The Papillion-La Vista Schools Foundation recently awarded twelve teacher grants totaling over $56,000 to Papillion La Vista Community School educators during the organization’s fall grant cycle. 

The Papillion-La Vista Schools Foundation Teacher Grant Program is designed to encourage unique and innovative ideas from our educators and staff that will improve the educational process and enhance the learning experience for students.  The Foundation provides two grant cycles a year for educators and staff to submit their ideas.  A total of $100,000 is set aside for the Teacher Grant Program every year and is divided out between the two grant cycles. 

Congratulations to the Fall 2018 Grant Recipients

Grant Recipient: Chase Moffitt, District Communications Associate

Grant: #BeKind Grant   Audience: Entire District

Summary: The #BeKind Initiative has been implemented throughout metro area school districts this year, including Papillion La Vista Community Schools.  The overall goal is to combine the efforts of students, schools and communities to create a movement of kindness throughout our city.  This grant will help promote and enhance this campaign throughout Papillion La Vista Community Schools.

Grant Recipient: Tim Keller, PL High School and Nick Romero, LV Middle School

Grant: Artist in Residence: Joey Gulizia    Audience: Band Students – PL High School and LV Middle School

Summary: This grant will bring well-known percussionist Joey Gulizia to work with students at Papillion La Vista High School and La Vista Middle School.  Mr. Gulizia will work with percussion students to develop their skills and techniques.  It will also give students experience working alongside a professional musician. 

Grant Recipient: Kristin Valadez and Jamie Heidvogel, PLCS Art Teachers

Grant: Architecture in the Art Room     Audience: All Elementary Schools

Summary: This grant will be used to purchase creative play building materials to help open a ‘Architecture’ or ‘Building’ center at every elementary school in the District.  These building centers will help foster the development of thinking independently, problem solving, collaborating, and developing a sense of identity.  These centers will allow students to behave like true artists: playing, experimenting, revising, problem solving, and understanding that art comes in many shapes and forms.

Grant Recipient: Allyson Judson, Becky Spellman, Jill Guenther, Sam Deck, Shannon Tolstedt, Maria Wallace, Michele Butler and Amy Allen – A combination of PLCS Special Education Staff, Speech-Language Pathologists, and School Counselors.

Grant: Circle of Friends Funding    Audience: All High Schools and Middle Schools

Summary: Circle of Friends (COF) is an inclusive organization that provides social skills instruction and support for students with disabilities.  COF surrounds students with disabilities with positive peer models who support students both at school and in the community.  Due to a cut in funding, this grant will make it possible for COF to maintain its current status at each secondary school and make it possible to continue the many community out of school experiences for the students.

Grant Recipient: Kaitlyn Cattau, Laurie Little, Mike Klug, Elizabeth Maloney (PLCS High Ability Learner (HAL) Educators) and Michayla Mattiessen (Fifth Grade Teacher at Golden Hills Elementary)

Grant: High Ability Learning Robotics Equipment    Audience: District HAL student and students in grade 3-8

Summary: This grant will be used to expand the District’s robotics instruction by purchasing new, next generation robotics equipment.  It will allow PLCS HAL Educators to offer multiple levels of robotics instruction across three different platforms to students.  All elementary students will be able to experience more rigorous robotics instruction for longer periods of time in their robotics clubs.  This grant also provides elementary educators a chance to incorporate the use of robotics into their language arts, math, science, social studies, speaking and listening lessons.

Grant Recipient: Kati Settles, PLCS Human Resources Director

Grant: Paraprofessional Conference   Audience: All Elementary and Early Childhood Paraprofessionals

Summary: This grant will be used to help fund two workshops a year for PLCS elementary and early childhood paraprofessionals.  The purpose of these workshops is to include specific and dedicated training for paraprofessionals to better serve students.  It also fosters an atmosphere of open communication and collaboration for paraprofessionals. 

Grant Recipient: Dr. Megan Hylock, PL South High School Science Educator

Grant: Raising Nebraska Trout in the Classroom

Audience: PL South High School students

Summary: The Nebraska Trout in the Classroom Program is a science-based program that invites classrooms and schools to explore aquatic ecosystems, life cycles, water quality and the scientific process through raising trout eggs in their classroom.  The grant will be used to get the program up and running and purchase an aquarium.

Grant Recipient: Carol Healy, PLCS Speech Language Pathologist and Anne Sundell, PLCS Special Education Educator

Grant: Super-Flex Curriculum and Everyday Speech Videos   Audience: Prairie Queen Elementary

Summary: To help teach and develop social thinking and related social skills, this grant will be used to purchase teaching materials from national expert, Michelle Garcia Winner.  The grant objective would be to help students develop understanding, empathy, and respect for individual differences and promote social-emotional development of students.  Educators will use the assessments included with the purchased materials to better establish baseline skills and monitor student progress.

Grant Recipient: Joseph Homan, PL South High School Band Educator

Grant: New Band Instruments   Audience: PL South High School students

Summary: The grant will ensure the band department has enough school-owned instruments students can use to help develop the growing band program.  It will also help make sure the band program can provide instruments to students when they can’t afford them on their own.  The band program will be able to have new, quality bass clarinets, tenor saxophones, and baritone saxophones that students can successfully perform without falling apart or needing constant repair. 

Grant Recipient: Jody Minske and Melissa Hansen, G. Stanley Hall Elementary Educators

Grant: The Strengths Within Me   Audience: G. Stanley Hall Elementary

Summary: This grant will help purchase the Gallup Strengths Explorer Program for students ages 10-14.  This assessment helps students identify their own unique talents.  Through this program, students will be able to list their strengths, set goals based on their strengths, understand other’s perspectives and use empathy and understand other’s strengths can help them in group and team settings.

Grant Recipient: Miranda Bush, PLCS Special Education Teacher

Grant: Titan Brew    Audience: Papillion Middle School

Summary: The objective of Titan Brew is to provide students with real-life learning opportunities while preparing them for a future career.  The educators work with students on a variety of communication and social skills while delivering coffee to school staff.  The funds from this grant will go to purchasing a new fridge for the school’s program.

Grant Recipient: Randy Stribley, Cynthia Stogdill, Brent Gehring, Liz Von Nagy, Romie Brown, and Gretta Hubert, PL South High School and PL High School Technology Assistance Teams

Grant: Wireless Display Capability Using Apple TV    Audience: PL South High School and PL High School

Summary: This grant will be used to purchase Apple TV units for both high schools to increase the degree to which students and teachers approach classroom learning.  It will support student collaboration in creating, displaying, and discussing learning in the classroom by allowing students to share with the entire class from their own device (cell phone, IPad, or laptop) from their own seat in the room with losing time for transitioning between devices hooked up manually to the projector.