Grants Awarded in 2013-2014



1. iPad and Apps for Occupational Therapy

Submitted by Kelly Kish, Carrie Wooten, and Emily Lazar of the Worthington Education Center (WEC)

Funds will purchase three 32 GB iPads, apps, accessories, and Apple+Care warranties. The iPads will be used by school age Occupational Therapists for students with disabilities receiving occupational therapy (OT) across the district. This grant will allow for the implementation of technology to help facilitate fine motor skills, sensory processing, visual-perceptual skills, access to alternative forms of written communication, and academic content as it aligns to the new content standards. Research shows that the iPad is an effective tool used to reach out to children with Autism, Asperger Syndrome, and other developmental disabilities in an effort to enhance learning and differentiate instruction. The use of iPads will help make the general education curriculum accessible to learners with these disabilities as well as address technology standards in grades K-12. Additionally, this project will be used to create visual prompts for students in the regular education setting who may not qualify for OT services, but need accommodations in the classroom.

2. Worthington Science Day Recognition

Submitted by Sara Quart and Erica Hitzhusen representing Worthington Schools Science Program

Funds will support a pilot project, a district-wide Science Day, by purchasing the awards for participants. By offering ground-level support, we hope to help create a successful district-wide event which in turn has the potential to generate community support for future Science Days, scaling up individual building fairs to one district-wide K-12 academic event. The goal of the applicants is to promote science, inquiry, math, engineering, and technology at all levels of Worthington Schools and encourage more participation in future science fairs, invention conventions, and other lifetime inquiry endeavors. A K-12 Science Day will allow younger students to see exemplary projects from upper level students and inspire them to continue their inquiry into science, math, technology, and engineering.

3. Microsoft Surface Tablets

Submitted by Tracy Ruffing of Granby Elementary

Funds will purchase six Microsoft Surface Tablets, six Type Touch keyboards, one 7-outlet surge protector. The purpose of this project is to create a portable Technology Lab that will give every third grade student at Granby the opportunity to use the devices for projects that will enhance learning in all subject areas. Currently, third grade students have one day per week in the Computer Lab, using technology that is not interactive, portable, or able to be used in diverse ways. Potential projects for the Surface Tablets include interactive applications with Scholastic News Interactive, Tumblebooks, Raz-Kids, and Reading A-Z.


4. Interactive Learning

Submitted by Carrie Olney of Worthington Estates Elementary

Funds will purchase 12 LeapPad2 learning tablets; 12 headphones; and reading, math, science, social studies, and spelling cartridges for Ms. Olney’s Specialized Learning Center which services students with autism, OHI, ADD, and Down Syndrome. The equipment will enhance, in visual and auditory ways, the special education students’ learning of reading, math, writing, and technology. The LeapPads do not need internet access, are hand-held and target visual, kinetic, and auditory senses.

5. ROX Empowerment Program for Girls

Submitted by Maggie Connor and Cindy Fox of Bluffsview Elementary

Funds will allow Bluffsview to implement a 20-week, evidence-based empowerment program, called ROX, for up to 15 girls in grades 5 and 6. The ROX program focuses on the education, development, and empowerment of girls, and allows girls to have a supportive, safe place to address both academic and non-academic issues that are impacting their lives. Through the ROX program, school counselors are trained by the Ruling Our eXperiences, Inc. organization through a 22 hour licensure process. ROX lessons cover the topics of Team-Building, Healthy Communication, Relational Aggression, Issues in Cyberspace, Body Image, Safety and Violence Prevention, Academic Planning, Career Development, and Leadership. The program then focuses on teaching girls the skills necessary to address pressure, sexual harassment, safety, defend themselves physically, and view their bodies as strong and powerful rather than focus on external qualities. Professional women from the community serve as guest speakers to provide girls with exposure to diverse women from various occupations.

6. Language for Learning

Submitted by Lindsay Allen and Beth Koester of Worthington Park Elementary

Funds will partially fund the purchase a complete set of Language for Learning materials, which will be used to teach students in the SCLC at Worthington Park Elementary the words, concepts, and statements important to both written and oral communication. The program emphasizes language as a means of describing the world and as a tool for thinking and solving problems, and focuses on vocabulary acquisition. Placement tests and program assessments will be used to ensure each student is working on concepts appropriate for their abilities so they can progress at individual rates. This complete project will be co-funded by Worthington Park Elementary.

7. Collection of Unopened Dairy and Dry Goods at Colonial Hills for Worthington Food Pantry

Submitted by Becky Dunn, Food Service Coordinator

Funds will purchase a cooler for Colonial Hills, to preserve unopened refrigerated food items that will be transported to the Worthington Food Pantry. Unopened milk, cheese, yogurt (as well as dry items) that students do not eat at lunch will be taken to the Worthington Food Pantry on a weekly basis. The food items will benefit the pantry, and reduce food waste and trash at the school level, as well as increase awareness for the students at Colonial Hills, as the students will place their unopened food items in the cooler or dry box each day after lunch.

8. Tumba: A Cross Cultural and Cross Curricular Reading Project

Submitted by Rebecca Stratis and Lyssa Fisher-Rogers of McCord Middle School

Funds will purchase a classroom set of Tumba, a cross-cultural novel that will be used in the 8th grade Spanish classes. The project will target several goals: provide an in-depth study of cultural beliefs; develop reading comprehension skills in a second language through the reading of a short novel; support reading comprehension and literacy skills.

9. Making Connections Through Young Adult Latino Literature

Submitted by Jess Blamble, Rebecca Stratis, Makoto Morioka, Joy Nieto, and Matt Bender of McCord Middle School

Funds will purchase a collection of award winning books written in English by Latino authors, creating a Latino Literature section in the Media Center. Multiple copies of a limited number of works will be purchased so that small student literature circles can occur in ELL, reading intervention or Spanish classrooms, which includes over 80% off the student body. Applicants hope to create collaboration among ELA, Reading Intervention, ELL and Spanish departments at both the 7th and 8th grade levels, build a bridge between Latino and non-Latino students, and engage Latino ELL students by providing access to literature that is relevant to their lives in a respectful way.

10. Updating Linworth’s Science Data Collection Technology

Submitted by Ron Pilatowski of Linworth Alternative Program

Funds will replace old Texas-Instrument Computer Based Laboratory equipment with a newer, more efficient, more powerful system of data collection and analysis, Vernier LabQuest 2. This project will be co-funded by the Linworth Parent Board. The system provides updated data collection technology, as well as an extensive library of on-line resources to allow teachers to create, customize, organize, and download labs for both physical science and chemistry.

11. Using iPads in the World Language Classroom to Differentiate Instruction

Submitted by Amanda Miller, on behalf of World Language Department, of Thomas Worthington High School

Funds will purchase five iPad Mini Tablets for the World Language department. The iPads will be used in daily sessions, and in small groups for differentiated instruction stations. For example, students will be able to break into small groups and use the iPads to dissect infographs at their own pace, without having to print paper copies for the students. The iPads are portable, and can be shared among the three World Languages at TWHS: Spanish, French, and Latin. IPad lessons developed by the World Language teachers at Thomas Worthington can be shared with teachers at Worthington Kilbourne and Linworth.



1. Noiseless Earphones for Special Needs Students

Submitted by Brenda Leary, Alyse Schwartz, Sarah Carney, and Janice Skelton of Liberty Elementary School

Funds will purchase 30 noiseless earphones to be assigned to specific students who need them at Liberty Elementary School, including the large number of students with autism, and those who receive support for special education and sensory needs.  The earphones will be available to the students as needed throughout the school day, to control decibel levels of noisy environments such as music class, eating lunch in the cafeteria, and assemblies; or to create a quiet, distraction-free environment to help them focus on doing their school work.  Some students need both.  The earphones purchased with this grant will reduce noise levels by 26 decibels.  Students will still be able to hear a concert, for example, but the sound level won’t be painful, which will be more conducive to their learning.

2. 15 Digital Cameras, Memory Cards, and Camera Pouches

Submitted by Megan Mott of Bluffsview Elementary School

Funds will purchase 15 digital cameras, 15 camera pouches, and 15 memory cards to increase learning, motivation, student engagement, and creativity through digital storytelling and nonlinguistic representations created with digital photographs.  The digital cameras will be available for staff members to check out and use with their whole class or small groups of students.  In addition, the digital cameras will be used to enhance learning projects with all classes (K-6) during library/computer lab time.

Examples of digital photography projects include illustrating steps in a procedure as an aid in “how to…” writing; using photos as prompts for narratives or descriptive writing; use of photography in a school newspaper, class newspaper or newsletter; graphics for written reports/presentations; and creating images to use with blogs, wikis, etc.

3. Graphic Novel Library

Submitted by Jim Kish and Erik Burgeson of Kilbourne Middle School

Funds will purchase hardcover graphic novels that will be used for both the Graphic Novels class and the Comic Book Club at Kilbourne Middle School.  The goal of this project is to create a resource of alternative literature that can help to entice reluctant readers.  The Comic Book Club is both a social club and a service club with the goal of bringing young readers to the art and the literature of the graphic novel genre.

5.  ROX Empowerment Program for Girls

Submitted by Gina Morgan, Kathy Starks, Celeste Redman, and Pete Scully of Worthingway Middle School, Kilbourne Middle School, and Thomas Worthington High School.

Funds will allow Worthingway, Kilbourne Middle, and Thomas Worthington to implement a 20-week, evidence-based empowerment program, called ROX, for up to 15 girls in grades 7-12.  The ROX program focuses on the education, development, and empowerment of girls, and allows girls to have a supportive, safe place to address both academic and non-academic issues that are impacting their lives.

This grant is an extension of the pilot program supported by the WEF at the elementary level (awarded in the Fall), extending it to the middle school and high school age groups.



1. Lexia Reading – Core 5

Submitted by Ashley Wiot, Andrea Skamfer, Erika Katris, Megan Hedges, Amanda Lindeman and Alison Palermo of Brookside, Colonial Hills, Granby, Evening Street, Wilson Hill, and Slate Hill.

The funds will help purchase a 3 year site license that will enable 25 elementary special education students, who have been diagnosed with a learning disability in basic reading, access to the Lexia Reading- Core 5 web based program at school and at home. Lexia Reading provides personalized learning in the six areas of reading instruction as well as student performance data as the student utilizes and progresses through the program. With this program, students will be provided with immediate corrective feedback, multiple levels of instructional scaffolding and explicit instruction, all online. Each student with access to Lexia Reading will follow a personalized learning path, with adaptive placement and pacing in activities designed specifically for them based on performance data and progress monitoring. The goal of this grant is to show success with the program, so it will be funded through school budgets in the future.

2.  Guatemalan Carpet by WKHS Spanish III Students

Submitted by Andi Prince of Worthington Kilbourne High School

Funds will support the design and construction of a traditional Guatemalan sawdust and flower petal carpet to be displayed in the front hall of Worthington Kilbourne. Hector Castellanos, a visiting Guatemalan artist, will prepare supplies and communicate with Spanish III classes to explain the tradition and significance of this art form. Each class will design its own 4’x8’ panel in class, then work hard to install it on Friday May 16th, Arts in Action Day. The five panels will run end-to-end to form a 40’ length. The WKHS PTO is contributing $300 to the project as well.

3. VEX Equipment for Robotics Competitions

Submitted by Rod Pierce of Thomas Worthington High School

Funds will purchase robotics parts that will be used for student training, preparation and participation in robotics competitions, and will significantly increase students’ capabilities for future projects. The goal of the grant is to help stimulate interest in the STEM fields. It will benefit nearly 100 students every year for the life of the equipment, which is estimated to be 10 years or more with proper care. Any funds needed for upkeep, upgrades, or replacement will be covered through the building budget.



Fall 2013:         $13,574.60

Winter 2014:       $5,904

Spring 2014:       $6,325

Total:             $25,803.60