Westhill Educational Foundation Awards $30,000 to fund 19 grants in 2017

The Westhill Educational Foundation has awarded $30,000 to fund 19 grants to teachers and staff in Westhill Schools. Work on these grants will begin in 2017. This is the third round of grants awarded by the Foundation.

  1. Mission To Space

Submitted by Patsy Vercillo, Katrina Balla, Marilou Francisco, Megan Vertucci, Wendy Snyder and Jennifer Stanton for first grade students at Walberta Park School
Students will enrich their Space Science unit using the Bricks 4 Kidz Legos program to build structures related to space. Bricks 4 Kidz workshops offer an imaginative, multi-sensory and dynamic learning experience.

  1. Symphoria: Meet the Orchestra
    Submitted by Greg McCrea and Elizabeth Buell for students K through 6 at WPS, CRS and OHMS

      Students will attend a Symphoria performance by the full orchestra at Westhill High School.

  1. Lego Education
    Submitted by Tammy Phillips for students at CRS

    Students will use Lego STEM kits to enhance math, science and ELA curriculum at CRS, and possibly at WPS.
  2. Perfect Planting with Crazy Daisy
    Submitted by Julie Dennis, Marianne Glose, Sarah Lootens, Rick Mace, Meaghan Stanton, Corine Ward for second grade students at CRS

Students will visit Crazy Daisy Greenhouse to learn about plants and participate in a planting that may be transplanted at the school at a later date.

  1. Imagination Station/Video Production Studio
    Submitted by Penny Feeney for all OHMS students

    This grant supports the video production studio, funded by a grant awarded by the Foundation last year, with the addition of a portable video camera. The students will also visit a local production studio and learn about job requirements for a career in the production field.
  2. Big Ideas with Little Bits
    Submitted by Penny Feeney for all OHMS students

    OHMS will purchase Little Bits for their MakerClub library of tools, which was funded by a Foundation grant last year. Little Bits are tiny preassembled circuit-board components that can be combined to create complex inventions.
  3. For-the-Birds Courtyard Estates

Submitted by Maggie Feyerabend for fifth graders at OHMS
Students will research, design and build clay birdhouses for various types of birds. The final products will be placed in the school’s courtyard.

  1. Reader’s Road Trip
    Submitted by Desiree Wight for seventh and eighth grade students at OHMS

    Students will attend the Teen Book Festival at Nazareth College and receive a book written by one of the festival authors.
  2. Insights and Inspirations

Submitted by Mark Bednarski for all OHMS Students

Each grade will read a different book by two-time Newbery Honor author Gary Schmidt (from the Teen Book Festival) in preparation for a visit by Schmidt to the school. The visit will include a day of activities that will bring reading to life.

  1. Digital Career Portfolios for 21st Century Learners
    Submitted by Christina Gullotto for eighth-grade Home and Careers students

    Students will create a digital career profile via Google apps outlining their strengths and weaknesses, volunteer experiences, interests and career aptitudes. Their profile will follow them through high school at Westhill.
  2. 21st Century Mathematics

Submitted by Jennifer Bricco and Kara Ruetsch for seventh and eighth grade math students at OHMS
Students will create their own videos using Chromebooks to demonstrate various math concepts and connect them to real-life situations. The videos will be used to teach their peers.

  1. Merry Mischief: A Musical Look into the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

Submitted by Kathy Tompkins for sixth grade students at OHMS

This grant will enhance the sixth-grade unit on the Middle Ages by bringing in performers, complete with costumes and scenery, to perform music, dance and tell stories relevant to the Middle Ages.

  1. Westhill Pride Package

Submitted by Jen Pisegna and Mike Quinn for all new OHMS students

This grant will help students new to the district adjust socially, emotionally and academically to school by providing them extra support along with a welcome package that includes Westhill gear and school supplies.

  1. Westhill Day of Jazz with the CNY Jazz Orchestra
    Submitted by Elizabeth Buell, Erin Tapia and Tony Mastrobattisto for grades 7 through 12

Students in the Jazz ensembles at OHMS and WHS will work on improvisational skills with professional jazz musicians in this day-long event. A public performance that evening will feature student and professional soloists.

  1. Bringing Solar Energy to Westhill

Submitted by Tracy Willey for Living Environment Students at Westhill High School
Students will research, design and implement renewable energy proposals at the high school using solar panel kits. They’ll begin their research by interviewing community members and bringing that information back to the classroom.

  1. Westhill High School Inquiry Celebration

Submitted by Sarah Fleming for senior research seminar students at Westhill High School
This grant extends last year’s Senior Symposium Foundation grant to a larger population. Students will complete an inquiry project and present it to a public audience at Syracuse University. There will also be mentor workshops and a scholar’s luncheon.

  1. Art in the Garden
    Submitted by Michele Ramos-Burrows for Ceramics classes at Westhill High School

    Students will work individually and in groups to design and create totem poles to be placed in the WHS courtyard.
  2. Minecraft in the Classroom

Submitted by Robert Stokes for resource students at Westhill High School
Minecraft will be implemented to assist and increase student engagement and problem-solving abilities.

  1. Mirrors and Windows: Celebrating Diverse Books
    Submitted by Karen Fenner for all students grades K through 12

    Westhill will participate in the National Reading Without Walls challenge that encourages the community to read diverse books. A set of books for each school library, with accompanying activities, will be purchased.

The Foundation is an official non-profit organization that raises funds to help support innovative learning experiences for all district students. For more detailed information on the grants please like us on Facebook, visit www.westhillfoundation.com or email us at westhillfoundation@gmail.com.