Grant Information

Our board of directors recently awarded Florence School District $150,015.78 to fund grants for the 2017-2018 school year.  To date, The School Foundation has awarded $1,355,377.90 in grants to Florence School District One. 

Please click on grant name to read additional information on this year's grants.

Major Grants

Engineering a Smart Start

Engineering a Smart Start
Project Director – Calandra Brisbone
Co-Project Director – Dohnia Gallaway
Carver Elementary School - $73,370.20

Students must be engaged to become productive participants and gain ownership in their learning. Carver Elementary educators are committed to creating an atmosphere that is conducive to personalized learning where students are intrinsically motivated to explain and engineer solutions to problems. Engineering a Smart Start is designed to engage, motivate, and empower students to build 21st century skills so they can compete in a global economy. Science, technology, engineering, and math are beneficial and necessary components of STEM careers and yet our students tend to struggle with basic mathematical attributes and the ability to adapt to technological changes. Our current MAP data shows a need for our student's math and technology skills to be expanded using Creative Learning Systems, SmartLab. SmartLab is designed to stimulate student interest in critical thinking and problem solving in order to build math and technology proficiency through scientific explorations.

The implementation of a SmartLab will challenge Carver students to extend their math knowledge using innovative technology and real world applications. This learning environment will include technology equipment such as digital interactive tablets, furnishings such as collaboration tables and storage, robotics construction kits, engineering software, and the Creative Learning Systems Learning Launcher Curriculum. SmartLab provides us with the vehicle to increase student math and technology achievement while at the same time enhancing our school and district initiative of our STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) curriculum. This core curriculum is integrated into all subject areas in the classroom and in all related arts (including art, music, physical education, science learning lab and our library) classes at Carver Elementary.

SmartLab increases student enthusiasm and participation, teamwork/collaboration, and creativity while helping students understand how and when they will use these newly developed math and technology skills. Our students will visit the SmartLab on a weekly rotation to enhance all curriculum instruction with emphasis on math and science. "It is a fully integrated learning environment where everything from furniture and technology to curriculum and assessment work together to support hands on, minds on learning. In a SmartLab, personalized learning and intrinsic motivation engages students of all ages, interests and abilities" (SmartLab Pamphlet, p. 1). This lab will truly provide an outlet for all learners to be successful and receive differentiated instruction through multiple challenge levels, formative assessments, and open ended activities. Both students and teachers will be trained through core lessons at the beginning of the year on how to use the lab effectively and efficiently. For the past two years all of our teachers and staff have participated in various STEAM professional training and all of our classroom teachers have received certification for PLTW (Project Lead the Way) curriculum which is a part of our STEAM curriculum.

The students of Carver will benefit from a place with limitless boundaries, such as the SmartLab. "A place with no boundaries means kids exceed anything you ever expected" (SmartLab Pamphlet, p. 8).

E-ssential E-Books

E-ssential E-Books
Project Director – Amy Rhodes
Co-Project Directors – Dohnia Galloway, , Sarah Sparkman, Kelli Becote, Susan Lane, Barbara Green, Robin Horne, Cathryn Garland
Briggs, Carver, Delmae, and Timrod Elementary Schools, Moore Intermediate, Southside Middle School, Wilson High School –
$50, 250.00

This grant will provide seven schools in Florence School District One with a basic nonfiction eBook collection to support the district One-to-One (1:1) initiative, online standardized testing, and the South Carolina's Read to Succeed initiative, legislation which is dedicated to improving literacy for South Carolina students. Teachers and students will be trained in how to use Destiny (FSD1's current library circulation management system) to access the eBooks. Teachers will be given the opportunity to attend a book talk and get extension ideas on how to use the books within their curriculums. Students will participate in a book talk and will be encouraged to read eBooks to increase exposure to digital resources in preparation for online standardized testing.
Digital collections will be increased by 100-125 titles at each of these schools. These eBooks will be permanent in each collection and will not require a yearly subscription fee. This grant will provide an expansion to teachers' classroom libraries and students' home libraries as they will be able to access these books 24/7, which will allow for greater ease in meeting the state's Read to Succeed initiative and help prevent summer reading loss for students.

Field Trips Without Wheels

Field Trips Without Wheels
Project Director – Stephanie Thomas
Co-Project Director – Sandra Craddock
McLaurin Elementary School - $21,073.82

 

     The purpose of this proposal is to narrow and ultimately close the achievement gap that exists between groups of children as measured by the SC Ready state tests given in the spring of each year.

     Two of the reasons that the achievement gap exists are (1) children entering school without the necessary background knowledge and (2) inadequate vocabulary. Many children are behind just because of where they live and the poverty within the environment. We have learned through research that some schools have had success using field trips to build background knowledge for children who do not have personal experiences on which to attach their new learning.

     Our teachers generally provide one field trip for their students each year. Because many of our children cannot afford the cost of a field trip, we have had fund raisers and/or collected donations to provide for those who are among the less fortunate. Because traditional field trips are costly and often logistically impossible and because of what we have read, we began to think creatively and came up with the innovative idea of virtual field trips.

     Through virtual reality field trips, students are not limited to places close to the school…they can explore the whole universe without leaving the classroom. With a headset and an accompanying technology device, students can experience a magical VR trip. The teacher has a tablet from which to navigate the excursion. Student devices are synced with the teacher’s tablet and from there the trip is easy. VR excursions can support all content areas. Teachers will expect and encourage students to read fiction and informational text that connect the VR trips to state standards for reading, science, social studies, mathematics, writing and inquiry.

Gators Grasping Literacy Through Google

Gators Grasping Literacy Through Google
Project Director – April Leroy
Co-Project Directors – Haley Taylor, Margaret Henry, Crystal Deas, Samantha Broughton, Kelly Weiss
Savannah Grove Elementary School - $3,631.59

Our mission at Savannah Grove Elementary School is to effectively prepare all students for the 21st century by utilizing research based educational practices. Therefore, our goal with this grant is to provide our students in third through sixth grades with the opportunity to maximize their learning by using technology. We strongly believe this initiative will help Savannah Grove effectively weave technology into the curriculum and instruction to improve student learning, increase learning opportunities and collaboration, and encourage the use of different and innovative teaching methods.

Our explicit goal is to implement Google resources and other online programs utilizing Chromebooks for our third through sixth grade students. In order to achieve this goal and to better prepare them for the future, we need to purchase additional Chromebooks for our school. This grant will address multiple needs observed in our school. First, our students have the need for daily use of technology, secondly our students have the need to be exposed to an ever changing world, and thirdly, allow them to be part of a Chromebook Classroom. By using Google resources in addition to other online programs for education, the Chromebooks will allow us to better meet each student's individual needs. The integration of technology embedded in daily instruction is a great way to reach our diverse learning styles.

Savannah Grove is currently ranked in the bottom two schools in Florence School District One for ELA according to the 2016 SC READY State Assessment data. This data drove our crusade to find alternative ways to facilitate learning at Savannah Grove. It is critical that we help our students. We researched for a solution that would maximize student learning. Since technology has become an increasingly important and necessary tool in education, we need this opportunity for Savannah Grove students. Chromebooks will help maximize instructional time and increase student engagement. This plan will allow teachers to better meet individual student needs and facilitate the learning of each student. The Chromebooks will allow us to have a learning community where all students are engaged, working independently on assignments and/or collaborating in groups. By using the Chromebooks daily, we will increase the students' motivation, confidence, and independence to become successful, productive learners. It is critical that we implement Chromebook Classrooms at Savannah Grove for our students.

Mini Grants

Coding in a Dash

Coding in a Dash
Erika Hartman
Lucy T. Davis Elementary School - $496.74

I am requesting the Dash robot with the additional accessories and a curriculum subscription to motivate and challenge students to learn and practice such skills as problem solving, collaboration, troubleshooting, and reasoning. These 21st century competencies can be introduced and mastered through using Dash which is a kid-friendly programmable robot. In addition, the robot allows for student creativity to interact and explore coding, logic, and mathematics. Students in all grade levels can use Dash to learn or practice a variety of mathematical and spatial concepts.

Dashing into Robotics & Coding

Dashing into Robotics & Coding
Marianne Gaskins and Marci Gatewood
Royall Elementary School - $496.70

Robots are an excellent way for students to demonstrate coding skills. Our school has two Dash robots. With these robots and the Blockly application on the iPads, primary students have been able to program the robots for use in a variety of classes. Participating in the Wonder League Robotics Competition will build on these skills. However, in order to participate in the robotics competition, it is necessary for a team to have access to a Dash robot, Dot robot, launching accessory, iPad and competition mat. I am asking for two Dot robots to pair with our school's existing Dash robots, launcher accessories, and one complete competition set which includes a third pair of Dash and Dot robots plus a competition mat. The addition of these materials will allow multiple teams of students to participate in this competition.

 

I am Proactive - I am in Charge of Me!

I am Proactive – I am in Charge of Me!
Jennifer Coleman
Briggs Elementary School - $496.73

The grant, "I am Proactive-I am in Charge of Me!" is designed to help tie our "Leader in Me" theory more across the curriculum. "Leader in Me" teaches the children that they are in charge of themselves; no one else can do that for them. By earning honor roll, perfect attendance and/or reaching math facts goals are all something that only the students are in charge of. Something this simple can make a huge difference for a child who is never recognized for anything positive that they do at school. The goal of our grant is to allow students to be recognized for various things in ways that they can display their achievements and grow on them throughout the year.

 

Translating Education for a Growing Global Community

Translating Education for a Growing Global Community
Debbie Heimbrook and Sara McSwain
Lucy T. Davis Elementary School/John W. Moore Intermediate School - $200.00

This grant will allow for the purchase of Speak & Translate apps for each school in FSD1. This will assist in communicating with parents/guardians who do not speak English well or at all. Currently, there are over 500 students who speak a language other than English in their homes. There are over 21 foreign languages spoken in these homes.