Educational Foundation awards $15,000 in classroom grants

RELATED STORY: Foundation aims to raise $1 million for Ann Arbor programs before July 31

From AAPSNews Service

The Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation has awarded more than $15,000 in grants for 20 teacher projects during the 2010-11 second semester.

A school garden at Burns Park Elementary is one of the projects funded through AAPSEF teacher grants.

This is the second year the AAPSEF has done two rounds of teacher grants – one in the fall and the other in the spring. The list includes many longtime programs as well as some new ones, said the group’s Executive Director Wendy Correll. She said the foundation will consider two rounds of grant awards again next fall.

“Many of them prove inspirational,” she said of the recent grant projects, adding that 3,000 students are impacted in a positive way.

The AAPSEF received 82 grant applications for the fall and spring grant seasons this year. Of those, 41 grants were funded. “They have been more competitive than when we started,” she said. “Staff has responded accordingly.”

Some ongoing projects funded include the Scarlett Sixth-Grade Transition Boot Camp program, to acclimate sixth-graders entering middle school, and the Pioneer Achievement Committee PAC Scholars at Pioneer High School, a program that trains academically excelling young African-American men to mentor those who are underachieving. The longstanding Trailblazers program that partners 200 Pioneer High School student mentors/tutors with elementary students at six schools each day also received funding for a third year.

A 35-year-old mural at Community High School will be revitalized and four new ones created; a first-time project at Lawton Elementary will offer enrichment workbooks and projects;  Mitchell Elementary will add a listening library with books on CD and a broader media center collection for grades K-2; and two school gardens at Northside and Burns Park elementary schools were awarded grants for students to plant and learn. And a beekeeping program at Arbor Open @ Mack will continue with funding in its third year.

A full list of the recent grants is listed below.

Each year, the foundation earmarks $30,000 for specific teacher grants that range up to $1,000 each. She said a foundation committee that reviews applications and awards the grants tries to find projects and programs at each school or those that touch students across different schools in the district, if possible.

Correll said that, as part of the process, staff members winning grants are expected to share their ideas with others in the district who may want to do a similar project or program.

Since 1996, the AAPSEF has awarded $330,000 in teacher grants for classroom programs. Applications will be available in May for consideration of fall grants. Visit for information. A scoring matrix of how grants are evaluated as well as a list of frequently asked questions is also available online for teachers and staff to consider as they apply for grants.

Correll said the AAPSEF also visits schools and shares information about the program with staff members who might be interested in applying.

Spring 2010 grants awarded by the AAPS Educational Foundation
Spring project grants totaling $15,048 were recently awarded, with some of the projects being allowed to carry through summer and into the fall for the first time. Projects include:
Pioneer Achievement Committee (PAC) Scholars at Pioneer High School, $500
“Buzzing a Hive” at Ann Arbor Open @ Mack (students learning to work with hives and honey bees), $470
Peer Mentoring in Adaptive Physical Education at Forsythe Middle School, $1,000
“Wonderland of Music Tech” at Angell Elementary, $440
Community High School Mural project, $500
“Prevent Summer Brain Drain” at Lawton Elementary (weekly projects and workbooks helps preserve learning through summer months), $1,000
iPods for English as a Second Language at Slauson Middle School (helps students with language skills), $500
Mitchell School Listening Library, Mitchell Elementary, $1,000
Educational Prop Kit for “Project Healthy Schools” at Forsythe Middle School, $700
Northside Garden Project at Northside Elementary, $995
“Stone Stop and Shop” student store at Stone High School, $500
Burns Park School Garden, Burns Park Elementary, $1,000
“Rising Scholars” at Huron, Pioneer and Skyline (ongoing program to address achievement disparities in the Ann Arbor Public Schools; new funding by AAPSEF. Visit, $1,000
Pioneer Trailblazers, Pioneer High School, $1,000
“How Green is My Orange?” (Green chemistry approach), Skyline High School, $996
“Can You Hear Me?” at Community High School (print and online production of The Communicator, school newspaper), $960
“Finding Student Voices,” Community High School (microphones for interviewing), $100
• “Scarlett Sixth-Grade Transition Boot Camp” (skills for being successful in middle school), Scarlett Middle School, $1,000
Hospitality/Culinary Enrichment Activity (students experience visit to high-end local restaurant), Pioneer High School, $500
“One Small Voice” (collection of books and audio books on social justice and courageous action), Allen Elementary, $887

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