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    Foundation For Allen Schools Funded Classroom Grants at

    Vaughan Elementary


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    2022-2023 Classroom Grants

    Small Group, Big Life!

    This grant under Counseling Curriculum was awarded to Melissa Dreher and will benefit 50 students at Vaughan Elementary.

    "Small Group, Big Life" helps kids at Vaughan build their self-esteem, become more resilient, and learn how to take on new challenges while learning about many relevant topics.  Students in these Big Life Groups will work on negative vs. positive self-talk, choosing the right friends, learning from mistakes, preparing for the future, meeting challenges, and so much more.  The best part of "Small Group, Big Life" is that the small group truly allows students to work on social skills and learn from one another in the process by using a journal they'll get to keep afterwards so they can look back on all they've learned.


    Book Club Adventures

    This grant under English Language Arts (Elementary) & Dyslexia Curriculum was awarded to Jessyca Glover and will benefit 60 students at Vaughan Elementary.

    The book club experience is great way to motivate kids to read, get them talking about books, and have them share ideas and perspectives. Through book clubs students have the ability to choose books they are interested in, build on their social emotional skills, and boost their confidence.


    Nonfiction for the WIN!

    This grant under English Language Arts (Elementary) & Dyslexia Curriculum was awarded to Lindsay Domenico and Alison Smithwick and will benefit 710 students at Vaughan Elementary.

    It is said that sports have the power to inspire and unite people from diverse backgrounds and create hope. Magically, the same can be said for books! More than ever, students are interested in reading nonfiction books about their real-life sports heroes, role models, and athletic superstars. With “Nonfiction for the WIN!”, students will benefit from newly purchased, age-appropriate books that cover sports and professional athletes all over the globe.


    Vaughan Library Graphic Novels

    This grant under Library / Makerspace Curriculum was awarded to Alison Smithwick and will benefit 700 students at Vaughan Elementary.

    Graphic novels are wildly popular with our students, and there are hundreds of highly rated, reviewed, and award-winning titles that we'd like to put in the hands of our readers. Graphic novels develop and reinforce reading skills like inferencing, demonstrate punctuation and grammar rules, and explain figurative language. Perhaps more importantly, they generate excitement about reading and put smiles on kids' faces.


    Fine Tuning Motor Skills in Math

    This grant under Math - Elementary Curriculum was awarded to Nicole Robertson, Allison Douglas and Abbigail Caldwell and will benefit 66 students at Vaughan Elementary.

    Fine Tuning Motor Skills in Math provides students with many hands on opportunities to explore numbers and build a solid number sense foundation. Students will have access to foam, connecting ten frame boards, moveable number paths, magnetic wands, discs, and numbers, ten frame dice, and large tweezers to manipulate objects while also increasing their fine motor skills.


    The Service Squad

    This grant under Social Studies Curriculum was awarded to Laura Nguyen and will benefit 33 students at Vaughan Elementary.

    The Service Squad at Vaughan Elementary is comprised of first through sixth grade students who have a heart for serving others.  These students are working to make a difference in their school and community through acts of service.


    Empowered Leaders

    This grant under Counseling Curriculum was awarded to Jennifer Armentrout, Jennifer Springgs, Samantha Fields, Meredith Martin, Austin White, Solomn Boatfield, Harold Allen, Dylan Martin, Todd Fornadel and Tara Cassetty and will benefit 300 students at Chandler Elementary, Marion Elementary, Olson Elementary, Preston Elementary, Rountree Elementary, Vaughan Elementary, Curtis Middle School, Ereckson Middle School and Ford Middle School.

    Empowered Leaders takes place in six elementary schools and all three middle schools in Allen ISD who participate in this unique after-school leadership program which focuses on building leaders in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. Students participate in field trip, leadership skills training, and serving through volunteer efforts.


    Kodaly Training for Elementary Music Teachers

    This grant under Fine Arts Curriculum was awarded to Jeff Turner and will benefit 10,000 students across all AISD Elementary Schools.

    Two Allen ISD elementary music teachers will attend 3 weeks of intensive Kodaly training at SMU. The strategies, techniques, and resources from this training will be an incredible asset to the teacher to better deliver the elementary music curriculum and will be shared with all our elementary educators across AISD.


    ALLen Reads 2022

    This grant under Library / Makerspace Curriculum was awarded to Kelly Clewell and will benefit 20,000 students across AISD and benefits every campus in Allen. 

    ALLen Reads encourages the entire Allen community to read the same book or the grade-level appropriate companion book. The grant provides copies of the selected books to all campuses in Allen ISD, and the students have access to community events related to the books, such as author and illustrator speakers, writing presentations, and musical performances.


    Math by the Book

    This grant under Math - Elementary Curriculum was awarded to Michelle Stewart and Katie Snider and will benefit 2,898 students in Kindergarten and 1st grade at EVERY Allen ISD elementary campus.

    This grant will provide read aloud sets of books that link literary and math skills.   We know many students love stories but may have a fear of math or even math anxiety.  Students are able to connect concepts to context providing an increased level of engagement and retention. Stories bring math to life!   House Bill 3 puts a focus on early literacy and math skills. This resource would be helpful in integrating math and literacy in the early grade levels. An integrated experience creates deeper learning connections for students. Science and Social Studies have already embedded read alouds for K- 3 curriculum documents and this grant will support integration in math as well. 



    This grant under Physical Education Curriculum was awarded to Geoben Johnson and Katie Snider and will benefit 16,500 students across Allen ISD in grades K – 9th.

    BRAINball is an innovative and unique physical education learning system that merges physical activity and academic learning through play. In addition to the physical benefits, significant improvement will be seen in gross and fine motor skills, cooperative and cognitive learning.  Brainball has proven to produce positive changes in letter recognition,  students read better, improve mathematical skills, movement and writing skills. Research also shows positive changes in graphomotor skills, eye-hand coordination, and temporal-spatial orientation improvement when used on a consistent basis. The Brainball set includes 100 premade games/activities for K-6 that can be adapted for grades 7-9. Training will be provided to allow easy integration into district curriculum and to academic classroom teachers that want to use it for enhancing learning in their class. The brainball set is appropriate for Kindergarten through High School and can be adapted for students with special needs and learning deficits.


    I Can See Clearly Now!

    This grant under Special Education Curriculum was awarded to Patricia Reyna, Sherri Idbeis, Karen McCrary and Colleen Dunphy and will benefit 45 students across Allen ISD who have a visual impairment.

    Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments serve students throughout the district and provide consult and direct instruction for teachers and students with blindness or visual impairments. An iPad Pro is a tool that makes accessing learning material possible for students that struggle with seeing on a regular iPad screen. An iPad Pro also serves as an evaluation tool for TSVI's and our Orientation and Mobility instructor in the district.



    This grant under Advanced Academics - AP/IB/GT Curriculum was awarded to Kari Lockhart and will benefit 1,474 students that are in our GT programs in years K-6.

    ByrdseedTV provides gifted and talented teachers and learners with resources that foster deep and complex learning. Activities from Byrdseed are designed and used by a teacher of gifted students, and facilitate critical and creative thinking, inductive and deductive thinking skills, as well as encourage creative individual investigations.


    2021-2022 Classroom Grants

    Journaling to a Better Me!

    This grant under Counseling Curriculum was awarded to Christina Fine along with Melissa Dreher and will benefit 50 students at Vaughan.

    "Journaling to a Better Me", will allow students the opportunity to build self confidence, self worth, and improve their success overall success in their educational journey.


    Success in Friendship

    This grant under Counseling Curriculum was awarded to Melissa Dreher and will benefit 730 students Vaughan.

    The Path to Friendship Social Emotional Mat and the Operation Breaking the Boy/Girl Code Card Games are a great way to help students understand how to make and keep friends. In a world where so much of what we do is online, students are lacking the skills to make in-person friendships work. These tools will help students engage with one another and build these friendships.


    For Argument's Sake

    This grant under English Language Arts (Elementary) & Dyslexia Curriculum was awarded to Lindsay Domenico and will benefit 300 students at Vaughan.

    Nonfiction texts have the power to spark curiosity and provide students with the skills necessary for learning in all academic areas. With ?For Argument?s Sake?, students will benefit from reading nonfiction texts that cover global and ethical issues in a way that is appropriate for their age and reading levels. This will not only allow them to increase their comprehension on current global topics, but it will also help them build appropriate vocabulary and provide them with opportunities for authentic writing. When students have access to high-interest, non-fiction texts that cover global issues, it empowers them be advocates for our dynamic world.


    I See Me In Books!

    This grant under English Language Arts (Elementary) & Dyslexia Curriculum was awarded to Laura Nguyen and will benefit 44 students at Vaughan.

    Reading books that reflect different races and cultures is important as young children learn to accept and celebrate the differences in our world. Having a rich library of multicultural books where many countries and cultures are represented will encourage students to develop a strong sense of self at the same time that they are learning to be more inclusive of others.


    Powerful Mirrors: Literature that Reflects Our Diverse Community

    This grant under English Language Arts (Elementary) & Dyslexia Curriculum was awarded to Aimee Hilton along with Alison Smithwick and will benefit 700 students at Vaughan.

    The purchase of multicultural literature will provide students much-needed access to a diverse collection of stories written by diverse authors with diverse characters. This literature collection will encourage students to engage with a text as well as foster a positive self-identity when they can see themselves in the stories they read. These books will also support an understanding of global awareness as students can learn not only about themselves but about others around the world. A multicultural library ultimately builds school community and acceptance of others.


    Vaughan Library, Nonfiction

    This grant under Library/Makerspace Curriculum was awarded to Alison Smithwick and will benefit 700 students at Vaughan.

    In a thriving library, students utilize the nonfiction section for reading about areas of interest as well as researching topics related to the curriculum. Students and teachers LOVE new books. A current collection feeds the energy in the library and this impacts the culture of reading throughout the entire campus.


    Feel the Sound

    This grant under Special Education Curriculum was awarded to Kathleen O'Connor and will benefit 4 students at Vaughan.

    Touchphonics will allow students to make substantial growth in reading skills including but not limited to: phonemic awareness, decoding, and blending. The multisensory approach will grant students in the Resource 2 classroom a new way to approach phonics and build their understanding of the English language which will in turn open the door for progress in all other content areas.