Through 32 semesters, the El Dorado Education Foundation (EDEF) has been providing grants to teachers in the El Dorado School District. A total of 255 grants have been provided including five new grants that were approved for this semester.
Grants are written and submitted by El Dorado School District teachers and staff, then judged and selected by a panel from Southern Arkansas University. These grants are used to enhance learning and engagement among students and parents.
According to EDEF Executive Director Lila Phillips, "The SAU judging team was excited about the grant applications that were submitted this year, and as always, EDEF would have loved to have funded more projects. However, because of budget constrictions, we are unable to do so. We are proud of all El Dorado teachers, schools, and students."
The EDEF grants that were awarded for Fall 2018 are as follows:
1. “Engaging Students and Families in STEM Education through School-Sponsored Events”
Ashley Johnson, Brooke Sneed, & Tammy Waller – Yocum. 350 2-4th
graders. Subjects: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math).
The project consists of two events that will work to engage students and families in STEM education at the school. Parents will engage with their students in STEM activities that cover current standards and encourage further exploration at home. Students also will apply the highest-order thinking, which is creating, to apply science and engineering standards in an engaging way that they will be proud to display to their families and community.
2. “Classroom Guitars and Folk Music”
Sherry Floss & the Northwest Elementary Music Department – Northwest. Approximately 53 3-4th graders.
Subjects: Music & History.
The third and fourth grades will use a class set of guitars to learn basic methods to play the instruments. An after school component will target multi-generational learning, to specialize in south Arkansas folk songs. The school is seeking to enhance instructional education and supplement its curriculum with classroom guitars, equipment, tuners, and music stands.
3. “It’s Your Journey!”
Katie Harwell, Jennifer Murphy, & Maria Villegas – EHS. Approximately
174 9-12th graders. Subjects: Art, Literacy, Math, & Science.
This project will provide the Visual Art department with an exciting new way to integrate literacy. This year, students will discover, analyze, and write poetry that focuses on challenges, choices, and perseverance. They will identify how they might encounter obstacles in their lives, and how they plan to maintain a positive attitude during times of transition. One way students will discover that they can overcome challenges will be by mastering the art of printing. The students will use carving techniques to create linoleum block prints. Their prints will illustrate how they plan to maintain positive momentum in their lives. Finally, the students will host a spring Art Show, so that they can share their prints and paintings. The way the students choose to move forward after experiencing defeat will define their lives. Hopefully, the memories they make during this project will inspire them to enjoy life’s ups and downs and to never give up!
4. “Second Grade STEAM Initiative”
Linda Trostle – Northwest. Approximately 100 2nd graders. Subjects:
STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Math).
The team of second-grade teachers at this school realizes the importance of incorporating STEM projects for all students. The school proposes to incorporate these projects across curriculum in the regular classroom. This will provide all students with the opportunity to grow in their academics using real-world problem-solving strategies. The school requests equipment including manipulatives, robotics, storage, teacher guide, and task cards.
5. “Critical Reading: Breaking Cycles of Illiteracy”
Clair Antoon, Jennifer Murphy, & Jeannie Strother – EHS. Approximately
60 9-10th graders directly; up to 250 throughout school. Subject:
Literacy is directly tied to future success, and in this project, shared reading will be featured as one of the most-powerful influences on a child’s language development. Students of highest academic need will be enrolled in this course. The grant requests high-interest materials and books. Included will be class reading logs, written performance tasks, and discussions. Students will build literacy skills and confidence through shared reading and direct instruction. Reading levels will be tested periodically through the program.
“Read for the Record IX” – separate project
Jeannie Strother. Hugh Goodwin, Northwest, Retta Brown, Yocum & Yocum
Primary, Barton, and El Dorado High School. Approximately 1,800 K-4th
graders, plus Barton and EHS students. Subject: Literacy.
Read for the Record IX will take place on Thursday, October 25, at the EHS Wildcat Arena. Approximately 1,600 students in grades K-4 will meet together for the purpose of reading the book, Maybe Something Beautiful, by F. Isabel Campoy, Theresa Howell, and Rafael Lopez. The event will join with millions of others by reading the same book on the same day. Featured will be a local celebrity reader, along with Barton Junior High cheerleaders, the EHS Band, and artwork from district elementary schools. Drama, art, and dance will be incorporated into this year's theme: art can inspire transformation! Each student in grades K-2 will receive a copy of the book, while those in grades 3-4 receive bookmarks for participation.
Congratulations to all the hard-working teachers who submitted grant proposals!