Marion Grants

The Marion grant program provides teachers an opportunity to receive funding for projects that benefit K-12 students in the Marion Independent School District. The Foundation is pleased to announce that it awarded 15 grants totaling $30,936 for the 2017-18 school year. Marion grants are made possible because of generous contributions the Foundation receives throughout the year from both businesses and individuals.

The Foundation also relies on endowments to fund some requests. You can learn more about those projects by going to Enhancement Funds.

A volunteer committee of alumni, parents, district teachers and administrators carefully reviews applications made by district staff. Finalists are asked to make a presentation to the committee before final selections are made. The committee’s recommendations for funding are then presented to the Foundation’s Board of Trustees for approval and award.

The 2017 Marion Fund Committee included Mike Cira, Phil Cochran, Nicole Harmer, Peggy Murphy, Chris Raymond, Terri Schmidt, Greg Van Gorp, Jen Wasek and Steve Willette.

2017 Marion Grant Recipients

3D Printer for Robotics and Engineering Classes
Chris Martin – Marion High School

As part of the engineering process the students did a lot of prototyping this year, but the prototypes took too long to print and many designs were not viable because of the limitations of the existing printer. With two new 3D printers, the robotics and engineering programs will help execute the students’ more advanced designs. One of the printers was funded with support from the Jay White Educational Enhancement Fund.

Books for FMI Library
Elizabeth Pearson – Francis Marion Intermediate

This will help update the library collection with both fiction and non-fiction material. The students will have current information with the non-fiction literature and all materials will fit with new student interests, which will encourage reading. This was funded with support from Pearson.

Drumming for Understanding Part II
Amanda Freese – Francis Marion Intermediate

Through the purchase of additional drums and instruments, the music program will continue to develop musical independence, communication, responsibility, working together as an ensemble, and creating rhythmic compositions.

Drums as a Fitness Activity
Joe Fontenot – Francis Marion Intermediate

The goal of these drums is to create a fitness activity using fitness ball drums and sticks to combine rhythm, coordination, and cardiovascular activities that will improve students’ fitness levels while having fun.

iPad Keyboards for Second Grade
Rachel Jarr with all 2nd Grade Teachers – Longfellow & Starry Elementary Schools

By adding keyboards to the already implemented iPads in the classrooms, it will help young students fulfill 21st Century skills. By integrating technology early on in their education, the students will be that much further ahead.

Kiln for Longfellow
Jessica Bunnell – Longfellow Elementary School

Giving students the chance to experiment with different art materials is a vital part of every student’s education in the art room. With the availability of a kiln, students will be able to understand and gain experience working and building in 3D.

Lee Ann Groene & Deb Menken – Longfellow Elementary School

Makerspaces are collaborative work spaces that provide both high-tech and no-tech tools meant to encourage students to create, invent, tinker, and explore. The Longfellow Makerspace will equip students with materials such as Legos and arts/crafts supplies. The Makerspace will also engage students in coding activities with the use of robots. This was funded with support from Farmers State Bank.

Making A Difference
Alan Read & Clarissa Lala – Vernon Middle School

The purchase of items for the sensory room supports students with special needs and provides opportunities for therapy and movement that is necessary to stimulate the brain, helping students learn.

More Than Words
Paige Junge – Marion High School

Modern competition speech is much more than it used to be. To modernize the MHS Speech Team and equip students to compete with other advanced high schools, the A/V equipment needed a serious facelift including A/V carts, speakers, and presentation equipment (projectors, remotes, cords).

Pedaling for Success
Dixie Recker – Starry Elementary School

Research has shown that pedal desks are positive for teachers in terms of classroom management and student engagement, and there are health benefits for the kids. The inclusion of pedal bikes into the classroom is an exciting way to improve academic performance and make the classroom an environment that fits with children and their various needs.

Reading Corners in Spanish Classrooms
Elizabeth Henkel & Abby Wennekamp – Marion High School

The Spanish department is creating a diverse library of novels and short stories so students can appreciate reading for pleasure while learning the Spanish language. With the newly adopted curriculum, students acquire a second language in the same way they acquired their native language, by being talked to in the language repeatedly until they eventually start to speak on their own. This expanded library will help integrate the Spanish language into their every day. This was funded with support from Pearson.

Rugs for Classrooms
Teresa Haag & Anita Reisner – Longfellow Elementary School

In order to help build positive classroom communities the teachers will use these rugs for activities, social circles, read alouds, and more. Having the rugs gives students opportunities to learn and work at another space other than their desk. This was funded with support from Farmers State Bank.

Starter Kits for Robotics Club
Chris Martin – Marion High School

To build and program a robot takes time—time needed to design, build, program, and test. With the purchase of two additional starter kits and the additional electronics, teams can build a robot twin. This allows for both hard and software teams to continue work on their part of the robot. This was funded with support from Farmers State Bank.

Summer Explorers STEM Camp
Chad Zrudsky – 4th-8th Grade

Summer Explorers is a two-week science, engineering, & literacy camp for students entering 4th through 8th grades. This summer’s curriculum focuses on Agricultural Engineering. Field trips and other learning activities are used to engage students. This was funded with support from Pearson.

Technology Upgrade for Marching Band
Charles Oldenkamp – Marion High School

Each year, the MHS marching band contracts an outside source to write drill for the band. By updating the software, the directors will be able to tailor the drill to the abilities of the students, make adjustments as new students join the group, and reallocate funds back to instrument repair and upkeep. This was funded in partnership with the Music Booster Club.


Copyright © 2017 Marion Independent School Foundation & Alumni Association