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California educators win $2k & $5k grants from the NEA Foundation

Michael Persinger, a third grade teacher of James Monroe Elementary School in Santa Rosa, CA, has received a $2,000 Learning and Leadership Grant from the NEA Foundation to travel to Manchester, New Hampshire to participate in the “Constructing Modern Knowledge” program. During the program, Persinger will refine multimedia projects that will empower students to meet Common Core Standards in English language arts and math. Persinger will improve his technology integration skills and gain experience in teaching computer programming. Upon returning, he will share findings with his colleagues.

Chara Rodrigues, a reading specialist, and co-applicant Lynette Dunlap, of John Baldwin Elementary School in Danville, CA have received a $2,000 Student Achievement Grant from the NEA Foundation to create a leveled reading library to support students upon the implementation of the Common Core Reading Standards. Students will practice comprehension and close interpretive reading, write in a range of genres, and solve problems. The library will be available to struggling individuals and groups of students to practice particular standards.

Meaghan Dieda, a seventh and eighth grade physical education teacher of Dwyer Middle School in Huntington Beach, CA, has received a $2,000 Learning and Leadership Grant from the NEA Foundation to be trained in “Where Everyone Belongs (WEB),” a structured environment program that guides incoming 6th and 7th grade students toward both academic and social success. After completing the training, Dieda will lead a yearlong orientation and transition program that will allow 8th grade students to become “Where Everyone Belongs (WEB)” leaders and help incoming students transition to middle school by being positive role models, motivators, and teachers.

Cara Hale-Hanes, a tenth through twelfth grade science teacher, and co-applicant Dr. Anne Gundry, of Polytechnic High School in Long Beach, CA have received a $2,000 Student Achievement Grant from the NEA Foundation to develop curriculum addressing the limited availability of potable water in many parts of the world.  Students will engage in a series of investigations designed to encourage critical thinking about the challenges of making unsafe water consumable.  Students will ultimately use pH probes to design a safe buffer for drinking water for a small village.

Addie Lewis, a second grade teacher, and co-applicant Monica Tech, of Ocean Air School in San Diego, CA have received a $5,000 Student Achievement Grant from the NEA Foundation to implement a supplemental intervention project to maximize learning opportunities and incorporate best teaching methodologies for struggling readers. Working in small groups with teacher support, students will become more confident through successful reading experiences that show readers how to independently raise questions, propose solutions, make connections, synthesize information, and think critically. Struggling readers will be brought up to grade level to ensure that their early literacy difficulties do not become long term deficits.

Kristin Keane, a third grade language arts teacher of Hillcrest Elementary School in San Francisco, CA, has received a $2,000 Learning and Leadership Grant  from the NEA Foundation to travel to the Columbia University Teacher’s College Advanced Reading Institute to attend a course led by and grounded in the work of Lucy Calkins.  During the workshop, Ms. Keane will deepen her understanding and approach to fiction and nonfiction reading instruction in order to aid in accelerating students’ reading development.  Through this experience, Ms. Keane will advance her practice of Reading Workshop in the classroom.

Every child deserves a chance to learn and no child succeeds alone.

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