipment and cases – which we haven’t had before – to ensure the longevity of it.”
River Valley Heritage Elementary, $500, to expand the classroom book collection with a wide variety of titles, genres, and characters to motivate students to become life-long readers.
This literacy project is the brainchild of third grade teacher Sally Deem, who said, “The books will be used daily for differentiated instruction based on kids’ reading and interest levels. I choose a variety of books for different purposes, such as books with African American kids as the lead character and ones that highlight girls as scientists.”
One of the titles she selected is “Danny’s Doodles: The Jelly Bean Experiment,” which helps students understand that each of us have interests and skills which make us unique. Similarly, “Lunch Walks Among Us” is one book in the Mad Scientist series by Jim Benton that explores how students’ differences can also be their strengths. Other books she is adding to her classroom library thanks to a TEACH grant include the Eerie Elementary Series, aimed at newly independent readers, several popular Cork and Fuzz novels, and “Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key,” which features a main character on the autism spectrum, among others.
Deem was also the recipient of one of the inaugural TEACH grants in 2020. Her project last year was the purchase STEM learning kits for science, technology, engineering, and math learning activities. To comply with the social distancing guidelines of the pandemic, she got innovative with the kits which are designed for in-person, hands-on learning. She and her students used a program called “Mystery Science” each week to make their own seeds and “become” trees.
“We predicted, tested and measured which seed design worked best and learned about seeds, pollination, where our food comes from, and photosynthesis,” Deem explained. “We learned of the life cycle of butterflies and watched them complete their life cycle in class.”
River Valley Liberty Elementary, $1,290, for the purchase of iPads and Apple Pencils for teachers, enabling them to incorporate more classroom technology and create more interactive lessons.
The Teaching, Educating And Classroom Help (TEACH) Grants program was successful in its inaugural year and, in 2021, continued to support local teachers to make area classrooms interesting, stimulating, and impactful for students. The purpose of the TEACH Grants is to provide funding to teachers, or small teams of classroom teachers, to foster and develop programs, projects, events, or lessons for kindergarten through 12th grade. Any Marion County, Ohio, public or private school teacher who instructs children kindergarten through high school was eligible to apply. Grants are intended to fund innovative or creative programs, projects, events, or lessons in the classroom, over and above regular school budgets.
“Classroom teachers have great ideas and creative solutions to meet their students’ needs,” said Dean Jacob, President and CEO of Marion Community Foundation. “The TEACH Grant program can help teachers launch innovative and motivational ideas that may go unfunded because of a school’s tight budget.”
Funding for the TEACH Grants comes from the Pillar Credit Union Teachers Fund, the River Valley Teachers Fund, and the Ray & Charlotte Baldauf Fund at Marion Community Foundation, all of which were created for, or have a specific interest in, supporting education in Marion County. The Pillar Credit Union Teachers Fund was established in 2019 by the organization’s Board of Directors. The River Valley Teachers Fund was created by Steve Dickerson and supported by educators and alumni of the River Valley Local Schools.
Additional information is available by contacting Marion Community Foundation at 740-387-9704. More information on our Grants Programs is available by clicking HERE.