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May 25, 2010 > Innovative Education Grants surprise teachers

Innovative Education Grants surprise teachers

By Miriam G. Mazliach
Photos By William Mancebo

Sponsored by the Fremont Education Foundation, Innovative Education Grants fund creative and educational programs for grades K - 12. With its focus on enhancing students' creativity, achievement, physical fitness, critical thinking skills, arts experience, and leadership, the Foundation has awarded close to 200 Innovative Education Grants since being founded in 1991.

Over the years, these grants, totaling approximately $303,000, have directly benefited thousands of students in the Fremont Unified School District.

During the school year, the Foundation has a time frame or "open season" wherein teachers may submit their written applications to be considered for a grant. Once received, the applications are organized and sorted through by the District office. "On May 1, a committee made up of past winners, Foundation Board members and District representatives, read through the grant proposals and select the best ones, based on a variety of criteria," says Desrie Campbell of the Fremont Education Foundation. Amounts distributed vary according to proposal requirements, with a maximum individual award of $3,000.

The selected teachers were all happily surprised in their classrooms on May 19, when they were presented with their grants along with a festive balloon. This year the total amount given out by the Foundation was $15, 857.59.

Here is the list of the awarded Innovative Education Grants:

1. City Wildlife: Third graders become local wildlife explorers interacting with animals and plants in their native environment, along with their open court unit and life science standards. Teachers: Joyce Aguilar and Mariapia Cowley, Grimmer Elementary School - $1,770.

2. This is Rocket Science! - Analysis of high speed motion: Students analyze water rockets they design using high-speed video and measurement data.
Teacher: Robert Benn, American High School - $1,950.

3. Read Naturally Fluency Program: "Read Naturally" increases fluency and comprehension in struggling students (especially ELS); plans are to implement it in a four-day a week after school intervention.
Teacher: Jamil Elkhouri, Hopkins Junior High - $2,771.

4. A California Butterfly Garden: Students in Poe's classroom will plant a butterfly garden adjacent to the science lab so all students at the school may study the life cycle of butterflies.
Teacher: Jeff Poe, Millard Elementary - $726.49.

5. Creating Online Student E-Portfolios to Build Employability Skills: Proposes creating student e-portfolios wherein students can self manage their assignments and publish their work online. The project will also increase employability skills.
Teacher: Sharon Ram, Fremont Adult School - $349.95.

6. How Great Is Our Water? Students will have the experience of going into the field to collect water quality data from Alameda Creek and Quarry Lakes.
Teacher: Kyra Wheaton, American High School - $2,964.18.

7. Get that Job! The Access to English Workplace Edition software will aid in developing vocabulary to prepare students for the workplace.
Teacher: Yelena Zimon, Fremont Adult School - $2,964.18.

8. Real-Time Learning: Supports student learning using a projector, document camera, and laptop in tandem with direct instruction and modeling using relevant materials.
Teacher: Casey Morreira, Walters Jr. High - $2,361.79.

Innovative Education Grants for district teacher projects in the classroom are funded through the Foundation's annual Excellence in Education Gala, which this year was held on February 26.

Fremont Education Foundation
39120 Argonaut Way, #381
Fremont, CA 94538
(510) 659-2561

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