SPECIAL PROJECTS: Innovation Educator Grants were recently announced by the Wahoo Public Schools Foundation. Among those receiving grants were (from left, holding certificates) David Privett, Andi Mann, Mike Bomar and Lisa Zysset. Foundation members present for the announcement at the Dec. 18 basketball game were Brett Eddie, MaryAnn Tingelhoff and Eric Gottschalk. (Staff Photo by Lisa Brichacek)

WAHOO – The Wahoo Public Schools Foundation recently handed out some checks to district teachers.

Every year, the Foundation offers Innovation Educator Grants. Foundation Member Eric Gottschalk said the purpose of the grant program is to offer staff members an opportunity to implement new ideas that enhance the school and inspire students.

All certificated and non-certificated educators in the district are able to submit application for the grant dollars. The Foundation makes the selections and can award up to $1,500 per application granted.

This year’s recipients were announced between the girls and boys basketball games on Dec. 14 at the high school. It was announced this year’s winners were chosen because their innovative and creative projects.

This year’s grants totaled $5,000.

Special Education Teacher Lisa Zysset received a $580 grant for executive functioning with aquaponics. Her project will develop executive function skills in second through fourth grade resource students.

According to her application, the students will set up a 10 gallon tank and cultivate plants as well as aquatic life. Objectives will include following instructions, setting priorities and scientific engagement.

Megan Walker and the Elementary Technology Department will be purchasing several items to create a STEAM Lab Library. The new lab will allow small groups to engage in science, technology and match activities. Students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade will be able to use the lab material.

The Foundation grant for this project is $1,500. The district will also match $1,500 for the purchase of such items as robotics bundles, LEGO early simple machines, and tiles and bins.

ESL and Title 1 Reading Teacher Heidi Adams will be using $600 for sensory writing materials.

According to her application, sidewalk chalk, finger paint, sand trays, rainbow scratch paper and other materials will be used to help Level 1 English learners and kindergarten students engage in learning about letters, spelling and writing.

District Media Director David Privett received a $1,500 grant to make virtual reality a Wahoo Public Schools reality.

Using matching district funds, Privett hopes to begin exploring the worlds of virtual and augmented realty through Google Expeditions. The technology can be used by all grade levels.

The Wahoo Middle School team of Lisa Russ, Andi Mann and Mike Bomar received a grant as well. Their project focuses on flexible seating in the classrooms.

The goal is to help the students find what type of seating works best for their learning. The grant money will start the process by offering some seating options that can be introduced into the classroom.

The team’s application said there would be guidelines for students trying flexible seating options. Monitoring and reporting mechanisms would be in place as well.

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