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Mini-grants going toward a lot of tech projects

January 11, 2018
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

On Jan. 3, a delegation of teachers from all over the Boardman School District gathered at the Glenwood School Library to celebrate the funding of their projects for 2018. The majority of this year's eight funded projects involved technology.

Funding for the mini-grants comes from the Boardman Schools Fund for Educational Excellence (BSFEE). It has awarded eight teacher mini-grants this year, worth nearly $8,500.

The BSFEE was created in 2009 with one goal in mind.

Article Photos

Boardman Education Association President Bill Amendol presents BSFEE President Joyce Mistovich with $2,000 check toward teacher grants. Teachers present who are receiving the mini-grants are: Chris Clones, Alyssa Birch, Kate Burnside, Chad DeAngelo, Justine Burkey, Jenn Bennet, Dan Kibby, Krista Schmied, Dawn Fleming, Kendra Baltes, Carlo Cordon, Eric Diefenderfer, Vince Carnivale, Danielle Siembida, Nick Liste, and Allison Herman.

"We wanted to go beyond what is normally provided for teachers and students," said BSFEE President Joyce Mistovich.

She said state and local funding is often limited and does not allow teachers to expand the learning experiences for students. Through the mini-grants, technology and equipment can be purchased to give Boardman students the very best education possible.

The first mini-grants were issued in 2011. This year, the mini-grants cover every grade level from K through 12. Donating $2,000 towards the effort this year were the members of the Boardman Education Association. The check was presented to Mistovich by BEA President Bill Amendol

This year's mini-grants include the following:

A spectrophotometer for light analysis for biology and chemistry students at Boardman High School. An estimated 600 students will benefit from the equipment that will cost around $1,500. This project was submitted by BHS teachers Justine Burkey and Chad DeAngelo.

$1,490 will go towards the purchase of an augmented reality sandbox that will allow Glenwood eighth grade science students to study the effects of erosion, topography and landforms. The grant funds will cover the cost of the supplies for the computer and the kinetic sand. This project was submitted by Allison Herman.

A Cricut Maker for Visual Arts for sculpture, drawing, and business students, was the project submitted by teachers Alyssa Birch, Kate Burnside and Amanda Bero from BHS. The device will help art students with projects such as T-shirt printing, and other artistic endeavors that were not possible before. The machine and accessories will cost $400.

BHS broadcast journalism classes will benefit from the purchase of two 19" MagiCue Studio Propmpters and cables, valued at $740. This will allow for the students to read the teleprompter while being filmed, similar to a live television newscast. Teachers Chris Clones and Amy Radinovic submitted the project.

West Boulevard teachers Dan Kibby, Krista Schmied, Dawn Fleming and Jenn Bennet were given a $535 mini-grant to purchase non-fiction books geared towards science and technology. The purchase will affect between 80 and 100 students in science and language arts at the elementary school. Market Street Elementary teachers Tara Alberti, Kendra Baltes, Lisa Ebie, and Laurel Sanders were granted $300 for guided reading books for third and fourth graders through a "Bookworm" project.

Exercise bands, an agility ladder, and resistance tubing for the POWER Club and personal fitness at Glenwood Jr. High was the project submitted by BGJHS teachers Danielle Siembida and Nick Liste. They reeived $1,000 to purchase the equipment.

The largest of the mini-grants was $2,500 that will go towards the purchase of a Google Expedition Kit for Virtual Reality of History and Science. This mini-grant was submitted by BGJHS combined science and social studies teachers Vince Carnivale, Eric Diefenderfer, and Carlo Cordon. The project includes virtual reality goggles that will allow students to experience the world without leaving the classroom.

"These projects all have great merit, but as school districts work to control costs, the funding can be a challenge," said Superintendent Tim Saxton. "That's why the money raised by the Boardman Schools Fund for Educational Excellence and its partnership with the Boardman Education Association is so crucial, and appreciated!"

While the grant money will be dispersed this month, some of the projects may have to wait on ordering and shipping before they can be implemented. All projects will be in place during 2018 and they will all be in use for years to come.



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