Norwalk, CT - This spring, fourth grade students in Emily Terry’s class at Marvin Elementary School this spring will learn about science and nature not simply from textbooks but by hands-on observation of the birds right outside their windows. Second and third grade students in Joan Skloot’s music classes at Marvin will also be getting a lesson in math when they learn how to play music. These are just two of the twelve engaging programs funded this year by the Norwalk Education Foundation (NEF) through its Classroom Innovation Mini Grants.
Each year, NEF awards teachers mini-grants of up to $500 for projects that will inspire, engage and excite their students, allowing them to learn in a new way. The teachers’ programs must also leverage the Common Core State Standards, particularly in the area of math and research-based writing. NEF received grants from teachers at Brien McMahon High School, Columbus Magnet School, Marvin Elementary School, Naramake Elementary School, Norwalk High School, Rowayton Elementary School, Tracey Elementary School, and Wolfpit Elementary School. The awards are made possible by a $5,000 grant from MBIA Inc. and a $3,000 grant from the Fairfield County Community Foundation.
“We had some wonderful ideas for classroom projects this year, from learning about citizenship and world cultures to gardening and chemistry,” says NEF Executive Director Gloria Tenofsky. “These classroom projects will bring these concepts to life for students, and support the new Common Core State Standards that our schools have just begun to work into the curriculum.”
At Tracey Elementary School, science will come alive for fourth graders as they hold Science Day with The Eli Whitney Museum of Hamden. Students will build cars, learning about motion, forces and friction, and then electric model homes, to learn about electricity and magnetism. Teacher Edison Sanchez explains why he came up with the idea. “Learning can and should be fun! During the day the students will be learning about science through exploration and inquiry while engaging in fun activities such as car races and circuit building. These also reinforce that science is a real and important aspect of our everyday lives.”
The Norwalk Education Foundation is an independent nonprofit organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding, support and advocacy for educational improvements that sustain and drive student achievement for all of Norwalk’s public school children. For more information visit www.norwalkeducation.org or call (203) 854-4068.