In May 2019, The School Foundation awarded $145,413.80 in grant awards to Florence One Schools (F1S) for the 2019-2020 school year. To date, the foundation has awarded $1,670,444.30 in grants to F1S.
Please click on grant name to read additional information on this year's grants.
Project Director – Chris Rogers
All Florence One Schools
The STEM bus is a state-of-the-art, custom-designed mobile classroom designed by STEM U, LLC. This will be a mobile STEM classroom that will be scheduled at every school in the district multiple times during the school year. The inside of the bus will consist of advanced interactive technology that provides students with immersive zones inclusive of; virtual and augmented reality, aerospace and aviation simulation, 3D printing and design, advanced technology encompassing principles of art, robotics equipment, drone engineering, 1:1 smart devices connecting principles of computer science, and interactive smart panels (additional features; AV equipment, music, speakers, smoke machine, storage, collaborative learning furniture, electronics, and Google technology).
Each zone will provide students with opportunities to explore and solve real-world problems while providing exposure to STEM-specific careers and local industry challenges. Students from every school in the district will have time with the bus at their school. This project will allow elementary and middle school students a chance to start exploring STEM careers while giving high school students a chance to expand their curriculum in a specific STEM field. Our teachers will also be able to see how to use STEM concepts in their own class. We will set the schools up on a rotation for having the bus at their school. We currently have 14 elementary schools that will have the bus for 8 days each. This will be done on two 3 day rotations and one 2 day rotation. This will be a total of 112 school days. With a total of 3 middle schools and 3 high schools, we will give each of them 10 days with the bus which will be two 5 day rotations totaling 60 school days. That will leave 8 days during the school year that we could have demonstrations to local business and industry in our area to show them the STEM fields our students are being exposed to from kindergarten to seniors in high school.
Project Director – Dr. Floyd Creech
RN Beck/CDC Woods Road
Count 5! Continues
Project Director – Dr. Floyd Creech
RN Beck/CDC Woods Road - $33,501.32
Count 5! Continues proposes to continue the momentum created during the 2018 -2019 Count 5! campaign and dig deeper into the community of champions created during that campaign. We propose to:
• Continue Count 5! weekly newsletters for home visits, preschool and child care parents
• Continue Count 5! parent/child events with home visit and preschool families
• Continue Count 5! child screening for vision and hearing for all requests by parents
• Increase the Count 5! Parent/Child classes enrollment from 50 to 150 at the Woods Road and the new Beck location
• Refine the Count 5! Child Care Provider training to help 100 providers improve their practice at 6 different sessions
• Implement email and twice weekly Instagram and weekly newsletter distribution to all participating families and providers (1000 families)
• Implement Ambassadors in Early Childhood program for 25 committed community members
• Offer expanded 5 Golden Keys (Movement, Sleep, Nutrition, Routine, Love) training and awareness by Helle Heckmann to all participants
• Offer education about Parent/Child Classes and their value to the F1S community to expand Count 5! goals (Movement, Love, Routine)
• Offer Pikler Babies awareness to improve the understanding of movement as a way to learn for young children (Love, Movement)
• Offer a "Cooking with Children" event lead by a chef to improve the understanding that children involved in food prep improves nutrition (Nutrition)
• Offer digital technology training to improve the understanding of digital media use with young children ( All 5 Golden Keys)
• Offer a Tinkergarten event to raise awareness of outdoor learning for young children. (Movement)
Each special presentation (5 Golden Keys, Parent/Child Classes, Pikler Babies, Cooking with Children and Digital Technology) will be presented to the Ambassadors, child care providers and parents. These special events will provide 1,350 participants with increased awareness and knowledge about the Count 5! components and campaign. The newsletter and electronic messages will reach about 18,000 participants. The Parent Child Groups and Screening will reach about 6,000 participants. The collective power of these events has enormous potential to increase community awareness, knowledge and practice in Early Childhood Education.
Project Director – Haley Taylor
Savannah Grove Elementary is in need of curriculum and materials to continue the computer science immersion program through Code to the Future. This grant will provide funding for year two curriculum and specific materials that are needed to impart year two of the computer science immersion program already taking place within our school. Through the generosity of The School Foundation, Florence One Schools, Title One, and on-site fundraising, we were able to purchase the majority of the materials needed to implement the computer science immersion program during the 2018-2019 school year. The purpose of this grant is to fund year two curriculum and the remaining materials needed for the Making and Robotics units. Kindergarten and first grade students will be utilizing Lego pieces to construct figures and engineer real life models of coding proponents. Second and third grades will be utilizing LEGO We-Do Kits, which allow for students to engage in 21st century learning with a specific focus on the sciences (earth, life, space, and physical) as well as mathematical and engineering practices. Fourth through sixth grade students will be using LEGO EV3 Mindstorm Kits. These kits will allow students to design and build robots; thus taking two dimensional drawings, designs and missions, bringing them to fruition through robotics. Students also engage in inquiry skills by finding solutions to problems with an emphasis on mathematics, science and literacy skills. No longer are students the player; through coding and computer science proponents, they become the creators. The expected benefits and outcomes are to allow students an opportunity to engage in 21st century skills by utilizing hands-on materials to collaborate with students, observe how technology promotes societal gains, and to actively become involved in their own learning process. Students will be engaged in strategic problem solving, analytical and critical thinking, and a focus of logical reasoning.
Project Director: Brittany Smith
The REACH program serves qualified gifted and talented children in grades three through six in all fourteen elementary schools in Florence One Schools. Our program meets the needs of over seven hundred academically gifted children each year. The REACH program is housed at North Vista Elementary School, a Title 1 school and includes a very diverse group of students. Some base elementary schools have cutting edge technology, but many of our students are not exposed to such technology. Thirty-five percent of our students are of minority ethnicities, and almost 34% of our students are on free or reduced lunch.
Through “Google Expeditions for Elementary Learners!”, we will be giving all of our students a unique and cutting edge technology experience. With the Google Expedition kits, all of our students will be able to visit Italy as a part of our Renaissance unit or the Globe Theatre when they study Shakespeare, take a field trip to France in their French language class, and explore the parts of the body in their biology class.
Because the REACH program services so many students and provides such a variety of units of study, the community impact will be great. Over seven hundred students from every elementary school in our district will be impacted by this grant per year. REACH teachers will also offer professional development to teachers from other schools in our district and community who are interested in AR/VR technology.
Our students have been state-identified as gifted and talented learners. We provide the main enrichment and acceleration curriculum that gifted students in our district require. As set forth by the South Carolina Best Practices Guidelines for Curriculum and Instruction, there are several objectives that would be incorporated with the regular use of AR/VR technology.
Gifted and talented students study abstract and complex themes and relationships in all of the disciplines, whether biology, physical science, mythology, history, technology, or mathematics. The AR/VR kits will help students visualize heart and skeletal systems, bridges, roller coasters, and ancient civilizations. Seeing and interacting with a concrete or holographic image in front of them serves as a pivot to reinforce what students are learning. Once students have a clear and tangible visual understanding of these various systems across the disciplines, they will be able to move forward with their understanding. The interaction that AR/VR provides in a way that regular slideshows cannot provide will carry students further into their inquiry. They will be able to generate even more questions and create more solutions to the big questions.
Project Director – Carol Hill
Florence One Schools Adult Education
Student voices matter… at all ages. Florence One Schools (F1S) Adult Education (AE) helps adults who are trying to help themselves academically... and in terms of workplace skills. Many of these adult education students are parents to students in F1S preschool through twelfth grade; the more these parents learn, the better they are able to support their children’s academic success. The more workplace training and skills these students gain, the more capable they are of improving their family income, also increasing their children’s ability to thrive.
The Visualizing, Operationalizing, Individualizing, and Customizing Education for Students (VOICES) grant will create multiple possible pathways for adult students to earn academic and workplace credentials simultaneously. These pathways will include certifications in areas of high need to local employers and of high interest to current students: welding, health care, and mechanics. Teachers will be trained in contextual teaching; a virtual reality lab will be created. Certification trainings will be offered onsite. With the VOICES grant monies, resources, including virtual reality equipment and workplace contextual texts will be purchased.
Project Director - Jennifer Danford
Timrod, Greenwood, Dewey L. Carter, Wallace Gregg Schools
Students must have their basic needs met and feel safe before they are able to learn. Research has shown that students who are taught about social and emotional health show improved academic scores, fewer disruptive behaviors and lower emotional stress. With three different types of regulation intervention resources, the plan is to meet the needs of the students on a variety of levels. Although all four schools included in this grant are interested in having a Sensory Room, or Regulation Station, not all facilities have adequate space for such a room; only Wallace Gregg and Greenwood will be considered for the Regulation Station. Therefore, Calm Down boxes and Sensory Paths are two additional resources that can aid in teaching self-regulation to all students and will be provided at Greenwood, Timrod and Dewey L. Carter. The Calm Down boxes will be placed in every classroom at Greenwood, Timrod and Dewey L. Carter; Wallace Gregg already has them in place.
Calm Down boxes are classroom kits that the students will use when they need a few moments to regroup/calm themselves before returning back to the activities taking place among their classmates. These plastic boxes include several fidgets and sensory objects, as well as check-in and check-out forms to be completed by the students when they visit the box. The student will be given permission by their teacher to go the box and spend 5-7 minutes calming themselves. Having been taught about the Self-Regulation Alert Program, he or she will mark what color they are on upon arriving at the box and once again, as they leave.
The Sensory Paths will be placed in a designated hallway of each school where the students can utilize it, either while working with a staff member one-on-one or with a classroom teacher who facilitates the class as they move from the beginning of the path to the end. These paths will allow for movement and sensory input as the students follow the shapes adhered to the floor and wall and skip, hop, jump, do wall push-ups and other movements.
The sensory room, called The Regulation Station, is the largest of the three regulation interventions. This is the space where students will be pulled out of their classroom and engaged in sensory, focusing, and calming activities. The students will be identified either by an Administrator, the classroom teacher, and/or the interventionist. Parents of identified children will receive a letter where they will sign to either give or decline permission for their child to participate in this intervention method. Upon entering the room, students will check-in on their “engine meter” (Self-Regulation Alert Program), identifying how they are feeling and where their energy level is currently located. While in the room, students will spend a specified amount of time at different “stations”, with the goal to either stay on green (Self-Regulation Alert Program) or move from one of the other colors back to green. The Interventionist will choose stations for the student based on the student’s self-assessment. One such station will be a Lycra swing, which will provide proprioceptive and vestibular input, helping the child feel calm and helping them understand where they are in space. Another center is the battle ropes, which allows for heavy work, providing a needed outlet for anxiety, as well as proprioceptive input.
Providing this nontraditional space for the students of today will not only encourage further neurological development and intellectual growth, it will help grow them into adults who are able to self-regulate, find healthy ways to deal with emotions and stressors, and be successful parents and leaders.