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Boardman Glenwood raking it in

School earning thousands in grant funding

BOARDMAN — A trend has been growing within Boardman Glenwood Junior High School for the past five years or so.

It began with a group of STEM teachers who applied for grants, but now, just about every subject has been awarded a grant.

“We have obtained well over $60,000 worth of grants,” Bart Smith, the school’s principal, said. “We’ve been really fortunate.”

He’s been with Glenwood for seven years, and as a supporter of hands-on learning, Smith said the grant process has gained momentum.

“We were able to facilitate our STEM lab, which then facilitated our Maker’s Space, which allowed our students to do a wind turbine project,” Smith said.

There was a $26,000 grant for Project Stream, in which students will go out in the community with scientists working on real-life issues, such as storm water drainage.

“The unique part of what we do with grants is they are directly related to the growth of the students,” Smith said. “We’re able to teach our students not only the academics, but we’re teaching them how to have a sustainable environment for years to come.”

The funding helps ensure projects are lessons in betterment of the students, the school or community.

Taking note of the grant seekers is Superintendent Tim Saxton, who applauds the staff for engaging students.

“They find ways to get the students involved, and their efforts have helped us to make learning real and applicable in today’s world,” Saxton said.

One grant over the last several years has helped students learn how to make geographical maps using projections on a sandbox to show where and how water flows.

Virtual reality goggles allow students to take tours around the world, all throughout history. “It feels like you’re there,” Smith said.

“It takes education to the next level. It shows (students) what is out there when you’re able to do this,” Smith said.

After establishing a process for the STEM curicculum, Smith said the team at Glenwood decided to branch out.

“We thought, ‘OK, let’s do cross-curricular. Let’s think about how we can get our kids involved in multiple facets,'” Smith said.

The science department, he said, is the most “passionate” group about science and education he’s ever met.

“They’ve gone above and beyond to get grants to benefit the students and community,” Smith said.

In the art department, a $700 grant was just awarded to bring iPads and 3D pens to classes, Smith said.

“There’s so much going on; it’s really exciting and fun,” Smith said.

Teachers at Glenwood have even received grants to help students stay active. Students can track their heart rate through monitors in gym class, learning about cardiovascular health and exercise, Smith said.

Special education students are learning life skills through a program in which they make and sell hot chocolate and coffee.

Although it hasn’t been open due to COVID-19, it was open previously for two years, with rave reviews.

“It was such a great feeling to walk in on Friday. You hear the music playing and you smell the coffee and hot chocolate,” Smith said. Students take orders and handle the transactions.

“All of those things make education fun,” Smith said.

The robust approach the team at Glenwood has taken with grant applying has left Saxton proud, and he said he appreciates the way teachers have turned to grants to enrich students’ education.

“I have always been impressed by the energy and creativity that the Glenwood staff has shown in securing and finding grants to bring learning opportunities to Glenwood that typically we would not be able to afford,” Saxton said.

Other grants Glenwood teachers have been awarded include, but are not limited to: $5,000 for an outdoor classroom; $2,600 for the recent installation of a disc golf course that is used by the district and community; $3,000 to paint the outside of the building in a volunteer effort with students; $3,500 for touchless water fountains; and $16,000 for a composter in the courtyard.

“Those are the things that keep the enthusiasm going. It’s fun,” Smith said.

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