Teacher Grants Awarded

Teachers spend a significant amount of out-of-pocket money to purchase supplies and materials for their students. Estimates of the amount individual teachers spend annually range from $150-$450 per year.

ACE provides teacher grants up to $250 to support innovative teaching projects or enrich teaching activities  already in place. Help offset the cost of your special projects with an ACE teacher grant.

2015-2016 ACE Teacher Grants Awarded

Aaron Sherman, a teacher at Pell Elementary School was awarded a grant for the Day One Book Bags project.  To foster a home-school partnership from the opening day of school and to get appropriate leveled readers into the homes of his students, Aaron created a series of literacy bags that contained appropriate leveled books and simple literacy games.  The project will allow families to immediately understand what books look like at their child’s level and send a clear message about family engagement.

Coleen Kiernan Hermes a teacher at Rogers High School was awarded a grant to support the International Studies project.  In partnership with the US Naval War College, Coleen’s students study current issues and cultures around the world. The grant money will be used to enhance the curriculum with the purchase of research materials and offset costs for field trips.

Paula Baker, Dan Baker and Ellen McCall, teachers at Saint Philomena School were awarded a grant to support the Investigation Stations project. With direction and guidance from first grade teachers, Mrs. Baker and Mrs. McCall, Mr. Baker’s eighth graders will research best practices and take the lead in collaborating with first graders to create investigative science games that meet the Next Generation Science Standards.

Colleen Crotteau a teacher at Pell Elementary School was awarded a grant for the ELL Culture Quilt project. This project will leverage the benefits of Colleen’s linguistically diverse classroom.  Using children’s literature, Colleen’s students will explore the topic of family and culture.  Each ELL student working with his/her family will design a quilt square to reflect their culture.  The Completed quilt will be on display in the school and from year to year, new ELL students will add to the quilt.

Ryan Collins from Thompson Middle School was awarded a grant to support a Raz-Kids Interactive Reading program.  The money will be used to purchase  Raz-Kids memberships for two classrooms. Students will have access to hundreds of leveled e books. The program also provides additional assessment data for teachers and positive feedback and rewards to young readers.

Catherine Gurspan from St. Philomena School was awarded a grant to support the project entitled A Whole New DIMENSION 3D Style. The grant money will be used to purchase materials to extend the instruction in 3D CAD/coding design and printing to elective small cooperative groups during the school day and after school learning groups.


2014 -2015 ACE Teacher Grants Awarded

Cheryl Demenzes and Alaina Behbehani from the Pell Elementary School in Newport received an ACE Teacher Grant for the “Developing Language through Story Telling Project”. Using stories, rhymes, songs and fairytales the project seeks to develop the language skills and schema for students with special needs and students who come from poverty. Imaginative play materials such as felt and hand puppets were purchased with grant funds.

Diane B. Sheehan from the Pell Elementary School in Newport received an ACE Teacher Grant for their proposal entitled “First the Kiln, Now the Potter’s Wheel”. Funds were used to purchase a portable pottery wheel for lessons that give students the invaluable experience of working with clay for sensory development, motor skills, self-esteem, self-expression and problem solving in a three dimensional world.

Mary Jane Staples from the Hathaway School in Portsmouth was awarded an ACE Teacher Grant to support a project that seeks to foster improved reading success with daily practice through a school-to-home reading program. Funds were used to build a borrowing library of ‘just right’ leveled books which children read at home with their families.

Fall 2013 Teacher Grants Awarded

Paula Guarino from Gaudet Middle School in Middletown received an ACE Teacher Grant for “Mindfulness Based Education”  designed to teach teachers mindfulness based techniques to facilitate activities introducing healthy and peaceful choices and lifestyles to students.

Laura Backman from Hathaway School in Portsmouth received an ACE Teacher Grant to support the integration of multisensory instructional methods using ‘whisper phones’  in daily phonics/reading practice.

Lisa Olaynack from Thompson Middle School received an ACE Teacher Grant to purchase class sets of fiction and nonfiction texts that build on the school wide themes of  respect, tolerance & community.


2012 – 2013 Projects Supported by ACE Teacher Grants – Outcomes

Christine Korney from Coggeshall Elementary School in Newport received an ACE Teacher Grant for her classroom project “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish”.  As part of the elementary behavior support classroom, Christine’s students follow a positive reinforcement program that emphasizes taking responsibility for personal actions.  Funded with an ACE grant, Christine engaged students in an ongoing program of personal responsibilities through building and maintaining a classroom aquarium.  In addition, Christine’s students were involved in activities that required scientific, creative and critical thinking about fish biology and aquarium care.  kormey 12

ACE Teacher Tip! Check it out!  http://www.petsintheclassroom.org/PDF/FIC-Complete-Curriculum.pdf    for classroom aquarium basics, lesson  plans, and ready to use instructional materials.

Cheryl DeMenezes and Kate Sangster from Cranston Calvert School in Newport received funding for “SPOT groups in the class.  Combining their individual areas of expertise, occupational therapy and speech/language pathology, Cheryl and Kate designed instructional activities to support development of language and fine/visual motor skills in kindergarten students.  The grant money was used to purchase consumable craft materials for the activities.Demenzes 12

Keri-Ann McLaughlin, a teacher at Forest Avenue School in Middletown was awarded an ACE Grant to support the inclusion of math and problem solving skills in the “Visiting our Buddies” project.  Keri’s second graders walk to Forest Farm Adult Day Services once a week to complete community service.  The students use pedometers, purchased with the grant, to gather information about their walk to and from the destination and graph, compare, and interpret the data collected.

Rose Escobar, an art teacher at Portsmouth High School received an ACE Teacher Grant to support the Student Artists Showing Students (SASS) project through which her students learn and practice real life skills of selecting, preparing and advocating for their artistic accomplishments by means of community exhibitions.  In partnership with a local coffee shop, Rose’s students are engaged in building, advertising, and hosting the monthly exhibits.1RoseEscobar_ACEgrant_CustomCoffeeHouseArtShow

Diane Sheehan of Cranston – Calvert Elementary School, received funding for the “Projection in the Palm of My Hand” project to purchase technology that allows her to bring art images and events online to students in every classroom.  The enhancement to her instruction increases student understanding and engagement of art and art history.  ACEGrantSheehanBenQNPS

Barbara Wonderler, a Rogers High School Art teacher received an ACE teacher Grant to support a class visit to the Newport Art museum.  Art 1 students were introduced to their local museum during the annual members show so that the students viewed, reflected and responded to exemplary works of art by living, local artists.

2011-2012 Projects Supported by ACE Teacher Grants

“The Art of Zentangles”
Susan Suprock, Middletown High School
ZentangleKaren Woodbine, a certified practicing Zentangle, demonstrated and assisted students in the creative expressive line art of drawing that is fun and relaxing. Zentangle increases focus, ability and team building. At all age levels, Zentangle can improve handwriting, eye and hand coordination, problem solving and cross-cultural symbolic understanding. Creating Zentangle art provided students with artistic satisfaction and an increased sense of personal well-being. It allowed students to expand their knowledge of the elements and principles of art and design and reflect in writing on the experience. The ACE grant supported the artist’s visit and materials for student artwork.

“Calculator Controlled Robots”
Joshua Beagan, Gaudet Middle School
Potential scientists, engineers, mathematicians and computer programmers were encouraged to explore their fields through the Calculator Controlled Robots activities designed to engage students in hands-on inquiry-based missions. These activities addressed national science and technology standards, and specifically focused on mathematics content and process standards. Students created programs in TI-BASIC to run their robots and applied mathematics and science concepts to direct their robots through a variety of challenges. The ACE grant was used to purchase calculators and the software necessary for implementation of the program.

“From Pictures to Pixels”
Diane Sheehan, Melville Elementary School
Young artists were actively engaged with technology, learning its importance, benefits and the skills needed to correctly use technology. After creating an art project, students were instructed on the basics of digital photography. Correct use of how to use the digital camera, the aesthetic elements of picture taking, and how to download pictures from the camera onto the computer were skills taught that aligned with RIDE standards and objectives. The ACE grant was used to purchase the cameras used for the project.

2010-2011 Projects Supported by ACE Teacher Grants

“Teaching Tolerance”
Alexandra Phelan, Portsmouth Middle School
Seeking to teach students that differences need to be understood before being judged, ELA and social studies teachers designed and implemented a cross content unit that took learners on an exploration of a variety of cultures and gave them a glimpse into the lives of people that have very different experiences. The ACE grant was used to infuse Universal Design for Learning principles into the curriculum by equipping classroom listening centers with audio books of 15 texts from around the world that were incorporated in the curriculum.

“The Joel Peckham Center’s Multigenerational Garden Project”
Jill Chrupcala, Newport County Head Start
Making use of the garden space Head Start shares with the Middletown Senior Center, Chrupcala involved preschoolers in a project teaching them how to grow nutritious foods in a garden. In addition, students exercised as they were planting, harvesting and weeding. The garden enhances the environment for young and old alike and provides fresh food during the summer months. The ACE grant supported improvements to the garden, including fencing to keep the rabbits out and garden stepping stones that were decorated by the children.

“The Secret Gardens of the TMS Community”
Lisa Olaynack, Thompson Middle School
Expanding on the 2011 March into Reading visit by Clara Silverstein, author of “The White House Garden Cookbook: Ideas from the First Family to Yours,” the project educated, exposed and inspired the students to start a vegetable and flower garden. The project engaged students in researching what varieties grow best in Aquidneck Island’s climate and soil conditions and encouraged students to eat a more nutritious diet of locally grown fruits and vegetables. The ACE grant was used to purchase gardening books, seedlings and other garden supplies.