The Las Cruces Public Schools Foundation has awarded $34,441 in grants to fund 15 innovative,teacher-developed projects which will help provide enhanced educational experiences, in a variety of academic subjects, for nearly 2,300 pre- kindergarten through 9th-grade students.
“This year, thanks to support from our community partners, we were able to fund nearly half of all the grant requests we received,” said LCPS Foundation Executive Director Betsy Geery. “This is a 22 percent increase in number of the grants we funded last year.” As part of the competitive grant process, teachers, either as an individual or as a group, submitted grant
requests for grants up to $1,000 for individual projects and up to $5,000 for group projects. The grant
awards, names of the applicants, each applicant’s school and a description of the grant project are as follows: $5,000 – Jo Anna Singer and team, Las Cruces High School, “Rio Grande River,” a science and English collaboration activity for 9th grade classes to study of the impacts of contamination of the Rio Grande River on agriculture, health, water and wildlife. $4,979 – Susanna Rios and team, Sonoma Elementary, “Todos a Leer!,” a project to conduct parent workshops on retelling and comprehension strategies and send language and age appropriate books home with the parents to share with their children.
$4,994 – Wendy Graham and team, Hillrise Elementary School, “Kinder/5th,” a grant to purchase reading-level appropriate science and social studies textbooks for both Kinder and 5th grade students and create reading buddies to share their texts with each other. $4,050 – Victoria Griffin and team, Zia Middle School, “Literacy Blast-Off,” project to get all 6th grade language arts classes to create articles and video broadcasts about their Challenger Center experiences, by gaining hands-on experience at the KRWG studios. $3,968 – Laura Smith and team, Tombaugh Elementary, “7 Habits: Literacy and Media,” project to incorporate the schoolwide initiative of 7 habits of happy kids into the classroom through literacy and
media projects. $3,740 – Mari Cooke and team, Tombaugh Elementary, “Digitize Me,” project to equip students with iPads in order to have all students create a digital portfolio of their work. This will allow all students to become responsible for their own learning. $1,000 – Patricia Bischoff, Centennial High School, “From Airponic to Ground – Pumpkins,” project to enable the Botany classes to enlarge their airponic tower system and increase their hands-on learning laboratory.
$997 – Glenda McShannon, NMSU Preschool, “Building Robots,” project to allow the preschool class to purchase Cubelet Robot Blocks and conduct inquiry-based learning of robots and robotics. $982 – Lara Lopez, Vista Middle School, “Technology Assistance,” project to provide the resources to enhance the school’s existing hardware through the purchase of accessories to allow greater use of programs and software within the class. $954 – Christopher Sanchez, Columbia Elementary, “Legos for Literacy,” project to purchase Lego Education Build to Express Kits to be used as the foundation for writing, sharing, speaking and listening projects within the classroom, as authentic learning experiences that build students’ writing and storytelling skills. $950 – Anna Suggs, Zia Middle School, “Student-Centered Recycling,” project will include a schoolwide recycling program, student-led by the 6th grade science classes, with project-based learning components embedded within the science curriculum. $910 – Charlene Ortega, Mesa Middle School, “Computer Science,” project will utilize the innovative learning strategy of Ozobots for programming to engage students in their learning and increase student awareness of STEM and computer science careers. $795 – Gabriel Ortiz, Sonoma Elementary, “Legos We Do,” project to purchase Lego We Do kits that will enable students to have hands-on experience with engineering, programming and technology projects.
$570 – Becky Au, Sonoma Elementary, “Build it, Share it, with STEM,” project will utilize Lego Education Build to Express kits in the classroom to help students develop 21st century skills in problem solving, comprehension, communication, creativity and critical thinking. $552 – Amy Lopeman, Vista Middle School, “Chomping Our Way to the Center of the Earth,” The project will allow the students to study the layers and composition of the crust of the earth through hands-on labs, using food items to build and study the layers.
During the past 10 years, the Foundation has awarded more than $200,000 in grants through the competitive grant program. The Foundation is a private, non-profit organization that supports LCPS students and staff, Geery said. One of the major events the Foundation conducts annually is the distribution of the teacher grants.