Grants

Long-Term Partnership Helps Students Learn in New Ways

Children at Kennedy Elementary in Livonia are being encouraged to play with their food and not sit still as part of two unique learning programs made possible by a long-time partnership between DFCU Financial and the LPS Education Foundation.

Flexible classroom
As a first grade teacher of very active children, Jane Majewski understands that movement–instead of being a negative–actually helps students manage their wiggles. That’s why she requested grant money through LPS and supplied by DFCU for her version of the flexible classroom.

With the money, Majewski purchased a wide variety of seating options for her young learners: wobble stools, accordion stools, donut seats, scoop chairs and low seating. The children rotate using these seats daily and Majewski has seen wonderful benefits.

“Research supports that combining movement, balance and academics engages both ofhemispheres of the brain,” said Majewski. “Children are more engaged and excited to start their day when they have a choice of where they are going to work. They are more productive and feel more in charge of their learning.”

Majewski also purchased centric marker boards (think wipe board) tables to be used instead of desks. The shape defines each child’s own space and the marker board surface has been beneficial for collaboration among the children. “The students often ‘share a marker’ and work as a team to do problem solving activities in math or demonstrate their knowledge of a science concept,” said Majewski.

Mobile Greenhouse
“These grants grow bigger than we can even imagine,” said Jackie Banner, science teacher for the four second grades at Kennedy. This statement perfectly describes the mobile greenhouse she was able to purchase with the money from the LPS/DFCU grant. The greenhouse, illuminated by its own light, holds a place of honor in a corner of the classroom.

“We’ve always taught science on window sills,” said Banner, “with no hands-on or collaboration…just Styrofoam cups with seeds.” Now, she can wheel the new cart into every classroom to show the progress of the Lightning Bolts, Flames, MLKs and the JFKs–the names for the four 2nd grade science classes. Photos and drawings also play a part in the process so students can make continuous observations of the growth of their plants.

Some seeds are growing and some aren’t, but it’s all part of the learning process according to Banner. “If someone’s plant isn’t growing, the other students get a chance to be encouraging to each other,” said Banner. “Although, it sure feels good when something starts to grow,” said Student Brandon.

To illustrate the young scientists are behind each other no matter what the outcome, the class breaks into song…”I get by with a little help from my friends.”

~ This article was provided by a DFCU employee


2018-19 Grants

Yoga ball seats, additional technology, Battle of the Books reading materials, STEM and Robotics equipment, and even a mobile greenhouse are just a few of the items that students in Livonia Public Schools will enjoy, thanks to the LPS Education Foundation.

The LPS Education Foundation’s grant program received 42 proposals for funding, this school year. The grant committee, made up of retired LPS staff, administrators and a retired LPS school board member, used a strict set of criteria to score each proposal. Seventeen were selected, totaling $31,000. Those grants were awarded to 24 teachers throughout the district. Surprise visits by committee members, with oversized checks, topped off this exciting day in LPS.

The grant program, funded through donations to the LPS Education Foundation, has issued $213,000 to 107 teachers since the program began during the 2013-2014 school year.


2017-18 Grants

For the 2017-2018 school year, the LPS Education Foundation distributed 30 grants totaling more than $48.000 to fund classroom projects, initiatives, classroom materials and much more.

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Since the grants program began, the Foundation has distributed 90 grants, totaling more than $182,000. The grant applications are reviewed by a committee and awarded based on a set of criteria – if the request supports the district’s curriculum, Shared Vision and climate goals.


2016-17 Grants

The Livonia Public Schools Education Foundation distributed 19 classroom grants, totaling $42,000 during the 2016-2017 school year, to fund classroom projects, initiatives, equipment, supplies or materials to benefit students.

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LPS Education Foundation received 29 grant requests, totaling nearly $83,000 and was able to award 19 grants, totaling $42,000. Now in its fourth year, the grant program is supported by the LPS Education Foundation’s designated funds, community contributions and employee payroll deductions to the Foundation.

Grant requests support the district’s mission, vision and curriculum.

The grant program is just one of several programs of the LPS Education Foundation, which raises funds all year, through community business partnerships and support, the annual fall luncheon event, the LPS Bounce Back to School event as well as LPS employee contributions.


2015-16 Grants

 

The LPS Education Foundation received 52 grant requests, totaling $148,000 and was able to award 16 grants, totaling $37,500.

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2014-15 Grants

Seventeen Livonia Public Schools educators were awarded grants totaling $31,500 for the purchase of various classroom tools, including Chromebooks; iPads; assistive technology for preschoolers with Autism; technology for early literacy; and library books for the Niji-Iro Japanese Immersion Elementary School. Forty teachers applied for the grants and a Review Committee thoroughly rated each proposal, based on a set of criteria.

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2013-14 Grants

Twelve Livonia Public Schools teachers were awarded grants worth more than $25,000 by the LPS Education Foundation during public ceremonies. Thirty-six proposals were submitted, representing approximately $100,000 in requests.

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