2011-2012 Recipients

EEF Classroom Grants for Outstanding Projects 2011-12 School Year

$35,429 awarded for projects at 34+ different sites

All projects awarded enrich classroom experiences, teach critical thinking skills, promote creative problem-solving, stimulate a lifelong interest in learning, model effective communication and collaboration, and explore concepts, ideas, and principles beyond the core curriculum. Awards were made based on written proposals that asked for Tucson Unified educators to clearly state their project’s unique characteristics, specific costs, learning goals and plan to achieve and effectively assess them by means other than test scores, and their project’s ability to engage students in core curriculum related to the project (math, reading, writing, science, history, and/or art).

EEF General Fund

For outstanding projects that fall outside of the funding criteria of other designated funding categories

Forces of Science       
Briana Gryzynger,
Gale Elementary
Deeper study of physics-related concepts such as gravity, balance, air resistance, and friction by first graders through hands-on projects that will be shared with the community on Physics Phun Day and Family Science Night

Once You Learn to Read You Will Be Forever Free              
Cheryl Beran,
District-wide, with Catalina Magnet High School Library as project lead (also supported by Library Power Author Visit Fund)
Publication of an anthology of Tucson Unified original student writing generated out of a 21st century version of the Young Authors’ Conference emphasizing the six traits of writing, peer editing, and analysis of literature and utilizing the Espresso Book Machine (EBM) at the University of Arizona.

Build a Home Library
Caroline Carlson,
J.B. Wright Elementary
Books for home libraries for kindergarten and first grade ESL/ELL students

Learning STEM through Lego Robotics Engineering
Dell Richardson,
J.B. Wright Elementary
Materials for first graders to integrate engineering activities with literacy and math activities

Preparing for Common Core Math Standards 15
Margaret Bieberstein
, Booth-Fickett Midddle School
Mathematics education software and hardware designed to improve operational mathematics skills for Booth-Fickett’s exceptional education students, facilitating parents to more easily assist students at home.

History of the Civil War: 150th Anniversary
Marjorie Medina,
C.E. Rose
Support for a 4th & 5th grade student “Tea Party,” the culminating activity of a unit on the American Civil War that includes literature circles (historical fiction), student research projects, and student presentations on Social Studies and History non-fiction texts

Building Environmental Knowledge & Appreciation in Middle School
Joan Gilbert & Colin Waite,
Camp Cooper/TUSD Regional Science Center
Support for Sunship III program packs (teacher training & student materials) for middle school students, a hands-on, experiential learning curriculum at Camp Cooper that teaches students to think about the choices they are making regarding their use of energy and materials during a two night, three day stay at Camp Cooper in the Tucson Mountains

Xicano Raiders Basketball Program 
Alexandro Escamilla, Wakefield Middle School (also supported by EEF Mentoring Fund)
Equipment, materials, & fee support for middle school basketball team (part of YMCA Winter Basketball League) that links basketball to the study of ancient Aztec and Mayan philosophies that promote a student’s sense of self-reflection, will-power, hunger for knowledge, and responsibility thereby increasing students’ sense of personal discipline and academic performance

Schaefer Family Poetry Fund

For outstanding projects that promote an appreciation for and/or the creation of poetry

Cholla Unplugged: Volume 5
Craig Wunderlich,
Cholla High School
Creation and publication of an anthology of original work (poetry, essays, drawings, cartoons, & stories) by at-risk students

EEF Mentoring Fund

For outstanding projects that promote intergenerational exchange, community stewardship, and/or positive community modeling

Xicano Raiders Basketball Program
Alexandro Escamilla,
Wakefield Middle School (also supported by EEF General)

Learning through Exploration
Linda Tilkens,
Life Skills Alternative to Suspension High School
Fieldtrips for at-risk students to apply language arts, social studies, science, and math content and concepts learned in class to Reid Park Zoo, Colossal Caves, Pima Air and Space Museum, Kartchner Caverns, and the Sonoran Glass Institute

Vance Field Trip Fund

For outstanding projects that prominently include field trips that significantly expand understanding of core curriculum

Camp Cooper Field Trips
Joan Gilbert,
Camp Cooper/Tucson Unified Regional Science Center
Transportation costs for field trips to Camp Cooper, a hands-on experiential desert laboratory and overnight camp located in the Tucson Mountains that teaches the earth sciences, physics, cultural heritage, and responsible stewardship of the earth’s resources

Learning the Community
Cynthia Schnell,
Carson Middle School
Transportation costs for field trips into the community via Sun Tran bus by students diagnosed as mildly or moderately cognitively impaired

Enhancing Children’s Learning with Field Trips
Sabrina Navarrete-Camacho,
Hollinger Elementary PACE
Field trip support for pre-K students to visit Tucson Botanical Gardens, University of Arizona Agriculture/Horticulture Farm, and Tohono Chul Park and then apply knowledge gained from these trips to their gardening projects in the school garden with their parents

Second Grade Critical Analyses of Dance Performances
Karen Yeager,
Van Buskirk Elementary
Field trip support to attend two different versions of the same ballet (the Nutcracker) by two very different dance companies leading to student created Venn diagramming analysis that then informs the students’ creation and public performance of their own version of the Nutcracker for their school and families

Jacob Eisner Memorial Creativity Fund

For outstanding projects that develop children’s creativity in grades K-6

Arts Exploration Laboratory
Karen Yeager,
Van Buskirk Elementary
Equipment support to create music and art exploration “centers” within the school’s OMA classroom for special needs students

Pop Art Expressions
Carol Ruiz,
Marshall Elementary
Materials support for OMA classroom that exposes students to the concept and work of Pop Art to encourage students to use the visual arts to express personal opinion

Ora & Jane Davies Kindergarten Fund

For outstanding projects for kindergarten students

Building Our Future
Caroline Carson,
J.B. Wright Elementary
Hands-on building materials for Wright’s four kindergarten classrooms that reinforce the learning of early STEM skills

Healthy Cooking Across the Curriculum
Celeste Aho,
Ft. Lowell/Townsend K-8
Teaches kindergartners how to investigate math, science, reading, and writing through hands-on cooking of fresh fruits and vegetables

Kindergarten Science Fair
Gina Hunter, Marilyn Murphy, & Sharon Roediger,
Davidson Elementary
Field trip support for visits by kindergarteners to area science museums and science programs leading to presentation projects created collaboratively by kindergartners and their 4th and 5th grade buddies and displayed at the parent-volunteer organized Davidson Elementary School Career Day

Ray Davies Humanitarian Fund

For outstanding projects with a primary focus on humanitarian or human rights issues

Peace Begins with You and Me
Amy Edwards,
Fruchthendler Elementary
Book support for school-wide project to increase students’ awareness of peace building tools and the rich history of peaceful movements in the world

Historical Timeline and Oral History of Illegal Immigration in Arizona
Douglas Stroup,
Mansfeld Middle School
Field trip and materials support for research project that creates a visual and textual timeline of the history of illegal immigration in Arizona and encourages students to consider the current debate on illegal immigration in an informed historical context

Tucson Federal Credit Union Diversity Fund

For outstanding projects that explore the role of ethnic and cultural diversity in creating a healthy, vibrant community

Technological Art Projects
Renee Blakely,
Pistor Middle School
Equipment for online analysis of historically significant, culturally diverse artworks

La Historia de mis Padres
Michael Salado,
Tolson Elementary
Materials support for a project that teaches students about the cultural legacy of the Mexican/Hispanic people from the Pre-Columbian period through the 20th century through students’ research and visual mapping of a people’s history through its flags

Language Club
Nanette Murray,
Whitmore Elementary
Materials support for the creation of a multi-cultural lunch hour and after school language club with focus on the 18 different languages currently spoken by families at the school and participation of parents in school activities

Local Authentic Language Use Library
Natasha Escalada-Westland,
Catalina Magnet High School
Equipment support for audio/visual documentation project showcasing the diversity of native speakers of world languages currently taught in the classrooms of Catalina Magnet HS (French, Spanish, and American Sign Language) through student documentation of their own personal narratives and the narratives of their families (both spoken and written)

Leadership Academy
Christopher Golson,
African American Studies Department (multi-site)
Field trip and materials support to support the Leadership Academy, a project of TUSD African-American Studies Department

Ecosystems of the Desert Southwest Fund

For the support of projects and field trips studying the unique ecosystems of the desert Southwest, particularly Mt. Lemmon and the Catalina Mountains. Cross-curricular collaboration strongly encouraged. Preference given to TUSD educators who attended a Regional Science Center Ecosystems Professional Development Workshop co-sponsored by EEF during the summer of 2010.

Ecosystems of the Desert Southwest
Marguerite Samples,
Dunham Elementary
Field trip and materials support for 3rd grade eco-systems unit utilizing Sabino Canyon, the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum, and Camp Cooper to study and observe desert region ecosystems that are both natural and manmade

Tucson: Sense of Place
Rebecca Lipson,
Miles ELC
Field trip and materials support for middle school science/environmental studies students as they utilize the rich natural and cultural history of Tucson area (Catalina Mountains, the Rillito River Basin, and Camp Ft. Lowell) in order to learn geology and ecology while developing a comprehensive analysis of the city’s growth as they create capstone projects related to their vision of the ecological future of Tucson and its surrounding area with regards to fire, land use and water management, and sustainable living practices.

Sense of Place: Geology and Ecology of Mt. Lemmon
David Hansbrough,
Pistor Middle School
Field trip and materials support for the 7th grade study of the changes in geology and ecology from the base of Catalina Highway to the top of Mt. Lemmon including the impact of man on these natural systems

Amy Pugliese,
Mansfeld Middle School – Life Skills Alternative to Suspension Program
Field trip and materials support for project examining the life cycle of butterflies in our region and the impact of humans on them

Eco-Preservation Oral & Photo Documentation
Mary Potter,
C.E. Rose Elementary School
Field trip and materials support for a field study of the Saguaro National Monument West culminating a presentation of student photography of the Monument and a written comparison of desert and ocean eco-systems

From Sand to Snow
Steve Vuturo,
Sahuaro High School
Field trip to explore four different eco-systems evident along Catalina Highway, increasing knowledge of earth sciences and appreciation/respect for the natural environment and its lifecycles

Kartchner Caverns Matching Fund

Matching funds for field trips to Kartchner Caverns State Park for students in grades 1st – 12th. Fully developed study guide and curriculum package accompanies award.

The Changing Earth
Jessica Minnich, Mary Parr, Alex Rodriguez, Cassandra Chadwick, & Tracy Dorgan,
Davidson Elementary

Arizona Caving Expedition
Cheryl Walling,
Grijalva Elementary
Overnight camping exploration trip for Grijalva Elementary Outdoor Club

Libray Power Collaboration Fund

For outstanding projects that incorporate collaborative planning and teaching by librarians and teachers utilizing library resources. Projects should include resource-based learning in support of the Core Curriculum, meet the needs of students’ personal interests in research, and access information technology

Laptops for a Liberated Library
Amethyst Hinton Sainz,
Tucson Magnet High School
Equipment support to expand school library’s interactive research capacity with teachers located throughout the school’s buildings and providing a portable “lab” of laptop computers in order for librarians to teach online research in classrooms with greater effectiveness and flexibility

Library Power Author Visit

For outstanding projects that sponsor a presentation or presentations (including books or other materials) by an author, illustrator, or storyteller at a school. Collaboration with the Festival of Books is strongly encouraged

Once You Learn to Read You Will Be Forever Free
Cheryl Beran,
District-wide, with Catalina Magnet High School as lead (also supported by EEF General Fund, see full description under that funding category)
Author visits to schools with librarians or assistant librarians on staff who are participating in this District-wide project that will culminate in the publication of an anthology of original works of literature written by students

Stories Teach: Students Reach
Jean Schroeder,
Schumaker Elementary
Funds author visit by an author presenting at the 2012 Tucson Festival of Books at the University of Arizona

Author’s Visit at Fruchthendler
Cassie Konrath,
Fruchthendler Elementary
Funds author visit by an author presenting at the 2012 Tucson Festival of Books at the University of Arizona

Love of Reading Author Visit
Christine Erickson,
Gale Elementary
Funds author visit by an author presenting at the 2012 Tucson Festival of Books at the University of Arizona

Inspiring Young Authors
Jan Ochoa,
Carrillo Elementary
Funds author visit by an author presenting at the 2012 Tucson Festival of Books at the University of Arizona

Visit from the Tucson Festival of Books
Debbie Davis,
Maldonado Elementary
Funds author visit by an author presenting at the 2012 Tucson Festival of Books at the University of Arizona

Central Arizona Project Environmental Fund

For outstanding projects that focus on water issues, the effects of water on our environment, water conservation, and environmental issues

Rainwater Collection at Davidson Elementary
Alexander Rodriguez, Mary Parr, Jessica Minnich, William Fosmire, Nicole Roqueta, Susan Kelly, Terri Howard, Cassandra Chadwick, 
Davidson Elementary
For the installation of a rainwater harvesting cistern and system for the school garden and the promotion of a responsible water conservation culture within the school

21st Century Student Learning: Think Global, Act Local
David Kukla
, Sabino High School
Materials support for Project SMART, a research and analysis project addressing the impact of climate change and creating a written plan to reduce Sabino High School’s carbon footprint, including its water and power consumption

Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Investing in Your Future Fund

For the award of $500 in cash to the students of 6th grade math teachers to invest over the course of the school year. The students are jointly responsible for "growing" this money by researching, analyzing, and collectively deciding the best places (in their minds) to invest this initial $500. Preference given to proposals that articulate the real world value of math, basic statistics, teamwork, research, and communication. Financial advisor mentors and fully developed curriculum are also available to support the recipients of Invest in Your Future Grants

How Can You “Grow” Money?
Nora Brown,
Utterback Middle School
Capital investment funds for 6th grade math project refining student calculation and computation skills while working in groups and learning 21st century life and work place skills such as research, analysis, and communication

Coke or Pepsi?
Peggy Wilmore,
Townsend K-8
Capital investment funds for 6th grade math project analyzing which is the better investment, Coke or Pepsi.