Teachers Awarded Funding for Creative and Innovative Classroom Projects

Robert P. Bell Education Grants AwardedRobert P. Bell Education Grants Awarded

By: Kallie Sulanke—

Local teachers will receive $5,371 in Robert P. Bell Education Grants from The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County, Inc. More than 1,000 students will benefit in this second grant cycle of the academic year.

Awards of up to $450 are available through the Bell Grants program. Funded projects are creative or innovative ideas or programs designed to stimulate learning in students. Delaware County teachers may apply throughout the year during the four grant cycles.

This summer, The Community Foundation established the Robert P. Bell Teacher Grants Fund to permanently endow the program to ensure that teachers have access to funds to help engage their students in meaningful ways for years to come. Individuals can contribute to the new endowment fund to memorialize a special teacher, honor a retiring teacher or teacher celebrating a work anniversary, or to simply show their support for K-12 education in Delaware County.

The next deadline for the third round of grants in the 2016-2017 academic year is February 1, 2017. For more information about Bell Grants applications and the Robert P. Bell Teacher Grants Fund, contact Colton Strawser, Program Officer at cstrawser@cfmdin.org. Information is also available at www.cfmdin.org.

  • Jennifer Boone, Yorktown Elementary School, was awarded $450 for a project that will prepare her third through fifth grade students for careers that do not currently exist. With a classroom focus on STEM, her students will work in groups to build a Clawbot robot base and then learn about and build simple machines to work with the Clawbot. The simple machines will be used to exhibit chain reactions, participate in the Crossover Challenge, and even extend into programming for the most advanced students.
  • Ami Brown, Cowan Jr./Sr. High School, was awarded $237 for middle school students to identify the qualities of a hero from which to build a foundation of personal qualities for their own futures. They will discuss heroes as a group, investigate heroes from various cultures and write their own “poetic definition” of a hero. Finally, students will write their own hero story to address an issue that’s relevant in today’s society.
  • Bethany Clegg, Burris Laboratory School, was awarded $356 for middle schoolers to think about sports as an invention or an idea that helped shape our culture. Students will learn to play flag football, basketball, volleyball, and ultimate Frisbee by reviewing the sports’ histories and evolving rules.
  • Mason Fulton, Muncie Central High School, was awarded $448 for AP Psychology students to understand personality and psychological disorders through superheroes. After reading Batman and Psychology – A Dark and Stormy Knight students will develop a superhero or villain to create a back story to write and present a report on personality and psychological disorders.
  • Bonnie Coffman, Selma Elementary School, was awarded $389 to connect kindergartens and their families to Dr. Suess through Suess-themed fun. Continued literacy at home will be promoted as each student and their family receive a book bag.
  • Christa Hensley, Laura Kingsley, Christopher Braden, and Kristen Landreth, Storer Elementary School, were awarded $440 for special education students to gain life skills. Simulating real world activities in the classroom, a mini-apartment will allow students to work on skills like making the bed, laundry, dusting, vacuuming, cooking and cleaning dishes. Students will practice academic skills through life skills such as reading, counting, measuring, time, and more.
  • Jennifer Jessie, St. Mary Elementary School, was awarded $444 to improve fourth graders’ storytelling abilities. Using blocks, students will build the five parts of their story’s plot. They will then use their designs for inspiration to write more detailed and complete stories.
  • Elaine McDonald and Krista Cloud-Johnson, Muncie Central High School, were awarded $250 to help tenth graders connect with William Shakespeare. Students will be introduced to the works of William Shakespeare with an escape room style activity titled Shakespeare: Lost in Time, which brings Shakespeare into the present day.
  • Barbara Miller, Yorktown High School, was awarded $292 for high school students to participate in activities that encourage understanding people from different places. Students in Miller’s ninth grade language arts class will partner with a school on a Pueblo Indian reservation in Arizona and read stories and nonfiction articles about American Indians. The students will then investigate their own community by photographing it through photography lenses that clip-on to cellphone cameras. The best of their photographs will be used to inspire them to write their own poetry, stories, and nonfiction texts that reflect the images of their changing community.
  • Barbara Miller, Yorktown High School, was awarded $405 for ninth grade language arts students to connect to the challenges and joys of American Indiana students experience in living on reservations in the Southwest by reading novels about American Indians. They will then create their own stories using ancient Indian pictographic images.
  • Sarah Quinn, Courtney Crabtree, and Chelsie King, Cowan Elementary School, were awarded $420 to encourage kindergarteners to explore the world of zoo animals. After students have an experience with live animals, they will choose their favorite animals to research. High school students from the Biology II class will help them research and create their selected animal’s habitat or biome in a shoebox. Kindergartener’s will also present their habitat to the class.
  • Candace Smithson, Cowan Jr./Sr. High School, was awarded $415 for high school students to learn how light works through reflection. Students in Smithson’s Biology II class will prepare four lessons on reflection and light works using mirrors. The lessons will be presented to first and second grade students, along with a make-and-take kaleidoscope activity that will illustrate in a simple way how multiple reflections lead to endless intriguing patterns.
  • Cristina Suits, Burris Laboratory School, was awarded $448 to teach fourth through eighth grade physical education students about Native American culture through movements of dance and survival skills that mimic hunting and fishing which evolved into sport skills like lacrosse.
  • Nancy Zachary, North View Elementary School, was awarded $378 for kindergarten students to investigate, through making observations and a variety of activities, the effect of the sun on the weather of Earth.