2019-20 Bright Future Grants

We are thrilled to present the newest group of Bright Future Grants. Watch for announcements about all of these projects now through Fall 2020.

Pendleton Heights Middle School, Teachers Melanie McCarty and Rick Johnson for Environmental Data Collection. Students will collect water samples from local waterways and from highway runoff. They will also collect soil samples and monitor atmospheric conditions. Water samples will be tested for clarity, dissolved oxygen, nitrogen, and other substances. Soil will be tested for type and consistency. Findings will be submitted to NASA Globe, where students worldwide will be able to compare and contrast and track results over time. Fully Funded at: $1,936.60

Pendleton Elementary-Intermediate, Principal Arlene Bennett and Teacher Deena Dinkins for a Sensory Room. Students may spend scheduled breaks to counteract overstimulation or excessive stress and as a place to re-set after a student has calmed down from an escalation. Breaks help students better follow directions and spend more time on task. Overtime, students learn how to self-regulate without leaving the classroom environment. Fully Funded at $728.70

Pendleton Elementary-Intermediate, Teacher Jennifer Westman Rhythm for Life will help students explore different styles of drumming by adding yoga balls and kinetic expression to bucket drumming. This addresses the instructional standard to perform the distinguishing characteristics of different music genres, thereby broadening understanding of music performance. Students will also use software to compose, hear, and print their own music. Fully Funded at $885.

Pendleton Elementary-Primary Teacher Tonya Boynton for Tower Gardens. Tower Gardens are aeroponic growing systems that fit in small spaces and grow quickly and abundantly. They can be used indoors and outdoors with no weeding, tilling or dirt. Students will learn about plants as they evaluate and chart data like pH levels and temperatures, and will learn and use the metric system. Fully funded at $1,303.45.

Maple Ridge Elementary, Teachers Doug Habben, Emily Paulsen and Kendra Waters for the “Windy 500” Student groups will research, design, develop and test race cars in an effort to be the fastest of all Maple Ridge 6th graders. Cars will be propelled by a small motor and fan with wheels, chassis, axles, type of motor, type of fan, and size of battery selected to gain the best competitive advantage on race day. Fully funded at $646.50.

Maple Ridge Elementary, Teachers Allison Ezell, April Martin, Gay Klotz, Angela Holbert for “Soft Starts.” Students come into the classroom each day with different needs and experiences. It is difficult for most of them to start their day by immediately sitting down quietly and working on an academic assignment. They need to be given time to adjust to the transition from home to school. Soft Starts creates a relaxed environment that allows them to ease into their learning by choosing from a variety of activities to complete independently or with a group of students while still meeting instructional standards. Fully Funded at $800.

Lapel Elementary School, Teachers Brittany Walsh and Lori Granger for a Sensory Path. While Sensory Paths are beneficial for all students, they can especially help students with learning disabilities and sensory processing disorders catch up with their peers by strengthening neural connections in a way that reminds the students of play. The different exercises in the Sensory Path are used to stimulate all five senses and improve spatial awareness and balance. Fully funded at $1,294.92

All Pendleton Elementary Schools, Teachers Ashley Snyder, Paul Claxon, Sara Watson for Robotics Expansion. Vex Robotics is an after-school voluntary program where students design, build, test and troubleshoot robots for local, state and national competitions. Each year 10-25 students from each school participate, and there are more who want to participate at each school. Because we want to continue to grow this after school opportunity and provide a quality learning experience for our students, we need more robots, registration fees and competition fees. Amount Requested $2,500 /Amount Awarded: $2,067

East Elementary, Teachers Nicole Powers, Jessica Flatter and Melissa Merz for a Leveled Reader Library. Having access to a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction books builds confidence, stamina and motivation to learn. While East’s library provides a wide range of reading material, teachers have seen a need for more leveled readers, particularly in first grade when students are progressing from being emergent to independent readers. This grant will build a leveled reader library that first grade teachers can use to supplement their curriculum. Amount Requested $2,462.24 Amount Awarded: $1,500

Lapel Elementary School, Teachers Ashley Andryuk, Lori Granger, and Amanda Russo for a Kindness Rock Garden. Students will design and paint rocks to be displayed on the playground and school entrance. The rock garden will promote team building and unity within the school and community as it illustrates the individual as part of the whole. Amount Requested $1,000/Amount Awarded: $500

Lapel Elementary School Teachers Amy Lehman and Kathryn Parker for “Secret Stories.” Secret Stories provides logical explanations for letter sounds in the form of “secret stories,” which are the secret reasons why letters make the sounds that they do when they get together in words. Compatible with all methodologies and curricula, Secret Stories supports the inclusion of phonics into literacy programs for students at all levels. Amount Requested$3,569.50/Amount Awarded: /$2,000.

Lapel Elementary School Teachers, Kristen Wasilewski and Kandi Martin for Novel Ninjas. In Novel Ninjas, various levels of reading achievement correlate to the belt levels in martial arts. For example, for reading 20,000 words, a student is recognized with a white belt and a prize from our Ninja Box. Novel Ninjas levels the playing field of academic competition by allowing opportunities for students of all ability levels to reach success and be recognized for their accomplishments. Novel Ninjas builds student confidence in reading, goal setting, and in daring to push oneself to the next level, often going beyond what they previously believed possible.
Amount Requested $2,240 Amount Awarded: /$1,500

The Memorial Day tornado created additional need for recovery grants in this grant cycle. Two applications specific to tornado recovery were shared with the Long Term Recovery Group, which made the following recommendations:

Town of Pendleton will receive $10,000 for the “Urban Forestry Recovery Project”
Although the town had been keeping the 2016 tree inventory up-to-date and working toward improving Pendleton’s tree canopy, the tornado resulted in the loss of hundreds of trees. An updated inventory is needed to reestablish the state of the urban forest, evaluate the impacts of tree loss, and plan for future planting projects. Once the inventory update is complete, the town will identify planting spaces in the hardest hit areas to plant the first two waves of recovery trees. This grant will be matched by the town and park to leverage an additional $20,000 DNR grant- meaning the Foundation’s grant will be matched 3:1.

Friends of the Library and Friends of Falls Park will receive $2,640 for a “Lending Tree Library”
The two “friends” groups will collaborate to create a magical centerpiece to the playground area of Falls Park and create something good out of the tornado that devastated many of the beautiful shade trees and vintage playground equipment in that area. A massive tree stump left standing near the playground will be transformed into fairy-garden style lending library; an instant landmark that will help ignite the adventure of reading just like the park sparks the adventure of exploring nature. The location is ideal to attract and encourage children to read while enjoying the playful nature of Falls Park.

Remaining Community Enhancement Grants for 2019-2020 are:

Scouts BSA Troop 262 will receive $3,400 for a camping trailer.
The core of scouts BSA is an outdoor leadership program. With at least one outdoor activity planned for each month it is critical for leaders to have the ability to provide a safe and efficient way to transport the gear, food, and participants to many locations around our beautiful state and will be used for years to come.

Town of Lapel and Lapel Police Department will be awarded $5,734.55/$5,734.55 for Project Speed
Due to the increasing amount of traffic in the school zones and at various other intersections portable digital signage will be used to alert drivers and train them to drive at a sensible rate of speed even when the signage has been removed from key areas.

Markleville Police Department will receive $2,700 for officer safety.
There is a 5-year expiration date on body armor and at this point all but one officer is wearing expired body armor. This grant will remedy that problem within six months and remain effective for five years.

Ambassadors for God’s Creatures will receive a grant of $1,800 to provide spay and neuter assistance to families in South Madison County by adding outreach services to the Read and Feed mobile food pantry. An expected 25 animals will be spayed or neutered and vaccinated with this grant.

Pendleton Lions Club will receive $6,950 to purchase a “SpotVision Screener”
The screener will be used to provide vision screening of all first, third, fifth, and eighth grade students in the South Madison Community School Corporation. Previously, a screener was borrowed; because of high demand, the local team was limited on the number of children it could screen. This grant project will allow vision screening of school-age children plus be available to screen many more preschool children.