NOVEMBER 19, 2014

Seven Teacher Vision Grant recipients receive $17,200 from FCF Partners in Education (PIE) Program

Foothills Community Foundation seeks donations for next year’s grants
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SCOTTSDALE – Programming robots, working on a student newspaper, reading Shakespeare, and exercising to music during physical education classes … these are just some of the educational activities students in the Cave Creek Unified School District are participating in, thanks to funds received through the Foothills Community Foundation (FCF) Partners in Education program (PIE).

FCF’s PIE program designated $17,200 to seven Teacher Vision Grant recipients for the 2014-2015 school year, the fourth year of this particular type of grant. The special grants enable local schools to pilot and adopt sustainable and transferable educational innovations that advance learning in the arts, mathematics, communications, information technology or the environment. The seven grant recipients were chosen out of a total of 17 creative applications, including several from charter and private schools. FCF PIE also collaborated with Kiwanis Club of Carefree in the funding of two of the grants and provided $1,000 to be used for scholarships for the Cactus Shadows High School Science Club.

“Each fall, we visit the grant recipients’ classrooms to see how the funds are being used,” said Chris Winger, FCF president and CEO. “We’re always impressed with how innovative our local teachers and school administrators are, and it’s very rewarding to see the students engaging in the PIE-funded programs.”

This year’s FCF PIE recipients include:

“Happy Feet” was proposed by Janelle Roberts-Perrin on behalf of the physical education team of the Cave Creek Unified School District. With a grant of $3,659, each school (K-12) in the district received a sound system to support curriculum and instruction through music. PIE members visited Cactus Shadows High School to see the system in action.

At Bella Vista College Preparatory School Principal Lisa Artenian requested $725 for “A Season of Shakespeare” for 4th through 12th grades. A semester of studying Shakespeare will culminate in a Shakespeare Festival in the spring.

horsehoe trails schoolHorseshoe Trails Elementary School has two grant recipients, each of whom received 10 iPads. With $4,921, Kimberly Blackert is creating a “Mad Classroom All About Tech” for her second grade students. Kathy Mellody’s “The Science of Living Systems: Structures and Functions” supports cross-disciplinary technology integration for grades K-6. PIE funded $2,921 while Kiwanis contributed $2,000.

At Quality Interactive (QI) Montessori, Kari Frentzel was granted $500 for equipment to create an “Elementary Newspaper Layout and Production Center” for 4th to 6th grades. In addition, PIE donated lightly-used equipment, including a digital camera, laptop computer and a digital monitor. The newspaper’s first issue included an interview with PIE member Bob Zinser explaining how the Teacher Vision Grant process works.

Hilary Sohm, who teachers first through third grades at QI Montessori, purchased Bee-Bots and Pro-Bots with her $1,650 grant for her “Terrapin Logo Programmable Robots for Students” project. Students program the robots as the first step in learning computer programming.

Foothills Academy College Preparatory’s “School Wide Cross-Curricular STEM Project”, submitted by Jonathan Brechner, received $2,887 from PIE and $2,000 from Kiwanis of Carefree. The grant provides equipment and supplies for a STEM project across all grade levels at the upper school.

FCF is seeking donations to help fund next year’s Teacher Vision Grants. To donate or for more information, visit or call (480) 488-1090.

PHOTO:  Horseshoe Trails Elementary School has two FCF PIE grant recipients, each of whom received 10 iPads. Pictured here: 2nd grade students with front row (l to r): Rosie Ciammitti with Principal Janiene Marlow, and 2nd row: Penny Davis, Kimberly Blackert, Mark Warren, and Kathy Mellody.

Courtesy Photo / Foothills Community Foundation