Your Gifts at Work: BEF Awards Fall Grants

Grants awarded this fall by the Bexley Education Foundation will enhance learning environments throughout the district, provide additional technology for students, expand library collections, and support enrichment programs such as documentary filmmaking and an exploration of the First Amendment through music. A total of $50,937 was awarded in the first of BEF’s two funding cycles each school year for classroom grants.

Flexible Seating Options for Elementary Students – Grants to Cassingham ($10,289) and Montrose ($17,544) Elementary Schools will support the purchase of flexible seating options similar to those purchased at Maryland Elementary with a BEF grant last school year. The stools, rockers, cushions and other options help create less rigid classroom environments for the benefit all students.    

Enhanced Environment for Language Learning – BHS Spanish teacher Sherri Higgins was awarded $2,500 to improve her classroom environment by adding flexible seating options including balance ball chairs and sky ceiling tiles.  

eReaders for Education – School librarians across the district were awarded $7,000 to pilot an eReader lending program at each school. The electronic readers will provide instant access to any book required for class reading as well as deliver audio for struggling readers. School librarians will purchase and download all eReader content.  

Quizdom Response System – Bexley Middle School Math teacher Paula Clemmons was awarded $2,300 to bring “clicker technology” to her classroom, providing real-time data that will allow her to evaluate and if needed readjust to ensure math students are understanding the concepts they are learning. 

iPads for Intervention – $4,468 was awarded to Montrose Intervention Specialist Heather Addington to fund the purchase of 10 iPads to support students with IEPs at Montrose Elementary. Students who struggle with writing words on paper will be able to use voice-activated technology to dictate their writing, with the goal of decreasing anxiety and building confidence.  

Active Voice, Part II – A grant of $1,211 will provide new technology to the Bexley Middle School Active Voice documentary project, first introduced by Dr. Linda Kelly in 2012 and supported by a BEF grant. The semester-long project has continued with 7th and 8th grade students in Language Arts gifted classes conducting subject research and then creating documentaries that are shown at the Bexley Middle School Film Festival at the Drexel Theater. 

Freedom Sings – Cassingham music specialist Diane Goodney will use a $4,350 grant to bring the Freedom Sings program of the Newseum to Bexley elementary and middle school students. The program explores the First Amendment through music and culminates in a community concert. The BEF is partnering with Bexley Music Parents and the School District’s School Climate Committee to bring the musicians and instructors for the two-day program to the Bexley Schools. 

See Me in Books —A matching funds grant of $1,275 was awarded to Sam McMasters, Director of Special Education on behalf of a project initiated by the Special Education PTO. The PTO raised funds to purchase books to increase the number of books in all school library collections that feature main characters with disabilities, thereby increasing awareness and inclusion of students with special needs. 

Photo: Lauren Hanna, president of the Special Education PTO, reads to her son Alexander, a Cassingham first grader, one of the books that will be purchased for school libraries with a BEF fall grant.

To read about past BEF grants, click here