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Here's how schools will spend $27,000 in grants from FTMC

Joe Centers • Jan 19, 2012 at 11:03 PM

It was Christmas in January for nine local school districts and their students Wednesday afternoon as Fisher-Titus Medical Center handed out Health Education Grants that total about $27,000.

A story about the event appears in Thursday's Reflector. To see pictures, click HERE.

Below are the successful proposals each district presented:

Edison Local Schools

Thomas Roth, Superintendent

Since 2003 the district has made a concerted effort to provide our student body and staff with dynamic technological applications which support 21st century learning skills. The Fisher-Titus Medical Center Health Education Grant has been instrumental in helping us achieve this objective. During this time, the grant has provided funding for 13 of the 89 SMARTBoards and four of the seven SMART Document Cameras being used in classrooms, labs and meeting areas throughout the district.

To further enrich our students' classroom experience, the district has invested in additional SMART products such as SMART Response systems and wireless SMART Slates. SMART products have provided our teachers with the ability to teach lessons that keep their students engaged through an interactive learning environment.

Last year, the district adopted an initiative called Making Use of SMART Technology. We are seeking $3,000 grant funding from the Fisher-Titus Medical Center Health Education Grant to supplement the purchase of four document cameras which will be fully dedicated to the science departments at the high school and middle school.

Monroeville Local Schools

David Stubblebine, Superintendent

The 2011 Monroeville Local School District proposal for grant funding by Fisher-Titus Medical Center is a request for technology that will directly support understanding of science and mathematics concepts from elementary to high school levels. At the elementary and high school level, 56 student response units will be purchased and used regularly to engage young students in learning science, math, health and other related subjects.

To purchase student response systems, Monroeville Local Schools is requesting $3,000. The additional costs required for implementing the project will be assumed by the school district.

New London Local Schools

Carol Girton, Superintendent

New London Elementary School is requesting $3,000 to be used toward the proposed purchase of an Apple iPod Learning Lab for student use. The total cost for the purchase of the Learning Lab is $8,707.50. The Lab will include 30 iPod Touch 8 GB units and 30 headband headphones on a portable cart/charger.

This Learning Lab will support the "Everyday Math Curriculum K-5" which has been recently adopted to improve the performance of the students on the Ohio Achievement Assessments. Availability of the Lab will allow for interactive lessons within the classrooms. Four teachers at the fifth-grade level will be trained to use the Learning Lab, which will be shared by four classrooms, serving 90 students. The goal is to improve the math scores of New London fifth-grade students by 5 percent in order to better prepare them for future careers in demand occupations such as health care.

Introduction of a portable lab will not only support this rigorous curriculum and the related goals, but will also meet the need for student exposure to technology. Current technology is not readily accessible to a majority of the students in environments outside of the school due to the number of families whose income falls at or below the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Our community is one of low socioeconomic status as is evidenced by 51 percent (234 of 459) of New London Elementary students who are currently receiving free or reduced lunches.

The Elementary School general fund and District Technology Fund will provide the match to the grant in order to incorporate the full 30-unit Learning Lab into the fifth grade classrooms. Additional funding sources may be pursued to increase the number of units, allowing access to each student.

Norwalk Catholic School

Dr. Wayne Babcanec, President

St. Paul High School and Junior High has sent numerous students to State Science Fair competitions. Last year, 17 students from Norwalk Catholic School Junior High and St. Paul High School went to the State Science Fair in Columbus. They were awarded two very goods, three excellents (and) 11 superior ratings. In addition, four high school students received additional honors.

The Huron County Commissioners also presented a proclamation to Norwalk Catholic Junior High and St. Paul High School for attaining for the third year in a row the most superiors in a junior and senior high school science fair at the district level attaining 19 out of 40 superiors.

Currently the computer lab in the science room is operating with computers that are underpowered and outdated. This results in less productive time for students when they have the opportunity. The updating of computer hardware will allow more students to more efficiently work on science projects.

In support of the strategy for its Science Department, Norwalk Catholic School requests funding of $2,980.98 for computer hardware to be utilized in the ongoing excellence in its science departments. It will also be beneficial in providing resources in not only maximizing research time for curriculum, but also in increasing the number of successes in the State Science Fair competition.

Norwalk City Schools

Dennis Doughty, Superintendent

Norwalk City Schools has requested a total of $2,919.82 to fund two different projects at Main Street School.

The fifth-grade Science/Health department at Main Street School is requesting $1,500 for a Smart Response System for a class set of 28. These are hand-held clickers where teachers can formally and informally assess students. Questions are given to students on a specific topic and students respond using their clicker. Teachers get quick feedback as to their students' understanding of what they have learned. These clickers will help improve students' critical analytic thinking skills that they need to use as they take the Ohio Science Achievement Test. Units will also be created that coincide with the DARE (Drug Awareness Resistance Education) program which includes effects of smoking, diseases, and drugs. This Smart Response System will allow students to be fully engaged in these lessons as we formally and informally assess what they have learned.

There are four Science teachers that will be utilizing this system in their classrooms. The Science teachers will create lessons based on Science content standards and DARE lessons to assess students. Lessons will be created and shared amongst the department and the Response system will also be shared within the Science department. Research shows that students learn best through hands-on experimentation and being directly engaged which the system will allow them to do. The requested grant funds will be used to purchase this system so that students can attain these goals. More than 200 students at Main Street School will benefit from having the Smart Response System.

In addition to this project, the sixth grade classrooms have asked for $1,419.82 to purchase three classroom projection microscopes and also to repair and replace some of the compound optical microscopes, received in 2002 from a Fisher-Titus grant. The sixth-grade Main Street teachers (five in all) are involved in asking for this portion of the grant. The use of the optical compound and projection microscopes will benefit approximately 250 students annually.

South Central Local Schools

Ben Chaffee, Jr., Superintendent

The funds allocated by this $3,000 grant will be used for an elementary visit from COSI on Wheels, camcorder, software for health and science, hands-on science materials and visual aids for the science and health classes in the South Central School District. The funds will be divided among various programs that enhance science and health education at South Central. Participants include the elementary/junior high/high school population of South Central.

The equipment will be used to thoroughly teach concepts important to a well-rounded education in the areas of science and health as well as areas covered by the Ohio achievement test and now, the Ohio Graduation Test. There are many topics in science and health that are better taught, understood, and retained by students through the use of hands-on activities. This equipment will help students receive a better education. Educators will be encouraged to purchase materials that can be shared by other teachers so that the funds are spent efficiently. In years past, the funds South Central received were used in the above manner and it has worked out very well. The teachers and students at each level were excited about the materials they were able to get. These additional funds seemed to invigorate and enhance instruction at all grade levels.

Wellington School District

Francis Scruci, Superintendent

McCormick Middle School is requesting a grant for the sum of $2,956.85. The purpose of this health education request is to improve the quality of life by teaching skills necessary to improve health and promote wellness of each student. The main purpose of this year's grant will be focused on the prevention of obesity.

McCormick Middle School has an auditorium which has a gym on the stage. Last year 47 physical education classes were canceled due to other activities in the auditorium. This grant will purchase items that can be used in another room when the gym is closed for use. Also, these items will be used in fitness classes. Requested items are class fitness bars, resistance exercise tubing, and Active and Healthy school classroom pack. The JoyFit program can be used in any classroom. It stimulates rhythm, body awareness and neural learning patterns through gross motor skills.

Fisher-Titus Medical Center has previously purchased dissecting tools and program materials for a vision and owl unit. During the vision unit, classes do experiments and learn parts of the eye. The students dissect the owl pellets to map the bones and then compare them to the human skeleton. To supplement this program, the middle school has requested a lab storage cabinet with experiment trays.

All items will be used by the health and physical education department at McCormick Middle School. This includes 539 students who take physical education and 364 who go through a health program, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade.

Western Reserve Local School District

Rodge Wilson, Superintendent

The $2,998.99 grant proposal "Improvement of Science Curriculum through Labs" is a project that will involve the middle school and the high school science departments at Western Reserve Schools.

The funding request for the project will provide the 7th through 12th grade science students more hands-on equipment to use in the lab setting. This equipment will enhance the science curriculum by helping students to be more accurate in their results and testing methods. The electronic scales will benefit all the classes 7 through 12 as we share these in a lab setting. The centrifuge will benefit the Chemistry and Physics classes and sphygmomanometer and stethoscopes will benefit the Physiology and Anatomy classes. While the cell magnet model will aid the 7th, 8th and the Life Science classes in understanding the cell.

Willard City Schools

David Danhoff, Superintendent

The purpose of this project is to provide collaborative technological career research opportunities for fifth and eighth grade students. The eighth grade students are taught to be the facilitators of the research for the fifth graders. Working on a buddy system, students identify a science career, education needed, salary, important people in their field, and background knowledge on the career. They do Internet research to compile their information. The finished project's assessment rubric or guide is tied to a brochure and video presentation. This joint venture's purpose is to provide hands-on learning strategies that can be supported by technology resources that promote active learning. This project began last year, however, we did not have enough laptops to allow all students to be actively engaged. We would use the $3,000 in grant money to purchase six laptops.

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