Funded Projects

Art Room Drying Racks

Katrina Martin – Francis Marion Intermediate
FMI’s drying racks were almost 20 years old and held together with duct tape. It was time for an update. There will be two new drying racks that accommodate even larger pieces of art and will be mobile so students can get their artwork to the drying rack safely. This grant was funded in partnership with the Iowa Arts Council.

Classroom Calming Centers

Emma Ambrose & Michelle Thomason – Vernon Middle School
Sometimes students need a break, especially those who experience symptoms of attention deficit disorder or anxiety. Allowing a student to step away while remaining in the classroom benefits both teacher and student by minimizing disruptions and encouraging students to stay in the classroom. The kits will include items such as fidget spinners, stress balls and doodle pads. This grant was funded in partnership with Farmers State Bank.

Digital Compound Microscope

Garrette Williams – Marion High School
A digital compound microscope is a useful teaching device because it works with a projector to show students what they should be seeing in their own microscopes during labs. This particular microscope has higher-end functions that allows the class to see greater detail than on their own student microscopes. Screenshots can be taken and saved for reference during future lessons. This grant was funded with the Bruno Rinas Science & Interdisciplinary Research Fund.

E-Books for Everyone

Apra Loomis-Mainardi – Marion High School
High school students will have access to a whole new collection of books via their electronic devices. With the District transitioning to one electronic device per student, this is a way to provide students access to books all school year and all summer long. This grant was funded with the Rathbun Memorial Fund.

Holding the FUTURE

Rachel Lamb with all 2nd grade teachers – Longfellow & Starry Elementary
All second grade classrooms will be equipped with iPad stands (similar to document cameras) that project iPad content from the teacher’s device as well as printed materials. For lessons like learning currency, being able to visualize is important. This grant was funded in partnership with Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust.

Microscopes for Middle School

Deb Menken – Vernon Middle School
Middle school students will be receiving a new classroom set of microscopes, which were funded in partnership with the Alliant Energy Foundation. The Marion School Foundation will be funding additional microscopes that complete another classroom set, as well as supplies such as dust covers and slides. Teachers will receive two stereo microscopes that can project what is being seen on the microscope . Lastly, a mobile microscope cabinet will allow for easy storage and serve as a charging station so the microscopes are always ready to use.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Jonathan Dyrland – Marion High School
The high school choir room is getting an upgrade with permanent mirrors that will assist all music programs, and especially show choir, with their performances. Students will be able to see the height of their elbows when playing a drum or their facial expression when emoting a song. This project was funded with additional contributions from the Marion Music Booster Club.

New Handwriting Curriculum

Janelle Brouwer – FMI, Longfellow & Starry
Students in grades 1-3 will be taught using new handwriting curriculum. Handwriting is a critical skill to improving literacy. Not only are fine motor skills an indicator of reading readiness, but letter formation supports students in becoming fluent writers. This grant was funded in partnership with Pearson.

Play Us A Song Mr. Piano Man

Jonathan Dyrland – Marion High School
The music department is getting a new piano! More than 15 years old and used almost daily, the old piano was not going to make it much longer. This new piano will be used by the choir, band, theatre and more. This project was funded with additional contributions from the Marion Music Booster Club and Marion Wal-Mart.

Smart Music

David Anderson – Vernon Middle School
Smart Music is a program that provides real-time feedback for students whether at school or at home. Students play a song assigned by a teacher and the program will show them on the electronic sheet music how they did. The student can use it to practice, complete a quiz, or submit an assignment. A teacher can track how long students are practicing, post comments and more. The Foundation is paying for a year-long subscription so data can be collected to potentially integrate this into future curriculum. This grant was funded with the Jay White Educational Enhancement Fund.

Technology for the Classroom & Beyond

Matt Thornton, Chris Raymond & Daniel Lang – Marion Independent School District
Two Ricoh Theta V 360 Spherical cameras will be available to both students and teachers. The cameras take 360 degree videos and photos. Teachers can record themselves in the classroom for professional development, and students can check them out for projects and to capture important school moments like an assembly or sporting event. This grant was funded in partnership with Farmers State Bank.