Each year, the Propel Schools Foundation accepts grant applications from teachers who seek to do innovative programming that often falls out of budget range. One of the Innovation Grant awardee from 2014 (and 2013!) talks about her experience with the funding and why it is so very important to Propel.
Welcome, guest blogger Heather Harvey, Propel Northside.
The Innovation Grant (via the Propel Schools Foundation) is an amazing opportunity that my students and I have been fortunate enough to benefit from for two consecutive years.
I spend hours over the summer and throughout the school year keeping up with current educational trends and best practices. I am often inspired to bring new concepts and ideas into my classroom from blogs, educational journals, and conferences I attend. In 2013, I was fortunate enough to attend the “National Conference of Teachers of Mathematics” conference in Denver. While there, I learned of the Math and Movement program that is designed specially to help students learn basic math skills through movements on large, room-sized carpet mats. I was so excited to see such a thing, but knew I personally could not afford to bring such a program back to my school. I kept the idea in my back pocket and searched for ways to make it a reality.
The Propel Innovation Grant was just what I needed! After great success with my first Innovation Grant, I left last school year looking for something new so that I could apply for a 2014 Innovation Grant. Integrating math and science are now at the forefront of most educational endeavors, but it was something I personally had little professional experience with. So, I spent my summer and beginning of the school year delving into STEM Education. I found myself extremely excited and interested in several Elementary is Education modules and the Lego WeDo products, designed specifically for educating young students through the STEM initiative. Armed with this new idea I once again turned to the Propel Innovation Grant to embark on such an adventure. I was so fortunate to again be awarded this grant to expose my students to a new project.
The Innovation Grant means opportunity and a chance to do something that would otherwise not happen. The Propel Innovation Grant allows me (and other Propel teacher) to look past what is currently being done in the classroom and enable us to teach our students in more meaningful ways. Most importantly, the Propel Innovation Grant means providing our students the chance to learn, engage, explore and create things using 21st century skills in an amazing way! The grant is the gift the keeps on giving and I am personally forever grateful for the support and encouragement I have received from donors and colleagues which enables me to be a teacher who uses the curriculum as a foundation and not the ceiling!