Beyond the Books Educational Foundation is pleased to announce the winner of this year’s $10,000 Beyond the Box grant is Colene Hoose Elementary School in Normal, Illinois.
The grant is funded by the Shirk Family Foundation. Second-grade teacher Kathie Brown and a team of her fellow teachers presented a proposal for the project “Big Designs by Little Scientists”.
According to Brown, “There is an urgent and critical need to bring the excitement and relevance of science back into the elementary classroom.” The project will focus on hands-on activities and experiments to make abstract concepts come alive to young children. To accomplish this goal, the school will purchase “Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading Kits and Great Explorations in Math and Science Kits. The kits will focus on such topics as soil habitats, gravity, magnetism, weather systems and body systems.
These integrated kits will be used for over 400 children in second through fifth grades at the school. Special needs and English As Second Language (ESL) students also excelled with this program. According to Brown, research has shown that students who receive instruction with this curriculum significantly outperformed students who received their usual instruction in reading, science vocabulary, content knowledge and writing.
The surprise presentation was made Monday morning at the school. Two other teachers from Colene Hoose, Karen Mercer and Cathy Troyer, were also announced as winners of a mini grant of $375 for a class gardening project.
“Every year, we are thrilled to be able to facilitate this Beyond the Box grant on behalf of the Shirk Foundation,” said Heather Young, BTBEF President. In addition, Young points out, “This year we will distribute over $36,000 in grants from our Foundation as well. It is our reason for being—to fund truly innovative projects that will affect children’s lives!”
Other grant winners in the two school districts will be notified in the coming days as well. Since 1993, BTBEF has awarded over $550,000 for 656 grants! Awards are determined through a blind review of applications. This year, 104 applications were submitted and The Foundation is awarding $36,327 for 28 programs.
For more information, contact Vickie Robertson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 309-838-3386.
BEYOND THE BOOKS EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) Illinois corporation that was formed in 1992. Its purpose is to provide a long-term, self-sustaining financial base that will annually fund innovative academic programs in District 87 and Unit 5 public schools.