2018 Grant Winners
This year’s winning grants are:
Walberta Park Elementary School:
- The Life Cycle of the Butterfly This grant was submitted by first grade teachers Marilou Francisco, Wendy Snyder, Megan Vertucci, Patricia Vercillo and Jennifer Stanton . The first grade team used butterfly kits to supplement their science unit on the life cycle of the butterfly, and were able to witness firsthand the stages of a butterfly’s development.
- Gadgets and Gizmos — This grant was submitted by Kindergarten teachers Theresa DeMatties, Peggy Byrne, Ally Files, Stephanie Merritt, Mary Klee, Mary Pat Hoag and Angie McShane. The Kindergarten team will supplement their math and science curriculum using the Bricks 4 Kidz physics module. The children will create tops that spin and use them to explore friction and symmetry while incorporating problem solving and cooperation strategies
- It’s the Little Things —This grant was submitted by Principal Beth Kramer on behalf of the entire staff for the entire student body at Walberta Park School. This is a musical program was presented monthly by musician John Farrell to support the Positivity Project with songs that focus on character building and character strengths.
Each month, the students learned and sang songs about the character strengths they are focusing on with the Positivity Project, such as love and kindness. And, Mr. Farrell was kind enough to give every classroom a CD of his songs so the students can listen and enjoy the songs all year long!
Onondaga Hill Middle School:
- Positive History — This grant was submitted by art teacher Maggie Feyerabend, music teacher Kathleen Tompkins and Superintendent Casey Barduhn for fifth grade students. This trio will work with the students to combine art, music and history to create puppets that connect the Positivity Project initiative. The students will select people of strong character from American history to model their puppets after, and then write and perform a puppet show for the students at Walberta Park School.
- P.S. I Love You Day —This grant was submitted by Special Education teacher Amy Tooley and 6th Grade teacher Karla Prince. The 6th grade students created celebration for the school in consultation with Brooke DiPalma, the founder of the P.S. I Love You nonprofit organization. This special day started with an assembly and a day of special activities for their peers promoting kindness and anti-bullying.
- Insights and Inspirations —This grant was submitted by librarian Penny Feeney, English teacher Desiree Wight and Principal Mark Bednarski. The middle school hosted Alan Gratz, author of the New York Times best-selling book, “Refugee.” Students at the middle school participated in a variety of activities that include reading and writing seminars.
- Imagination Station Video Production Lab/Maker Club/GNN Club —This grant was submitted by librarian Penny Feeney, 8th grade student Ryan Heffernan and Alyssa Newton from with the help of the Foundation, was able to add new iPads into their studio production and a field trip to a local TV station to learn about producing and broadcasting the news.
“The field trip you funded to a news station was absolutely awesome!! We visited CNY Central. On the way back to school from our visit, one of the students shared, “That was the opportunity of a lifetime!” – Penny Feeney
- Westhill Master Artist Series — This grant was submitted by music teacher Liz Buell for 6th through 8th grade band students . There will be five professional musicians coming into the middle school to meet with different sections of the band. These classes would take place after school.
- Let Your Curiosity Soar —This grant was submitted by technology teacher Scott Crowell, librarian Penny Feeney and 8th grade student Ryan Heffernan. In conjunction with the Maker Club, which meets after school at the middle school library, the technology class purchased a drone to use in the 7th and 8th grade classrooms and with the Maker Club.
Now that the drone is available, Ryan and Ms. Fenney have been writing up a small training program that will be used for students interested in using the drone. They will have four student trainers that will run mini workshops for interested students. After they attend their workshop, they’ll “earn” their OHMS Pilot License.
- Advanced Digital Learning with Learning Glass — This grant was submitted by science teacher Tracy Derrenbacher for her science students. Mrs. Derrenbacher will be using a Learning Glass Lightboard to enhance her flipped classroom method of teaching. She will use it to record lectures and the students will also create a presentation with the technology at some point in the year.
Onondaga Hill Middle School and Westhill High School:
- Teen Book Fest Road Trip — This grant was submitted by ELA teachers Karen McPeak and Desiree Wight and librarians Penny Feeney and Karen Fenner. This popular repeat grant will reach a wider audience this year as it is open to students in 7th-12th grade. Once again, the participants will receive a book written by one of the featured authors and attend the Book Fest at Nazareth College in the spring.
- Westhill Day of Jazz —This grant was submitted by music teachers Liz Buell, Tony Mastrobattisto and Erin Tapia for jazz-band students. Similar to last year’s event, the music department invited professional jazz musicians from the community to a day of in-house instruction and followed that with a community-wide performance at Westhill High School on April 11th. This was a very successful and rewarding experience for students as well as for the seniors in our community. As an added bonus, On Oct 4th students in grades 2-6 were invited to Westhill High School to attend a special performance by Syracuse’s premier orchestra, Symphoria!
Westhill High School:
- Quadcopter Physics — This grant was submitted by science teacher Patrick Ferrick for his physics students. Mr. Ferrick will purchase a supplemental subsystem to add to an existing UAV (drone) that will allow data to be captured in real-time during physics classes and in the after-school physics club.
- Biomonitoring using Benthic Organisms; Exploring and Analysing Water Quality through Macroinvertebrate Sampling — This grant was submitted by science teachers Alaina Weinsztok and Helen Kemper for their biology students. Their students collected and analyzed water samples from local water sources with the equipment purchased from this grant. They also took a field trip to Salmon River Fish Hatchery.