Grant Summary 2020-21

In a year of unprecedented challenges and changes, the community continued to show outstanding support for Ashland Public Schools. Even though COVID brought the 2020 ASF Annual Fund Drive to a halt in the spring, our supporters still opted to strengthen Ashland’s educational resources with their donations. These gifts allowed ASF to pivot and revise grant programs to be responsive to the immediate needs of administrators, teachers, and students.

Education Support Grants are listed below, followed by Classroom Impact Grants.   



These larger grants support district and school-wide needs. Approximately $93,000 has been awarded so far this year.


ASF granted the Ashland School District funding towards the purchase of laptops and iPads, to help the Ashland School District ensure every student who needed a device for distance-learning had one. Equitable accessibility to education is a priority for the Ashland Schools and ASF.

ASF is funding the acquisition of technology for school sites so language is no longer a barrier to students and their families participating in their child’s education.
  • Funds are being extended to set up the LanguageLine system in each school, allowing district staff to have translators in hundreds of languages at their fingertips for anything from conferences to drop in conversations.
  • ASF is granting funds to acquire an interpretation system for up to 20 listeners for parent and community meetings and events. Interpreters can live broadcast in two additional languages, and attendees can tune in to their chosen language via headsets.
  • The purchase of Swivl hardware to offer English Language Development to remote sites.

Returning to school, but maintaining safe distance, required more space than most schools had available. Likewise some education, like P. E. and music is just safer during the pandemic if held out of doors. ASF supported the District by funding schools’ purchases of large outdoor pop-up tents to double as outdoor classrooms. Post COVID, these tents will give flexibility to schools for outdoor events and multiple learning opportunities under cover from unpredictable weather.

Teaching 40-60 students, on multiple instruments, each playing their own musical parts, is challenging in the best of times. Over Zoom it’s nearly impossible. Band and Orchestra teachers always need support in holding smaller sectionals from other professionals – and this is even more important during this pandemic. Additionally, two of the three teachers have been on “new baby” leave, creating an even higher need for their classes to have additional help. ASF has supported these programs with professional coaches through Impact Grants for many years, but recognizing this year’s exceptional need has shifted them to higher and more stable funding through our Education Support grant program.

Students performing above their level in math, sciences and other subjects are able to take classes at SOU and RCC for college credit and to advance their knowledge. It’s a complicated funding structure, but this winter term when the District had a surprising 6 students who qualified for a 300 level math course that came with a nearly $9000 tuition bill, ASF became aware of the funding difficulties, and potential inequities these opportunities may set up for low-middle income students. This summer we hope to work with AHS and SOU/RCC on setting up a pilot program that would help ensure any student the funding needed so they are not limited by cost in expanding their education.

The AHS Student has been a favorite program for ASF since its inception in 2003 when AHS Math teacher, Tammy Anderson, recognized that, with higher class sizes, students were needing more help than she or her colleagues were able to give. She conceived of a program where high-performing students were hired as tutors, with teacher oversight. The center was popular and it quickly became apparent that help was needed across the curriculum. The Center was adapted to on-line learning this year with much reduced availability (and cost). We’re looking forward to sending more funds when the Center is able to re-open in person! Funding for the Tutoring Center is also made possible through ASF’s Ethan Townsend Memorial Endowment Fund. Annual income supports the Center and donors can add to the Endowment Fund through donations to ASF.

Andrea Townsend, Ashland Schools new EDI Coordinator, requested support so she could help students set up a monthly VLOG (Video log) highlighting BIPOC and LGBTQ+ student to change the negative narrative.

Finding ways to reach teenagers who are struggling with a plethora of issues is not easy. ASF is providing Ashland High with $10 gift cards to send out to students who are working hard to improve…grades, attendance, or in many other ways. The cards also allow staff to help student’s families who need a boost or are struggling to put food on the table.

This request started as an Impact Grant application from the Bellview teacher Anita Mendez and their site-based classroom. She noted that their special needs students would greatly benefit from a greenhouse to use for outdoor science lessons, learning skills or a trade through gardening lessons, and build health and self-esteem. ASF felt all of Bellview would benefit from the structure and supported the funding through our Education Support funds, including shelving, gardening equipment, and a small budget for potting soil, seeds, etc. The greenhouse is a kit that was ordered and will be assembled on site.

The Thoreau School at AHS is an alternative program that focuses on hands-on education across an integrated curriculum. The program received a grant from Whole Foods Foundation to build a fenced garden space at Lincoln School where they are housed (across from AHS), but the needed a storage shed and equipment. Lowe’s is donating the shed kit, and ASF is paying for professional construction of the kit, paint supplies for student’s to paint the structure, shelves and equipment so they can get gardening!

YoMIND is a program started as a pilot at Ashland High in 2013 by Libby Edson and then principal, Michelle Zundel. The combination of yoga and mindfulness techniques helps high school students manage stress and builds skills that benefit them physically and mentally throughout their lives. The program has been integrated into the P.E. curriculum, and has even been taught at various times at AMS and some elementary schools. Libby has been a bastion of strength for the AHS P.E. teachers through the pandemic with online classes.

The AHS Foods program has been expanding over the past several years, moving from a traditional “Home Economics” cooking course, to a vocational program preparing students with skills they can take into the world of restaurants and professional chef programs. Unfortunately the equipment is dated and space is very limited. ASF is supporting the program by funding the creation of storage space. Final costs are still to be determined.

Another grant that began as an Impact Grant request, this grant is working some of the District’s K-1 teachers to purchase “wobble stools” as a seating option in their classrooms. Five-year-olds need to wiggle, and that’s difficult and distracting in a normal chair. These stools allow for movement that is pleasant for kids, yet quiet and non-intrusive for others. It helps students concentrate!

When the schools moved to total distance learning, a number of families at Helman had inadequate headphone sets for their student learners. Helman did what was needed to remove the boundary from learning – handed out the headphones used in their library to families in need. With students coming back to school, the headphones are still in need at home, but need to be replaced at school.


The criteria for these classroom-based grants was expanded this year to meet the needs of teachers who are trying to meet both distance learning and hybrid school needs. Engaging students while keeping everyone socially distanced is a challenge! Nearly 50 grants for a total of $33,858 have been awarded so far this year - a record for ASF Impact Grants!

Grants below are listed under their main impact area, beginning with Language Arts. If you're looking for a specific area, you can jump to those below:


Grant Descriptions Words from the teacher…
BIPOC BOOKS FOR 4-5 GRADERS - Terry & Pindell
Willow Wind Community Learning Center - 4/5 grades - $1086

Willow Wind 4th & 5th grade classroom teachers will work with Treehouse Books to order multiple copies of 10 books that embrace diversity and create discussion about equality and inclusion that are developmentally appropriate for this age group. The books will be used in a variety of unit studies in the classes. Reading these will help bring balance to the books the class studies.
In the words of Linda Terry…

 Reading these books will help provide perspective for our students, who have been inundated with stories featuring white male protagonists representing a narrow socio-economic range--these are not terribly useful when our goal is to confront racism/sexism, and challenge students to be intentionally anti-racist.
Bellview, Helman, Walker Elementary School Libraries - $500 ea

Cultural and institutional initiatives and mandates regarding equity, diversity, and inclusion are bringing fresh, healthy perspectives to book acquisition at libraries around the country. Elementary librarian, Matt Damon, and his school staff members have developed wish lists of critically acclaimed EDI books to add to each of the elementary school libraries.
In the words of Matt Damon…

In many ways, public school libraries are bastions of equity, diversity, and inclusion.  After all, they create free and equal access to a relatively wide spectrum of information and literature.  I am hoping to bring to the elementary school libraries new authors and perspectives that have traditionally been minimized, marginalized, or misrepresented.
Walker Elementary - 2nd grade - $986

This fall new 2nd graders at Walker School will build community through a series of activities based on several books by Peter Reynolds. In "The Dot", students will learn side-by-side with main character, Vashti, about growth and perseverance. They'll create lists, make beautiful art, dive into the world of STEM, and dig into the thesaurus and dictionary to become "Word Collectors" (another book by Peter Reynolds).  Finally, they'll design their own postcards inspired by Peter's art work, writing to tell him about their favorite of his books.  
In the words of Kathleen Mateas…

Peter Reynold's books help us build community, learn about empathy, and start flexing our growth mindset muscles.  Students get to be self-reflective and also celebrate the strengths of their peers while getting to know each other.  The wide variety of activities allows every learner the opportunity to shine - it could be in art, writing, reading, or engineering and design.
Ashland Middle School - 7/8 grades - $500

At AMS, Mindy Lindgren teaches Spanish language and culture to over 100 7-8 graders during the year. This grant will fund a Free Choice Reading Program with up to 50 new books available in the classroom. Each book will be at a Spanish 1 level and three sublevels so students can choose their own level, hence allowing for differentiation. If they try a book and it's too easy, too hard or doesn't interest them, they can switch books.
In the words of Mindy Lindgren…

Learning Spanish depends greatly on being exposed to lots of reading and listening that you comprehend. And students make great gains when the reading is enjoyable. Students have choice in this program and because of that, they will enjoy their reading. Additionally, in the process, they'll learn cultural elements of the many Spanish-speaking countries.
Ashland Middle School - 7/8 grades - $500

Another long-time AMS Spanish teacher, Jennifer Gonzalez, is also expanding her classroom library with additional Spanish books and readers. Additionally, she is planning to strengthen her teaching skills and learn new ways to reach learners with new classroom materials and online resources.
In the words of Jeni Gonzalez…

Incorporating more reading into my lessons will help students comprehend the language faster and using more digital resources will allow students to move at their own pace.
LET'S READ "NO FIXED ADDRESS" – Wallace, Inada, Vankuiken
Ashland Middle School - 7/8 grades - $1109

When AMS 7-8 teacher, Austin Wallace, taught the novel, "No Fixed Address" in his class in the fall, students were heavily engaged and invested in this story whose main characters are homeless. The novel builds empathy for its diverse characters, and helps students build empathy towards people experiencing homelessness. The unit was so successful, the other teachers on his team agreed that it should be a team-wide study.
In the words of Austin Wallace…

Part of the reason for choosing No Fixed Address is its focus on diverse characters, inclusion, and understanding of other perspectives and cultures.  All people are portrayed positively - the author includes diverse characters naturally in her writing. In addition, there are several LGBTQ characters - normalized by weaving their stories in naturally. In this effort, Ashland students will see a diverse group of characters that reflects real life.
Walker Elementary - 4th grade - $138

Walker 4th grade teacher, Ky Ferguson, has read the book, "Front Desk" to her class for the last two years as a beginning of the year read aloud. This book opens up their eyes and allows for beautiful discussions about racism, immigration, and micro-aggression and was written by Chinese immigrant, Kelly Yang.
In the words of Ky Ferguson…

I hope to give students an opportunity to physically engage in a highly engaging text that has a POC female protagonist. I hope to build critical thinking, reading fluency, encourage empathy, and help students develop their own EDI lenses.
Ashland High School - 11/12 - $697

Sense Writing is a series of practices that help students to slow down, notice their bodies and the world they live in, and learn to write from their authentic self. AHS English teacher, Kimberley Healey, previously took a shorter workshop with Madelyn Kent on the subject and brought the tools from the workshop into a Women's Lit Class…and it was life-changing for students. ASF is funding Kimberley in a 12-week program this spring to expand her knowledge and ability to bring these skills to her many AHS Language Arts and World Language classes. She will share out everything she has learned with her colleagues for Fall 2021.
In the words of Kimberley Healey…

I have been trying to develop these kinds of tools for years and I think it can transform my teaching at a time when students' mental health needs are extreme. I look forward to sharing the tools with my colleagues for their own mental health and also for them to use in their classes. I want writing to be a delightful, enjoyable activity for Ashland High School students and I think this is a way to accomplish that. I also help to give students tools and practices that will help them cope with their future dilemmas and challenges.
Helman Elementary - 2nd grade - $450

2nd grade teacher, Mary Snowden, is strengthening her reading instruction through a class at SOU this spring. The course uses the Science of Reading research to provide teachers with the tools, resources, and skills teachers need to integrate research-based, explicit, systematic, and multi-sensory instruction into their curriculum. Effective reading instruction is one way to prepare our children to better comprehend, plan, and include others in finding solutions in a world with increasingly complex problems.
In the words of Mary Snowden…

Frederick Douglass once said, "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free." We need to ensure that all our children, whether they have learning disabilities, are children living in poverty, or are part of a marginalized group, must have the freedom to read, to think critically, and to understand the voice of others. We need to make sure our instruction is equitable and effective.
Walker Elementary - all ages - $633

Windows and Mirrors books refer to books that are diverse and inclusive and invite students to explore worlds outside of themselves as well see their own stories meaningfully reflected. Walker School library aide, Julie Grantham, is working with teachers and students to use new chapter and early chapter books in book clubs and small group work. The titles explore different cultures, have diverse protagonists, and inclusive themes.
In the words of Julie Grantham…

I want to be able to offer our students access to Windows & Mirror books that will enrich them, resonate with them and challenge them!  Multiple copies of these books will allow us to have rich discussions and deeper learning opportunities with them. They model inclusivity in our school community and embrace the diversity of all of our students.


Grant Descriptions Words from the teacher…
John Muir Outdoor School – all grades - $1068

JMOS focuses on blending academics with outdoor education and the arts. Binoculars are an invaluable item to budding naturalists, and having a "fleet" of binoculars that the school could use will greatly enhance their outdoor education curriculum. In addition quality optics allow for a more accessible outdoor education experience, allowing students with visual disabilities to potentially see more clearly, and students with mobility issues can see things they cannot access.
In the words of James Bowers…

Binoculars are a great tool to teach science with and get kids passionate about nature observation. They naturally empower students to be curious, look closely at things, and study flora and fauna. By providing binoculars to students, this grant will make outdoor education experiences more immersive, vibrant and inclusive.
Walker Elementary – 3rd grade - $401

This fall of 2021 grant will enable Walker’s third graders the ability to gain a deeper, more abstract understanding of fractions using something they’re already familiar with…Legos! These little plastic bricks are perfect for understanding concepts like “whole,” “half,” “fourths,” etc using blocks with corresponding “bumps” that represent these concepts.
In the words of Tyler Claycomb…

Having effective manipulatives in fractions is incredibly important. Third grade is the first year where students spend a lot of time gaining a deeper, more abstract understanding of fractions. Lessons using these kits will also engage auditory learners, and will create opportunities for collaborative learning.
Bellview Elementary – 4th grade - $388

When it was announced that students would be returning to school in a hybrid, socially distant model, many elementary teachers scrambled to find educational tools that would keep students engaged individually. 4th grade teacher, Sheri Preskenis, put together a package of math games, puzzles, and blocks that students could use at their desks, and additional earphones for her “Walking Classroom” kits that ASF funded her a few years ago. She also ordered owl pellets for her students to dissect and study for science investigation.
In the words of Sheri Preskenis…

This project empowers the students to become independent learners. Many of the activity bundles offer various differentiation opportunities. It will also get the learning and students outside in the fresh air.
Bellview Elementary – 3rd grade - $562

This grant supports holistic education for Bellview 3rd graders by utilizing art and science together for students to gain a foundational understanding of weather and climate. Their studies intentionally lead into Earth Day. With this unit they will facilitate an awareness and understanding of climate change and their students' role in the future of our planet.
In the words of Jolene Nagareda, upon learning the grant was fully funded…

Wow! This is wonderful news. Many, many thanks to ASF for your generosity, and for all you do for our ASD students. Your gift came with perfect timing!  We are beginning our Weather unit tomorrow and we have Meteorologist Matt Hoffman from KDRV coming to Zoom with us on Friday. 
John Muir Outdoor School – 7/8 grades - $225

Math Specialist, David Wasserman, will use the medium of stepping stone mosaics to explore the mathematical concept of symmetry. Students will design geometric patterns on paper, exploring the mathematics of this topic then transpose these patterns to the concrete stepping stones they will pour and decorate using recycled materials to create their symmetrical designs. ASF is providing stepping stone kits to facilitate the project.
In the words of David Wasserman…

By applying mathematical concepts to a tactile, visual, and artistic experience, this project provides an enriching, and vibrant educational experience. Students will better comprehend these ideas and will enjoy the integration of math and art while simultaneously creating art for our shared space.
Ashland High School – 11/12 grades - $1246

For several years, ASF has been helping AHS build a full-class set of three-dimensional manikins that are manipulated to study each of the body systems. The manikins enhance Anatomy & Physiology students’ learning through hands-on body system construction. Students apply their knowledge of muscle origin, insertion, size, muscle striation, and orientation to create the major muscle systems of the human body on the student skeletal model. This grant will fund 2 additional manikins.
In the words of Becky DeSalvo…

Now during this pandemic, it is incredibly important for each student to have their own skeleton, so learning can continue safely. Clay anatomy is a hands-on approach that is inclusive to all learners. This 6+ month-long project supports the information that is presented in class and from the textbook. It is a way for students to see how their body comes together, how systems are intertwined, and how the body collaborates to maintain homeostasis. We will be able to actually do this lab safely this year with these 2 additional skeletons and meet the covid-19 school requirements.
Walker Elementary – 4TH grade - $500

In the past, Walker 4th grade teacher, Ky Ferguson, has cooked multiple times per week with students in her classroom. This COVID year didn’t allow for that, so she started making a monthly vegetarian cooking kit for each student. Students and their families joined via Zoom and all made a meal together. It’s been such a success she asked for a budget for ingredients to continue the project next year!  
In the words of Ky Ferguson…

This project empowers students to grow in ways beyond academic. It shows them that we all have a place at the community table. It gives students an opportunity to try and appreciate foods from various origins and to share their food culture too.
OUTDOOR ED EDI BOOKS – Meyeroff & Nash
John Muir Outdoor School – K-3rd grades - $200

JMOS is purchasing books for their classroom libraries that expand topics of EDI representation in the study of nature. The books include diverse characters, histories, perspectives, and stories. They also include characters who are underrepresented in children's nature literature, including Black, Indigenous, People of Color, Disabled people, and LGBTQ people.
In the words of JoEllen Meyeroff…

By ensuring that students have access to a wide selection of books wherein diverse characters and perspectives are represented, students of marginalized demographics will see themselves reflected in outdoor places and narratives. Additionally, students of non-marginalized demographics will gain insight into the experiences and realities of others, and learn to value inclusion, diversity, and community.
Bellview Elementary – 2nd grade - $1300

2nd graders love to get outside and “do science!” Bellview teachers, Ingrid Hansen and Erin VanDyke are using ASF funds to create science/adventure backpack kits for their students. Each student will be assigned a kit that will include binoculars, bug catchers, magnifying glasses, a journal, a compass, insect id guides, and more! Students will explore areas around the school, do birdwatching, weather reporting, and adopt trees…observing the trees closely and how they change during the different seasons. The kits will be reusable and can be used by future students for many years to come!
In the words of Ingrid Hansen…

It has been a long year of distance learning, and too much time on computers for the students! I am so excited to give them their explorer kits and take them outside on the school grounds to explore, feel things, observe, find bugs, notice birds, and in addition to specific assignments, to offer them open ended exploration time while practicing safe social distancing. All kids are curious and love to dig around in the dirt, look up in the sky and trees, and collect things. These kits will inspire them to do this! This is the definition of vibrant, holistic education.
RECYCLED RACERS – Schwedes…and all Helman teachers!
Helman Elementary – all grades - $550

In mid-March, while students were still learning exclusively from home, Helman Elementary teamed up with ASF to bring ScienceWorks onto their online learning for an enrichment activity for the entire Helman community! Students were invited to participate in an engineering challenge: create a recycled racer using recyclable materials readily available at home.
In the words of Ashley Schwedes…

Many students are creators and we've found that students who may not shine in other academic areas, can really get excited about science and engineering. This activity is accessible to all students and fosters a culture of creativity and inclusion.
Bellview Elementary – 5th grade - $248

With students returning to school, but unable to leave their desks and interact safely, 5th grade teacher Max Schmeling requesting funding to add to his supply of educational games and activities for students to do individually at their desks during breaks or “down” time. They include brain teasers and building sets.
In the words of Max Schmeling…

I hope to make hybrid education easier for kids. If they are going to be less mobile than a normal school year, I'd like to make their time more interesting.
STEAM ACADEMY – Keoppen & Bland
Willow Wind Community Learning Center – 6-8 grades - $1828

STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math! Willow Wind middle schoolers will be using all of these disciplines to build outdoor classrooms, gardening and greenhouse projects, environmental art projects, and hands-on science experiences. They’re purchasing a variety of interesting items including gardening equipment, wood, calligraphy pens, camp chairs, cow eyes, owl pellets, and mouse traps!
In the words of Kim Keoppen…

The STEAM Academy embraces the vision of the Ashland Schools Foundation, in that with these supplies and materials we aim to create project based learning opportunities for all of our students.
TAKE-HOME CHEMISTRY LABS – Sniffen, DeSalvo, Stonewood
Ashland High School – 10-12 grade CDL students - $785

Teaching science standards through distance learning has been challenging, to say the least. As students return to campus, hands-on instruction returns too! But not all students are able to return, so this grant will provide take home science labs so those students will be able to be included in activities that are happening in the classroom. This not only involves data collection and analysis, but also engineering design and construction skills.
In the words of Matthew Sniffen…

With these materials we hope provide our students who cannot return to campus for in-person instruction with a learning experience that is comparable to the hands-on experiences that the returning students will enjoy. We also hope that this will help us maintain our connections with those students, to help them feel equally included in the class and minimize their feelings of being left out of the in-class experience.


Grant Descriptions Words from the teacher…
AMS STUDENT UNION BANNERS – Stroud, Hardy, Royce, Meyers, Guled & Reynolds  - Ashland Middle School – 6-8 grades - $721

New AMS Student Unions are collaborating in the design of fabric banners to be displayed in the AMS Commons. The student unions are race and culturally based in order to better serve students and create a commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. The goal is for incoming students to be greeted daily with clear messages as to the central role diversity and self-representation play in AMS’s school community.
In the words of John Stroud…

These banners directly serve to legitimize the vital role ASF plays in promoting EDI on our campuses. With our "Covid Year" slowly coming to a close, we believe it is important to maintain meaningful spaces for these student unions so that next year, when students once again walk through our doors, things are not just simply as they were before, but they have continued to grow.
CARDIO DRUMMING – Anderson & Myers
Ashland Middle School – 6-8 grades - $622

Cardio drumming is a new exercise crave making its way into the P.E. classroom. Using yoga mats and cardio sticks (think weighted drum sticks), students drum on the yoga mats in a teacher-led routine to music. It’s fun and engaging, and is an incredible workout! We all agree that kids need exercise, but many traditional sports leave some kids behind. Cardio drumming is inclusive and allows all students to feel safe to be active!
In the words of Kelly Anderson…

With this grant we hope to inspire a love of movement for those students who have found it difficult to succeed in a traditional physical education class. Cardio drumming requires very little skill and comes with high rewards such as increasing strength and cardiovascular endurance, but most importantly is fun and engaging.
Ashland Middle School – 6-8 grades - $463

Kids can experience grief and loss in many different ways – and this year of COVID has created additional issues around these important issues. Allison Hass, AMS Counselor, used ASF funds to purchase supplies for therapeutic activities as part of the virtual grief and loss group this spring. Art supplies, small toys or fidget items help support students in emotion regulation.    
In the words of Allison Hass…

I hope to provide a safe and supportive space for students who have experienced loss in their lifetimes. As a professional therapist, I understand the need for our students to connect--especially during already difficult and isolating times. I am hopeful that this grant will allow students the opportunity for connection, healing, and emotional growth.
JUMP IN!  - Johnson
Walker & Bellview Elementary Schools – all grades - $364

Jumping rope can be an integral part of a fitness program at any level. It not only offers a wide range of health benefits (such as cardiovascular fitness), it also helps to develop coordination and rhythm. It is also aligns directly with our state standards in PE. As PE teacher at two elementary schools, Angela Johnson’s goal is allow all students who are in PE to have access to a jump rope during their PE session while at school. Ropes of various lengths have been purchased and allow for great exercise while at a safe distance.
In the words of Angela Johnson…

Jumping rope is a skill that transfers to many areas of a student's life. Different variations that can be taught with a jump rope (and for differently abled students). It provides ongoing cardiovascular health for students. Finally, exercise helps to increase blood flow to the brain, impacting the student in a positive way for more learning to take place while in a classroom. For educators, students will come back to their classrooms ready to learn!
Helman Elementary - $1170

As students at Helman return to school, they will have to hold all P.E. classes outdoor as the gym has been used as storage to make room for hybrid schooling. Covered space is available, but it is all cement. Helman needs new mats to replace old, worn out ones to have safe play in P.E.
In the words of Jim Hagemann…

Having these mats will enable all students to have a more positive experience while doing physical activity. It will make the learning space more comfortable, particularly important for our neurologically diverse students. When students are comfortable and empowered it helps them try new things and do their best.
Ashland Middle School – 6th grade - $234

As 6th graders come back to school, it will be hard to fight the temptation to “play together” during breaks outdoors. The Siskiyou Team is housed on the lower soccer field during construction, and the team is purchasing fun outdoor games that students can play together, yet at a safe distance. Games like corn hole, bocce ball, and items like hula hoops and sidewalk chalk will provide countless hours of fun for students who need some!
In the words of Hillary Cusenza…

By purchasing these games and materials we are advocating for the health and mental well-being of students. We are trying to meet the needs of the whole child, not just their academic needs, but their social and emotional needs as well; belonging, friendship, play, and togetherness. We want to foster a team environment where inclusion is the norm and the diverse range of student needs are met.
Ashland Middle School  - $335

SHAPE America is a national organization that offers programs, resources and professional development for health and physical educators. Their mission is to "advance professional practice and promote research related to health and physical education, physical activity, dance and sport. P.E. teacher, Kelly Anderson, attended their virtual conference this spring in order to better herself as a teacher, and to gain innovative ideas for P.E. curriculum that she can share with her fellow teachers.
In the words of Kelly Anderson…

As we begin to heal from the COVID disruption, new tools are required for creating an active learning environment that better targets the broad range of students' social, health, behavioral, and academic needs. Our goal at AMS Physical Education is to bring in new and refreshing ideas, especially ones which motivate all students to be active now and throughout the rest of their lives. This conference will give me access to sessions and year-long materials that will help me do this.

Grant Descriptions Words from the teacher…
ECOSYSTEMS ART PROJECT – Ososke and all teachers!
John Muir Outdoor School – all grades - $2316

Integration of art into their academic subjects is a core aspect of JMOS’s educational philosophy, enriches students’ understanding, and builds creative thinking. All students will be studying ecosystems, and each class will be working with a professional artist to receive instruction to make pencil drawings, then watercolor the drawing of a local animal species.
In the words of Marcia Ososke…

Students will learn techniques and strategies to become more confident and skilled artists in a step by step method. Students will hopefully be encouraged and inspired to use this process in future artistic endeavors and will integrate more art into their class work. Through the creation of an art piece centered around our ecosystems unit, students will engage in curriculum material through a different lens, offering new perspectives on the subject.
AMS MUSICAL – FROZEN JR.  –  Royce & Merwin
Ashland Middle School – 6-8 grades-$1000

Last year AMS was set to do Frozen Jr as their spring musical – then the pandemic hit and it all got cancelled. This year plans are moving ahead to do a virtual production. Students will be challenged to act on camera and produce the technical aspects for an online show. This grant not only pays for the musical director, but microphones that are needed equipment regardless of the pandemic!
In the words of Andrea Royce…

We are a very inclusive group, and many kids who do not feel safe and respected in other programs gravitate to us because of our appreciation of the unique and our long tradition of acceptance!
HONORING BIPOC OF THE ROGUE VALLEY – Abrams, Malcomb, Laroi - Ashland High School – all grades - $808

ASF funding will support the design and installation of a prominent mural on the AHS campus that will feature a tribute to Aidan Ellison, the former AHS black student who was killed last fall. The mural will include portrayals of BIPOC community leaders from the Rogue Valley, like Michelle Alexander and Agnes Baker Pilgrim. This project is a component of Truth to Power club's "Promise to Aidan," a commitment to honor his life by confronting racism and working toward a community in which another such tragedy would be unimaginable.
In the words of Shane Abrams, advisor to the Truth to Power Club…

My students and I hope to honor a young person, an AHS alum, who was wrongly taken from our community. We also hope to inspire the student body of AHS to see themselves as change-makers by celebrating the talented, innovative, and dedicated leaders of our Valley. Finally, we hope to contribute to an ethos of inclusion and antiracism.
Ashland High School – all grades - $3500

The art equipment at Ashland High is in dire need of an overhaul. Of the two kilns at AHS, one has gone belly-up and the other is barely limping along. A new kiln will lift the load off this old kiln and up production so they can start fundraising and become self-sustaining.
In the words of Max Malcomb…

Ceramics is the only fun class for some students. It's hands on and it's a creative space. It's also very accessible and is great for students of all different abilities. With this investment in new equipment, the program will be more productive and therefore able to reach more students and community members.
Ashland Middle School - $2212

In conjunction with AMS’s new Character Strong Initiative, AMS Art will use funds to undertake the design/fabrication/installation of 3 large scale relief-painted wall panels, designed and painted by students that reinforce key themes found in Character Strong. The project will begin this spring and will continue into the fall before being installed in the AMS 7-8 grade bldg.
In the words of John Stroud…

As well as providing much needed decorative elements at AMS, these pieces can serve as visual cues for the core values we strive to instill in our students while foregrounding student voices (or in this case visions) of how these values look and feel. I envision the final pieces being lively and playful, full of color and movement that ground Character Strong themes in a kid-accessible visual language and executed by the students themselves.
Walker Elementary – 5th grade - $300

Beth VanZee has an extremely talented Ed Assistant! Robin Spector is engaging students in Beth’s class with a shadow puppet playwriting assignment. She has the puppets…but needs some help with the theatres. With the bright light in the classroom, shadow theatres are needed to facilitate the activity. ASF will provide the materials, and students will build their own desktop puppet theatres.  
In the words of Robin Spector…

Students will improve their writing skills while utilizing stories from their imaginations (all the stories will be original); they'll also write collaboratively and work together to sew their individual character's journeys together. They will have the opportunity to work with their hands and observe how different building techniques are more effective than others. They'll also have a chance to learn about light by using and manipulating light and shadows.
Ashland High School – all grades - $710

In Fiber Arts classes beginning students make projects such as pillowcases, pajama pants, bags, and advanced students make clothing, quilts, costumes, etc. The addition of two sergers would make all of these projects more finished and professional. Student will also gain valuable skill learning how to use another machine besides the regular sewing machine. These skills will make them more marketable if they decide to pursue anything in the field of Fiber Arts after they leave the school district.
In the words of Jill Britt…

Fiber Arts is a class that provides a creative outlet for all students. Students learn a skill that will be useful their whole lives, even if they do not pursue it as a career. Students work with their hands and create beautiful and useful projects. This class exemplifies "a vibrant, holistic education for every student". Being able to use a serger in class will just make the class even better.
Bellview Elementary – K-5 - $692

The highly impacted Special Education students (grades K-5) in this site-based program. These students have ALOT of energy and need tools that the students can individually and collectively use in a safe manner. ASF funds will provide outside games to be played on their grassy area, and ukuleles for students to learn to play. These activities will be designed to increase social awareness and build on the student's social/emotional skills by providing opportunities to learn basics at their individual level and then join with other students to play together, thus increasing their Social-Emotional Skills.
In the words of Lynda Bell…

A full productive life needs more than learning the basic (reading, writing, math) skills to be successful. It also requires social skills, discipline, cooperation, and creative thinking. These are all learned from the training that sports and music education offer. Further, it can really be fun. The process of learning a new instrument and playing sports, with defined rules, may teach these students that there are areas where their disabilities are not a detriment to their learning, they may be able to shine.
Ashland High School – all grades - $450

Students returning to Alan Parowski’s art class will benefit from new painting supplies through this ASF grant. Among other projects, they'll be making personal singer-songwriter record album covers, with song titles showing what they would be singing about if they were making an actual album. It’s a great way for them to blend their personal story with art.
In the words of Alan Parowski…

I want to give the students who choose to come back for Art (currently about 60% of them) the opportunity to work with materials they haven't had at home. My art class is extremely diverse and inclusive, geared towards allowing each student to express themselves through art in the style and to the level best suited for them.
Ashland High School – all grades - $1000

With the increasing use of computers in the theatrical world, Theatre Tech teacher requested funds to take a Computer Science class at RCC and a renovated Mac computer for the Booth at the AHS Theatre that will be capable of running needed software. This past fall's task of learning a completely new way to do theatre online, made Samek realize that she needed to gain a better understanding of the operating systems the school's theatre is using for its productions, and to be better equipped to handle trouble shooting should computer software problems arise.
In the words of Kristen Samek…

Taking this class will allow me to gain the groundwork of knowledge needed to better to understand, operate, and teach various technical elements of theatre. Qlab is an Industry standard cueing program used in theatre, and can only be run using a Mac. In order keep our theatre teaching and lessons up to date, we need equipment (and faculty!) that is also up to date.