The Rotary Club of Alhambra awarded 40 Alhambra Unified School District teachers with mini-grants at the Feb. 17 School Board meeting. The Rotary’s Teacher Mini-Grants program, now in its 23rd year, provides cash grants up to $200 for innovative classroom projects that are not paid for by the District. Applications are judged on a competitive basis with 64 teachers applying this year.
Since receiving their award checks, the teachers have gone shopping for their projects. “I just purchased eight sets of K'NEX: Intro to Bridges for my students,” said Monterey Highlands first grade teacher Gary Ho, a first-time grant winner. “My students are so excited to begin the project of building and investigating what makes each bridge successful. They are currently building the seven different types of bridges using the instructions given. Their challenge after the first build will be to successfully design and build a bridge on their own based on what they discovered from the first build as being good designs. The groups have been working out great and the students are using the 4C's (communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity), which we focus on in Common Core. It will be exciting to see the students' own bridge designs at the end,” he said. Mr. Ho is grateful to the Rotary for this opportunity given to his first graders as well as future first graders.
An egg incubator was purchased by Stacy Yoshida, Monterey Highlands second grade teacher, to show students the beginning of the life cycle of a chicken. “Students will be able to see chickens growing inside their eggs as well as hatching. They will get to hold and care for the baby chicks,” Ms. Yoshida, a first-time winner, said. “This grant is a wonderful asset for teachers.”
Nichole Doggett, Granada second grade teacher, purchased several small Lego sets. “I wanted to do a project to help students learn how to read and follow directions, which is a skill that many of my students have struggled with and is a vital skill to be successful in the future. The students will read the directions and build the sets, and then they will create their own directions to build an original creation. I am very grateful to the Rotary for supporting this project and giving my students this opportunity to learn in a way that is outside of traditional learning methods,” Ms. Doggett, another first-time winner, said.
Board President Adele Andrade-Stadler and the Board of Education recognized members of the Rotary Club of Alhambra and the Rotary Club of San Gabriel Valley New Generation with certificates of appreciation at the board meeting. This year $7,310 in mini-grants were awarded, making the total donated to the District over $182,000 since the program’s inception.
The funds for the mini grants were provided by the Rotary Club of Alhambra, Rotary Club of San Gabriel Valley New Generation, The Alhambra, Republic Services, Trans Tech Engineers, Denis Kerechuk, and Beggxis H. Lieberg, D.D.S
Congratulations to the following 2015 Mini-Grant awardees:
I. Tran, Rose Jong, Nichole Doggett, Stephanie Cohen, Kristina Esau, Lisa Vuong, Stacy Yoshida, Pam Wong, Kassondra Larsen, Gary Ho, Khanh Nguyen, James Hamilton, Lisa Jones, Dave Batti, Phillip Vi, Cristina Diaz, Maria Gonzales, Miami Yang, Jose Sanchez, Nicole Hasenbein, Carlos Sanchez, Daniel Hyke, Steve Gewecke, Shelly Gee-Ryan, Jayson Pineda, Mayela Del Rio, Ana Dacaret, Mindy Schofield, Jeron Carr, Fazeelat Dhala, John Mason, Robert Johnson, Joan Lee, Huong Tran, Katy Burkhart, Nicolas Nguyen, Jennifer Wright, John Martin Ulloa, Angie Juarez, Kathleen Doyle, Bonita Sharma-Ngan, Jennifer Quan.
Top Photo: Rotary Club members receive certificates of appreciation from the Board of Education for their Teacher Mini-Grants program. (from left to right) Dr. David Snyder, Chairman & Past President; Lorraine Simpson, President; Linda Wong, Member; Adele Andrade-Stadler, Board President; and Chris Paulson, New Generation Rotary
Bottom Photo: Alhambra High School teacher Jayson Pineda proudly displays his Rotary Teacher Mini-Grant award that will fund mixed media and glass mosaic projects.