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Education Foundation awards grants to schools

November 15, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Students at Boonsboro Middle School will have a multimedia program, and Antietam Academy Middle School students will start their own extracurricular chess club with help from grants provided through the Washington County Public Schools Education Foundation.

The grants, totaling about $5,000. were distributed Friday. They range from $200 to $944.80.

More than 40 teachers applied for the grants, and nine were awarded, said Dale Bannon, director of system development.

A similar classroom grant program existed about three years ago and was restarted recently. Bannon said the foundation hopes to award about $5,000 in grants in the fall and again in the spring.

Teachers apply for the grants with a specific program or project in mind, and their proposals are judged by an independent panel of volunteers.

"It's a very difficult decision to make," Bannon said. "There are incredible ideas."

During this round, officials received more than $30,000 in requests, and those who were not selected may resubmit those requests during the next round of applications.

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Bannon said the needs outweigh the resources of the foundation, which receives funds from local businesses and private donors.

Some of the grants awarded Friday include:

· E. Russell Hicks Middle School - $389.85 for a SmartPAL Program. The grant will pay for clear plastic holders that students can lay over text and other materials in order to use dry erase markers to write notes or highlight important materials.

· Marshall Street School - $944.80 for an adolescent autism integration program, which provides resources for a series of community activities for students in the school's autism program.

· Boonsboro Middle School - $330 for a classical destinations multimedia program that offers exposure to world music and cultures.

· Hancock Elementary School - $260 for a parent workshop program that provides parents with strategies and activities to enhance learning at home.

· Washington County Technical High School - $860 for a collaborative program between the school's digital communications and cosmetology students. The two groups will team up to provide hair and makeup services to residents of a retirement home, then take formal photographic portraits of those residents.

· Antietam Academy Middle School - $200 for extracurricular chess clubs.

· Springfield Middle School - $650 for a Lego Robot Program, which the school will use to establish two robotics clubs.

· Fountaindale Elementary School - $800 for a mentoring program, through which adults will engage in one-on-one academic tutoring, discussions on self-esteem and anger management, field trips and lessons on etiquette and community service, primarily for at-risk students.

· Smithsburg Elementary School - $560 for a math computation program to help fourth- and fifth-graders improve math computation skills.

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