For immediate release: February 12, 2013
$85,000 Awarded in Six Years
LCPS Foundation Awards $14,400 to 31 Student Learning Projects at 21 Schools
Based on applications from teachers, counselors, librarians and facilitators, the Foundation awarded $14,397.62 in grants to 31 student learning projects in 21 schools for 2013, said Cervantes. In the past six years, the Foundation has awarded nearly $85,000 in teacher grants, with principal sponsorship from El Paso Electric Company and other Foundation partners. Each grant was for up to $500.LAS CRUCES – Thanks to grants from the LCPS Foundation, students in classrooms across the school district will learn more about everything from aeroponic gardening, robotics and butterflies to orienteering, human blood and the Butterfield Stage Line of the 1850s, said Foundation Executive Director Leslie Cervantes.
“We received requests for a wide range of projects that will enhance student literacy; math, science and technology skills and provide enhanced outdoor activities and classroom fun that will make our students healthier and happier,” said Cervantes.
Here are some of this year’s grant recipients:
A number of teachers got grants to buy books for students to take home to encourage reading in the classroom and at home. With her grant, teacher Pattie Burnham will create the Adventures in Reading Club at Booker T. Washington Elementary School. More than 90 percent of students at the school are economically disadvantaged, so many families “can’t afford to buy books for the home,” said Burnham. She will buy 551 books to help build home libraries for students and families.
Centennial High School’s Patricia Bischof was one of a number of teachers who got grants for outdoor gardening projects. Her “My AVATAR Vegetable Tree” project will help students learn about “the new state-of-the-art vertical aeroponic growing system (which) grows vegetables, herbs, flowers and many fruits in less time than it takes in soil. Student will also learn how to create an environmentally friendly system … where nutrients and water are recycling,” said Bischof. And, Rachel Knight’s tower garden project will help biology and agriculture students at Centennial learn about vertical aeroponic growing systems. “The produce grown will be harvested and used by the students in my classes as well as the culinary arts students in our cooking classes,” said Knight.
Sierra Middle School librarian Heather Doolittle will use her grant to create a club to read and discuss the novel “Matched,” by Allie Condie, which will encourage students to build “a love and habit of reading,” said Doolittle. Cristina Perea will use her grant to buy reading and writing games to help Doña Ana Elementary School “foster deep and meaningful exploration of reading and writing,” said Perea. Mesilla Park Elementary School teacher Gail Lieurance and Desert Hills Elementary teacher Michelle Estrada will use their grants to buy books for kindergarten students. Arrowhead Park Early College High School teacher Joshua Silver will use Foundation grant funds for his Career Pathway Literature Circles for the study of non-fiction literature. Hillrise Elementary teacher Michael Gandara’s grant for “Helping Our Students Shine,” will help students develop and improve their reading reading skills.
Teacher Rosalinda Collins got a grant to “raise a greenhouse garden by learning how to plant seeds and yield fruits and vegetables all year long” at Tombaugh Elementary School. Students will “learn to measure and graph rain and daily temperatures using rain gauges and thermometers, and plant seeds in our school’s courtyard garden … to observe a full lifecycle of various plants,” said Collins. Sierra Middle School teacher Ken Major’s project will allow students to reclaim waste material from the school garden and cafeteria for utilization as compost in gardening and science fair projects and to study property and changes of matter. Oñate High School science teacher Lisa Erickson will use her grant to create “Knight’s Greenhouse,” to allow students to raise organic vegetable and flower seedlings in an on-site greenhouse.
Hillrise Elementary’s Phillip Arguello got a grant for “We Can Do Lego Robotics,” to “introduce students to robotics and programming,” he said. Other math, science and technology grants include Jornada Elementary School teacher Jennifer Mora’s “Movement in Math,” to help students with autism learn about mathematical and spatial reasoning;
Tombaugh Elementary teacher Bernadine Cotton’s “Invention Convention,” project to help fund a science fair activity for third-grade students; and Central Elementary teacher Robert Estrada’s “Engaging Our Digital Natives” project to increase student engagement, math proficiency and technology skills. Arrowhead Park Early College High School teacher Kris Vaudrey got a grant for a blood typing lab that will give his students a hands-on learning about the anatomy and physiology of human blood. Tombaugh Elementary School third-grade teacher Mari Cooke will buy books to support math instruction and understanding.
Here are some of the other projects that received Foundation grants:
▪ Highland Elementary School teacher Katheryn Martinez’s project will help students learn about the life cycles of butterflies and lady bugs. “After the insects’ cycles are completed, the insects will be released into the school’s courtyard,” said Martinez.
▪ Teacher Anna Suggs’ “Understanding Weather” project will provide weather events kits to sixth graders at Zia Middle School to help them learn about clouds, tornadoes, atmospheric pressure and more, said Suggs.
▪ Sierra Middle School counselor Mary Ann Ellis’ “Good Grief! Helping Students Cope with Loss” project will purchase resources to help teachers work with children grieving the loss of a loved one and to create a lending library for parents;
▪ Mayfield High School teacher Mary Underwood’s “Passengers on the Butterfield Stagecoach” project will allow her New Mexico History students to take a virtual ride on an 1850s stagecoach through historic Mesilla;
▪ Picacho Middle School librarian Ann Gomez’s “Careers for the Future” will provide e-books for students and staff to research career interests;
▪ Las Cruces High School teacher Kernie Zimmerman’s “A + Commitment + Together” project will help English students deliver important, even life-changing, knowledge of issues that can make a difference in their lives;
▪ White Sands Middle School teacher Susie Tufts “Setting the Stage!” project will purchase a classroom stage platform to assist students in learning drama/presentation techniques;
▪ Las Cruces High School Army JROTC Instructor Sergeant Major (retired) Velton Locklear Jr.’s “Orienteering Sports” project will use Foundation grant funds for an orienteering (outdoor activity and adventure sport) program for Army JROTC cadets (the Bulldawg Battalion).
For more information, contact Cervantes at 575.527.5946 or firstname.lastname@example.org.