2017 Ellison Education Grant Recipients

The Ellison Foundation is happy to announce the 2017 recipients of the “Ellison Education Grants”.  The foundation fully funded eleven grants ($5,000) and partially funded four others.  

Our next grant cycle begins November 1st 2017.  If you have any question about our grant process, please contact Bob Hurlbut at bhurlbut@ellison-foundation.org.

Fully Funded

Marion Bageant – Garfield Elementary – Spokane School District

Project Title: “The Visual Thinking Strategy Writing Project”
Writing is a critical skill that crosses all disciplines.  The question is, “how do we meet grade standards in writing for all students”?  Teachers trained in “Visual Thinking Standards” will be instructed to transfer that knowledge to shape and craft writing lessons using critical thinking questions about art to deepen student learning.  Marion will lead a year-long learning lab for 30 K-6 teachers in the Spokane School District that consists of classroom observation, planning, teaching and reflection.  “VTS” is a student-centered teaching method using visual art to nurture creative and cultural thinking skills in students.

Stephanie Bradshaw – Finley Elementary – Finley School District

Project Title: “Response to Intervention Technology”
Finley students come primarily from high poverty and English as a second language homes.  As such, background knowledge needs to be built in the classroom and small groups to improve reading comprehension.  Knowledge will be enhanced by using iPads during “Read Well” instruction.  iPads offer instant translation for ELL students and the ability to answer student questions as they come up.  With 40 to 50 minutes per lesson, this technology will help maximize time spent with students.

Doug Ferguson – Martin Sortun Elementary – Kent School District

Project Title: “Developing Professional Learning Models for teaching STEM in elementary school classrooms”.
Like many elementary schools, teachers at Martin Sortun Elementary have access to STEM education materials and equipment.  However, the staff needs training on how to use their materials and equipment effectively.  With an emphasis on the engineering components of “Next Generation Science Standards” staff will receive pedagogical training in “Problem Based Learning”.  In addition, the staff will receive intentional time for professional development, guided time for learning and assisted implementation in the classroom.

Johnny Garcia – Onalaska High School – Onalaska School District

Project Title: “Aquaponic Greenhouse”
The Onalaska High School Science department in partnership with the Agricultural department and programs from the Career and Technical Education department, will collaborate to build a renewable energy sourced aquaponic greenhouse.  The greenhouse will use natural fertilizer, produced by fish, to grow plants in a semi-closed environment without the use of chemicals. Through the process, students (and the community) will learn more about aquaculture, botany, and engineering via hands on experience.  In addition, building the greenhouse will address Common Core, NGS, CTE standards and cross curriculum learning.

Lindsey James and Mary Burt – Walla Walla High School – Walla Walla School District  

Project Title: “Establish Claim Evidence Reasoning writing standards for freshman at Walla Walla High School”.
Lindsey James and Mary Burt will lead their PLC in establishing CER writing “standards” for freshman at Walla Walla High School.  Throughout the 2017 -18 school year, the PLC will focus their professional learning on ways to embed claim-evidence writing across each discipline, observe each other’s instructional practice, and collaboratively evaluate writing to understand trends, growth and increased student outcomes. 

Michele Lewis – Rainier Elementary – Clover Park School District

Project Title: “Creating lessons with cooperative student learning strategies to increase performance.”
The second grade team at Rainier Elementary would like to learn how to differentiate their instruction by taking into account multiple intelligences and how cooperative learning boosts academic performance.  Research shows students who work together and take ownership in their learning excel in school. The team will attend the “Kagen Cooperative Learning Seminar” to create cooperative learning communities in their classrooms.  

Alyssa McCafferty and Amanda Gerber – Carnation Elementary – Riverview School District

Project Title: “Training to Enhance Quality of Life for students with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder)”
Alyssa and Amanda are special education teachers serving students with special needs Pre-K through 5th grade in the Riverview School District.  They seek unique training to create sustainable benefits for students on the Autism Spectrum.  Alyssa and Amanda will attend training at the “TEACHH Autism” program at the University of North Carolina.  TEACHH is the only program in the country that provides “hands-on and theoretical” opportunities to impact services they currently provide.

Laura Petrie – Denny Middle School - Seattle School District

Project Title: “Mental Health Awareness and First Aid training for Denny Middle School Staff”
Laura along with Denny M.S. administration, PTA and “Sound Mental Health” will address professional development for school staff by providing mental health “first aid” training.  Laura will attend “Youth Mental Health First Aid USA” to become a certified instructor.  Laura will instruct school staff how to identify risk factors and warning signs of mental health issues for adolescents.   The staff will be trained not to “solve” a student’s crisis, but make the appropriate referral, based on training and observations. 

Norma Robledo – Eastgate Elementary – Kennewick School District

Project Title: “Establish a Reading Connection Between School and Home”. 
Norma is seeking to increase the reading skills of the students at Eastgate Elementary through non-fiction texts.  Students at Eastgate struggle to find “leveled” K-3 non-fiction texts they find interesting.  After attending the “Struggling Readers Summit” Norma and her colleagues at Eastgate are committed to creating a systemized reading program with non-fiction books to be used in the classroom and home.  Families will play a critical role in the success of the program. 

Mindy Shaw – Riverside Elementary – Riverside School District

Project Title: “Readers are Leaders”
One academic issue 5th and 6th graders face at Riverside Elementary is the lack of motivation to read in intermediate grades.  Students often fall prey to technology and miss the value and pleasure of a fantastic book.  Riverside has used the “CIA” reading system (Collect, Interpret and Apply) built for College and Career Readiness Standards with great success.  The Ellison Education Grant allows them to purchase the “CIA Book Club” to enhance the progress they’ve made.  The CIA book club allows students to work independently, collaboratively and with their teachers successfully.   

Michele Yerger – Samish Elementary – Sedro Wooley School District

Project Title: “Pre-K Jump Start Program”
Next fall 20 of 24 incoming kindergartners to Samish Elementary will not have had formal preschool.  Michelle and the school’s administrators would like to provide academic, social and emotional “readiness skills” prior to the start of school in September.  Samish Elementary will offer a free Pre-K “Jumpstart” program (in cooperation with Sedro Woolley School District) to be held in August.   Samish Elementary will be the first school in the district to provide a formal “pre-kindergarten” program.  

Partially Funded

Kylie Arlint-Henderson – Maple Elementary – Seattle School District

Project Title: “Digital Education for English Language Learners”
Kylie is the ELL specialist for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students at Maple Elementary.  She’s looking to add digital tools to better serve her students and reduce the equity gap. 

Janice Cockerham-Twigg – Green Gables Elementary – Federal Way School District

Project Title: “School Wide Inclusion of Students” 
Janice and her colleagues would like to be more effective including students with identified and unidentified learning needs.  They will purchase the “Snap and Read” program (three year license) that allows students to increase the availability of materials related to school projects and assignments.

Tyson Linstrum – Davenport Middle School – Davenport School District

Project Title: “Chromebook Enrichment”
Tyson teaches 4th to 8th grade special education students at Davenport M.S. He will use Chromebooks to enhance his students writing skills and help get their thoughts on paper.   All of his students currently have IEP’s in writing.

Joey Reed – Oaksedale School – Oakesdale School District

Project Title: “Incorporating Computer Science in Middle School Curriculum”
Joey is the entire science department for grades 6 – 12 at the Oakesdale School. The Oakesdale School will purchase equipment to replace outdated and ineffective computers to teach computer science and coding.