Construction project

Saad Amer's students at Franklin Elementary work on a project.

A broad range of funding requests were awarded as part of the Redlands Educational Partnership’s 2021 Grants for Teachers program, awarded earlier this month, from multi-sensory materials for autistic students to STEAM activities for kindergartners, and yoga mats and field trips to cooking supplies and calculators.

REP distributed $35,000 between 15 elementary schools, $6,000 among the middle schools; and $17,000 toward high school programs; as well as Special Services grants of $500, split between 121 recipients for a total of $60,500.

Each teacher award was for $500.

Special education preschool teacher Saad Amer at Franklin Elementary School had hoped for classroom equipment.

“We need a pull-down projector or smart board,” Amer said. “The kids have to watch videos and songs on the top of our board, and on the roof, to be able to stay engaged. Some of my smaller students cannot keep their heads up so high for such long periods of time” without losing interest.

Redlands East Valley High School AVID Coordinator Jana Bailey has been hoping to inspire students to practice tolerance, and plans to buy promotional T-shirts for the members of Wildcats for Change, a student-run organization tasked with combating hate, bias and discrimination.

Citrus Valley High School engineering teacher Brian Bartlett will use funds to purchase materials for students working on designing and prototyping personal transportation devices.

Arroyo Verde Elementary School second-grade teacher Megan Campbell says, “I have many students that would benefit from ‘wiggle seats’ and alternate seating,” and will use funds to purchase wiggle cushions and movement bands for students’ desks.

At Mariposa Elementary School kindergarten teacher Mara Comadena will acquire age-appropriate robotic equipment that will enhance foundational coding skills.

“If they become more interested in computer programming and coding, they will know what it is and have basic ideas to work from,” she says. “I’d like to provide two types of programmable robots, as well as some coding board games. I think this type of activity would enrich my STEM instruction and tap into the next generation of inventors.”

Also benefiting from REP’s largess this year is the Air Force JROTC program at Redlands High School, overseen by Ionne Barnes-Joshua and Julio Sandoval, who will purchase a DJ1 Mini 2 Quadcopter to complement an FAA-approved course on ground school and drone pilot certification to coincide with teaching students to fly unmanned aerial vehicles.

More information about REP may be found online at rep4schools.com.

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