Danville Schools foundation awards $6K in grants for spring semester

Published 5:49 pm Thursday, January 23, 2020

More than $6,000 in grant money has been awarded by the Danville Schools Education Foundation and Alumni Association to fund 15 educational projects in the school district.

According to the foundation’s news release, “The projects have the goal of expanding opportunities in arts and humanities, enhancing achievement through enrichment activities, linking technology to academic success, and promoting lifelong learning through scholarships.”

The projects range from field trips for high school students, to vlogging equipment for intermediate students, to mindfulness lessons for primary-schoolers.

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The grants were announced in late December and the funds will be available for the spring semester of this year.

Foundation President Ben Saylor said each of the grants ranged from $240 to $350.

“The grants provide teachers the opportunity to fund innovative ideas they have for their classrooms,” he said.

This year’s grants will help fund projects including re-introducing cursive writing; book reading projects; authentic costumes for a production; and advanced technology items to enhance existing materials, Saylor said.  

“Throughout the school year, teachers get those ‘a-ha’ moments about methods to reach their students,” he said. “The grant process provides an avenue for those ideas to be implemented.”

This year, the foundation and alumni association had $7,000 allocated to fund grant applications, Saylor said. However, the amount requested was less that that, so all 15 applications were funded and the the remaining allocation will be rolled over into future grants, he said.

Saylor said the two organizations are independent and work to provide resources to students and teachers in the Danville school district.

“We hope to encourage contributions from alums, their families and community to allow the foundation to offer more and different opportunities to students,” he said.

One of the grants was awarded to John W. Bate Middle School theater teacher Darrell Rickmers. He said the school will have a musical production of “The Secret Garden.” 

Rickmers said the show requires period costumes that will either have to be acquired or made. “With the support of the Danville Schools Education Foundation and Alumni Association grant … we can bring characters from the past alive. It has been said that ‘costumes make the character.’ After 40 years involvement in theater, I truly believe in this philosophy,” Rickmers said. “I am excited and can’t wait for our production to come to life.”

A special grant was awarded to six second-grade teachers at Toliver Intermediate School to purchase cursive writing materials, Saylor said. Cursive writing is a skill that has been added to the second grade standards by the Kentucky Board of Education. The application requested that each second-grade teacher receive a set of “Cursive Kickoff” books to help them teach handwriting skills. The workbooks will also be used in the students’ enrichment classes.

Teacher and coach Clay Clevenger received a grant for his project, “Admirals in a Tsunami.” The application stated that a new product called a tsunami bar helps with building students’ stabilizer muscles, which protect their joints and ligaments from injury, and helps them to build the muscles better than traditional workouts.

Other projects that will be funded through the grants include:

  • Creative journaling — Danville High School; students will receive materials and instruction and twice a week, they will share time and space to learn about how to write their own journals.
  • Video on the go — Edna L. Toliver Intermediate; will teach students how to create “awesome videos of meaningful events and activities.”
  • Flexible seating — Toliver; to purchase adapted seating options for students with moderate to severe disabilities.
  • Here’s looking at you — Toliver; to purchase portable, glassless mirrors that will allow dancers and actors to see and improve their movements.
  • “Just Mercy” community book read — DHS; to purchase books for students and members of the legal and law enforcement communities titled, “Just Mercy,” by Bryan Stevenson, so that they can read and discuss together issues of social justice.
  • Robotis STEM — DHS; to help teach students 21st century skills, such as collaboration, critical thinking and communication.
  • Making social studies come alive — Toliver: exciting online games that put students in the role of past Americans.
  • School-wide clubs — Bate; to support monthly school-wide Club Day, which includes 27 clubs.
  • Now you’re talking: vlogging in the speech language classroom — Toliver; purchase of vlogging equipment (for video and blogging) for students to share Toliver events and create a presentation of a topic they learned in a core class.
  • Calm down class and mind up! — Hogsett Primary School; evidence-based curriculum framed around 15 easy ways to implement lessons on mindful listening, seeing, tasting, movement, perspective, choosing optimism, gratitude and kindness.
  • Maywoods field trip — DHS; trip to Maywoods Environmental and Research Laboratory in Garrard and Rockcastle counties.
  • Headphone explosion — Hogsett; to purchase a class set of sturdy headphones and headphone splitters to use with existing technologies to personalize learning.



To donate to the the Danville Schools Education Foundation and Alumni Association, go to givedanville.org/contact-us or the foundation’s Facebook page.