Grants Awarded 2008-2009 Academic Year

PTEF Grants Awarded to Port Townsend School District
2008-2009 Academic Year

Port Townsend School District – All Schools

Gary Lilley, Black History Month Poet
All PTSD children from Kindergarten though 12th grade will experience published African American poet Gary Lilley for Black History Month. After a rich all-school assembly tailored to each school’s grade level, students will use classroom exercises to further explore literature within the Black History curricula at all grades levels.

Port Townsend High School

Foreign Language – On-line Language Subscription
The Foreign Language department at Port Townsend High School was awarded a grant to implement an on-line subscription to, which contains a bank of over 100 world language video clips and teaching resources. Instead of being limited to one television screen in the back of the classroom, students will now be able to stream language from their computers. Grammar concepts, vocabulary use, and typical conversations will engage young learners so visually oriented in their learning styles. 194 Students 9-12 stand to benefit from this opportunity.

Energy Bikes
Two electricity-producing “energy bikes” will be assembled by Tim Behrenfeld and his team. These will be used for teaching energy and conservation concepts to more than 100 students. “Kids will be able to pedal these bikes, flip switches and find out just how much energy it takes to power a hair dryer or a light bulb. They’re always amazed at how hard pedaling becomes when all the circuits are on.”

Mar Vista Alternative High School

Explore Your Options
In the past, Wanda Synnestvedt and teammate Patti Spencer of Mar Vista Alternative High School have been able to take 11th- and 12th-grade students to just a few locations to explore their options once they graduate from high school. With this grant, students will be able to take one or two field trips per month to visit community/technical colleges, art institutes and other locations with potential career opportunities. “This will open up their eyes and give them hope about their future,” said Synnestvedt. “Increasing their exposure will increase their success.”

Blue Heron Middle School

Maritime Discovery Program
115 7th graders will participate in the third year of BHMS’s Maritime Discovery Program. This is an exciting and innovative three-week program given in the spring to entire 7th grade. Children are immersed in maritime curriculum that integrates a marine theme across all disciplines. Partnership with the Northwest Maritime Center/Wooden Boat Foundation combined with active participation by parents and other community members, serves to offer a diverse breadth of knowledge and experience to these students.

Yoga Mats for Physical Education
Tom Kent and Keith Brkich needed yoga mats for the physical education department at Blue Heron Middle School. “After 15 to 20 minutes of doing yoga, you can hear the gym lights buzz, even in a room of over 40 middle school kids,” Brkich quipped. This grant will serve 320 Blue Heron students for the next school year alone.

Julius Caesar Books for the Library
Blue Heron eighth-graders, who have in the past studied the play “Julius Caesar,” will be supplemented next year and in future years with library-bound copies. Leslie Shively, along with teaching teammate Carol Light, will teach language arts and social studies through a dramatic production of the entire play. The Port Townsend Education Foundation board asked to be invited to the production next year.

Flashmaster® Math Tools
Flashmaster math tools, to be purchased by Deborah Rich of the Blue Heron special education department, help build confidence in basic math skills.

Mountain View Elementary School

Marine Science Center Labs
An established partnership with the Port Townsend Marine Science Center will bring 5th graders at Mt. View Elementary School three-day experience in marine and earth sciences. Fifty-two children will be able to work with marine organisms in a laboratory environment, will learn about marine animals that reside in different types of tidal zones, will learn about fossils from prehistoric environments, and will assemble a 24-foot Grey Whale skeleton.

Audio Books Library Enhancement
An additional project funded at Mt. View School will supply a new set of audio books for the school library. These books, available to all students on equipment the same size as an iPod, will especially enhance the experience of children wishing to “read” the same books as their classmates, but unable to do so because of learning challenges. Because these books are recorded, all students will be able to participate in classroom discussions surrounding the books.

Measurement Olympics Learning Stations
The Measurement Olympics project, proposed by Connie Welch with teammates Scott Lundh and Lisa Olsen, benefits the entire fourth grade at Mountain View Elementary. This grant creates hands-on measurement learning stations where children will perform estimation and measurement activities in both standard and in metric units. “Since the kids love contests, we will have fourth-grade classes in friendly competitions,” explained Welch. This project impacts 100 children next year and fourth-grade classes in the future.

Grant Street School

Photography Enhanced Literacy
Photography Enhanced Literacy was a project written by Linda Morris, a second-grade teacher at Grant Street Elementary. Inspired by “Born Into Brothels,” a movie about photography changing the lives of children, Morris has borrowed digital cameras – and now her classroom will have some cameras of its own. Morris’ goal is for her classroom to have one camera for each student.

Seattle Children’s Theater Production
An integrated approach to drama and language is to be provided for all first-graders at Grant Street Elementary. A grant will allow travel to a production of “The Wizard of Oz” at the Seattle Children’s Theatre. Teachers are Sarah Walker, Sheri Shaw, Bonnie Stenehjem and Allen Fox. Seattle Children’s Theatre provides curriculum for use in the classroom as an extension of the dramatic production.

Science Literacy Books
Dorothy Stengel and second-grade teammates Susie Kunz and Peter Braden will use their award for their science literacy project. Six sets of 16 books each will augment the Foss science kits at Grant Street. “The children just love having the beautiful pictures in the books,” said Stengel. “These will last for many classes to come.” She presented the foundation board with a poster of thanks from the children in her classroom.

Tools to Teach Handwriting
The foundation received a modest application for Tools to Teach Handwriting from Grant Street Principal Steve Finch. Materials from this grant are to provide 250 children in grades K-2 updated handwriting curriculum and supplies. “My building budget used to cover tools such as this,” said Finch. “Over the last few years, my budget has shrunk to nearly half of what it used to be. I didn’t even have enough money left over to buy writing tablets.”

Pre-School Readiness for Kindergarten
Ready! For Kindergarten is an innovative program that gives at-risk pre-school children a chance at narrowing the academic gap before entering kindergarten. Children are identified to participate in this program by a team of specialists, including classroom teachers, Head Start and the county Health Department. One of the unique aspects of this family-based program includes parental information and learning tools, so that parents can help their children outside the school environment.

More than 35 individuals, organizations and businesses that contributed a minimum of $1,000 to PTEF made these projects possible. This group makes up the Founders Circle, which was started by Nick & Kristie Harper in November 2007. The Board believed it was necessary to put funds to work immediately in the school district by granting the above projects, and plans to increase the targeted amount for the next school year.

The Port Townsend Education Foundation includes a membership of parents, school district staff, local business owners, and community citizens who support public education and academic achievement in the Port Townsend School District. PTEF is a 501(c)(3) organization. For more information or to make a Founders Circle donation or a gift of any size, write to: PTEF, P.O. Box 1867, Port Townsend, WA 98368, or contact Karen Chrisman at 360-385-1979.

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