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Innovative Education Grants — Grant Recipients 2006-2007

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Recipient: Antoinette Scholbohm, Ardenwood Elementary School  [left to right: Lara York, Parvin Ahmadi, Toni Scholbohm, Nina Moore, Debra Watanuki]

Recipient: Gary Benz, American High School. [left to right: 
 Parvin Ahmadi, Gary Benz, Nina Moore,  Debra Watanuki,  Mitch Carter (principal of American High School) ]


Recipient: Paula Buckner, Brookvale School [left to right: Debra Watanuki, Paula Buckner, Nina Moore, Parvin Ahmadi ]



Making Sense of Science and Mathematics with Manipulatives

Antoniette Scholbohm, 6th grade, Ardenwood Elementary School - $1760

This grant supports hands-on math and science activities intended to increase student understanding of 6th grade science and math concepts.  The grant funds math and science games, brain teasers, manipulatives , and science lab videos. 


Strengthening Language Arts Skills Through Theater 

Susanne Reed, 3rd grade, Warwick Elementary School - $1,624 

This grant will integrate theatrical writing and performance with approved language arts, social studies and science curriculum in order to increase proficiency of 3rd grade students in the following areas: reading comprehension and fluency, public speaking, listening and writing skills.  The grant funds a classroom library of stories, published plays, and novels that can be transformed into performance pieces. 


Periodic Table Alive

Gary Benz, 10th-12th grade, American High School -  $2,800

This grant is aimed at increasing student understanding of the periodic table, atomic structure and bonding by providing students the opportunity to review measurement and chemical reaction standards, construct a solar cell, and produce an alternative, renewable fuel (hydrogen from water). This grant funds data collection equipment, metal and element samples, solar cell equipment, and solar cell chemicals.  


Improving Educational Opportunities for All Students

Paula Buckner, K-3rd grades, Brookvale Elementary School - $2,700

This grant aims to improve academic achievement for students in two mild/moderate special day classes.  Based on ten years of research, this grant will fund a classroom sound-field amplification system intended to reduce the amount of inattentive and off-task behaviors during instructional time, thereby increasing student achievement as measured by multiple criteria.


Trout in the Classroom

Sherea Westra, 2nd grade, Niles Elementary School - $738

The State Content standards for 2nd grade include the understanding of life cycles of living things. Students in this 2nd grade class will experience first hand the life cycle of a living creature and the delicate balance needed for animals to survive in aquatic ecosystems.  Working with the East Bay Regional Park District and eggs provided by their hatchery, the grant will fund an aquarium, aquarium equipment and materials, a field trip, and materials for related classroom art and writing activities.  


Leap in to Learning

Brannin Dorsey and Geri Dotson, Kindergarten, Parkmont Elementary School - $2,588

This grant is intended to facilitate differentiated instruction for students entering kindergarten with extremely varied educational preparation and readiness levels.  The goal is to engage students regardless of learning level and to maximize individual student growth and mastery of the State kindergarten content standards.  This grant will fund the Leap Frog Literacy Center and Leap Frog assessment software, which are linked to the Open Court curriculum.


Building Bridges Through Poetry

Kelly Tarkowski and Carri Cassidy, 3rd grade, Parkmont Elementary School - $2,700

This grant is intended to enable students to meet or exceed third grade writing standards by increasing their ability to use descriptive language and imagery, through a series of poetry lessons. A service-learning component of this project will involve interviews with local senior citizens so that students can create and present poems related to local history.  The grant will fund six one-hour poetry lessons, conducted by a poet-teacher from California Poets in the Schools, for six 3rd grade classrooms (36 sessions total). 


Social Skills Development Program Materials for Students with Autism

Cheri Sanchez, 1st-6th grade, Mission Valley Elementary School - $466

This grant is aimed at increasing social skills and successful interactions for students with autism, through the development and use of social stories to teach social norms.  This grant will fund the photography equipment and software needed to create social stories, as well as two books about developing social stories and creating social skills activities.


Alternative Energy for All

Harriet  Matsuoka, 6th grade, Harvey Green Elementary School - $1,300

Sixth grade students study energy as part of the State content standards.  This grant is aimed at increasing student understanding of the presented concepts through hands-on activities.  Using kits, students will create models of solar cookers and solar houses, then build solar-powered vehicles and roller coasters, and ultimately will design their own alternative energy invention. This grant will fund kits from the National Energy Education Development Project and KNEX Solar Energy sets.


High-Tech Visuals

Clint Johns, Irvington High School - $1,685

This grant is aimed at increasing the understanding of advanced mathematical concepts in Algebra, Trigonometry, Data Analysis, and Calculus by providing interactive visual diagrams that can be manipulated quickly for what-if scenarios, enabling clearer demonstration of concepts and increased student understanding.   The grant will fund a SMART Board and concept mapping program.


Differentiated Independent Reading and Literature Letters

Mary Jo Taylor, 3rd grade, Warm Springs Elementary School - $1,300

This grant is aimed at increasing students’ reading skills and comprehension through the use of independent reading time, written reflection, and oral sharing that is geared to each student’s reading level and individual progress. This grant will fund a classroom library of leveled chapter books.