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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.

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