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Last update: 5/19/08

[University of Wisconsin-Green Bay News Release]

For Immediate Release:

May 19, 2008

Northeast Wisconsin schools receive Institute for Learning Partnership grants

GREEN BAY - The Institute for Learning Partnership at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has awarded eight grants totaling $38,063 to support projects aimed at improving teaching and learning in area schools.

Institute grant recipients for 2008-09 are from the Green Bay, Luxemburg-Casco, Wrightstown, Pulaski, Plymouth and Manitowoc school districts. Projects range from using "SMART Boards" to increase basic concepts and vocabulary, to stocking a sensory closet with items that help students with attention and learning issues remain in a regular education classroom.

This is the tenth year the Institute has awarded Grants to Improve Teaching and Learning. To date, the Institute has awarded grants totaling about $638,000.

The Institute for Learning Partnership brings together educators from area K-12 school districts, universities, colleges, and business and community leaders to improve learning for all students in pre-kindergarten through grade 16.

Grant recipients for the 2008-09 grant cycle are (listed by school, school district, and project director):

Luxemburg-Casco School District, Jodi Kinnard, $2,920 for Project FORWARD. Project FORWARD (Families' Opportunities incRease With Academic Reading Development) will start a series of monthly child literacy meetings for parents of English language learners in pre-kindergarten through third grade. Staff members will empower ELL parents to use at-home strategies with their children in order to improve reading achievement, as well as foster a love of reading. Highlights include comprehension strategies, a visit to a local library, real-world literacy tasks and enhancing fluency through rhyme and rhythm.

Wrightstown Elementary, Wrightstown School District, Melanie Sickinger and Becky Stellmacher, $4,850 for "Bridging the Achievement Gap: Can the right materials help?" Scheduling changes at Wrightstown Elementary School will give struggling kindergarten through fourth-grade students time to meet with highly-trained staff to help close an achievement gap. The grant will help fund skill-specific materials to be used for intervention changes when indicated by a student's lack of progress. Last year's data will be compared with next year's assessment data to determine which interventions best meet the needs of struggling students.

Glenbrook Elementary, Pulaski School District, Ann Kralapp, Sarah Pautz and Lisa Andreini, $5,000 for "Using Smart Bards to Increase Basic Concepts and Vocabulary." Pulaski school officials identified vocabulary as a weak area at all levels. Teachers will emphasize vocabulary and basic concepts with kindergarten students with two 48-inch SMART Boards, projectors and additional equipment. The grant will help with the equipment purchase and training.

Horizon Elementary, Plymouth School District, Sarah Eiring, Sarah Michlig, Betty Steiger and Nancy Zipperer, $4,000 for "Linking Phonological Awareness Between Home and School." The grant will provide instruction in the areas of phonological awareness to promote strong early pre-reading skills for kindergarteners. The program is multi-sensory and incorporates movement and music while making sound-symbol connections. It should attract a variety of learning styles and enhance the leaning of all children.

Eisenhower Elementary, Green Bay Area Public School District, Martie Kojis, $2,387 for a "Sensory Closet." Grant funding will go toward stocking a sensory closet at Eisenhower Elementary School. The tools in the closet will be used to implement interventions that will enable students with attention and learning issues to remain in regular education classrooms with the tools they need to reach their learning potential. A catalog of the tools and their success with individual students will be kept and shared with students' teachers the following year.

Preble High School, Green Bay Area Public School District, April Bornowski, $7,165 for audio enhancement systems in high school science classrooms. Three Preble science teachers want to analyze the impact of audio amplification systems on the students' ability focus on classroom instruction. The grant will help fund systems that would allow teachers to use wireless headset microphones, CD players and video projection technology during instructional time. Unit test scores and final grades will be compared to determine the effectiveness of audio systems in the science classrooms.

Green Bay Area Public School District, Shirley Paulson, $4,240 for "AVID Algebra Readiness Project." The Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program prepares aspiring first-generation college students-many of whom are students of color or from poverty-to succeed in rigorous high school courses and to gain admission and be successful in college. The project seeks to increase seventh grade AVID students' readiness for the "gatekeeper" course of Algebra I. College students, in collaboration with district staff, will design and administer a pre-assessment and create interventions based on needs identified by the pre-assessment. The college students will then work with small groups of AVID students to match an intervention to an area of weakness.

Franklin Elementary and Bethany Lutheran School, Manitowoc Public School District, Diane Burkhalter and Kathy Lee, $7,500 for "Intervention Partners." Officials have identified deficits in its students' reading and math scores. The objective of Intervention Partners is to take small groups of no more than five children in each of these core areas and form a partnership with students, teachers and parents. Students will work after school with teachers and parents will be incorporated into the program on parent-student nights.

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08-141 | Contact: Mike Heine, (920) 465-2526

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