At its May 2022 meeting, the Manheim Township Educational Foundation Board of Directors  voted to approve the Grant Committee's recommendation to award 14 grants totaling more than $167,000 for the Spring 2022 cycle. These grants are made possible though EITC donations, memorial funds, institutional grants, general donations and contributions from MTEF Community Partners.  

Artist in Residence – Melinda Steffy (MTMS) Rachel Bucher Swank and Lauren Michaud / $4,500.00

Melinda Steffy’s unique artistic process translates the music principles of rhythm and pitch into visual colors and shapes. Through EITC funding from APR Supply Company, this project will install Steffy as the Middle School artist-in-residence for the duration of school year, building on a cross-curricular unit previously implemented in Middle School art and music classes.  As artist in residence, Steffy would meet with students in 7th grade music and 8th grade art classes at least one day each marking period, and, in collaboration with students, create an artistic representation of the school song.  This experience will allow students to interact with a working artist, learn about careers in the arts, and participate in a large-scale mural project fostering a sense of community. 

Calming Room and Conference Space for Students (MTHS) Elizabeth Ziegler, Michelle Pollis, Kevin Elias / $40,293.26

This project provides for the redesign of the High School College and Career Center to create an innovative, flexible space that promotes wellbeing and skill-building, and better meets the varied needs of students.  The redesign will divide a single open room into separate designated spaces: a calming space – a quiet, supervised area for deescalating emotions to include interactive resources that support mindfulness; and a conference space – suitable for small group counseling sessions, visits from college admissions representatives and other meetings.  The improved functionality of the space aligns with trauma-informed practices and will help students learn how to manage their mental health journeys as they move toward adulthood and independence.

Decodable Library for Early Readers (Reidenbaugh) Noelle Duscha, Ashley Keath, Barbara Kurtz, Kelli Eachus / $3,500.00

This grant will provide decodable texts aligned with the district’s newly adopted reading curriculum and phonics instruction.  A crucial early learning tool, decodable texts allow early readers to practice high-frequency words and phonics skills, exposing students to highly consistent and prolific patterns in text. The library will be developed to meet the needs of all learners as they begin to read; resources will be available to kindergarten through second grade classes, as well as third and fourth graders needing additional support, and will be utilized in small group instruction, independent reading, and take-home practice.

Enhancing Student Engagement with EMC2 Learning Foundations (MTMS) Tom Rutledge / $2,700.00

By providing subscription access to the EMC2 Learning platform, this grant facilitates professional development opportunities and instructional resources for Middle School social studies teachers. Leaders in the field of student engagement, EMC2 Learning uses the applied science of gamification and game-inspired instructional design to help teachers create dynamic classroom environments and harness student curiosity. Staff will engage in differentiated professional development based on content, needs, and instructional goals, and leverage this resource to provide students with exciting learning experiences that foster communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking.

First in Math/Accelerating Math and IXL (all elementary schools) Kim Banzhof, Terri Vogt, Kiersten Metzger, Danielle Dreisbach / $5,099.00

This grant, made possible through EITC from APR Supply Company, expands use of the motivating and engaging First in Math program to all kindergarteners in the district.  Covering all aspects of math, First in Math enables students to use higher thinking to expand on their base knowledge, supports practice of basic technology skills, and allows for personalized learning as students work at their own pace. This grant also provides Nitrauer with headphones to help students focus on their own work, listen to, and watch directions.   

Leveraging the Power of Realistic Immersive Simulations – MTSD Planetarium (MTHS) David Farina, Rebecca Hyde / $60,000.00

This grant supports the update of planetarium technology necessary to ensure continued technical support, software updates and quality curriculum delivery.  A new laser projector, computers and software will provide improved clarity and view that keep pace with technological advancements and meet the expectations of today’s learners. The new technology will impact high school course enrollees, as well as elementary and intermediate school students who attend regular visits. Further, as significant opportunities exist to expand the variety of content experienced within the planetarium, this space can become an immersive laboratory in which students across disciplines can explore a multitude of STEAM topics.

Personal & Authentic: Designing Learning Experiences That Last a Lifetime Speaking Engagement Series (MTSD) Jacqueline Druck, Brandi Swavely, Megan Smith, Kelly Vaughn, Sharon Schaefer/ $15,230.00

Supported by APR Supply Company’s EITC contribution, this grant will fund a district-wide professional development opportunity focused on empowering educators to create a student-centered learning culture. This two-part initiative is based on the book “Personal & Authentic: Designing Learning Experiences That Last a Lifetime,” by Thomas C. Murray, and comprises both a book study for all K-12 staff and securing Murray as a convocation speaker.  Book themes, including building relationships, understanding learners, and designing meaningful learning experiences, would be incorporated into professional development and reflective conversations throughout the school year.

Schaeffer Outdoor Classroom (Schaeffer) Elizabeth Edwards / $20,000.00

This grant provides support for the construction of an ADA accessible outdoor classroom at Schaeffer Elementary. Staff and volunteers have worked together to develop plans for a fully functional, designated instructional space. The full plan includes a pavilion, pavers, raised garden beds, a rain garden, and a sensory path; utilizes sustainable long-term materials for lasting impact; and incorporates social emotional components. Suitable for an entire class, this space will provide immersive learning experiences and facilitate collaborative communication.  

Sprouting Learners (MTSD) Amy Heisey, Melissa Roark, Krista Templin / $4,000.00

Sprouting Learners provides parent-child workshops and take-home activities designed to prepare students for school and connect families with community partners and resources. Amid the COVID pandemic, the number of young children attending preschool dropped to the lowest level in more than a quarter-century, a decline that threatens decades of improvement in school readiness.  As sources of local early childhood programming decrease, this grant will expand Sprouting Learners to include children ages 0-2 and their families, aiming to ensure access to crucial early learning experiences and opportunities for all children in our district.   

Story Walk (all elementary schools) Nicole Rieker, Samantha Luckenbaugh / $550.00

This project will create outdoor reading experiences to be displayed at each elementary school on a rotating basis over the summer. Designed to promote literacy and movement, Story Walks feature picture books posted to signs along a path or trail and include prompts to encourage reading comprehension and activity.  Story Walks promote physical activity, time outside, and family interaction, while fostering a culture of literacy at school and in the community. This project will create literacy-rich learning experiences over the summer break to combat learning loss and boost student achievement.

Student Engagement – Designing the Future Libraries of the Future (MTMS) Steve Mellinger, Jackie Druck / $10,500.00

By providing four 3D printers, filament, and carts for the Middle School, this grant supports the implementation of 21st century learning and empowers students to be innovative.  Printers will be available for all teachers to use and integrate into their curriculum. This technology and equipment will provide Middle School students the opportunity to expand their acquired CAD (computer-aided design) skills to 3D design and to engage in the STEM mindset by creating items that connect to their learning. This grant is made possible by EITC funding from APR Supply Company.

Women In Leadership Forum (MTHS) / $200.00

Through the Student Impact Fund, this grant to the Women in Leadership Club supported the group’s Women in Leadership Forum held on April 8. Five local female leaders spoke to more than 200 student attendees about navigating male-dominated career fields.

James L and Jane L Wertz Memorial Scholarship (MTHS) / $200

Sally Hawthorne Art Education Scholarship (MTHS) / $1,000