Imagination sparks minigrant ideas
When Kern County Superintendent of Schools (KCSOS) Christine Lizardi Frazier awarded 12 teacher minigrants on Dec. 1, she was excited about hearing how each would be used by teachers in the classroom. As the dozen educators received their awards, they were equally excited about sharing their newly funded innovations.
Teachers from KCSOS divisions of Special Education and Student Services received cash awards totaling approximately $10,000 to fund proposed projects for furthering education in the classroom.
Matt Purdy and Jason Wuest teach at-risk students at Community Learning Center. They received over $1,000 to start the first guitar elective class at the school, sharing with students their appreciation of music, how to play the instrument and compose their own songs. With guitar in hand, Purdy said, “Studies show students involved in music do better academically and are better students.”
Some of the grants included building a kaleidoscope to study math and history, providing books for a Braille library; starting a curriculum to understand personal finance; and purchasing communication devices for children with significant speech and language delays.
Speech pathologist Jane Urbelz got the latter minigrant to help her students in Wasco. “This is something unbelievable for students in the Wasco area,” Urbelz said. “Because of their speech delays, they are unable to communicate as we do. This will not only help them communicate better, it will give them a chance to participate in classroom activities. The little guys will be so happy.”
Frazier told the minigrant recipients, “I’m very excited that you are developing innovative projects for children. It’s hard coming up with the ideas, but then you get the joy of seeing how they work with the children. Thanks for wanting to do something a little extra special.”
KCSOS 2009 Teacher Minigrant Awards
Jerry Caneta — “Memories of Memories” — $710
Matt Purdy/Jason Wuest — “Wild Stringdom: An Exploration of Guitar Elective course” — $1,047.52
Sandra Sanders — “Building Your Future Curriculum” — $162.38
Katherine Edmonson/Rose Schermerhorn — “Kaleidoscope Project” —$757
Esthela Brewer — “A Bumpy Road to Reading” — $436.39
Tammera Bruce — “Scientifically Speaking” — $1,224.95
Rebecca Dillenbeck — “Resource Lending Library” — $1,500
Mary Joy Limbengco — “Group Time Classroom Carpet” — $405.49
Sarah Peet — “Tricycles and Transportation” — $846.40
Amy Robles — “The Traveling Tortoise” — $735.19
Heather Skelley — “Skelley’s Rock ‘N Learners” — $223.65
Jane Urbelz — “Communicating Throughout the Day” — $2,303.22