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Teacher Innovation Grants Supported by Race

All net proceeds from the Sunrise Stampede support Teacher Innovation Grants for students with special needs in St. Vrain Valley Schools.  Some of the projects funded in the past have included flexible seating, sensory tables for autism classes, a reflective calming room, sensory tools to support student learning, Unified percussion ensemble, SWAP transportation support and technology engagement tools.  Help us continue a community tradition and sign up today to participate in the Sunrise Stampede.

Alpine Elementary School – Point, Click, Differentiate:

The goal of this project was to be able to quickly differentiate for individual students’ needs, using a Fujifilm Instant Camera. This camera works like a Polaroid camera. It takes and prints the pictures instantly. Many of our students who receive Special Education services benefit from visual support, such as pictures. With the instant camera, the teacher was able to quickly capture a visual representation of learning and use it within a few minutes. Since receiving this grant, the teacher created a variety of choice menus and behavior reminders, which students accessed on a daily basis. They celebrated students’ achievements by snapping their photo and sending it home. The camera was also used to help students represent their understanding of a given topic. Taking and printing pictures increased their motivation and buy-in with a variety of our learning activities over the last few months.

Thank you for providing us with the opportunity to get creative in meeting student needs. This project will continue to impact students in years to come!

Erin Maldoff

Sunset Middle School – Access Reading for All:

Reader pens were purchased for special education students. These students are reading in middle school on the 1st-3rd grade reading level. They had to have others read their science, social studies, and language arts material to them so that they could understand the information. Now with the pen’s students can check them out of my room and use them in any class at any time. They are now independent of an adult having to read to them. It has given them confidence and has improved their comprehension. They can choose an age appropriate book to read from the library instead of an elementary level book. They can learn to love reading at school and at home by using the reader pens purchased from this award. The pens are very successful. 

Thank you so much for making this possible.

Laurie Rayhill

Timberline PK-8 – Pen With A Purpose:

A C-Pen is a small, discrete tool that is about the size of a highlighter pen with a sensor and a built-in dictionary. To use the pen, the students scan words or sentences on the page and the pen will audibly read the text back to them in their ear phones. This gives the students a measure of independence when comprehension is the primary goal while still requiring the students to follow along with the words on the page. This “pen with a purpose” helps those with a variety of learning needs as well as English language learners with reading disabilities.

Thank you for this opportunity to show my students the many ways that they can strengthen their skills of reading and many ways to read. This pen opened up the discussion of ear reading, finger reading, eye reading and Tech supported reading. It has helped increase their confidence and independent work.

Brittany Lisonbee

Timberline PK-8 – Flexible Seating for Special Education:

The goal of this project was that special education students would improve their attention and focus using flexible seating within in their special education classroom and general education classrooms. Flexible seating allows students to move and wiggle while learning, which increases muscle activation, core strength, and increased oxygen flow to the brain. Flexible seating also improves engagement and makes the classroom more student-centered. The grant allowed us to buy 3 wobble stools and 6 wobble cushions, and the results have been amazing in two different special education classrooms.

Thank you so much for funding my grant! It has made such a difference in our classroom and with our special education students!!

Tanya Mander

Mead High School – Unified Percussion Ensemble:

Two separate Teacher Innovation Grants have supported the launch of our 2019-2020 Mead High School Unified Percussion Ensemble. Students with, and without intellectual disabilities work collaboratively to create high energy musical performances on percussive instruments.

Unlike any other ensemble in the district, Mead High School is proud to offer a performance-based music ensemble that shares the vision of the Special Olympics and Unified Sports in our schools. We are incredibly thankful for the grant funding from the Education Foundation for the St. Vrain Valley, and the support to advance music education in our schools.  – Chad Lemons

Click Here to watch a video from teacher Chad Lemons and the Unified Percussion Ensemble.

Spark! Discovery Preschool – Core Word Classroom Games, Books and Sensory Bins:

The Education Foundation is one of the best ways to support teachers and students in your community! I cannot thank them enough for what they have done for me and my students.  As an itinerant staff member of the district, I have needed a wide variety of multi-purpose materials to provide for the speech and language needs of the students.  The Education Foundation has been able to help me provide the best possible speech therapy services for the students of St. Vrain Valley School District.  

This year, I was lucky to receive a grant that focused on obtaining materials for preschool age students.  I was able to buy games and toys that are fun for the students, but also promote language development and student engagement.  I was able to use these materials to help students learn high frequency, multi-purpose words that they could generalize to other areas of academic development and social skills.  It is so much fun learning the words ‘in’ and ‘out’ with Pop-Up Pirate! Or “up” and “down” with Chipper Chat!  We practice “over”, “under”, “on” and “inside” using the amazing color blocks that we got from the Education Foundation!  – Meghan Winget, M.A. CCC/SLP

Columbine Elementary – Kaufman Intervention Cards for Apraxia:

Thank you to The Education Foundation for helping to support students with motor speech and articulation disabilities at Columbine Elementary. With my grant, I was able to purchase a set of Kaufman Cards to work on sequencing speech syllable patterns and improving intelligibility. The cards follow a specific program to support motor speech sequencing and articulation abilities for students who have highly unintelligible speech. The cards have pictures on them and are bigger than typical articulation card decks, so kids were more engaged when working on their speech. Seeing kids progress through the program and feel successful with their speech was amazing, and many teachers supported the process by using the cards daily with students to ensure they got extra practice outside of speech therapy sessions. Additionally, they made assessment and therapy sessions easier and more cohesive for me as the SLP because I did not have to create or find materials before every session as I could follow the program.

Students with significant speech disabilities at Columbine Elementary truly benefited from the Kaufman Cards. 

Thank you so much to the Education Foundation!

Emilie Scharf

Niwot Elementary – Project Game Day:

This year, I applied for and received an Education Foundation Grant to help support game day for my Social Skills group. This group is made up of both Special needs and typical students who have difficulties with their behavior in school.  Once a week, these students play games in a controlled environment that supports prosocial behaviors that hopefully will transfer back into the classroom and playground. Over the years, we have found my ‘stash’ of games to be lacking, falling apart, or missing pieces.  I would hear quite often how the students wish they had a certain game, or wouldn’t it be nice to not have to choose from the same games over and over again.  In came the Education Foundation grant.  With the idea of being able to purchase new games if we received the grant, the students all came up with ideas for games that I should have in my game closet. I wrote the grant and we waited.  When I read the congratulatory letter to the group, the shouts could be heard down the hall.  We now could have a choice in what we played!  With the money I was able to purchase all of the games the students wanted and was even able to set up rotations to where they played a different game each week. This was something we weren’t able to do before. The group was even able to play some of the games as a whole group- Apples to Apples quickly became a whole group favorite! With the new games also came a sense of pride and ownership.  The students were very careful with the games and the pieces and are in the same condition for years of use!

Without the generosity of the Education Foundation, I would not have been able to purchase these games for my students. I would not have had the variety to work on different types of skills through these games and we would have been stuck with the same old ones we had been playing for years.  My students and I cannot thank the Foundation enough for their support of Special Education and helping to meet the needs of these unique learners. Thank you! – Becky Gaccetta