Teton Valley Education Awards over $5,000 of Teacher Grants for the Spring Cycle

April 11, 2013

Teton Valley Education Foundation (TVEF) funded just over $5,000.00 in their Spring granting cycle towards Teton County School District #401, making a difference in quality education that would not be otherwise possible.  Awarded educational projects will fund technology, deepen existing curriculum, and provide resources for teachers.  The teacher grants are made possible through the support of so many.

Awarded grant projects and grant recipients included:

iPad, Teton Middle School, Special Education, Mrs. McCashland.   With special education, each student has a very unique and diverse set of needs.   iPads make a tremendous difference in giving our teachers the ability to provide specialized support, help continue classroom enthusiasm, and gives teachers the ability to cater to each student’s individual needs – whether that be in reading, writing or math through purchasing apps that support classroom needs.  As well, the iPad provides additional benefits through staff progress monitoring, supports independent learning, and helps students master and embrace technology.

Art Supplies, Teton Middle School, Mr. Nettleton.  TVEF funded art improvements to further deepen the existing art curriculum and also provide materials to support a unique cross-curriculum approach to learning.  For example, this grant will purchase added art supplies that provides materials for the 6thgrade students’ study of Latin American masks, mosaics, and piñatas, to support what they are currently learning in geography and social studies.   For the upper grades, the funding will purchase additional water color and pastel supplies, to further support staff in teaching advanced artistic techniques.  The objectives also include identifying and comparing arts and artifacts from major periods, creating artwork that illustrates the influence of a specific artist or style, use of a variety of media and mediums, allow self-critique process and learning methods in displaying artwork.

Lego Robotics, Teton Middle School, Mrs. Copyak.  TVEF supported funds for the First Lego League team registration that will allow the team to participate in competitions.  This year, Mrs. Copyak and many dedicated parent volunteers led the first Teton Middle School Lego Robotic Club, which was a huge success due to the efforts of so many. The lego league program fosters team building, math, technology and engineering skills. As well, studies show that students who are engaged in afterschool programs overall do better in standardized scoring, are more engaged during the regular classroom day, and tend to experience an increased sense of self esteem.

 Music and Movement, Rendezvous Upper Elementary School (RUES), Mr. Starkey. TVEF funded additional iTune purchases and a remote control to support the RUES physical education (PE) program.  Studies verify what most of us already know through experience, that that tempo, music style and rhythm factors significantly in influencing and increasing aerobic activity. Music also provides a motivational atmosphere, adds to the enjoyment of PE, and provides a release from general tension, stress and anxiety.  The benefits of this grant will promote a healthy and active lifestyle for our students.

World Religions, Teton Middle School Gifted and Talented, Mrs. Witek.  TVEF funded a portion of a world religions field trip. The class curriculum included research on ancient civilizations, with gained knowledge being demonstrated through the creation of museum displays and public presentations.  In this class, the students also studied the timeline of human development, following the development of nomadic tribes to great empires.  The curriculum also included how religion played a critical role during this human transformation process, and as it continues to do so today.  The field trip will enable the students to further deepen their classroom knowledge and deepen their understanding of world religions.  Students will incorporate their classroom knowledge gained as they visit various regional religious and cultural sites.

Common Core Units of Study. Teton School District Teachers and staff, Kindergarten-3rdGrade.   TVEF funded units of study to support our teachers’ implementation of the newly mandated Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Primary Writing.  The units of study will provide CCSS staff resources in teaching and providing diagnostics in the different genres of writing – opinion, informative and narrative that meets the new state mandates in education.

“The Teton Valley Education Foundation’s Fall Cycle of grant applications was particularly exciting this year as teacher grant awards focused on deepening existing curriculum and providing our teachers additional resources,” said Diane Temple, TVEF Executive Director.   She further stated, “this grant cycle supports our mission of academic excellence for our public schools and would not be possible without widespread community support.”

Teton Valley Education Foundation is non-profit 501(c)(3) dedicated to enhancing the educational experience of students in Teton Valley and increasing the opportunity for excellence in our public schools. To find out more about the Teton Valley Education Foundation, visit www.tetoneducation.comor email, dtemple@d401.k12.id.us.