2016 Innovative Teacher Mini-Grant Classroom Projects

The Turning Foundation has announced award winners for the 2016 round of Innovative Teacher Mini Grants.  Cash awards of up to $5,000 were available for creative and innovative classroom projects.  Applicants were required to align their projects with one of the four major goal areas of focus for the Eastern Ohio Education Partnership.  The grant competition included additional support again this year from The Raymond John Wean Foundation.  A total of 33 applications were submitted requesting $105,867 in funding.  The seventeen grant winners will receive a total of $52,096 in cash awards that will impact a total of 6,290 students in PK-12 classrooms during the rest of the 2016-17 school year.  Award winners include:


Teacher: Sarah Lowe

Amount: $5,000

School:  Beaver Local Middle School – Beaver Local Schools

Population:    1800 students                Grades: K-12

Goal Area:  8th Grade Math Proficiency

Overview:  Project iCreate is designed to engage students in mathematics while developing critical thinking skills through STEM.  Students will have the opportunity to approach mathematics through a hands-on relevant learning experience that is tied to STEM.


Teacher: Kathy Bennett

Amount: $5,000

School:  Crestview High School – Crestview Local Schools

Population:    80 students                    Grades: 11 and 12

Goal Area:  Postsecondary/Career Readiness

Overview:  Students will investigate different career fields through the use of makerspace. Modules will be designed for the students to research, experiment, and create.  A cross-curricular approach will require students to work hands-on and also document their work using several types of technology and a variety of writing skills.


Teacher:  Linda Holler

Amount:  $2,000

School:  Saint John School – Ashtabula/Catholic Diocese

Population:    278 students                  Grades: K-8

Goal Area:  3rd Grade Reading Readiness

Overview:    “Weather or Not” is an initiative for students to become participants in the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program.  The GLOBE Program enables students to engage in a collaborative, scientific exploration of the world around them, collaborating with students and teachers around the world.


Teacher:  Tracy Archuleta

Amount:  $2,000

School:  Jefferson Senior High School – Jefferson Local Schools

Population:    60 students                    Grades: 9-12

Goal Area:  Postsecondary/Career Readiness

Overview:  This project will combine postsecondary/career readiness with math, technology and creativity using a 3D printer.  Students will be able to get hands on opportunities that will tie many concepts together while being exposed to many career paths using these concepts.


Teacher: Michelle Rhodes

Amount:  $3,372.00

School:  Beaver Local Elementary and High School – Beaver Local Schools

Population:    172 students                  Grades: 2, 9-11

Goal Area:  3rd Grade Reading Proficiency

Overview:  This program will promote reading skills for students in grade 2 with Spanish I students at the high school.  Teachers will build their classroom libraries with bilingual and English children’s picture books.  Students will practice reading aloud and then share their book with their cross-grade partner(s).


Teacher:  Jordan Moxley

Amount:  $2,000.00

School:  Maplewood High School – Maplewood Local Schools

Population:   98 students                     Grades: 10-12

Goal Area:  Postsecondary/Career Readiness

Overview:  After studying local history, students will develop imagery, in mural form, that will illustrate that history and create this in the medium of stained glass. The project will be a collaborative effort between visual and industrial arts along with the local community.


Teacher:  Jill Redmond

Amount:  $4,310.16

School:  McGuffey PK-8 – Warren City Schools

Population:    115 students                  Grades: 5 - 8

Goal Area:  Postsecondary/Career Readiness

Overview:  The “McGuffey Moves for Wellness” program is an after school wellness program that exposes students to fitness, cooking and agriculture careers.  Students will participate in centering and social emotional activities while being exposed to careers in the wellness field while focusing on healthy lifestyles.


Teacher: Mark Robinson

Amount:  $2,000.00

School:  Youngstown Early College – Youngstown City Schools

Population:    56 students                    Grades: 9

Goal Area:  Postsecondary/Career Readiness

Overview:  Using computerized infant care simulators, students will take complete responsibility for an infant for a week and record their experiences as a single parent.  Students will experience being a teen parent faced with the complexities of trying to support themselves and a child while trying to finish school.


Teacher:  Stephanie Greathouse

Amount: $2,000.00 

School:  Chaney STEM & VPA – Youngstown City Schools

Population:    600 students                  Grades: 6-12

Goal Area: 8th Grade Math Proficiency

Overview:  Coding and Creating Inventions with Math and 21st Century Technology is a problem based invention project.  Students will ask, imagine, plan, create, improve and communicate as they attempt to solve real problems by using 3D printers, Laser Cutters, CorelDraw design software and programmable Arduino electronic circuits.


Teacher:  Brianna Cohen

Amount:  $982.74

School:  Jefferson PK-8 – Warren City Schools

Population:    90 students                    Grades: Kindergarten

Goal Area:  Kindergarten Readiness/3rd Grade Reading Proficiency

Overview:  This innovative program will study a unit on comparing and contrasting farm and zoo animals through reading, writing, working with animal manipulatives, and creating authentic projects.  Students will have real-world experiences to apply information learned through field trips to a farm and the zoo.


Teacher: Dave Nelson

Amount: $591.50

School:  McGuffey PK-8 – Warren City Schools

Population:    20 students                    Grades: 4-8

Goal Area:  Postsecondary/Careen Readiness

Overview:  This project ties into the McGuffey Robotics Program and includes a field trip to discover how the manufacturing processes in the Mahoning Valley have changed over the years, including technology advances, STEM skills, and the use of robots in manufacturing.


Teacher:  Marian Mihas

Amount:  $1,985.96

School:  Jefferson PK-8 – Warren City Schools

Population:    99 students                    Grades: 4-6

Goal Area:  Postsecondary/Careen Readiness

Overview:  The “Jefferson Art Fusion Program” featuring the Jefferson Ukulele Orchestra and Reader’s Club Theatre Club is a program for 4th through 6th graders to get to play the ukulele, sing, and act.  In the spring, they’ll travel and perform concerts of music and drama for the community and school.


Teacher:  Carole Goffus

Amount:  $3,200.00

School:  Willard PK-8 – Warren City Schools

Population:    285 students                  Grades: 6-8

Goal Area:  Postsecondary/Careen Readiness

Overview:  Students in grades 6th through 8th in their social studies class will take a career assessment, and learn about career clusters and pathways.  After exploring their career pathways, students will investigate a career in their chosen pathway, and learn from someone who is in the student’s chosen field.


Teacher: Eugene Mach II

Amount: $5,000.00

School:  Warren G. Harding High Schools – Warren City Schools

Population:   300 students                   Grades: 9-12

Goal Area:  Postsecondary/Careen Readiness

Overview:  This effort will implement an ongoing, cross-curricular and self-sustaining manufacturing project in order to teach students real world business, engineering, and manufacturing skills. The project will purchase a 2’x4’ CNC router kit that will be used collaboratively with business, wood shop, engineering classes and the robotics team.


Teacher: Alexis Williams

Amount: 5,000.00

School:  Jefferson PK-8 – Warren City Schools

Population:   675 students                   Grades: PK-8

Goal Area:  Kindergarten Readiness/3rd Grade Reading Proficiency

Overview:  The Warren City School District is partnering with The Ohio State University to teach individualized reading instruction through Literacy Collaborative.  Expanding our collection of leveled books will support teacher lessons and promote student reading as each student progress towards Third Grade Readiness.


Teacher: Heather Eich

Amount:  $2,653.96

School:  McGuffey PK-8 – Warren City Schools

Population:   100 students                   Grades: 1

Goal Area: 3rd Grade Reading Proficiency

Overview:  Students will have hands-on interactive opportunities to experience a variety of habitats, including the ocean, using water tables in the classroom. Students will be reading and writing about the ocean as well as exploring the ocean in centers.  A culminating activity for this unit will be a field trip to the Greater Cleveland Aquarium.


Teacher: Patricia Fisher

Amount:  $5,000.00

School:  Warren City Schools

Population:   1462 students                 Grades: PK-2

Goal Area: Kindergarten Readiness/3rd Grade Reading Proficiency/8th Grade Math Proficiency

Overview:  Partnerships and networks will be developed within Warren City Schools and with community early childhood educators.  Over 90 staff will be invited to participate in network development meetings focused on developmentally appropriate instruction, grade level transitions and technology use in the classroom.