Recent Funded Grants

Since MVEF was established in 2007, more than  $130,000 in teacher-requested grants has been awarded to the six Mt. Vernon Schools.  More than 100 teachers have been impacted by the grants along with many of their colleagues and their students.

2014 Spring Grants

First grade teachers attended the summer institute “Unleashing Your Superpowers.” Connecting Learning Assures Successful Students helps teachers create a positive learning environment, utilize innovation and engaging teaching practices and implement instructional coaching and leadership techniques.

Submitted by Amy Brake, Ruth Mills and Laura McWilliams

Revolutionizing the way instruction is delivered and changing the way students interact with each other and their teachers, Elevate supports meeting students where they are with technology.

Installing document cameras, wireless digital projectors and interactive whiteboards, teachers are enabled to move around the room at will, connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime who has digital access.

(Supported by the Pearson and Jeannine Miller Charitable Fund through Hancock County Community Foundation)

Submitted by: Stephanie Miller

3-D printing is a new technology available, allowing students to design a 3-D object and then  produce it with the printer. Cutting edge technology such as the 3-D printer exposes students to potential career opportunities as well as a sneak peek into MVHS technology curriculum.

As an active, hands-on project, 3-D printing projects include sculptures, object prototypes and the opportunity to learn manufacturing skills.

Submitted by Mark Douglass, Kyle Miller

HECC (YEAH!) 2014 Conference is one of the largest events of its kind in the United States. Hands –on workshop will allow MVCSC technology staff to learn of new technology tools and existing programs.

Networking opportunities along with the opportunity for the entire technology staff to attend the conference allows the MVCSC technology department to work together and plan for further technology integration into our schools.

Submitted by Greg Rollo, Brandon Hayes, Kathy Reed, John Davis, Veronica Kirby and Melissa Montague

2013 Fall Grants

we’re dreaming of apple tv’s and ipads.  The pairing of an Apple TV and an iPad for the classroom will increase student participation and provide unique exposure to concepts in reading, math, social studies and science curriculums. The most common use of the Apple TV in a classroom is screen mirroring.

With AirPlay, the iPad will wirelessly display the device’s screen on an HDTV/Projector that is connected to AppleTV. The iPads and AppleTV would be used in the classroom for YouTube videos, annotating documents with students, display pictures of student and teacher work, as a document camera, as an interactive whiteboard, inputting participation grades into Skyward and in many other ways.

The iPads and Apple TV will be another tool to help teach the five components of literacy along with remediation and enrichment activities. In order to be functional in the classroom, a wireless access point and HDMI Cord will be necessary.

Submitted by: Angela Hyde

By providing staff with professional development regarding differentiated instruction, teachers will be able to improve students’ performance in reading.

Differentiated instruction is defined as a teaching methodology that involves providing students with different avenues to acquire content knowledge.

This grant will fund an all day in-service by an instructor from SMEKENS Educational Solutions, Inc. to provide information specifically designed for grades K-2 and 3-5 teachers. In addition, individual coaching opportunities will be provided to any teacher or team requesting an appointment.

This in-service will be available for any applicable teacher in the district to attend. (supported by HCCF)

Submitted by: Dianne Grannan

Students in the 5th grade struggle with reading non-fictional text. This is proven by the NWEA scored in reading, in which many students score lower on non-fiction text. By providing books to be read in the classroom, students have an opportunity to work with non-fiction texts in research projects, literature circles and small group work. Working with these books in the classroom improve the NWEA scores in the non-fiction reading section. (supported by Hancock County Community Foundation)

Submitted by: Lauren Bailey

The Kindle Fire provides all sorts of innovative and creative possibilities for student learning. The device is used as a station each day including Math RTI to help approaching-level students gain needed skills.

Early finishers will have access to books and apps that will challenge beyond-level students. Using a Kindle Fire get students enthused about reading and help achieve a lifelong desire to read.

Submitted by: Amy McCleery

The Character Counts program is the final piece to the character education foundation that has been at work for the past few years.

This research based program provides staff training, assessments, evaluations, curricular materials, lesson plans and activities designed to create a positive school climate with the tools to address some of the most difficult academic and behavioral challenges.

It also satisfies the legislative regulations requiring anti-bullying programs and reporting systems.

Submitted by: Tiffany Creager

A document camera in the classroom would replace the need for a bulky overhead projector and offer more versatility than a white board or projecting from a desktop computer.

It is able to project anything and can be projected in a size that is readable and complete, zooming in and out as needed.

The educational benefits of this camera include interactive lessons and demonstrations, such as projecting small science specimens, sharing a small map or image during Social Studies or sharing math computations with the class, along with many other applications. Additionally, images can be saved for absent students, re-teaching and for future years in the classroom. (Supported by Hancock County Community Foundation)

Submitted by Alison Moore

The Titmus V2 Vision Screener is used to perform state-required vision screenings for Kindergarten/1st grade, and 3rd, 5th, and 8th grades. Previously, students were tested with Snellen charts.

The Titmus V2 Vision Screener is more accurate at testing near and far vision, eye muscle balance, colorblindness and vertical/lateral screening. It eliminates human error that occurs with Snellen charts and  speeds the testing time per student allowing them to get back to the classroom sooner. (supported by Hancock Regional Hospital Foundation)

Submitted by Michelle Shaw, R.N.

Healthy Choices, Healthy Teens provides visual displays in which students can analyze the fat, sugar and salt intake of their favorite foods. Students view flip charts that allow side-by-side comparisons of 40 entrees and side dishes and count out the fat and carbohydrates that represent each choice.

Additionally, students use food models and gram cubes to compare and contrast foods high and low in fat, high and low in simple sugar carbohydrates and foods high and low in salt content. The food models and gram cubes will be reused from year to year. (supported by Hancock County Community Foundation )

Submitted by Tammy Bauchert

2013 Spring Grants

By placing iPads in the classroom, not only are students introduced to technology which they will need to use today and in the future, but it will provide another more attractive avenue for educating students. The iPads will be used by students in kindergarten for the enhancement of math and reading skills.

Given the multitude of downloadable, education applications, students can improve reading skills, language arts skills, math skills, and so much more. The allure of the iPad aids in retaining student attention levels and interest. With increased attention and interest levels, the success of a student is likely assured. These iPads will add to the already existing number of iPads granted for use at the Kindergarten level, and will directly benefit a classroom of students currently identified as “at risk”.

A partial grant for five (5) iPads with covers is recommended.

The iPads which are the subject of this grant will be used by students in kindergarten for the enhancement of math, reading, music, and intervention needs. Given the multitude of downloadable, education applications, students can improve reading skills, language arts skills, math skills, music skills and so much more.

The iPads could also possibly be utilized by other teachers/grades in the building. These iPads will also be used in cooperation with the pre-school iBuddy program.

A partial grant for five (5) iPads with covers and additional, needed technology is recommended.

With increased access to computer technology, today’s students can search the internet for research projects, access Moodle, create PowerPoint presentations, prepare for required testing which now must be completed via computer, etc.

This grant would greatly increase computer availability to seventh grade students at MVMS. This grant will allow the seventh grade English department to use computers whenever needed. The subject of this grant is computers and a storage cart. It is the belief of the committee a storage/charging cart is already in use at MVMS.

It is our hope the cart can be shared to benefit the subject matter of this grant as well as that of a previously awarded grant. A partial grant for 25 laptops is recommended.

This grant offers the possibility for Mt. Vernon High School students to achieve greater AP exam scores. The subject of this grant is a number of intensive four-day workshops to aid some of our high school teaching staff in acquiring additional skills needed to educate our math and science AP students.

Six educators have been selected to attend the AP Summer Institute at the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities at Ball State University during the months of June and July. The subject areas include Statistics, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, and Calculus. A full grant is recommended.

2012 Fall Grants

Do not be fooled, this grant will not put Sesame Street’s Elmo in our 1st grade classrooms, but will put technology into the classroom which is designed to enhance student learning through the use of a “document camera”.

The ELMO TT12 device, with the use of a projector, allows for the projection of documents i.e. quizzes, tests, study materials, mathematical calculations etc.; allows for the observation of small objects and the comparison of graphs and charts or other items; allows for the projection of three dimensional shapes/objects; and provides for endless other possibilities for learning.

This technology can be used to actively engage the visual learner as well as hands-on learners. The visual learners will be able to see the topic of discussion such as a coin or math calculation while the hands-on learner can benefit by operating the equipment and placing objects under the document camera and describing them to their classmates.

Submitted by Kathy Tingwald, Board Member assigned: Jenn Longman

This grant will open up the possibilities for Mt. Vernon High School students to participate in Science Olympiad events which have not been available to them in the past due to the lack of resources.

The introduction of a Robot Arm and other needed materials will provide the resources needed to participate in all 23 categories of the Science Olympiad expanding the current reach of MV students to the robotic Arm, MagLev, Gravity Vehicle, Elastic Launched Glider, and Boomilever events.

The Science Olympiad provides highly motivated students an opportunity to apply their knowledge in a hands-on way that makes learning that much more exciting and adds the element of competition which provides confidence, poise, and a sense of accomplishment. The Team and its faculty sponsors have worked hard to garner support from outside sources, and this grant would aid in achieving the success much desired by the group.

Submitted by Christine Turk, Board Member assigned: BJ Erlewein

The program is designed to teach students about the presidential election process from the primaries through the Electoral College. It is a hands-on program which requires student participation from role playing to voting.

Submitted by Dean Falkenberg, Board Member assigned: Nancy

The Body Safety Program is a previously funded program designed to educate students as to their rights to their body so that they can play an active role in keeping themselves safe. While child molestation is not a pleasant subject to think about or talk about, it is something that must be discussed with young people at a level that is age appropriate, in an environment that is safe, and in a manner that does not create embarrassment or humiliation.

This program is intended to be implemented corporation wide for a second year, and it is also intended to include parents. The program was developed by Sergeant Terry Hall, a veteran police officer of 38 years; seven of those years were served with the IPD Sex Offense Branch.

Sergeant Hall presents the Parent/Teacher/Community portion before the program is presented to students. The past presentation was well received by parents and children alike. Future funding for this program is currently being researched.

Submitted by Tiffany Creager, Board Member assigned: Jack McKinney

This grant is designed not only to enhance the music appreciation of our 5th grade students, but also an attempt to restore a sense of responsibility granted to the student class having seniority in the school building and a sense of maturity and leadership which may have been lost when the 5th grade students were held at the elementary level buildings.

The students will not only learn how to use and play a ukulele, but will gain an understanding of the instrument itself. The goal is to offer an opportunity for playing in a musical ensemble and develop a group of dedicated troupe ukulele players.

Submitted by Katie Bieda, Music Teacher, Board Member assigned: Jan Vieweg

Through the funding of this grant, our students in grades 1 – 5 will be provided a greater variety of fiction books which are believed to hold their interest. Upon discovering that Mt. Comfort Students love reading fiction series, this grant request was submitted in the hopes of gaining funding for the purpose of filling the library shelves with fiction books which will interest students and assist them in meeting the needs of the their “Scholastic Reading Counts” independent reading program.

This grant will also help in replacing and supplementing the many books and book series shifted among and between the elementary schools and MVIS.

Submitted by Suzanne Hanselmann, Board Member assigned: Patricia Beaty

This grant request is for a mini computer and portable projector cart. These tools will assist in presenting videos, pictures, and PowerPoint slide shows via an existing projector and Mimeo. The combination of these tools creates a more interactive setting for students and teacher alike.

It provides for greater abilities than exist today in the classroom by providing larger more visible presentations, interactive “writing” on the white board, and additional technology to be learned and used by our 1st grade students. The portability of the mini computer/laptop also provides an opportunity for other teachers and classrooms who may wish to avail themselves of the technology.

In addition, the visual learning it provides is highly likely to benefit the learning of students who are on the Autism spectrum. Ms. Morton has two such learners in her classroom.

Submitted by Amy Morton, 1st Grade Teacher, Board Member assigned: Mandy Perdue

By placing iPads in the classroom, not only are students introduced to technology which they will need to use today and in the future, but it will provide another more attractive avenue for educating students.

The iPads will be used by students in Kindergarten through 5th grade. Given the multitude of downloadable, education applications, students can improve reading skills, language arts skills, math skills, and so much more. The allure of the iPad aids in retaining student attention levels and interest. With increased attention and interest levels, the success of a student is likely assured.

Submitted by Alyson Huston, Board Member assigned: Jeff Young

2012 Spring Grants

Eighteen guitars and straps will be provided for two elementary schools’ fifth grade students to share. The positive effects of learning an instrument help teach self-discipline, confidence and provide a sense of accomplishment which will enhance personal strength, character and self-esteem.
Four iPads will be provided for the general and special needs’ students to create, connect and collaborate with their academics. Interactive apps will offer unique learning opportunities in all areas of study. A wireless access point for MES will also ensure classroom internet connectivity.
Math workbooks will encourage student achievement for those students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade struggling with learning math concepts. Copies of the pages will be made for the approximately 100 individuals so the workbooks can be reused each year.
Juggling balls will improve eye/hand coordination and motivate students’ academic performance. Students progress through their juggling steps by setting and reaching goals, counting, telling time with five minute intervals, as well as being physically active.
Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) Next is a tool that allows the literacy staff to evaluate reading achievement for each student. The DIBELS Next program evaluates phonemic awareness, accuracy, fluency connected with text, vocabulary and comprehension.
An academic program called “Do the Math Now” will encourage student achievement for those struggling math students. The program contains 150 lessons specifically designed as an intervention program which complements existing curriculum to increase reasoning skills among other life skills.
Grief from loss of a loved one can significantly hamper student achievement in the classroom. Grief workbooks provide a way for the students to express themselves and will help them progress through their grief.
Five new Mobi Views offer students to learn with whiteboard technology engaging their attention and interest. Mobi Views includes an interactive touch screen for the teacher to keep the students’ attention.
The new Mt. Vernon High School bookstore, Marauder Mall, will be stocked to provide a real-life job environment for special needs and resource students. Students will learn sales, marketing, inventory tracking and customer service among others. The Marauder Mall will be self-sustaining where profits will fund the future growth of the vocational life skills lab and Marauder Mall supplies
Supplementary reading books and novels will offer more variety of topics to engage students reading a topic of interest. This will help struggling readers meet Common Core standards better

2011 Fall Grants

The use of games, puzzles, play money and other manipulates will help students increase their understanding of math concepts. The materials will engage the students and create a classroom environment which provides for individual and independent learning
MVCSC will bolster a pilot program for future iPad/technology use in the classroom. New applications on the iPads offer students an interactive technology experience specific to their own learning level. All reading and phonemic awareness applications will be aligned with the Indiana Academic Standards.
The innovative program is designed to educate students on the rights of their body and to keep themselves safe from predators. The program will be presented age specifically throughout the corporation, and includes a parent information night.
The program will help develop the character of students by using life-long core values in the daily broadcast and possibly in the classrooms. It has proven to positively affect school climate and decrease student misbehavior
With students entering kindergarten at various levels of reading capability, age appropriate readers and CD’s will provide students with a variety of subjects at their level.
This reading program is designed to positively affect struggling readers with computer activities and books. It provides reading diagnostic reports of the student’s progress and places them at the appropriate instructional level listing their individual student needs.
Piloting MVCSC’s first venture into e-books in the Media Resource, the selection of e-book reference bundle contains 53 titles for MVHS students’ research. The e-books are available to students at any hour of the day and provides an opportunity for simultaneous multiple users.
The 3D modeling kits will provide advanced level students the opportunity to see, touch, feel, hold and create complex protein structures and will be invaluable to a student to take the abstract and make it concrete.

2011 Spring Grants

The use of games and unique hands-on tools in math, spelling, language arts, and handwriting will engage special needs and students in grades 3-4 with memorization, repetition, and drills. Learning can now be exciting, challenging, and competitive.
The use of reader books for first and second grade students who are reading well above their average grade level will be used for improving fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary. These books will provide the teachers a tool to encourage students to perform at a higher level and provide these students an additional academic opportunity.
The use of The Ultimate Black History Collection DVD collection and a series of poetry books written by black Americans will connect students to speeches, poetry, novels, songs, and commentaries on the artists. The resources will also help students participating in the Martin Luther King, Jr. writing contest.
An additional set of novels for MVCSC fifth grade students was a proactive request on behalf of the fifth grade teachers who will be separated during the school year of 2011- 2012 and beyond. The teachers will have a total of two full sets to share among the three buildings in which they will be teaching fifth grade students.
An addition of six netbooks with headphones and case will assist middle school students with additional technology for research papers, class projects, access to Moodle, internet based research, PowerPoint, and even with some standardized testing that must be completed via computer.
The use of foreign language games will aid students in learning the language in an interesting, engaging, and fun way. What better way to encourage young high school students to learn, practice, and use a new language than through the use of hands on games and entertaining resources.
The use of Kodak Playsport HD camcorders will upgrade the level of engagement and learning for Sports Literature class students. Students will be required to create commercials for a new product they create, produce and market it, and then draft a script they perform/speak in front of a camera. This project touches on key components of literature education such as public speaking, creative writing, and listening.
The use of new award winning quality graphic novels will enhance the graphic novels section of the current literature curriculum for high schools students. The students first learn how to read a graphic novel, and then pick their own novel and create a reflective blog, a glossary, facts and eventually a paper.

2010 Fall Grants

The MVEF will provide out-of-seat learning experiences with literacy stations that will foster literacy independence in students. Literacy work stations to be funded include: overhead, pocket chart, buddy reading library, ABC sort, spelling, writing, and games/puzzles.
Flip digital cameras will provide teachers and students a creative option for self-learning by exploring how they interact in front of a group, how they handle themselves while speaking in front of classmates, etc. The digital cameras may also record science experiments, present re-enactments of key historical events, record music programs and art shows and provide other unique learning opportunities.
Teaching with different reading books will provide theme-based learning experiences for the students’ book clubs and address individual reading abilities. Multiple copies of the books will allow for theme-based learning experiences in grammar, writing and comprehension.
Reading novel sets will be incorporated in the “Response to Interventions” (RTI) program, and used to promote growth in reading fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary all while performing the same type of work as their more advanced classmates.
A variety of materials will be acquired for the purpose of making math fun and accessible for 1st grade students in need of math intervention. Math games, pocket charts, coin posters, inch worm rulers and other tools will be put to use to generate excitement for math concepts and learning.
A weighted blanket and a CENTsory resistant tunnel will provide comfort for students on the Autism Spectrum, with Sensory needs or with Emotional Disabilities. Much needed educational materials will also help staff and parents to better understand how to instruct and care for our students with sensory needs.
With the assistance of new dictionaries, 5th grade students will learn the history of a word, how to sound it out, and how to use it when writing. Vocabulary development will continue with class activities such as a short skit, commercial, cartoon or image of the word. The dictionaries will help meet state standards and improve spelling, language, reading and comprehension.
With increased access to computer technology, students can search the internet for research projects with netbooks. The technology of this nature must be protected, and it needs an energy source. A secure storage and charging station for netbooks used by students in the classroom will be provided.
Students can explore lab experiments without the need for worry about safety, lab preparation, and/or lab clean-up, and students just might get the chance to “virtually” blow stuff up! With access to a virtual chemistry lab, Mt. Vernon High School students will be able to explore areas of chemistry that could not otherwise be supported by the corporation’s budget.

2010 Spring Grants

Peers teaching peers is a hands-on, powerful and influential tool where both parties learn skills and establish relationships.

The Book Buddy reading program has 4th grade students mentor and help teach full-day, at-risk kindergartners to learn to read. Research shows that pairing emerging readers with established readers leads to reading improvements for both. The students spend 00 minutes a week reading books, creating literature-based projects and forming positive peer relationships.

The kindergarten students have shown vocabulary and language improvement, as well as a growing interest in books and learning to read. New storytelling kits and puppets, recognition certificates and book-making supplies will enhance the successful outcome of the program (fluency, comprehension and vocabulary improvement.

In August, 2010 the construction will be complete for the new life skills classroom for mildly and moderately disabled students. For the life skills curriculum to engage the students in learning hands-on life skills, supplies will be provided for the classroom such as cookware and supplies, as well as cleaning supplies. Consumerism, housing, food choices and preparation, clothing, health care and job preparation will teach students how to live independently.
Until now, resource students were only able to participate in vocational tasks within the building. The goal of the program is for mild and moderately disabled life skills students to obtain paid employment in the community, and become productive members of society.

Because of a federal stimulus grant of the hiring of a Job Coach, to give much needed supplies to a new area, was funded by the government. Students will be required to job shadow, complete tasks with limited supervision and eventually without supervision. The grant will facilitate a number of job seeking activities and work-experience activities such as a new time-clock and life skills for students to work in the community.

Speech Therapy teachers are providing more efficient classroom-based services to speech students who have articulation/phonological needs. Teachers need instruction to prepare themselves for changing the paradigm of speech therapy from being “pulled-out” of classrooms to “push-in” (speech teachers instructing students in the classroom).

Video presentations “School Service Delivery Models: Effective, Efficient, Intensive” and “Therapy Services in the Classroom: Creating Student Success” will aid the Mt. Vernon speech pathologists in their training. The programs “5 Minute Therapy” and “5 Minute Kids” will enable the speech pathologists to minimize the amount of unproductive “down time” in previous therapy and maximize active, individualized learning.

Comparative data from the program shows students were discharged 42 therapy hours sooner than the students receiving traditional group therapy.

2009 Fall Grants

Helping to provide a variety of genres in the reading classroom, including fiction and nonfiction, will expose more children to different types of books to become more interested in reading. Grouping students with different reading levels to work together will make reading enjoyable and a stimulating activity with a project at the end.
Providing the classroom library with novel sets will engage the students more with their interest in reading. In the classroom’s ‘Literature Circles,’ students have a different responsibility every day, including group leader, reporter, illustrator, and passage finder. New novels will allow the students to gain insight from and work effectively with their peers.
Supporting the social studies medieval unit, books enhancing the Roman unit will go hand-in-hand with the internet for further student research. The Roman books will help add to the activities for the 6th grade team. The MVEF’s investment in these books was stretched even further as Usborne matched 50% of the purchase.
Making another connection between school and the student’s home, take home packs will help to develop the lifetime habit of reading for pleasure and information. Each pack is self-selected by the student and consists of collections of fiction and non-fiction books, poems, songs, and hands-on educational activities.
Students who are having difficulties with reading are offered different innovative methods for the children to become engaged in reading. The readers’ theater booklets, buddy reading books, comprehension and fluency games as well as reading activities will make learning to read more fun and exciting.
The challenge course consisting of tunnels, scooters, balls and other activities will teach children how the blood flows through the heart and that exercise is just one component needed to keep the heart pumping. Children will learn science and physical education pertaining to body systems, nutrition, heart health and risk factors of heart disease. The Heart Adventure Challenge Course will rotate through all three elementary schools and affect all elementary children.
Providing a multisensory approach to learning, the Nintendo Wii will engage special needs students in their classroom to achieve optimal academic and behavioral success. Through different programs available, children can add, recognize patterns, develop vocabulary, and additional desensitization tools for students with auditory challenges.
Additional Sport Stackers allow students to increase their attention span and concentration while stacking and un-stacking 12 specific cups in a pre-determined sequence. Sport Stackers help students use both sides of their brain and body at the same time, work on patterns, sequences and problem solving.