First-time foundation grants help Russellville classrooms

The Upper Elementary Team at Cole County R-1 School received a $450 grant from the Russellville School Foundation for materials to enhance their spring MAP Testing Motivational Skit. Pictured, from left, are Judy Price, foundation board member; Amber Shepherd, 3rd grade teacher; Cindy Wieberg, 4th grade teacher; and Kathy Koestner, foundation board member. Submitted photo

The Upper Elementary Team at Cole County R-1 School received a $450 grant from the Russellville School Foundation for materials to enhance their spring MAP Testing Motivational Skit. Pictured, from left, are Judy Price, foundation board member; Amber Shepherd, 3rd grade teacher; Cindy Wieberg, 4th grade teacher; and Kathy Koestner, foundation board member. Submitted photo

By MICHELLE BROOKS

Democrat staff

RUSSELLVILLE — Technology, literacy, security and motivation were rewarded with the inaugural grants from the Russellville Schools Foundation.

Individual teachers could qualify for up to $500 and groups for up to $1,000. The annual grant program is made possible by donations to the foundation.

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The 4th and 5th grade team at Cole County R-1 School received a $998 grant from the Russellville School Foundation for its iPad Mini project. Pictured, from left, are Judy Price, foundation board member; Cindy Wieberg, 4th grade teacher; Rachel Ratcliff, 4th grade teacher; Andrea Hill, 5th grade teacher; and Jennifer Bish, 5th grade teacher. Submitted photo

Upper elementary students will benefit from iPad Mini technology in science, history, math and literacy.

New applications will allow teachers to leave the textbooks and expand creatively. The small technology also will free up classroom space.

“As the elementary students progress through the grades, it becomes more challenging to motivate them,” said Cindy Wieberg. “Technology is the key.”

The fourth-grade teachers implements a personal iPad usage plan in the last school year.

“Student’s learning was more meaningful because of the incorporation of specific skill related games,” Wieberg said.

They were used for electricity and economic units for the whole group and in small groups for reading, math tutoring and enrichment

Because science concepts are assessed on the fifth-grade state MAP (Missouri Assessment Program), the teachers intend to concentrate the use of this new technology in units including rocks and minerals, space, scientific method and ecosystems.

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The Parents As Teachers program at Cole County R-1 School received an $885 grant from the Russellville Schools Foundation. Pictured, from left, are Judy Price, foundation board member; Karen Ponder, elementary principal; Jerry Hobbs, superintendent; Heidi Nichols, PAT teacher; Kathy Koestner, foundation board member. Submitted photo

As a companion to a significant Children’s Trust Fund grant, the local foundation helped provide security and other measures necessary to open the Parents As Teachers new Early Childhood Play Center.

Tracey Bieri will install an iDock Wireless Listening Center, comprised of six wireless headphones, a wireless transmitter, and a dock which will expand the teacher capabilities of a single iPad.

The device will allow for differentiated instruction in literacy, math and technology. She hopes it may aid in reducing the need for Title 1 services.

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Tracey Bieri’s second-grade class at Cole County R-1 School received a $493 grant from the Russellville Schools Foundation for an IDock Wireless Listening Center. Pictured, from left, Judy Price, foundation board member; Bieri; and Kathy Koestner, foundation board member. Submitted photo

“Students will have access to interactive books and extra practice with the comprehension and phonics skills that will supplement our Journeys Reading Curriculum each week,” Bieri said.

And finally, the foundation grant will provide supplies to enhance the Spring 2014 MAP assembly skit. The musical performance incorporates test-taking tips and models appropriate strategies.

“The 2013 skit was made memorable to the test-takers, but at cost to the staff for the cute, matching team costumes,” Wieberg said. “The effect on student learning should be reflective on our increasing MAP test scores.”

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