$1 million from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation

A $1 million grant from the Boise-based J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation will allow the start of online high school classes for Idaho students this fall through the state’s Digital Learning Academy.

“At a time of limited resources, this grant will allow us to move forward with an innovative program for students and school districts,” State School Superintendent Marilyn Howard said June 5.

The academy, authorized by lawmakers last winter, is similar to online educational programs offered by 17 other states, she said. Half the grant will finance start-up costs, and the rest will pay for a year’s operation.

The academy offers a way to help students catch up on coursework, take classes not offered in their districts, or provide instruction to gifted students. “Technology is expanding our opportunity to deliver instruction in lots of new ways,” Howard said.

State officials estimate there will be 100 ninth through 12th graders participating this fall when the program begins with limited course offerings. The academy is expected to be in full operation by January.


$548,700 from Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Habitat restoration, flood control, and the “science” of science fiction—these are just a few of the topics explored by this year’s winners of the 2002 Toyota TAPESTRY Grants for Teachers program.

Sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. and administered by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the TAPESTRY program encourages innovative science projects and is open to all K-12 science teachers in the United States. With a record 78 teachers receiving $10,000 large grants or $2,500 mini-grants this year, the program continues to be the largest grant program aimed at K-12 science teachers in the nation.

Proposals must describe a project and its potential impact on students, as well as outline a budget. Grants are awarded in three categories: Environmental Science Education, Physical Science Applications, or Literacy and Science Education. Many projects integrate the use of technology to help students collect and analyze scientific data.

Teachers who received large grants were honored at a special awards ceremony at the NSTA National Convention in San Diego in April.


$100,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities

A Rhode Island elementary school will receive $100,000 over the next two years from the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop a historical walking tour of the school’s neighborhood as part of the school’s ongoing historical project.

After researching brochures, maps, and audio CDs, students at the Charles N. Fortes Elementary School in Providence will develop a walking tour of the city’s West Elmwood neighborhood. The tour also will include computerized kiosks where visitors can access and watch video images of the neighborhood through touch screens.

The children at Fortes will gain skills in writing, making maps, and using technology to record oral histories, school officials said.


$4,500 from Curriculum Associates

Three educators each will receive a $1,000 grant and a $500 gift certificate from educational software company Curriculum Associates through the company’s Excellence in Teaching Cabinet program.

The program was created to reward teachers who exhibit best teaching practices in grades K-8. Winners can use their grants to purchase new equipment to fulfill their project, go on trips, or buy classroom resources.

This year’s winners are Rowena Gerber of Miami Country Day School in Miami, for a project on solar cooking with students ages four to twelve; Mary-Claire O’Neill of Byrd Community Academy in Chicago, for a collaboration of the school’s art, science, and computer instructors in teaching students different aspects of plant study; and Liesa Schroeder of Santa Fe Trail Elementary School in Independence, Mo., for a project that will have fifth-graders team up with graphic designers to create a 12-month landmark calendar.

The Excellence in Teaching Cabinet program is open to K-8 teachers in the United States and Canada who have a unique project idea. An independent panel of educators selects the winning projects based on soundness of educational goals, creativity, diversity of teaching media, ability to incorporate technology, and ease of implementation.


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