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Great Bend schools received minigrants
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Tricia Reiser accepts a $9,210.60 Education Foundation minigrant from Board Member Doug Bender and Superintendent Brad Reed on behalf of USD 428. The grant, the largest ever given by the foundation, will help fund the One District, One Book literacy initiative that will kick off next September.

Teachers were gifted with nearly $30,000 by the USD 428 Education Foundation when the non-profit group recently awarded 28 minigrants. The amount distributed was higher than any previous year. Successful fund raisers, gifts from benefactors and investments resulted in more money being available than in the past, according to Matt Hiss, president. Education Foundation trustees also agreed to not cap the limit for each minigrant this year. As a result, two applicants received significantly more than $1,500.
One District, One book, $9,210.60
Tricia Reiser, Eisenhower
One District, One Book is a program designed to create a shared reading experience across the entire district. Grant money will make it possible for every K-6 student to own “The World According to Humphrey” to be read by the family. Activities at schools will coordinate, promote and enrich the shared reading experience and enable shared family focus. A variety of district and community events will occur to heighten interest in reading and to promote group discussions.  
Video Production Cameras, $2,998
Dan Heath, Great Bend High School
Purchase of two professional cameras and professional sound recording options will provide learning opportunities for video production students. Use of professional models will offer authentic hands-on experience and will improve the quality of productions both in the studio and in the field. Completed video projects will help connect the Great Bend schools with the community in a positive and exciting way.  
Math and ELA Literacy, $495.38
Katie Hughes, Eisenhower
The grant will purchase math and English language arts board and card games to be checked out by students and parents. The games are fun and conform to common-core standards. As a secondary use, fourth graders will also use the educational items during indoor recesses and during After School Achievers.   
Brain POP and Flocabulary, $316
Catrina McGurk, Eisenhower    
The grant funds a one-year subscription for Brain POP and Flocabulary that will benefit sixth graders. Brain POP has hundreds of standards-aligned games, readings and activities that span science, social studies, English, math, engineering/technology, health, art and music. Flocabulary has engaging standards-aligned songs, videos and lessons for all subjects.   
Listen and Learn, $500
Ashley Riley, Eisenhower
The grant secures a CD player, headphones and CD books to enhance learning in order to add an auditory component with a technology-based delivery. The format allows repetition, reinforcement and enrichment of educational materials in a colorful and engaging manner.   
IXL Learning Labs, $1,396
Kacie Kilgore, Amie Kries, Lindsay Hoff & Jodi Schumacher, Eisenhower
The grant funds IXL licenses for four Eisenhower third, fourth and fifth-grade classrooms. IXL is an online reading and math program in which guessing is not an option and student success is gained through genuine understanding.   
Reading Road Trip,  $520.95
Joy Boyd, Park
The grant will purchase a ready-to-go listening center plus seven sets of educational books with accompanying CDs. First graders will experience multisensory and differentiated activities to meet diverse ranges of students’ interests, abilities and needs. Student achievement will be assessed through various retelling strategies, formative and summative comprehension assessments and fluency checks. Sensory Tools, $454.65
Traci Miller, Park
Sensory items such as exercise balls, fidgets and a standing desk will be purchased for students, including those referred to the Student Intervention Team. Inattentive students will be able to self-soothe and regain focus through use of the tactile items.
Math Fact Masters II, $900
Beth Rein, Riley
Grant money will buy 120 annual web-based subscriptions to the FASTT Math Next Generation that allows personalized lessons that can be practiced in a game format. Throughout the process, teachers monitor students’ progress and provide guidance and motivation toward completion of the math fact grid. The project objectives directly align with the new college- and career- ready standards.
UP CLOSE, $218.49  
Seresa Arndt, GBMS
The ELMO Visual Presenter will allow students to share creative projects, graphs and data using 3-D technology. It is hoped that the students’ knowledge and experience gained through this process will have positive effects on their eighth-grade state assessment scores. Enrichment Book Study, $463.98  
Amber Hundley, Katrina Cooke and Karl McCulley, GBMS
Money will be used to purchase copies of “The Watsons Go to Birmingham” for eighth-grade social studies enrichment class students as they study the civil rights era. Students should gain an understanding of the power of individuals to change the course of history.
MTSS Math, $285.22
Katie Lear, GBMS
The grant will purchase games and manipulatives to get students involved and excited about math. The materials will help with implementation of Multi-Tier System of Supports model for seventh- and eighth-grade Math Ramp Up.   
LEGO Robots, $1,399.80
Mike Perry & Gary Pinkall, GBMS
The GBMS Robotics Project, which begins in the fall of 2015, introduces the computer programming language called Scratch, a free-use programming language developed by MIT’s Media Lab. Its visual programming language helps users to learn programming to create interactive media-rich projects that are personally meaningfully. Products could be animated stories, games, online news shows, book reports, greeting cards, music videos, tutorials, art/music projects and more. After the seventh graders have become familiar with Scratch, they will begin using the LEGO Mindstorms Robots.
Vocational Tasks, $497
Terri Rous, GBMS
The grant will purchase three task boxes to benefit special education students to help them with practicing, developing and reinforcing multi-stepped activities. Tasks are based on norms of other students with the same abilities/disabilities. Class activities provide job training and keep students on a path for a career following graduation.
Math Games for MTSS, $353.23
Barbara Thoren, GBHS
Software and math games obtained with grant funding will offer enhanced learning opportunities for seventh- and eighth-grade math students.  The software and games provide engaging situations through which students master basic computations and additional math concepts and they are assessed biweekly on their learning progress.
Toning Bands:  $418.95
Randy Beck, GBHS
Toning bands, five-foot long rubber tubing with handles on each end, will be purchased and used by physical education and strength and conditioning classes to provide rotation and anti-rotation exercises. They are used to perform flexibility exercises to elongate muscles and help prevent injury and will help students fulfill workout goals.
The Dynamics of the Circulatory System, $701.13
Kenneth Botzung and Andrea Maxwell, GBHS
A Carolina STEM Challenge Set that demonstrates the circulatory system will be purchased for student use. Tubing, pumps and one-way valves help students understand how blood circulation works in the body. Students construct models of blood flow through a closed-loop system and perform increasingly complex tasks.
Scale Building, $313.05  
Jake Hofflinger, GBHS
The grant funding will be used to purchase foam board, acrylic plastic and/or balsa wood so that technology students can build modules to architectural scale. Students will select a project after researching historical buildings in the city, county and/or state projects that will help keep the technical challenge of “the candy house” exciting.
Improving Knowledge, $1,119.04
Katherine Homolka, GBHS
Through grant funding, new training equipment will be added to PE, cardio and strength classes to offer a wider base of learning possibilities. New equipment includes Nando kettlebells (heavier weights with handles) and cordall plus balls that target specific muscles.
Students of the Week, $460
Karen Maier, Michelle Moore and Carol Pfannenstiel, GBHS
The grant will fund the Student of the Week program that acknowledges exemplary students. Each week a girl and boy are recognized for modeling superior character and citizenship at school. The recognized students each receive a certificate and a $5 gift certificate from a local business. At the close of the semester, names of each awarded student are entered into a drawing for $25 grand prizes to one boy and one girl.
CPR/AED Training, $808.99
Ryan Zink, GBHS    
The grant money will purchase 10 CPR mannequins to be used for CPR/AED training. Those students and employees who successfully complete the training will receive American Heart CPR/AED certification.
ARtIC Lab, $808.99
Erin Hemphill, Special Services
ARtIC Lab is a bilingual response to intervention program for K-5 school students who exhibit mild articulation deficits. Grant funds will purchase the ARtIC Lab combo kit. The program offers a wide list of speech-language pathology services which, when fulfilled, may help avoid later referrals. The fun activities allow the student to attend to and practice his/her target sounds while staying motivated. Puberty Education, $1,181
Cindy Prescott, Linda Johnson and Libbie Merritt, school nurses
The grant pays the Kansas Learning Center fee for speakers to provide a two-hour program to fourth-grade boys and girls about physical changes that indicate puberty, anatomy of reproductive systems and an introduction to feminine-care products. The program meets the standards for  health education.
Community Service Day, $1,500
Kacey Ford & Andrea Maxwell, GBHS
Each year during April, high school students perform volunteer work for the benefit the community. Grant money will be used to promote the event and buy necessary supplies. Additionally, the sponsors will buy arts and crafts items so special education students can make decorations to be donated to area nursing homes and the convent.
Playground, $1,500
Deena Smith and Sarah Ellegood, Park  
Grant money will help purchase playground equipment for K-6 children during recess and physical education. As part of a larger project, the school has secured funding toward a play station, gyro pod spinner and three-person slide.
Cosmosphere Field Trip, $360
Peggy Haag, Conrad Montoya and Kara Svaty, Riley
During a sixth-grade field trip, students will view concrete examples of the solar system and deep space, including navigational technology and astronomical research. Information gained reinforces a study unit on water planet science and aligns with common-core science standards. It will help prepare students for the seventh-grade science curriculum and also expose the students to careers in science and math.
Washington D.C. Unit, $426.15  
Kelsey Perry, Park
An interactive scavenger hunt is part of a Washington D.C. unit in fourth-grade social studies. The hunt helps bring the real world to life as students experience this historical destination. Grant funds will buy books and interactive necessities.
3-D in Action, $886.96
Leah Yancey and Eric Dowson, Park
The technology of 3-D printing will provide captivating learning experiences for sixth-grade students. Within minutes their science, math and reading, concepts are transformed into 3-D visuals to enable deeper, long-lasting learning. Students then get hands-on interaction with objects they can create.
Those teachers who have received minigrants for the 2015-16 school year should contact Shannon King, curriculum secretary at 793-1500.