Grant Winners

Winners announced for spring 2023

From the Grants Review Committee, made up of students, teachers, and parents:

We would like to thank all JA and Summit staff members who took part in the Spring 2023 grant cycle. The proposals we read highlighted your creativity, innovation, and passion for our students. We are grateful to MTech and the JA Elementary PTO for each donating an additional $500 grant, so that all 6 applicants can fund their projects!

Based on the scoring rubric, the following winners were chosen by the committee and will receive $500 to fund their ‘big idea’. Congratulations to our winners, and many thanks to those that took the time to review and score grant submissions!

Foundation Mini-Grants (4 winner of $500 each): 

Claire Stone, JA Elementary: Flexible Seating

  • Flexible seating will create an environment that promotes learning and academic achievement because it gives students the choice of where they learn best. It will also create a love for learning. Flexible seating is fun and students love to move and be comfortable in their learning environment.”

Dawson Lang, Ceteria Foster, Ryan Mellot, JA Secondary: Pitching machine for JA softball and AP physics 

  • “JA softball would love to be granted the opportunity to use the funds to buy our team a new pitching machine. We are a brand-new program with a minimal start-up budget for equipment. A new pitching machine would be very impactful to the development and growth of our brand-new program. The device would allow our players to experience different speed pitches and other movement pitches and allow our coaching staff more drill opportunities to better our player’s skills. In addition to the pitching machine being used for softball, it would also be used within the AP Physics course at the secondary school. There are several different experiments that Ryan Mellot and Dawson Lang would like to use the machine for. In particular the device would be used to investigate projectile motion and calculate the velocity of moving objects. This machine has endless possibilities inside the classroom as well as outside the school.”

Debra Hansen, Summit Academy South: Kala UBass (larger ukulele that can operate like an electric bass in guitar and ukulele classes)

  • “In music classes I teach kids not only how to enjoy the discipline and creativity of learning to play an instrument, but how to build community and enjoy creative time with each other by learning to play in ensembles. After gaining a minimal level of proficiency on their primary instrument, students will start to add other instruments and rhythms to create more depth to their sound.”

Marcella Dasta, JA Secondary: Funding for Sources of Strength

  • “Sources of Strength is a mental health and suicide prevention organization in Jefferson Academy and throughout the world. Our mission is to help support students who are struggling with mental health and remind them of the strengths that are all around us. One of Jefferson Academy’s core values is “We communicate with candor, kindness, and respect.” Sources helps communicate with the student body and is run by students with a great help from the teachers. One of our greatest jobs is to get reminders, messages, and information to the students within our school.”

MTech STEM Grant: (1 winner of $500):

RJ Everett, JA Elementary: Celestron microscopes and blood smear slides 

  • This grant will help to purchase “Celestron microscopes and blood smear slides of different blood anomalies for the 6th grade circulatory and immune system Science unit. These microscopes have a screen to view the slides rather than a single eyepiece. This allows for stronger collaboration while doing groupwork. During the project, students will be given case studies of different patients. Their task is to be able to identify the affliction of each patient based on the information given and their work with the blood smear slides. This project will provide an innovative academic environment, teaching the students 21st Century skills. This project is academically rigorous and will push the students to achieve their highest potential.”

PTO Grant: (1 winner of $500):

Katie Seidel, JA Elementary: Outdoor Garden supplies

  • “Our community garden has brought together students, staff, and family members from the elementary and secondary campuses. The community members have helped us build, plant, and cultivate the garden over the past year. In order to continue our garden we need extra funding to help get new/fresh soil and plants/seeds to put in our garden.”

2022 Winners

Based on the scoring rubric, the following four winners were chosen by the committee and will receive $500 to fund their ‘big idea’. Congratulations to our winners, and many thanks to all staff members who submitted a proposal!

Deanna Marcy (The Summit Academy), for her proposal to double the library of Spanish Comprehensible-Input readers for Second Language Fluency for Spanish readers in K-12.

Ruth Downing (The Summit Academy), for her plan to host a speech and debate tournament. This program will partner with other local schools for secondary students enrolled in speech and debate.

Amy Vander Kooi (The Summit Academy South), for her proposal to purchase a biography set for students at Summit South. This program enhances our history, leadership, critical thinking, empathy, and social equality curriculums by expanding the Scholastic biographies series’ “Who Was” and “I Am”. 

Jenny Brown & Kate Seidel (JA Elementary), for their plan to develop a community outdoor garden for students at JA Elementary. The project will enhance a community garden for hands-on learning opportunities at the elementary level.