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Wyalusing Education Foundation Funds Nearly $9,000 in Grants


The Wyalusing Area Education Foundation (WAEF) recently approved funding of $8,814 in grants that will go to improve the quality of education for students in the Wyalusing Area School District.

The money will go to 12 teachers who filed applications requesting funding for a variety of projects that range from helping to fund the Ram Examiner, the Wyalusing Valley High School student newspaper, to helping train the high school yearbook staff.

The grant requests were approved by the education foundation at its May meeting.

Grants approved include:

—$1,000 to sixth grade Science teacher Shana Cockcroft to fund a cell and bacteria creation project. Mrs. Cockcroft says the project will help her students learn the parts of a cell (plant and animal) and bacteria cells. Students use food items to help identify the cells. The project lasts for two weeks and involves approximately 120 students.

—$649 to fourth through sixth grade music teacher Bob Shumway for an elementary band percussion section. Shumway says in the past elementary band participation has been limited by the size of the four elementary schools but that will change with the advent of the new consolidated school. He says the percussion equipment that will be utilized by students in the fall is poorly equipped with outdated instruments and, in some cases, entirely missing instruments. Instruments that Mr. Shumway plans to add to the percussion section include a tambourine, sleigh bells, concert bell set, suspended cymbal, suspended cymbal stand, bass drum mallet and one-inch ball bell mallets.

—$2,000 to eighth grade math teachers Beth Trowbridge and Michael Earle for a project entitled Physics of Fun/Math and Science. The general purpose of this project is to show eighth graders how the ideas taught in both math and science have real-world applications. The entire eighth grade class, approximately 120 students, will travel to Dorney Park for the day to run experiments on motion, force, energy and a variety of other scientific principles discussed in class. They will use math to calculate certain measurements, form graphs and charts to analyze the results of their experiments. Students will also conduct fund-raisers to help pay for the trip, and students and their families will cover the balance of the costs that are not paid.

$900 for Civil War Day. Teacher Aaron Wheaton says this event will involve the entire fifth grade, approximately 130 students, plus as many as 800 K-6 students who will view the firing of the cannon. Civil War re-enactors will demonstrate various aspects of the life of a Civil War solider, including discipline, marching, communicating back home with family, herbs and medicine and artillery.

$1,000 to the WVHS Media Club. Teacher Deana Patson said this grant will help cover the cost of publishing the Ram Examiner, the school newspaper, which will mark its third year at the start of the new school year.  The Ram Examiner is student-organized, designed and produced. The paper will be published monthly from September 2011 to May 2012.  Part of the publishing costs are covered through advertising.

$325 to teacher Karen Wilson to improve English language skills in English as a Second Language students grades K-5 and possibly additional students. Through a project entitled Play to Learn, students will develop English language skills via games, communication, taking turns, oral language development, picture identification and more. The project runs throughout the school year.

$1,000 to WILD (Wyalusing Independent Living Development. Teachers Gayle Huffman and Rebecca Ruddy say this program will provide students with disabilities with an opportunity to develop independent living skills. The program runs one night per week after school beginning in December for 12-15 weeks.

$650 to Ninth Grade Earth Science.  Teacher Mary Sandor says this grant will help cover the costs of a ninth grade field trip to the Endless Mountains Nature Center. It will involve approximately 120 students on a one-day trip which will take place next May. The students will participate in four different exercises: a water quality survey, a raptor program, nature hike and a fourth activity that changes from year to year.

$990 to Yearbook Staff Training. Yearbook advisor Martha Keeney says the purpose of this grant is to obtain advanced training in all aspects of creating a yearbook, including layout, design, theme and writing. Students will also attend lectures on important yearbook components and work with experienced advisors developing next year’s yearbook, including theme, sports and opening and closing of layout designs.

$300 Field Trip to Rickett’s Glen State Park. Seventh grade Life Science teacher Walt Fisk says this project will involve approximately 120 seventh graders going on a three-mile hike at the falls and participating in a scavenger hunt of life they studied in Life Science. Students will also participate in a macro-invertebrate study of the stream and perform water quality studies.

During the 2009-2010 school year, WAEF funded $9,600 in teacher venture grants and approved $9,800 in grants for the 2010-11 school year. The venture grant program awards grants of up to $1,000 to Wyalusing Area School District teachers who need funding for creative, exciting and innovative ideas for the classroom that cannot be funded through normal district budget procedures.  The organization funds up to a total of $10,000 in grants per year.

Founded in September 2008, WAEF exists for the sole purpose of supporting educational and community needs of individuals in the greater Wyalusing area.

In addition to funding venture grants, other major projects conducted by WAEF include conducting an annual golf tournament with the sole purpose of raising funds for the annual sixth grade trip to Washington, DC and administering the Wyalusing Valley Student Loan Fund. The student loan fund was established over 50 years ago to assist WVHS graduates with funding for higher education. In 2010, WAEF assumed responsibility for administration of the program.

Members of WAEF include Valerie Kinney, chairman; Frank Thompson, vice chairman; Cynthia Aeppli, secretary, and Donna Repsher, treasurer. Board members include Jay Chadwick, David Keeler, Mike Kilmer, Caroline Taylor, Tracy Keeney, Tanya Krewson and Richard Robinson. Honorary members include Paulette Potter and Stacy Kauffman.











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