In October 2007, Reaching Heights awarded 15 School Team Grants totaling $13,800 to seven Cleveland Heights-University Heights City Schools. One $250 Community Connection grant was also awarded. The School Team Grant projects address student achievement needs and focus on literacy, math, infusing art and technology into the classroom, physical education, social skills and a new drama club at Heights High. Oxford received a Community Connection grant to host a school event.
The small schools at Heights High received six grants, the largest number ever for the high school.
Grants are awarded in the summer and fall of each school year. In June Reaching Heights awarded $8,030 for seven additional projects bringing the total number of grant projects to 22 for a total of $21,830 for the 2007-2008 school year.
This is the 17th year that Reaching Heights has made School Team Grants to more than 240 teams of teachers who have creative ideas for promoting achievement.
Reaching Heights raises grants funds with an Adult Community Spelling, Bee, Thank-A-Teacher contributions, and from grants from the Di Geronimo Family Foundation and Cleveland Heights and University Heights Retired Teachers.
Boulevard Elementary School
Read 180 Action Books — $1000
Read 180 is a reading intervention program with which students can make measurable gains in reading achievement. During daily 90 minute sessions, students rotate through whole group instruction, small group discussion, computer work, and independent reading. Some students participate for two years and need access to new titles. These funds will be used to purchase a new collection of paperback books to be shared by the two Read 180 classes at Boulevard. Project manager: Kathy Gill.
Writing in the World—$650
Third graders from 2 classrooms at Boulevard will work with a writer-in-residence, Cynthia Larsen, to explore a variety of writing genres using children’s literature from around the world. Students will write, publish and present their own fairy tales, folk tales, poetry, fiction and non-fiction. This project will be offered in 3 units: Fall, Winter and Spring with 7-10 sessions in each unit. Highlights of this project include a visit from a dramatic storyteller, creating poetry dice with different types of poetry on each of the six sides, and creating Ohio Nature Writer posters and books that will be displayed in the community. Project manager: Tameka Bradley
Garden Experiences for Growing Minds — $500
Students will create a large garden with help from parents and neighbors to grow vegetables, perennials, bushes and trees on the Southeast side of Boulevard Elementary. Instruction based on this living laboratory will help meet the academic content standards for science and math for grades one, two and four. Students will explore the science concepts of life cycles of plants, identifying distinct environments and the organisms they support, and seasonal changes and weather. Activities will also incorporate math concepts when students measure and graph the growth rate of plants, map the area of the garden, chart temperatures and compare prices of produce from farmers markets and retail grocers. This interdisciplinary project will also include art projects, a trip to the Cleveland Museum of Art, and listening to classical music. These funds will be used to purchase gardening supplies, a grow light and books. Project Manager: Carolyn Siegel.
Canterbury Elementary School
On My own: A Book Club for Struggling Readers — $250
The “On My Own” book club is designed to address the needs of below grade level readers in the Fourth Grade at Canterbury Elementary. These readers will be selected by their teachers to join the book club which will meet weekly throughout the school year in a relaxed environment with 2 teachers. Students will discuss the books they read, maintain a journal, and illustrate their responses to questions generated by the teachers. The goal of this project is to provide positive reading experiences for students who find reading a struggle and are often the least interested in recreational reading. Grant funds will cover the cost of journals, writing materials, bookmarks, and recognition certificates, ribbons and books. Project Manager: Terri Gilliam
Noble Elementary School
3-2-1 Math Blastoff — $900
This project will create a cross-grade level math team that will meet monthly to plan math awareness activities for all Noble students. The Noble Math Team will prepare back-to-school math packets; conduct math assistance activities at Curriculum Night, conference nights, PTA meetings and other appropriate family events; set-up and operate Math Homework Help sessions; plan and operate Math Week and Family Math Night; and plan and carry-out math test preparation for the Ohio Achievement Test. These funds will partially cover the cost of math resource materials and staff stipends. Project Manager: Brad Hallam.
Monticello Middle School
Physical Education — $200
This grant will be used to purchase an Ipod to use in physical education classes. Music will help guide students through a fitness circuit that the teacher developed with a large special grant. According to the teacher, music helps students move better, have fun, enjoy the beat and improve their motivation in their exercise session. Project Manager: Vince Nemeth
Dear Diary Project — $1150
Studies show that journaling helps many students emotionally, physically and educationally. 85 students at Roxboro Middle identified with an educational disability will participate in the Dear Diary Project which provides writing materials and the opportunity to free-write creatively and privately on a consistent daily basis. Project Manager: Marilyn Gardner
Passage to Proficiency — $1500
The 8th grade Navigator Team will reach more students by incorporating technology in the classroom across content areas. The team will share the use of a Smart Board. Project Manager: Lia Radke
Wiley Middle School
Engaged in Outdoor Education — $1500
Seventh graders from Wiley Middle School will go to Nuhop Camp in Ashland, Ohio for a 3-day outdoor educational experience in May 2008. They will take classes in archeology, canoeing, compass challenge, ecology, genetics, map skills, stream study and survival skills. This grant will defray costs so that all students can participate. Project Manager: Heather Penny
High School Projects
Drama Club at Heights High — $1500Heights High has a part-time Drama Club Advisor. This project will pay for two theater professionals, Marc Moritz and Robin Pease to work with the new Drama Club Advisor and students to prepare for the Improv Olympics, cast and direct an evening of live theatre, help launch and develop the Heights High Drama club. Project Manager: Tom Kerr
BABE, Better Attendance Benefits Everyone — $1,400
Within the Career Prep Department at Heights High is the GRADS (Graduation, Reality, And Dual-roles Skills) program open to pregnant and parenting students. B.A.B.E. (Better Attendance Benefits Everyone) is designed to encourage students to attend classes regularly and to read to their children. Students will receive coupons for attendance and participating in special events. Every 9 weeks, students can redeem their coupons for children’s books. Students will learn infant sign language and learn about the benefits of reading to their children as ways to stimulate their language and intellectual development. Project Manager: Pat Fuller
Mosaic Experience School
Infusing Art and Technology — $1,000
This project will help differentiate the Mosaic Experience from the 4 other small schools at Heights High by developing its character as the school that integrates technology and the arts. Grant funds will be used to purchase materials to construct 3 visual art projects to be used by social studies, math, drama, photography, art, CISCO and science classes. The projects include large stretch wrap and packing tape sculptures, miniature glowing lamps called “throwies”, and a huge 3-dimensional SOMA puzzle made of folded index cards. Project Manager: Al DeGennaro
Putting the Mosaic in MOSAIC, Mosaic Experience at Heights High — $950
The Mosaic Experience has commissioned artist George Woideck to work with students to design, create and install a ceramic tile mosaic in the Mosaic Experience wing. Students from a history class will study the historical and cultural influences of mosaics and incorporate a historical theme in the mosaic’s design. Students from a geometry class will focus on the technical aspects of tiling and study the science of geometric design. The artist will work with students from both classes to create the final design and build the mosaic in December, 2007. Project Manager: Al DeGennaro
Operation Calculator, Legacy School at Heights High — $750
Ohio Academic Content Standards require use of scientific calculators. They are an integral part of high school math and science classes and are used on the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT). Due to financial need, many students cannot afford to purchase scientific calculators. This grant will help fund the purchase of calculators for Legacy School ninth graders. Project Manager: Joel Mulder
Study of French Influences in Art and Architecture of Washington. DC, REAL School at Heights High — $1,000
These grant funds will partially cover the cost of a 3 day trip to Washington, D.C. for students of Art and French in the REAL School. The goal of this project is for students to develop an appreciation for the history, art and architecture of Washington D.C. and the French influences on its art and culture. This project begins with 5 after school sessions to study appropriate background information. During the trip, students will record their impressions and observations in a journal. Upon return, students will create a permanent mural of their experience with professional mural artist and REAL School teacher, Jerome White. Project Manager: Gina Staron
Community Connection grants support school-based outreach to parents and community to strengthen connections and foster a strong school community that supports and values our students.
Mother/Son Event — $250
Boys who attend Oxford Elementary will be invited with their mothers to a special Mother-Son event to be held in December, 2007. Mothers of Oxford students are being surveyed to determine the type of event they would enjoy the most to provide a memorable, bonding experience with their sons. The Oxford PTA will design an event that provides a place for the boys to learn and practice some formal etiquette and socialize without the interference of their female peers. Grant funds will defray the cost of food for this event. Project Manager: Aziza Jimerson
Reaching Heights awarded three Podis-Weiskopf Music grant for the 2007-08 school year. Grants may be used to infuse music in the curriculum, support instruction or encourage students to excel.
Wiley Middle School
Ensemble Program – $400
Orchestra Band Organization of Wiley, a parent support group for the instrumental music program is running a chamber music program. This grant supports this weekly after school program for 6th, 7th and 8th graders by providing funds for music coaches.
Roxboro Middle School
Music Coaches – $400
Roxboro Middle School students will work with coaches to prepare for the solo and ensemble contest.
Fiddler on the Roof – $1500
The grant supported the orchestra for the Heights High production of Fiddler on the Roof. The production that ran from November 1-4, involved more than 150 elementary school students and the entire Heights High Vocal Music Department. It marked the revival of musicals at Heights High and continued the elementary school honor chorus that was first convened by Reaching Heights for the Reaching Musical Heights concerts held at Severance Hall in 1995 and 2007.