District-Wide Impact Grant
Acting upon a request made by Bexley City Schools Superintendent, Dr. Kimberly P. Miller, the Governing Board of the Bexley Education Foundation (BEF) at its May 8, 2019 Board Meeting approved a $115,000 Impact Grant to support several district-wide social-emotional learning initiatives, and increased access to technology. Social emotional learning (SEL) and technology were two areas identified as priorities within the School District’s recently adopted Strategic Plan.
The Impact Grant will support the purchase of the Panorama, a platform to assess and monitor students’ social and emotional development. Panorama helps educators support each student’s social-emotional learning ”“ the critical skills and mindsets that enable success in school and in life ”“ with research backed measures and actionable data reports.
In addition to the Panorama tool, the Impact Grant will fund a partnership with Grant Us Hope, a nonprofit dedicated to enhancing mental wellness, safety, and prevention in schools. Through its Hope Squad program, students work together to save lives. Hope Squad is a school-based, peer-to-peer, suicide prevention program for students with a three-year curriculum that emphasizes suicide prevention fundamentals, self-care and anti-bullying.
Building leaders in the School District will be supported by the Impact Grant as it will provide them with the opportunity to attend Harvard’s Project Zero Classroom 2019 training. The Project Zero professional institute will equip school leaders to develop core frameworks to deepen student engagement and encourage learners at all grade levels to think critically and creatively.
In terms of technology, the Impact Grant will provide funding for coding and robotics experiences at each elementary school using designated devices and computer science programs. Elementary students will strengthen their STEM engagement through guided, hands-on activities in the elementary libraries/media centers, classrooms and in extracurricular clubs. Additional technology in the form of a device lending program will support middle school and high school students who do not have access to consistently reliable technology and internet access.
BEF awards a large scale (usually $100,000 or more) Impact Grant every 2-3 years to support School District emerging challenges and identified priorities.
Spring Classroom Grants
In addition to the Impact Grant, and based upon recommendations made by its Grants Committee, BEF awarded a total of $38,670 in grant awards this spring:
- $13,000 to partner with the School District on a small-scale renovation within the Cassingham Library to create flexible learning spaces with moveable/multifunctional wall dividers that are magnetic and use dry erase markers.
- $4,652 to support the purchase of new, portable risers for the Middle School and High School Jazz Bands (Bexley Music Parents provided an additional $2,000 toward the purchase).
- $8,236 to purchase a classroom set of virtual reality (VR) headsets for Bexley Middle School Social Studies classrooms to enhance learning experiences through virtual tours, field trips and immersion in historical events and places of study.
- $3,500 to support an October 2019 visit by award winning children’s author and illustrator Jerry Pinkney to the Bexley Schools as part of a community-wide engagement with his work.
- $5,485 to enhance the learning environments in Bexley Middle School World Language classrooms through more flexible seating options and the addition of sky lighting panels.
- $3,180 to support the continuation of yoga as flex time option for middle school students and pay for the cost of having two teachers certified in youth yoga instruction.
- $617 to support repairs to the raised garden beds in the “Seeds that Feed” garden at Bexley High School which is maintained by the student Garden Club.