Enhancing Education for Our Students
The Grant Process
Since its inception, the East Aurora Educational Foundation has awarded nearly $1,000,000 in grant funding to support educational opportunities beyond the scope of the district’s annual operating budget. Each project considered and granted by the foundation has bolstered the opportunities East Aurora teachers can afford their students, and has increased access to innovation in the classroom.
Teachers or school administrators with an unique idea or distinct need can submit a grant proposal. The foundation is focused on granting monies to these deserving parties in a focused, and efficient matter – allowing teachers to realize their requests quickly, and begin implementation as soon as possible. The foundation has also had the unique privilege to help support cutting edge projects, providing the outside spark of interest and funding which eventually allowed for broader implementation by the school district itself.
In addition to grants funded, the foundation also provides two $500 student awards at high school graduation. The Jennifer Evereth Memorial Award is given to a student who excels in the arts or music. The James Ford Memorial Award is given to a student who excels in mathematics or science. Students are selected by a committee made up of high school teachers and administrators.
The Livestreaming and Video Analysis for Athletics grant, through HUDL technology, makes access to live athletic events possible. Student-athletes will benefit from the enrichment of their experience due to “the use of video analysis while also providing a livestreaming capability for our student body and our families for free.” The current New York State Department of Health guidelines allow only two spectators per student-athlete. The HUDL technology opens up these events for family and friends to view them as they happen. “You may not be in-person, but you can see your Blue Devils live!” East Aurora athletes and coaches will have a valuable tool to use for team and individual improvement for years to come. Look for one of the HUDL cameras the next time you are in the gym!
Weather Station Update
The High School Weather Station Update grant provides technologically superior equipment which will replace an obsolete weather station that is 20 years old. Students studying the physical sciences will be able to collect and interpret a variety of data such as: rainfall, wind speed, temperature, humidity and have “access to an online portal providing a truly hyperlocal forecast, highs/lows, totals or averages, and graphs for virtually all weather variables…” The district will have access to this data in real time through the district website allowing every teacher, including the middle school and Parkdale, to share it with their students. The general public will also be able to access it on the internet or via a display in the high school lobby. Equally exciting is the ability to receive information on current conditions at the high school’s various playing fields which will aid the athletic director when making game-time decisions.
Let’s Get Together!
The students of Parkdale Elementary School have been provided an opportunity to learn and develop social skills through game play and interaction with each other through a $9,660 grant for playground equipment and games.
Through play, they will have positive ways to make friends and learn social rules such as give and take, cooperation, and sharing. This project will also work to reduce the number of bullying incidents during recreation.
Let’s Get Together will transform children’s minds, bodies and spirits through play. The social skills developed through games and interaction are crucial to the overall development of a child.
STEAM Labs in All District Schools
Through the efforts of the Imagine the Possibilities Campaign Committee, $100,000 was raised to equip STEAM labs in the Parkdale Elementary, Middle and High Schools.
The students will have access to the tools they need to expand their perspective, knowledge and critical thinking skills. A STEAM based approach to learning provides students with multiple methods to seek answers to a problem, and helps prepare them for the fields of tomorrow.
Some of the purchases made possible by this grant are: 3D Doodler Pens, MakerBot replicators, 3D Printers, interactive monitors and computer labs, laser engravers, a large-scale CNC router, plasma cutter, wood mill and laser engraver.
How Do Teachers
Apply for a Foundation Grant?
Those interested in applying are asked to fill out an application form and make a short presentation to the foundation board. The foundation, affiliated teachers, and district staff work together to make sure projects which are approved, receive prompt funding for immediate implementation. After one year, the teachers are asked to report on the status of their projects, and the foundation board often has had the opportunity to visit the classroom to see the grants in action!