Foundation Awards Nearly $14,000 in Grants
Chardon Schools Foundation, a non-profit organization serving the Chardon Local School District since 1989, awarded a total of nearly $14,000 in grants to the district’s schools in May, creating new and exciting opportunities for Hilltopper students in the 2021-22 school year and beyond in the areas of technology, theater arts, academic competitions, robotics, and English language arts.
The CSF-funded addition of Daktronics® event production curriculum to Chardon High School’s Multimedia Design course and Game and Application Design course this school year will supply the needed training for students to learn how to design and produce cutting-edge animation for the new Chardon Memorial Field electronic scoreboard.
“Learning how to use the new Daktronics® video display scoreboard will provide students an unmatched opportunity to gain skills that translate directly to real-world applications,” said CHS media specialist Victoria Eby. “Some of the skills students will be able to demonstrate are creating high-resolution animation, graphics, and designing advertisements for local businesses. By being trained on the software and hardware, students can have a true sense of ownership, and give back to the school and community.”
The high school’s Theater Arts courses, which serve over 50 students in grade levels 10 through 12 each school year, will benefit from the use of new theater cameras. In previous school years, CHS borrowed equipment from the library. By providing the Theater Arts program with their own cameras, students will be able to use the equipment more often to record their rehearsals and performances.
“The best way for the students to critique their own performances is by actually seeing and hearing it,” said Theater Arts and ELA teacher Holly Mihalek.. “Students will have a better understanding of performances and the ability to archive more efficiently.”
With 2021-22 Academic Decathlon test materials and competition fees funded by a Foundation grant, students enrolled in this CHS humanities course can look forward to studying this year’s theme — Water: A Most Essential Resource — and competing in challenging academic events with other Ohio school districts. Academic Decathlon studies a different targeted curricular theme each school year with a focus on the areas of economics, social studies, science, language arts, math, art and music.
“For many of the students, this is the first time to compete and be part of a team effort,” said CHS Academic Decathlon coach and CHS business teacher Allen Herner. “In addition, the students learn interview skills and public speaking skills that are used outside of an academic setting. The team brings together a diverse group of students who work together toward a goal.”
With an augmented LEGO® Mindstorms EV4 robot kit inventory beginning this school year, Chardon Middle School will be building upon the success of its robotics programs — both for STEM course students and Robotics Club members. The additional equipment will allow students to engage in more advanced robotic solutions, solve larger-scale real-world problems, and construct more advanced prototypes that take longer to build and test.
“Over the past five years, using LEGO® Mindstorms EV3 robot kits provided by the Chardon Schools Foundation has allowed students to develop their skills of problem-solving, collaboration, robotics engineering, and math skills, including calculations and precision measurement,” said CMS STEM teacher and Robotics Club advisor Brent Hilston. “These have become necessary skills for our students who wish to pursue careers in STEM fields after high school.”
Kindergarten and first-grade classes at Chardon Early Learning Center, Munson Elementary and Park Elementary schools were awarded a CSF grant that provides for 24 handheld student mirrors for each of those classrooms with the goal of fostering the development of correct articulation in learning and producing speech sounds.
Park Elementary first-grade teacher Katie Tyson explained in her spring grant proposal that putting mirrors in the hands of young learners will elevate the district’s success in having students monitor their production of speech sounds to enhance the neural pathways in the brain, fostering clear and quick orthographic mapping.
To learn more about Chardon Schools Foundation and its mission, including how to make a donation or become involved as a volunteer, visit the organization’s website at http://www.