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Meet our 2022 grant recipients!

Adversity breeds innovation – or so we are told. We rarely get to see this phenomenon in action. Even more rarely do we get to experience the same adversity all together. The past two years have changed that, however. While we have all gro

wn and adapted to the challenges caused by the pandemic, educators have created innovations beyond expectation. Our 2022 grant recipients are certainly part of that distinguished group. Despite the difficulties of the past two years, they have persevered and used the challenges around them to spark creativity. Get to know these trail blazers below by learning about this year’s grant awardees.

Tara Oaks Elementary

An overwhelming trend for the Tara Oaks Elementary grant recipients was broadening student horizons – metaphorically and

literally! Students will learn interactively about the world around them with Rachel Gorline’s “Mapping Our Learning” grant, which provides classrooms with dry erase maps of the world. Other grants, like Ashley Bibbs and Amber McCollum’s “Printmaking for All Ages,” also broaden horizons by introducing children to a unique and rare art form. Grants like Patrcia King’s “School Based Play Therapy Playroom,” which provides fidget toys to help ease anxiety during counseling, and Ashley Bibb’s “Stick Together-A Colorful Collaboration,” which provides a collaborative magnetic puzzle kit, help expand students’ social-emotional learning skills. We can’t wait to see how Tara Oaks students benefit from these exciting new opportunities!

Crosswind Elementary

Students at Crosswind Elementary School have an exciting year ahead of them with grants focused on a range of subjects! Math is sure to be fun for everyone with grants like Kathy Hauss’ “Weight, Wait, Weight-How much Does It Weigh?” and “Popping Out Math Facts,” and Jessica Shaver’s “Bright Minds Through Smart Hands,” which all use kinesthetic learning to reinforce lessons. Along the lines of kinesthetic learning, Martha Carol Carpenter’s “I See, I Say, I Hear, I Feel, I Understand” will provide students with sensory items to improve retention and focus. STEM is also a focus of Crosswind teachers with grants like Jessica Shaver’s “Curiosity, Exploration, Boom!,” which provides students with STEM problem-solving games. Students will also have unprecedented early access to music education with John Sanborn’s “Developing Students Through Music” grant which provides orchestra equipment. Congratulations to our Crosswind teachers!

Bailey Station Elementary

Grants at Bailey Station Elementary were largely centered around reading and creativity. Grants like Adeline White’s “See Ourselves on the Shelves”; Rheanna Baker’s “I See You, You see Me, In the Classroom Library”; Susan Green’s “Making Reading Real, Helping Struggling Readers Connect”; and Carrie Moore’s “Today A Reader, Tomorrow a Leader, Drop Me That Book” focus on providing students with new books, audiobooks or more books for the literary vending machine. Other grants like Adeline White’s “Within Reach: Little Hands Art Studio'' and “Lights Out, Lets GLOW” focus on bringing creativity into the classroom with art supplies and glow-in-the-dark supplies. Julie Meluskey is also bringing creativity into lessons with “Scales: It’s a Weighty Subject,” which provides scales for unit conversio

n lessons, and the “Question a ‘Ball’ Microphone,” which provides a tossable ball that also functions as a microphone to make Q&A sessions easier and more fun. We are so excited for Bailey Station students to interact with these innovations!

Collierville Middle School

Recipients at Collierville Middle School carried on the theme of physical and kinesthetic learning. P.E. teacher Barbara Hunter is working to enrich students' gym time with multiple grants that provide specialized inflation components for yoga balls, new roller racers, aerobic box steppers and a state-of-the-art multi-game scoreboard. Judith Powers also seeks to connect students’ minds and bodies with the “Creating Focus Through Fidgeting” grant that provides sensory tools to improve lesson engagement. Outside of the gymnasium and classroom, students will have access to a brand new stage lighting system thanks to Letitia Sutherlen’s “Light it Up” grant. We look forward to seeing students thrive with these fun grants!

West Collierville Middle School

Students at WCMS can look forward to exciting morning announcements thanks to Kimberly Morrise’s “Green Screen Announcements” grant. This grant will provide the school with a green screen to be used for daily announcements, as well as school projects and computer skills classes. It’s a fun way to create community while also building real-world knowledge – congratulations, Kimberly!

Collierville Elementary School

A gym time classic is definitely the oversized parachute. Richard Muse’s “ParaShoot for the Stars” grant will provide students at CES with a brand new gymnasium parachute to play and learn with. Lessons will include coordination and rhythm training, social-emotional skill building and much more. Congrats, Richard!

Sycamore Elementary School

The upcoming year at Sycamore is sure to be a musical one thanks to Linda Sissom and Angie Knight’s “Uke Can Play This” grant, wh

ich provides students with ukuleles and the accessories. Along a similar line of enriched learning, Nicole Willer’s “Social-Emotional Read Alouds” provides other teachers with resources that can be used to teach students valuable social-emotional learning lessons. We cannot wait to watch how these are used!

Schilling Farms Elementary School

Hands on learning is great for engagement and retention – and teachers at Schilling Farms know that! Terri Plunk is taking enriched education to the next level with her grants that focus on interactive STEM learning. Through her grants, students will be provided with exciting STEM puzzles, IQ competition games, Tinker Toys and model glider experiment sets. Tammy Townsend and Dustin Duren also seek to boost interactive education with their “Fitness MAT-ters” grant which provides fitness mats for a range of applications. Congratulations to our Schilling Farms recipients!

Collierville High School

Our grant recipients at Collierville High had the same shared idea of practicality and exceeding expectations when it came to their grants. Great examples include Jennifer Harants’ grants, which will provide students with new work benches, Dremel tools and jewelry kits. She also worked with Annette Smythe to help improve the appearance of the principal’s gallery! Grants like Samantha Styfhoorn’s “Transition Home Living” enriches education and practical-education by providing kitchen and cleaning supplies to be used for real-world projects in the special education classrooms. Additional grants work to make resources easily accessible to all students, like Ann Newhouse’s grant which provides a complete set of 9th grade English books.

Other grants focus on add

ing supplement equipment for certain departments. Yuriy Brodskiy’s “Reimagining the Chemistry Laboratory Experience” grant provides specialized equipment, while Lori Streitmatter’s “Muscles in Motion” grant provides a human muscle model for anatomy classes and Beth Hines’ “AP Biology Electrophoresis Laboratory Update” grant provides exciting electrophoresis kits. In the music area, Thomas Richardson’s “Spread the Joy of Music” provides a new set of cymbals and Justin Lewis’ “Daily Dragons Blog and Podcast” grant provides new audiovisual equipment. Similarly, Chris Luter’s “Scene Shop Update” grant will boost theater performances with updated tools and equipment.

Outside of the traditional classroom setting, educators are working to build a holistic experience. Brittany Clark’s “Sensory Room Equipment” grant will help to build a safe space for stress reduction that can be used by students with sensory sensitivity. Will Pszonak’s “Butterfly Migration Garden” grant will provide students a chance to step away from the books with an interactive butterfly garden and wildflower seeds that can be planted in warmer weather. We are so excited for our Collierville High students and recipients!

As you can see, our 2022 grant recipients submitted requests that will provide their students with uniquely enriching experiences. We’re proud to support their hard work and look forward to following along as they integrate these materials into their classrooms!


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