Working with my two reading buddies, we were alternating reading some limericks which led into a discussion of rhyming and some references made to various towns, settings and countries. So, I gave each a world map from “Doctors Without Borders” so they could see the countries and general locations we were talking about. It was great to hear them start to connect the rhymes with the words and the sites they were reading about and be able to locate them on the map. They were also very interested in their countries of origin in relation to North Carolina. So many opportunities to expand our world view- theirs and mine! Great fun for all!
~ Jim Schwankl
“My daughter has participated in the Soar Literacy Tutoring Program for one year. The program has significantly increased her self-confidence in reading. In a time where we are distanced from others, the relationship with her tutor is appreciated! Her tutor is very nice and patient.”
~Parent of a SOAR Literacy Tutoring Student
“I am grateful to the Chatham Educational Foundation for supporting hands-on Science activities in 6th grade. I look forward to working with you in the future.”
“I am so grateful to the Chatham Education Foundation for awarding our school the $1000 grant to purchase ukuleles. The CEF grant has given our students the opportunity to experience and learn a new instrument. Because students now have access to ukuleles, I am able to teach some standards more effectively, especially when it comes to chords and chord progressions. The ukuleles are used each and every day in my classroom. It has made such a difference in my music program, and it will positively impact student learning for years to come. Thank you for supporting our schools!”
~Ms. Galloway, Chatham Grove Elementary
“Thank you for making our robot competition possible! It was a huge success for both students and the community, and we are looking forward to using the pieces for another competition next year!”
“Thanks to the Creative Teaching Grant, students have access to brand-new books throughout the school year. These books will stay in the classroom to impact future 6th graders for many years. Students are able to choose books that interest them and are relatable to their individual life experiences. This allows students to form book clubs with their friends and classmates to foster a love of reading, rather than seeing reading as a chore.”
~Ms. Horowitz, Pollard Middle School
“I am grateful for the opportunity to initiate this all inclusive movement. I am confident that it is a stepping stone to a school that will foster students who are accepting and culturally aware.”
“The goal of this project was to bring real-world applications to the classroom and to build on this interest working outside with land and soil. This project enables students to better understand the processes that occur while building a rain garden or completing a critical area replant and actually changing an area at our school for outdoor use. Thank you for providing this opportunity!”
~Ms. Vaughn, Chatham School of Science & Engineering
“Imagine the gift of viewing the “normal and everyday world” around you with new eyes and heightened wonder. Thanks to the Creative Teaching Grant, we were able to purchase a classroom set of iPods and outdoor seating tables. Now, students get close up and “re-view” nature in their own school backyard, including a neglected and unvalued overgrown stream surrounded by woods. Thank you for helping us turn our entire schoolyard and community into a research station. Once students learn more, they will care more. Once they care more, my hope is that they will work harder to protect what they once took for granted.”
Ms. Pillars, Jordan-Matthews High School
Most of my students are excited any time they have an opportunity to use technology in the classroom.
Excitement in the Classroom - Marsha O’Hare
“I used the Creative Teaching Grant from CEF to pay for training with the Hill Learning Center, on their Digital HillRap program. I was able to use the tools and information that I learned with my students who needed additional support. The students who used the program were very excited about different parts of the Digital HillRap routine. Now that I have some practice, I am confident I can individualize instruction for students in 1st – 5th grade. The program was easy to implement and it provided the skills to practice based on the assessment data. I was also able to adjust the skills that I observed that need extra practice as well. 80% of the students who used the program showed good, positive growth on their Overall Reading Level. Two students were even discontinued from Reading Interventions because of their growth!”
~Christa Morgan, Silk Hope School and Virginia Cross Elementary
“Thank you for your support of this sport at our school. The students were always totally engaged when playing disc golf.”
~ Ms. Sipe, Pollard Middle School
“I want to let you know that my son’s scores on the STAR Reading have been going up all year! The teacher told him yesterday that if he beat a 575, she would do a cartwheel in class. Well…she lived up to her word! Although my son said, ‘it was more of a round-off!’ I attribute a large part of that growth to his work with Bob, his SOAR Literacy Tutor! Bob’s a hero in our house!!”
~SOAR Literacy Parent
“This garden project has been very exciting for our staff and students to bring to life! We are so thankful for the support of CEF, our PTA, and our community members. Brooks Contractors of Goldston donated 32 cubic yards of beautiful, fertile soil. Moore Hauling of Siler City donated their time in hauling two full loads of soil to us. Julian and Terry Smith, Steven Overman, Jason Crissman, Kelly and Samantha Wilson, the Bennett baseball team, Dave and Scott Peterson, Mr. Purvis. Our school principal, Dr. Neal has been totally hands-on and supportive of this project! Most importantly, we can not wait to get our students out into this creative teaching space where they can explore, learn, and apply all the amazing things they are learning in their classrooms! As it stands, this garden is an opportunity to see science in action, observe and investigate plants and animals in their natural habitat, and get our students engaged in hands-on lessons! The future of this garden holds opportunities for responsibility, real world math and science, and even some health and nutrition lessons! Thank you for making this possible for us and bringing our dream to life!”
~Bennett in Bloom - Jessica Peterson & Dr. Neal
It’s been a wonderful opportunity to get to make a difference, have a tangible impact on my student’s life. Our work together has really paid off, her reading ability has grown a great deal in the almost year that we’ve been working together. I only wish I had time to work with many other students. If you want your volunteer time or donation to make a difference in your local community, working the SOAR program with the Chatham Education Foundation is a sound investment. You will be glad you did.
~ Colleen Kendrick
We want to thank you so very much for the recent support given to our school with your most generous donation of books for our K-8th grade students. Reading is so fundamentally important for students of every age and this project ensures that students have an opportunity to expand their personal home libraries. We feel that the two-day event was very successful, and your volunteers were awesome in helping the students navigate throughout the room to their designated age-appropriate book selections.
Your generosity and support are greatly appreciated. We look forward to hopefully having this opportunity for our students again next year. Blessings to each of you today, tomorrow, and always. We covet your continued prayers for our students and staff. In thanks and appreciation!
~Kim Taylor, Principal and Sheila Tally, Parent Liasion
“Last week at Pittsboro Elementary School, we met with teachers to review the middle of year data, using iStation, for students participating in the HELPS program. We were pleased to see that 67% of our 3rd graders met typical or above typical growth, while 100% of our 2nd graders made ABOVE typical growth! WOW! We just had to share the great news!”
~Melissa Parks, M. Ed Reading Specialist | Pittsboro Elementary National Board Certified Teacher
“Students love sitting on the flexible seating when it’s time to read and look at books. Students also love the new books added to the library.”
~Ms. Crane, Silk Hope School
“Thank you so much for this grant. It has been wonderful to see the students having so much fun learning! Just today the students in the club and I discussed what the club will look like next year.”
”Thank you so much for providing me with this awesome opportunity for my classroom!”
“This opportunity provided by the Chatham Education Foundation and its supporters is sincerely appreciated. This grant project allowed students to read novels representing less heard voices and investigate related social studies content. Students developed a number of skills as they engaged with the interdisciplinary activities: reading, writing, thinking, collaborating, communicating, and creating. Overall, students benefited from working with engaging texts, being exposed to new perspectives, and making connections.”
~Ms. Streets, Pollard Middle School
“The students and staff are so appreciative! There has been an increased interest in the use of technology school-wide. Some of the district reports are already showing the positive impact that students are experiencing. Additionally, while it can’t be measured in numbers, the response from parents about the things we are doing to engage students in the total school environment at Bennett this year has been wonderful! I feel so encouraged! We are grateful for your support.”
“The program D.R.U.M., Discipline, Unity, and Respect through Music was used to engage students from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds in collaborative music-making. The program utilized for instruction allowed each student to have an equal part in the group’s activities. Students with less assertive voices were able to be heard and participate as much as all the others. The drums are an enduring investment in the cultural education of Siler City Elementary student. Thank you for your generosity through the Creative Teaching Grant!”
~Kaye Pluth - Siler City Elementary
“My son, Kevin, has participated in the SOAR Literacy Tutoring program for two years. I would definitely recommend this program. It has given him tremendous confidence in reading. The measurable goals and charting progress provide feedback he can see. The goals are attainable. He can ‘win’ and progress in a fun way that gives him confidence in his reading. He respects and genuinely likes his tutor. The consistency is Key. Keven wants to do well for him. My son has always dreaded reading. I believe the program is changing that. He is finding a joy for reading.”
~Amy, parent of SOAR Literacy Tutoring student
Honestly, for Karen and I, the SOAR Helps Tutor Program was a little daunting at first, but our students’ positive attitudes toward reading, combined with the structured format of the program, quickly improved our confidence. Every star our students put on their chart is a fun reward for them, and sense of accomplishment for us.
~ Ken & Karen Scheidler
“My daughter, Tessa, has participated in the SOAR Literacy Tutoring program for one year. It has increased her confidence and motivation to read independently. It has also provided positive interaction with caring adults during COVID, when more positive interaction is especially helpful and needed. The structured time helps to improve reading, fluency, comprehension, amongst other skills.”
~Seth, parent of a SOAR Literacy Tutoring student
“Thank you so much for the opportunity to present littleBits to the students at PES.”
We LOVE to get great feedback on our SOAR Literacy Tutoring program! We are so thankful for the efforts of not only the volunteers, but also the students, parents, and teachers! Great teamwork!
“I want to let you both know that my son’s scores on the STAR Reading have been going up all year! The teacher told him yesterday that if he beat a 575, she would do a cartwheel in class. Well….. she lived up to her word, although my son said, ‘it was more of a round-off!’ I attribute a large part of that growth to his work with Bob!!!! Bob’s a hero in our house!”
~Parent of SOAR Literacy Tutor Student
“We really appreciate this grant and the opportunity it gave us to show STEM to our students in a real world context. We plan to make this an annual field trip. Thank you!”
~Karin Clamann, Mindy Liesener, & Marty Goldman
I love getting to know each of my students and spending time reading with them. It is important to me that each and every has a chance to excel. I know that becoming a proficient reader is integral to their success.
“Thank you for giving our students this opportunity to expand their musical horizons and to hopefully gain a new interest in music that can continue even after they leave my class.”
“I was just reaching out to thank you again for the books provided to our programs. We have seen participants reading these books for class assignments, leisure, and as conversation starters to build friendships. I just wanted to send some positive feedback. We appreciate all you do! Thank you!”
~Darius Anderson, Chatham YMCA Youth Director
“The experience that the kids have received through this CTE Advanced Studies has been very rewarding. The students involved said that this project has exceeded their expectations and truly challenged their abilities. They said that this was the best thing they have ever done at Northwood.”
The success has already been seen if you could see the joy and laughter of the students….
Gardens of Hope - Marguerite Fields
“I used my Creative Teaching Grant from CEF to purchase sensory paths. The purpose of the project is to improve the mental health and cognitive and social performance of students by providing a structured, tactile movement experience throughout the day. In addition, sensory paths provide a physical outlet for students to have more focus in the classroom, helping teachers with classroom management. These sensory paths provided ‘brain breaks’ for students helping them to be able to focus. These paths also helped students with emotion regulation so they could be more successful in the classroom.”
~Teresa Meadows, Siler City Elementary