The Garden City Public Schools Foundation Grant Squad visited schools around the district on Wednesday, March 11th, to award $200 mini-grants to help teachers enhance their classrooms. The awards were presented to teachers in a surprise celebration in their classrooms.
The foundation received 21 grant applications from staff around the school district. The grants are awarded to help support learning initiatives in the classrooms. The grants may be used for the classroom, department, or individual staff development for a district employee. Employees can apply as individuals or teams, and the foundation also accepts school applications. The applications are read and judged by a Garden City Public Schools Foundation committee.
Lindsey Torres, instructional coach at Victor Orneals Elementary School, will use the grant to purchase multiple genre and interest level books to supply the book vending machine so students can earn tokens to exchange for books.
Sandra Naeve, Garden City High School art teacher, will use the grant to purchase Oculus VR Educational Apps to expose students to virtual reality to immerse students in history, art, science, math, foreign languages, and English.
Mark Shera Cruz, Garden City High School physics teacher, will use the grant to purchase a catapult kit to explore force, acceleration, center of mass, and various laws. Students will design a catapult to knock down wooden blocks and learn Technical Physics and Physics. Students will learn science and engineering practices in the project.
Jennifer Armstrong, counselor at Florence Wilson Elementary School, will use the grant to purchase gaming materials to help build relationships with students and staff while naturally providing opportunities to work on social skills together for students identified at risk.
Mechele Thompson, librarian at Georgia Matthews Elementary School, will use the grant to purchase Ozobots for students to gain an understanding and experience in coding robotics. Students will be coding their Ozobots to design movement by color code.
The Garden City Public Schools Foundation has provided $30,000 in grants to fund opportunities to enhance the learning environment and increase the effectiveness of instruction across the district. The foundation was founded in 2004 and is a non-profit organization that is committed to effectively generate, manage and distribute funds to stimulate excellence for the preservation and enhancement of exemplary education provided by Garden City Public Schools. The Foundation functions in alliance with the Western Kansas Community Foundation.