Zionsville Education Foundation awards spring grants

From left, Theresa Meyer, ZEF board member; neuropsychologist Amanda Slonaker; Lynn Kissel, ZCS community relations coordinator and residency specialist; Scott Robison, ZCS superintendent; Randy Judd, ZEF board member and grants committee chair; Lyle Browne, ZEF chief operating officer; at a presentation for the Mindfulness Training grant. (Submitted photo)

By Heather Lusk

The Zionsville Education Foundation awarded $24,749.19 to fund eight grants during the spring grant cycle. The grants fund programs and teachers within Zionsville Community Schools.

Chief Development Officer Katie Reasoner, who joined ZEF in March, said presenting  the grants was the best day of work so far.

“Three or four people were brought to tears,” she said.

ZEF Chief Operating Officer Lyle Browne, who also began in March, was impressed by the process.

“As a donor, you see that you give money and grants are awarded, and it all kind of happens behind the curtain,” she said. “The grants committee is comprised of community members and board members, and to see the amount of thought and discussion that they put into it is really amazing.”

One grant that has potential for reaching every student in every school funded virtual reality headsets that teachers can request from the ZCS IT department.

Browne said the devices give teachers the ability to take students around the world or even into space.

Tying into the school system’s  Strong in Every Way initiative, all elementary schools received funding for Mindfulness Training to help students improve attention, enhance emotional regulation skills and reduce stress and anxiety. The program was implemented at Stonegate Elementary earlier this year.

“I love that it was unique and different than anything we’ve ever done,” ZEF President Missy Copher said. “I love that it hits kids early.”

ZEF Spring Grants

Other approved grants will fund:

  • Kinesthetic equipment for a learning lab at Stonegate, emphasizing the brain/body connection for learning.
  • ZCHS’ student musicians, performers and crew working with professional musicians for the 2017 fall production of “Les Miserables.”
  • Transactional textbooks to bridge students taking Spanish 1 at the high school after taking a beginning course at the middle school.
  • A self-published magazine of student writing for Zionsville Middle School seventh graders.
  • Math resources at Pleasant View Elementary – Do the Math and Math in Practice

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