By: Isabella Cionni & Haley Earl
The Shenango Community Education Foundation certainly blesses the district not only during the holiday season but throughout the entire school year. They supplied teachers with $11,003 worth of educational goodies to supplement their instruction.
Mrs. Crystal Brocklehurst and Mrs. Melissa Scott received a grant for Google Chromebooks to be used in the elementary school library. Scott noted how remarkable this technological addition to the library has been.
“Students in grades 3-6 have used them to access our online databases including World Book Online and various POWER Library resources such as Kids InfoBits and CyberSmarts,” Scott explained. “In addition, students love the touch screen capabilities and the audio for reading articles or viewing articles videos. The Chromebooks have allowed us to branch out into more online learning not tied to a desktop,” she said.
Not only was the library improved thanks to SCEF, but the elementary computer lab received Bee-Bot Robots and Dash-Bots. Mr. Dwight Heminger, the elementary computer teacher, asked for these robots in order to teach the students about coding.
“The SCEF grant provided my students with 12 Bee-Bot Robots to help students in kindergarten through second grade learn about ‘coding.’ They plan and program these little robots to move forward, backward, and make turns on a mat,” Mr. Heminger noted. “I also requested 12 Dash-Bots with the SCEF grant. These are a bit more sophisticated robots that students in third grade through sixth grade program and control using tablets and iPads. I am extremely grateful for the SCEF grant and the opportunities provided for our students and teachers,” Heminger stated.
Another teacher that shares Heminger’s gratitude is first grade teacher Mrs. Brandi Crowl. She received an SCEF grant for word building kits to help students practice their spelling words.
“The first grade students in my classroom have been practicing phonics skills with word building kits. The kits allow students to study and practice the different spelling patterns and phonic sounds in words,” said Crowl.
Like Crowl, Mrs. Jodi Frank was granted instructional material for her third grade class to supplement her geography teaching. This material was much needed for the required curriculum change.
“The grant funds provided me with the physical and digital means to meet the needs of all of my students, including those with learning challenges to those in need of academic enrichment,” described Frank. “These things would not have been possible without the SCEF grant.”
Fifth grade teacher Mrs. Kylee DeCaprio was granted two helpful products for her classroom this year. She received the Flocabulary Instructional Resource and Student Authoring Blank Books.
“I used the grant to get blank books for students. We start a month-long project after the holidays where students write and illustrate their own picture books, which they then share with the younger grades. I have several teachers read the books and select winners for the “Young Author Awards,” DeCaprio stated.
At the high school, Mrs. Sarah Barron received materials such as post-it notes, stickers, tape, and index cards that her 8th grade English students utilize for their interactive notebooks as well as other activities, thanks to an SCEF grant.
“Their interactive notebooks help them to study for final tests because they are able to create flashcards in their notebooks using the post-it notes,” Barron explained. “I frequently observe students using their notebooks to help them prepare for exams. Students also use the post-it notes to mark and take notes on significant passages in their books. We use the stickers as a type of formative assessment during our vocabulary units.
Mrs. Barron is still reaping the benefits of the grant she received two years ago “I received a folding table and chairs from SCEF, and those materials have allowed me to hold valuable writing conferences with my students,” she said. “I am thankful SCEF can provide students with these materials because they definitely enhance the quality of my instruction.”
Mrs. Linda Makarevich and 23 French students visited French-speaking Quebec last summer.
“SCEF funded two extra attractions to our immersion into Quebec’s history, language, traditions, and culture,” Mrs. Makarevich noted. “Le Musee du Fort sound and light show explained past battles and hardships of the Quebecois (people of Quebec). Walking through Canada’s Royal 22nd Regiment Citadelle fort, a working military fort and only French-speaking regiment in the country, Shenango students were able to see active military personnel, tour through military buildings, and understand the basic workings of an active fort.”
Another grant allowed for the start-up of the Chess Club in the high school. Seventh grade science teacher Mr. Nate Flood is the advisor of the Chess Club.
“The SCEF grant was instrumental in the formation of Shenango’s chess club, providing a roster of over 50 Shenango students an opportunity to learn or advance their skills while making new friendships in the process,” he exclaimed. “The grant was able to provide many chess sets and instructional materials for new players. In the futures, the club hopes to compete versus various schools in the area.”
In a season of giving, Shenango is blessed by SCEF!