WEDGE, the West Geauga Educational Foundation is a non-profit group that provides funds to help introduce new and innovative learning methods to students at West Geauga schools. WEDGE is excited to announce the approval of over $3500 for four grants which include the use of learning methods such as Geometee Golf, Chick Incubators, Stability Balls and Technology-Based, Individualized Reinforcement for Language Skills.
Current WEDGE President Jerry Pignolet said, “Funding these programs through private donations allows our schools to gain first-hand experience with new ways to improve learning, enhance teaching efficiency, boost students who might be struggling with reading and other areas and more. When proven, they can be integrated into the regular curriculum.”
Each year the foundation receives many grant requests from teachers, administrators, students and parents. Although many great ideas are submitted each year, selection is based upon applications that meet criteria created by WEDGE founders. Trustees follow these criteria as they carefully review each application before deciding upon which programs to fund.
West Geauga Educational Foundation 2012-2013 school year grants:
Funds for this program provide Lindsey Elementary teacher, Debbie Lachman with an opportunity to present an in-depth study of the life cycle of chickens from the fertilized egg – provided by a local farm – to adulthood to third grade science students. Students will be able to watch the development of embryos using an OvaScope allowing them to view the different stages of development starting with egg formation, parts and functioning, development and hatching. Students will get insight into biological topics such as blood circulation, respiration and bones. The chicks will be returned to the farm and owners of the farm will visit Lindsey to conduct presentations on the care of the chicks as well as information about the day to day running of sustainable farming.
WEDGE funds in the 2011-2012 school year provided Westwood teacher Jeff Baker with the opportunity to replace chairs in the classroom with Stability Balls. As a result of the successful introduction, Mr. Baker is expanding the program. Studies suggest that balance balls can lead to improved concentration, create less classroom noise, help students get fit as well as stimulate brain activity.
Technology-Based, Individualized Reinforcement for Language Skills (Grades K-12)
Funds provided by WEDGE provide Speech Therapy, Intervention Specialists Kristen Hendl, Debbie Kisicki and Denise Gaskell with the opportunity to implement the Technology-Based, Individualized Reinforcement for Language Skills Program, applicable for all grades. The software addresses vocabulary, reading comprehension, social, sentence, word structure and auditory comprehension skills and is able to track progress made. The program allows teachers to utilize evidenced-based computer programs to help target students’ necessary remedial skills.
Fifth grade Westwood Elementary teacher, Dan Reich has developed a creative way to teach geometry and measuring skills to elementary students. Groups of students will work in teams to design miniature golf holes based on various geometric principles. Students will be encouraged to use their creativity and ingenuity to design holes that reveal multiple or complex geometric components. Once the holes are built, this new program will be a permanent, sustainable fixture playable by students of all ages at Westwood. Each hole will have a sign that describes its particular geometric component and gives credit to the student team members.
None of these grants would be possible without financial support from the community. Thank you to those who attended our most recent fundraiser, the Thanksgiving Day pancake breakfast at the Chesterland McDonalds. If you would like to help, attend one of our events or make a donation, please contact WEDGE Vice President, Linda Todaro at 440-487-1663.