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On Thursday, the Falls Church Education Foundation made the rounds to all the schools to bestow $58,655 to the winning applicants for Super Grants. The FCEF raises funds through the Run For the Schools, the Annual Gala in the spring, and Academic Booster donations from the community. For Super Grants, teachers apply for grants and the FCEF board makes the awards.
Outdoor Amphitheatre and Foyer Furniture
This FCEF Super Grant provides funding for two nontraditional learning venues. The grant will be used to build an outdoor amphitheatre/classroom that will accommodate 60 students. Sisler's Stone is donating the materials at or below cost and MEH will use parent, staff and student "sweat equity" to build the structure. Entry foyer furniture will not only provide a welcoming atmosphere to the school and allow students and others to sit and gather while they are waiting for events, but will be used as an additional learning space for students, especially for those who might need some time away from class or for special needs students.
Demonstration Table for the Family Consumer Services Classroom
This FCEF Super Grant provides funding for a cooking demonstration table with electric range and mirror, which will allow the teacher to "show the necessary skills to all kids at once", so she can move around the classroom once cooking begins as opposed to breaking the groups down and showing each group individually.
Equipment for STEAM classes and Makerspace at Henderson (M@H)
This FCEF Super Grant funds new types of equipment and technology that will benefit all middle school students through the STEAM classes and M@H. New technology includes Ozobots, Bloxels, Arduinos, Glowforge laser cutter, KEVA planks. In addition to bringing new equipment to MEH, Mr. Erick, Ms. Fogle and Ms. Slifer will be holding tutorials after school to show students how to use the equipment. They will also implement a "Maker Buddy Board" where students can find peer mentors to help them with projects. This grant helps M@H and STEAM classes expand their outreach and offerings to all MEH students and parents.
Four Standup Desks, Four Balance Ball Chairs and Sensory Items for 7th Grade Special Education Students
This FCEF Super Grant funds items to provide students with movement while they are learning. Standing desks "allow for movement, which increases attention, engagement, and student learning." Students who have standing desks have health benefits, such as preventing orthopedic degradation and dysfunction, repetitive stress injuries, pelvic floor dysfunction, and knee and hip disorders. Balance ball chairs help students with ADHD engage in needed movement, help to increase alertness and attention and strengthen core muscles.