Teachers Awarded Funding for Creative and Innovative Classroom Projects

A high school student poses while working on a project funded by a Robert. P. Bell Education Grant. Photo providedA high school student poses while working on a project funded by a Robert. P. Bell Education Grant. Photo provided

By: Kallie Sulanke, Community Engagement Officer—

Muncie, Ind. – Local teachers will receive $3,260 in Robert P. Bell Education Grants from The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County, Inc. Across the county, 1,000s of students benefit from Bell Education Grants each 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. All Delaware County teachers are invited to apply during any of the four grant cycles.

Bell Grants are funded through the Robert P. Bell Teacher Grants Fund at The Community Foundation. This fund ensures that teachers have access to grants to help engage their students in meaningful ways for years to come. Individuals can contribute to the 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 Bell Grants is April 1, 2018. For more information about Bell Grants applications and the Robert P. Bell Teacher Grants Fund, contact Carly Acree King, Program Officer at cacreeking@cfmdin.org. Information is also available at www.cfmdin.org.

Recipients include:

Jessica Cantwell, Pleasant View Elementary School, was awarded $450 to help kindergarteners expand their sensory-motor skills and social-emotional development through the use of puppetry, creative storytelling, singing songs, grooving to music, and expressive play activities with classroom volunteer and licensed Drama Therapist, Tracena Maria. To wrap up the project, students will write and perform their own puppet shows for other classes and parents.

Laura Daugherty, Wes-Del Elementary School, was awarded $225 to connect fourth graders with the world of business and economics. Students will work with a partner to create a product or service to sell. Students will create a business display to market their product or service during a shopping day for fifth-grade students, parents, and community members.

Sarah Hill and Courtney Crabtree, Cowan Elementary School, were awarded $291 to build excitement in kindergarteners around STEAM. During a week-long unit, students will experience eight different science, technology, engineering, arts and math-related activities.

Julie Marshall and Lisa McKee, Eaton Elementary School, were awarded $415 so that second-grade students could create butterfly gardens outside classroom windows. Students will use math skills to create frames for birdhouses and feeders. Planting flowers and watching birds and butterflies will give students the opportunity to learn about bodies and life cycles of plants and animals. Students will put social studies lessons into action as they learn about serving others as loyal citizens and making communities attractive throughout the project.

Taryn McKnight and Jody Lawrence, Southside Middle School, were awarded $261 for a project that will encourage eighth-grade language arts students to read and analyze a novel in order to create their own picture book with a fresh perspective about the world around them. The books will be designed to help introduce topics such as appreciating differences, embracing others for who they are, and perseverance when coping with difficult situations to younger audiences.

Stephanie Nagelkirk, Indiana Academy, was awarded $450 to give high school juniors the chance to build a game based on their own made-up inferno. After reading Dante’s Inferno, students will work in groups to choose a philosophy, create a hierarchy of sins and punishments, and write their own hero’s journey. Based on this framework, students will create a board game. Playability of their game will impact the final grade.

Stephanie Nagelkirk, Indiana Academy, was awarded $450 for high school literature students to create life-sized visual representations of the stages and aspects of womanhood as described in the women’s literature studied.

Randyl Reffett, Yorktown Elementary School, was awarded $450 to teach fourth graders the next generation science standards with Legos. Students will use Legos to enhance the learning of simple machines, life sciences, physical science, earth science and engineering. Students will combine lessons with classroom technology to practice coding skills.

Sean Scott, Indiana Academy, was awarded $177 for a project that uses board games to help high school juniors and seniors visualize the development and economic impact of railroads fueled by America’s western expansion.

Candace Smithson, Cowan Jr./Sr. High School, was awarded $91 to support a unit on birds for high school biology students and their first- and second-grade science buddies. Biology students will prepare three lessons: identifying traits of birds, exploring different bird species, and how to attract birds to your backyard. As part of the lessons, high school students will help the younger students make pine cone bird feeders to attract birds to the schoolyard and their own backyards.