Annual Grants

art-studentsThe Foundation at Great Valley bridges the community and our schools to help bring resources and financial support to pilot innovative programs that inspire our students.

Each June we allocate funds to the Great Valley School District for use in the following school year in the following ways:

Venture Grants
GVSD teachers and administrative staff submit grant requests to the Foundation to fund new ideas that are not currently covered by the district budget. Our Grants Selection Committee, comprised of parent representatives from each GV school and community representatives, review grant submissions each spring and select the grants that will be funded according to that year’s Venture Grants budget.

For more information about the Venture Grants program, or to inquire about joining the Grants Selection Committee for a 2-year term, please contact Ravi Inaganti, Allocation Committee chair.

Key Initiative Funding
Beginning in June of 2014, the Foundation began donating a portion of its annual allocation to GVSD in support of district-defined key initiatives. (See GVSD’s published Comprehensive Plan for the next three years and beyond.) This additional funding source helps our school district to address the ever-evolving needs of our students through systemic programming that affects all students. In the 2014-2015 school year, Foundation Key Initiative Funding in the amount of $40,000 helped the district to procure much-needed equipment and resources in support of new STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum.

Check out some of the grants we’ve awarded!

The following list of grants provides a taste of the breadth and depth of programs supported by the Foundation. Click “read about this grant” to learn more about each grant. Videos are included where noted.

Sincere thanks to Stream Companies for donating their time and professional expertise to develop the Foundation’s informational videos.

The GVHS Mural Club – Inspiring Our Young Artists

GVHS students with artistic interests are finding a new way to express themselves and develop their skills in the GVHS Mural Club. Check out this 2-minute video to watch the Patriots Stadium mural take shape, and to learn how Mural Club develops our young talent!

mural club video

English Language Learner (ELL) Support Tools (VIDEO Included)

Watch this all-new 2-minute video to see how putting translation tools and other technologies in the hands of our ELL students makes all the difference in the world.

Interactive Technology in the Classroom Keeps Middle School Students Connected and Engaged (VIDEO Included)

Interactive technology is changing the way our students learn, and helping our teachers to connect with more kids at a time.

Growing Food with Hydroponics (VIDEO Included)

Hydroponics systems were installed at each GVSD elementary school in support of the science curriculum. Students get hands-on with hydroponics – a way to grow food without soil, and learn about the social implications of producing food in various landscapes and economic situations around the world.

Concussion Assessment System for GVSD Athletes (VIDEO Included)

GVSD implemented the ImPACT Concussion Management program for GVHS athletes. Each year, GVHS students take the ImPACT computerized baseline cognitive test. In the event a player sustains a head injury, subsequent cognitive testing – paired with appropriate professional medical attention – helps to remove subjectivity from decisions related to the student’s safe return to school and play.

iCompose Music Initiative For GVMS Students (VIDEO included)

The students at Great Valley Middle School are showing that original music is not just for the Mozarts and Lady Gagas of the world.

Beginning in the 2014-2015 school year, all middle school students compose their own musical piece. The innovative GVMS program is called “iCompose” and incorporates iPads and the Apple app familiar to many kids called “GarageBand.”

The program is spearheaded by GVMS music teachers Paige Seaton, Adam Search and Mark Cellini with funding support from The Foundation at Great Valley.

“By bringing iPads into the music classroom,” said Mrs. Seaton, “we begin to build a bridge between the technology the students use at home and the concepts they learn in class.”

A visit to an iCompose class feels like a jam session. Students sit anywhere they are comfortable – on the floor, in a chair, in the hall – and work in groups or alone on their masterpieces. GarageBand gives the students a simple yet robust interface to try different instruments, beats and sounds.

(GVMS 7th grader Elana Babbitt displays her progress with her melody on her iPad.)

“We wrote our melodies out on paper and now we’re putting them into GarageBand on the iPad,” explains GVMS 7th grader Elana Babbitt during a visit from the Foundation. “We can orchestrate our melodies with different instruments to sound professional. You can edit it and add different instruments like drums, guitar, flute or saxophone.”

“I just laid some background tracks down, and I think I’m going to try turning this into a jazz piece,” said 7th grader Kevin Beck.

When the students finish their music pieces they can “publish” their work to a website and share it with family and friends.

Whether a child is a musical genius or novice, he or she will be engaged by this innovative initiative and will certainly come away enriched – maybe even inspired!

Robotics Club at GVMS (VIDEO included)

As part of GVSD’s initiative to expand its Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum opportunities, Great Valley Middle School introduced a new after-school Robotics Club for all 6th – 8th graders. The idea is to engage our middle school students in STEM related concepts through interactive and fun activities. This club helps to introduce our younger students to the world of robotics and inspire them to enroll in engineering courses when they reach GVHS. The club partners with the nationally-acclaimed Vex Robotics Competition. This pilot club has the potential to expand to include clubs at the elementary and high school levels in subsequent school years.

Robotics Kits for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Curriculum at GVHS (VIDEO included)

As part of GVSD’s initiative to enhance Great Valley’s STEM course offerings, the Honors Principles of Engineering course was introduced at GVHS in the 2013-2014 school year. This is the first course in a 3-year plan to incorporate advanced engineering courses in GVSD curriculum. Through Great Valley’s partnership with an organization committed to STEM education called “Project Lead the Way”, GVSD was able to secure a $35,000 grant to assist with staff training and course development. The district still needed nearly $16,000 to purchase the robotics kits necessary for the class, so the district turned to The Foundation at Great Valley. The Foundation funded the robotics kits, which serve up to 16 students and can be disassembled and used again in subsequent years. The Principles of Engineering course had 30 students enrolled in the 2013-2014 school year.

Integration and Motor Coordination Equipment for Autistic Support Classrooms (VIDEO included)

Learn how motor coordination equipment funded by The Foundation is helping to change the lives of our students.

Autistic Support Teacher, Lisa Ellsworth saw a need for equipment that will help her students with sensory processing, motor planning and muscle strengthening. She requested funding for a special tryke bike, 35-inch bean bags, an Exer Rider and a Twin Walker. The equipment is now in use by GVSD staff to assist our students with motor coordination.

iPad Carts for Curriculum Support in Each Elementary School (VIDEO included)

See how our GVSD teachers are harnessing the power of technology in the classroom.

Each elementary school received a transportable cart – each stocked with 30 iPads. These iPads are available for use by all elementary staff and students. GVSD Director of Technology, Accountability and Enrichment Programs, Stephen O’Toole, applied for this grant as a pilot program to introduce the technology in our elementary schools. The iPads are loaded with many curriculum support tools – and having a set of 30 iPads in each school allows staff to put an iPad in the hands of each student in a classroom. GVSD’s technology and curriculum departments will evaluate how the technology is used throughout the year to support curriculum. This will help the district to plan for technology needs in the years ahead.

Digital Cameras for GVHS Photography Courses

photography-clubThe GVHS photography program serves approximately 145 students per year. In 2011 the GVHS photography program went digital. The digital cameras donated by The Foundation at Great Valley are now used with the updated coursework, and by Photography Club students.

ImPACT Concussion Management System

impactImPACT is a sophisticated, research-based computer test developed to help evaluate an athlete’s recovery following a concussion. ImPACT is a 20-minute neuro-cognitive test battery that measure the effects of a concussion. In the GVHS preseason, each athlete is given a baseline test, against which future tests would be based in the event of a suspected concussion. Follow-up tests can be administered over days or weeks so clinicians can continue to track the athlete’s recovery from the injury.

iMac Computer for AP Drawing and 3D Design classes

students-using-iMac-2Each year Great Valley High School enrolls between 22 and 30 students in it AP Drawing and AP 3D Design classes. The iMac computer is used by all of these students as they work throughout the school year on their online art portfolios and exams. The students submit their exam portfolios to College Board each year May for college admissions.

Challenge Day

Great Valley High School: one-day program focused on anti-bullying and cultural diversity appreciation.

CyberSmarts for Parents

A presentation by Katie Koestner, a nationally recognized expert on the impact of the internet on youth.

iPods so iRead

Sugartown Elementary School: 10 iPods and 10 audio books to support literacy and fluency among English Language Learners.