Safeway Grants Awarded to PAHS, Roosevelt Teachers

Safeway Grants Awarded to PAHS, Roosevelt Teachers
Posted on 05/15/2018
Safeway Grants Awarded to PAHS, Roosevelt TeachersPort Angeles High School:  Building a Greenhouse

Shirlene Fitzwater, Shawne Johnson and Adam Logan, all Port Angeles High School teachers, wrote a grant asking for assistance in building a greenhouse on the high school campus. 

“We received a $10,000 grant from the Kiwanis Foundation of Port Angeles due to a generous bequest from Willard C. Muller earlier this year,” said Fitzwater.  “That portion was used to purchase the greenhouse.  The money from the Innovation in Education Grant we received from Safeway will be for fencing and additional expenses.”

Fitzwater gets a check

Safeway at Lincoln store manager Mike Lagrange, accompanied by Principal Jeff Clark, broke the news by handing a large check to Fitzwater in her math classroom last Friday, evoking applause from her algebra students.

“It has been a dream of ours, to build a greenhouse where students can learn how to grow their own food.  Our budget for the greenhouse project is $22,000,” said Fitzwater.  “This $5,000, brings us very close to our goal!” 

“Having a greenhouse and outdoor garden space will provide an opportunity for students who are not only interested in raising their own food but also as a potential career pathway,” continued Fitzwater.  “All aspects of gardening, growing, selling, and business marketing can be addressed.”

“It will provide a venue for volunteerism as students can raise food for the local food bank or plant starts for community gardens.  It will be ADA accessible so that even those with disabilities can enjoy the learning space,” Fitzwater concluded.

Roosevelt Elementary: Novel Engineering Project

“Boys and girls, do you know what a grant is?” Assistant Principal Jen VanDeWege asked Roosevelt Elementary students assembled in the school gym last Friday afternoon.  “A grant is when you take a wish, write a proposal, and someone who cares a lot gives you money to make that wish come true!”

VanDeWege asked Angela Mordecai-Smith, fifth grade teacher, to come up to the front.  Once again, Lagrange walked in, carrying another giant check for $5,000, and handed it to Mordecai-Smith.  The students cheered enthusiastically!

RES gets a check.

“I am so excited!” said Mordecai-Smith.  “I have been scrounging materials from other teachers.  This will make a huge difference in my classroom lesson!”

Mordecai-Smith’s project, Novel Engineering, incorporates STEAM learning (Science Technology, Engineering, Art and Math). Students use the engineering process to find solutions to problems found in literature. Through the project, students read a literary text and identify all the characters and the problems these characters encounter throughout the text. After they create a list of problems, they decide which of these can be solved with the use of an engineered product.

“My passion is to support creative thinking in my classroom,” continued Mordecai-Smith.  “I try to blend reading, writing, art and engineering.  I believe that through the engagement stemming from the creative process and problem solving, students increase their comprehension of texts read.”

Students learn about the Engineering Design Process and employ it to design, create, and test a prototype to solve the problem chosen. They test their product, redesign and refine it, give and take feedback from peers, and present their finished product. The learning circles back to the text as students rewrite the story from the point where their device would be introduced in the narrative.

“With this grant money, the Novel Engineering projects will be improved, advanced, and enriched,” said Mordecai-Smith.  “Students will have computers to explore what engineers do and the various fields employing engineers.”

“Additionally, we will be able to research simple machines and how to build them, therefore increasing students’ skills to find and use creditable internet resources.  We will also be able to purchase better materials for students to create their prototypes.  Up until now, we have utilized whatever can be found around our classroom and in the school supply cabinet!”

“This will help students not only understand the engineering field but will also encourage girls (typically underrepresented in STEM fields) to pursue STEM careers.”

“These classroom grant programs help to enhance the educational experience of our students,” said Superintendent Marc Jackson.  “The generosity of organizations such as the Safeway Foundation is greatly appreciated.”

Photos by Patsene Dashiell/Port Angeles School District

Safeway grant check for RES –  During a student assembly at Roosevelt Elementary, fifth grade teacher Angela Mordecai-Smith reacts when Safeway’s Lincoln store manager Mike LaGrange presents her with a check for $5,000, as Assistant Principal Jen VanDeWege looks on.  Mordecai-Smith’s grant proposal for her Novel Engineering Project was accepted by Safeway Foundation and will be funded for $5,000.

Safeway Grant Check for PAHS – Safeway Lincoln store manager Mike LaGrange presented Port Angeles High School teacher Shirlene Fitzwater with a huge check for $5,000 last Friday.  Fitzwater, with teachers Shawne Johnson and Adam Logan, submitted a grant to help pay for a greenhouse to be built on the high school campus for student learning, and Safeway Foundation is providing $5,000 for the project.

For additional assistance, please contact:

M. Patsene Dashiell
Communications & Community Relations Coordinator
Ph: 360-565-3703
Port Angeles School District
Central Services – 216 East 4th Street
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