~ The 6th grade class at Kelly Lane Intermediate School has historically been too large to participate in the science programs of the West Hartford Children’s Museum. The creative thinking of teacher Matt Pinckney and his subsequent award of $1,366 have changed that. Having recently studied a teaching technique called “carousel” Mr. Pinckney proposed splitting the class into three sections; each section will attend one of three classes on polymers, chemical technology, or the properties of water molecules. Each section will then be required to summarize the main points of its class, presenting the information on the following day to the other two sections. Not only will all students ultimately receive instruction on all three topics, but each will be forced to process information on a high level in order to act as a peer tutor when they teach what they learned in their particular hands on , alternative setting. To quote Mr. Pinckney, “When learning is focused, the students’ motivation to learn is emphasized.”
~ Katie Ransom, Art teacher at Kelly Lane Intermediate School, received $1,175 to bring interactive theater to Kelly Lane. Approximately 350 students in grades 3-6 will participate in performances and further develop their appreciation of art and knowledge of art history through the use of music, costuming, mime, puppetry, and acting, to tell the story of either artist Alexander Calder or Pablo Picasso. “The most compelling aspect of the ‘Calder Re-Wired’ and ‘Picasso People’ programs are their creative combination of art appreciation with live theater,” stated Mrs. Ransom. This nationally recognized performance should be an exciting experience for all involved.
~ The Granby Senior Center received $1,200 to present a program called “Art Is Ageless”. This program will encourage older adults to explore the visual arts in a small class setting through visual and tactile mediums such as watercolors, digital photography, and beading. The classes will be taught by members of the Granby Artists Association. Sandra Yost, program director of the Granby Senior Center, cited several recent studies which have linked involvement in the arts to better overall health and lower incidents of depression and loneliness in seniors. Perhaps the most compelling point of this award is the collaboration of community groups “to enhance and improve the quality and successful aging of the citizens in the Granby Community. This is an example of Granby working together to support the well-being of one of our most important assets, senior citizens, within our town” says Yost.(photo from l.) Carole Day, David Emery, Sandra Yost and Anne Dixon. Photo by Shirley Murtha
~ The Kindergarten students in Cathryn Kibby’s classes made use of a $200 grant when they joined with Granby Seniors in an educational, multi-age gathering in November. Mrs. Kibby sees this as a program to build on, where kids will “connect with older community members in a warm and loving atmosphere.” The grant allows for a second bus trip in February for morning and afternoon students to the Granby Senior Center, during which the students will present crafted placemats and work on literacy skills when they read poetry to their new friends.
~ The Astronomy Program at Wells Road Intermediate School received $1,268 for the purchase of new filters, mounting equipment, and protective gear for the telescope used by teachers James Janski and Kierstan Pestana to introduce 3-6 grade students to optical technology and the solar system. While students will learn about light as a form of traveling energy and about the predictable movements of objects in the solar system, the teachers feel that the most compelling point about this new technology “is the ability we have to give our students the chance to reach for the stars.”
~ The GMHS Drama Club received $1, 240 to a purchase a scrim, a reusable lighting attachment which allows for enhanced effects on the deep GMHS stage. As the auditorium is a very busy venue, students, community groups, and their audiences will enjoy this augmentation of technical capabilities.