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BPSF Awards Fall 2015 Grants

The Beaumont Public Schools Foundation Inc. made a surprise visit on December 4, 2015 to several campuses to present their Fall 2015 Grants. The BPSF awarded grants to eleven staff members and one student totaling $10,678.09. Over the past 22 years, 339 staff members and students have benefited from the grant program and have received awards for innovative learning ideas totaling $225,001.84.


The Fall 2015 Winners are:


Enhancing the Photographic Experience - Staff Award, Drew Loker, West Brook HS

Student photography projects will greatly improve with the use of the much requested 50 mm 11.8 specialized lenses. These specialized lenses will be used to photograph subjects in low light and will allow a shoot to take place without the use of a flash. The nine 50 mm lenses will encourage creative photography and dramatically improve the competiveness in student photography contests.


We Read-A-Latte Book Club- Staff Award, Sabrina Rameriz, Smith MS

Once a week students in the “We Read-A-Latte Book Club” will meet to exchange ideas about the current book that they are reading. Eight different class sets of current and popular fictional title books will help students to read for pleasure and increase reading comprehension. A section of the library will be decorated to resemble a café area for the student book club meetings.


Understanding Density Through Experimental Design- Staff Award, Ronitha Pickens, Smith MS

Improved test scores on yearly exams and on the state assessment tests is the objective of this project. Density is a Readiness TEK for sixth grade students and a process TEK for eight grade students.  A density kit will provide students the ability to calculate the density of a regular and an irregular shaped object. All of the materials in the density kit are reusable and can be used for several years to assist students to easily and accurately collect, compare and analyze data from various materials.


The Original “Selfie”- Staff Award, Kelsey Thibodeaux, Guess Elementary

The traditional “art education” has changed due to student exposure to colorful and interactive apps via iPads and computer programs.  Students will take virtual tours of distant places and research artists to explore the artist’s style. The information that they learn from their research will help them to create their own “self portrait”. Students will explore themselves as a person and communicate their feelings through art.


Family Reading IS Succeeding! - Staff Award, Jada Saveat, Fehl-Price Elementary

Spanish Speaking/Reading parents will have the opportunity to become more involved in their child’s education with the reading materials provided for this project. Students will check out English and Spanish versions of books with certain days designated as English reading days and Spanish reading days.  The objective of this award is to encourage fluency and parent/family involvement with books in multiple languages.


Let’s Get Our Math On! - Staff Award, Alisha McCray, Fehl-Price Elementary

Second grade students at this elementary campus will use a pen that talks! The “Hot Dots Pen” will talk to students and inform them if the answer on a math card is correct or incorrect. The talking pen will say “Hooray” for a correct answer and “Oops try again” if an answer is incorrect. The objective of this award is for students to master math concepts while having fun.


“I want to be ME… Dyslexia FREE!!”- Staff Award, Yvette Drake, Charlton-Pollard Elementary

Dyslexia students will receive support in academic areas to develop creative thinking with Dyslexia Reading Pens, audio recorded books and 21st century ball chairs. The reading pens capture text from paper and transfer it directly into the computer for editing. The audio-recorded books will expose dyslexia students to more words and ideas. The ball chairs will help students with a sensory processing disorder to focus. To determine the success of this program, students will be monitored to determine student improvement in reading and classroom behavior.   


Student Stability Balls- Staff Award, Brandon Allison, Blanchette Elementary

Classroom stability balls will help students, especially students with ADHD, to use their energy in a positive manner. Large inflatable balls will take the place of classroom chairs and allow 4th grade students to “get their wiggles” out. A little movement on the stability balls can meet the demands for expelling excess energy and help with concentration.  


Ah,ha,ha,ha, Stayin’ Alive!- Staff Award, Becky Simmons, Odom Academy

Students in grades 7-8 must be taught cardiopulmonary resuscitation according to House Bill 821. A CPR in Schools Training Kit will allow students to learn the core skills of CPR in under 30 minutes. This kit includes 10 manikins, an inflator and lesson plans on how to use a hands-on approach of administering CPR in an emergency. Community members and the families of students will also have the opportunity to save lives at a coordinated Family Health Night.


Parent Literacy: Help them, help them! Raising a Reader! - Staff Award, LaShae Williams, Bingman Head Start

The goal of this project is to build a love of life-long learning through reading. A parent library will allow parents to check out books and read with their child to build a parent/child bond. The library will be filled with books that are fun and innovative and promise to keep all engaged. The books will be checked out by the parents and certificates and reward stickers will be issued to encourage successful reading. Economically disadvantages parents may not have the opportunity to purchase and provide books for their children and the parent library will be a valuable reading resource for them.


Snap Circuits-Staff Award, Joseph Cantu, Ozen HS

The Snap Circuits Kits project will help students have a better understanding of electricity and their currents. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields will no longer be feared as students are introduced to hands-on experiments. A series of pre-made projects will be provided in the kits. Tenth, eleventh and twelfth grade students will explore the advancement in electricity, currents and circuits.


STEM Project – Student Award, Tashira Parker, Ozen HS

High school Biology students can study cross-sections of the heart and other organs with the STEM project 3D printer. The subjects of Chemistry, Physics, Engineering and Math will also be enhanced through 3D imagery. Students will be able to reach their full potential and think creatively with the enhanced imagery as they get excited about learning. The success of the project will be determined by the amount of student involvement and their desire to come to science class and learn something awesome and new.