YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio, Oct. 18, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Turning Foundation, in partnership with The Raymond John Wean Foundation, has awarded 15 Innovative Teacher Mini-Grants to instructors in Ashtabula, Columbiana, Trumbull and Mahoning counties. Recipients will receive cash awards up to $5000, with a grand total of $50,885 impacting more than 7,300 students in PK-12 classrooms during the 2018-19 school year.
Applicants were required to align their projects with one of the four major goal areas of focus for the Eastern Ohio Education Partnership: kindergarten readiness, early grade reading proficiency, middle grade math proficiency and postsecondary/career readiness.
"This partnership with Turning Foundation and EOEP really represents our partnership with schools in practice. These projects are examples that teacher creativity and innovation drive learning. We salute teachers and their dedication to student success," said President of the Wean Foundation Jennifer Roller.
John Wilson, director of the Turning Foundation, is likewise enthused about the funded projects, and looks forward to seeing the fruits of these collaborative endeavors.
"Every year it is a joy to give area teachers the tools they need to carry out their visions," he said. "We received so many excellent applications, and I am excited to see how these projects help students achieve their potential."
Boardman Local Schools, for example, is embarking on a project that combines international relations, cross-cultural collaboration and technology development – not areas typically associated with middle school students.
Select sixth and eighth graders will work with middle schoolers in Thailand to choose one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which focus on areas including poverty, hunger, equality and the environment. The Boardman students will then create an app designed to educate other children their age about that goal and what they can do to help support it.
"The app-building process is something that we wanted to explore," said Todd Smith, STEAM instruction coach at Boardman. "We always try to apply everything we do to a real-world application so that students understand why they're learning this stuff."
In addition to technical skills, the project has a wide range of goals for the students, including learning more about the design thinking process, working closely with local business leaders and developing a more global perspective.