Skip to main content

January 2020 Grant Recipients

Katie Conway - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Literacy Night

Katie Conway - Chaparral Elementary School, Meridian


I would like to host a school wide Literacy Night for all of the families at our school, and this will help parents improve both their parenting and literacy skills while providing young children with early childhood education opportunities. The projected date for this event would be February 27, 2020 from 5:30-7:30 pm. All families from our school would be invited to attend and participate. Our goal is to provide a fun way to incorporate literacy in their lives after school hours. On the projected agenda for the night we will be offering:

  1. Different games for each grade level- some of which they will play there, and some that will be a "make and take" game to use at their house.
  2. Invite "guest readers" into the school to read at different time intervals (BSU foot ball players, the city mayor, the principal, community actors).
  3. Gift a book to each child that attends.
  4. Give each kiddo a sweet treat and milk while they read with their family!

Teresa Mellen - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Enrichment Classes

Teresa Mellen - Zion Lutheran School, Nampa


Our school is adding more activities to meet the requests of students, parents, and staff on the topics of etiquette, safety, and babysitting. We will use the SmartKid 101 curriculum and resources to help us meet the needs that our school body shared with us. For the etiquette class, They will learn and practice kindness, respect, honor. Manners will be taught for being a guest in others home, birthdays, weddings, and funerals. Students will learn communication manners for body language, voice, and self introductions. They will learn basic and formal table manners. Students 9 years and older will learn the responsibilities of staying home alone, first aid, safety in unfamiliar scenarios such as intruders, fire, and aggressive dogs. They learn about stranger danger, abduction and abuse. They will also learn about digital safety in the online world. The Babysitting class will be offered to students of 11 years or older. They will learn about organizing and marketing their babysitting skill, engaging kids of all ages, administering first aid, taking care of emergencies, and dealing with common problems with good solutions.

Suzzanna Lute - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Supplemental Novels for Social Studies

Suzzanna Lute - Robert Stuart Middle School, Twin Falls


Teachers are always looking for ways to enhance their lessons and engage students more in the topics that they are teaching. The Wicked History book series from Scholastic does both of those things. These books not only dive deeper into the lives of great and terrible leaders such as Catherine the Great, Julius Caesar, and Adolf Hitler, but they allow students to think deeper about the time periods they are studying, and to question the motives of such leaders. The question posed to them is, "Are they truly wicked, or just misunderstood?" The books are aimed towards middle readers and include questions and discussion guides to be used in the classroom. I will purchase three different Wicked History novels with 32 books in each set, and a student edition of Homer's The Odyssey, 2 different books of 15 copies each, to go along with an Ancient Greece Unit.

Belva Post - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

ELL Tools

Belva Post - Vallivue Middle School, Caldwell


There are several different tools that are needed to help English Language Learners learn how to pronounce words correctly. There are also tools that are needed to assist students in regular content area classes when English Language Acquisition is not the desired outcome, but rather learning the required content. I will use iPad mini2s, handheld mirrors, and "phones" to be able to assist my ELL's learn how to better pronounce English words correctly and to give them the tools they need when they are not in my English acquisition classes. These necessary tools will enhance the learning experience and help my ELL's to acquire English Proficiency at a much faster rate.

Justine Parker - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Math Materials for Special Education Preschool

Justine Parker - Nampa Early Childhood Learning Center, Nampa


The intention of this project is to provide a variety of math materials to 7 different preschool classrooms to share. These materials will provide students with the opportunity to be hands on and engage with materials for math activities such as counting, number recognition, shape and color recognition, sorting/classifying, and patterning. Research shows that learning early math concepts help children learn valuable life skills such as problem solving and spatial awareness. The majority of the students in our program have been identified as having a delay so having the opportunity to manipulate and explore a variety of materials will have a huge impact on their acquisition of early math skills and help prepare them for their schooling beyond preschool.

Ashley Arnold - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Preschool Special Education STEM

Ashley Arnold - Nampa Early Childhood Learning Center, Nampa


With this grant for STEM related manipulatives, my students will be able to connect the work we have already been doing in the classroom to something tangible that they can experience first-hand. Engagement with young children is all about making everything into a game, and science is one big game to children. The question “why?” is one of a preschooler’s favorite games and the basis of our classroom’s STEM curriculum. In the STEM area of my classroom, we have been using a projector and mirrors to learn about light and how it travels, while trying to predict where it will go and why? After a recent windy day, we have been researching about wind and trying to predict what objects they believe will fly based on weight. With an opportunity to use manipulatives to see what we learn in the classroom first-hand will allow the students to make connections that they might not every get otherwise.

Jennifer Randolph - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

From our Head to our Hearts to our Hands

Jennifer Randolph - Nampa PREP, Nampa


Students in this program have special needs, and they are 18-21 years old (students with special needs can attend school until age 21). They are a hand-selected group of students from our district, and have been selected because they are eager to learn vocational and life skills which may afford them the ability to be independent in the future. The students want people to focus on their ABILITIES not disabilities! This grant allows us to purchase a Cricut Explore which is an electronic cutting machine. Instead of printing designs on paper, it uses a very precise blade and a series of rollers to cut out pretty much anything you can imagine. It handles fabrics, leather, paper, and balsa wood with effortless precision. With this machine, students will be able to create a variety of items such as Iron-on vinyl for t-shirts, paper gift boxes and tags, stencils for wood signs, vinyl quotes for coffee mugs, felt coasters, greeting cards, customized tote bags, monogrammed water bottles and sewing patterns. We will set up a classroom business where students can learn a vocational trade while making items for teachers and schools throughout our district.

Carolyn Muhlenkamp - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Differentiated Classroom

Carolyn Muhlenkamp - Future Public School, Garden City


This grant will help create a math resource center in my second grade classroom to better support the implementation of the mathematics Idaho state standards. These resources will help to develop a strong foundation of the pictorial and concrete mathematical skills that will lead students into the abstract thinking process and problem-solving skills that are necessary for success. A classroom set of base ten blocks can be used in three different areas of core concepts by teaching number and place value concepts, regrouping in addition and subtraction as well as measurement concepts. Providing our classroom with a set of number rods, linking tiles and geometric shapes will provide a fun way to gain understanding and practice with the concepts from multiple second grade math standards. Adding resources for telling time and practicing money, both for visual displays on the white board as well as hands on manipulatives, will develop a better understanding of elapsed time and real world mathematical thinking skills.

Michelle Slagel - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Using Audio Technology to Improve Low Reading Levels

Michelle Slagel - Kimberly Middle School, Kimberly


It is our job as educators to continue to accommodate different learning styles and provide an equal opportunity education. The best thing educators can do is continue to search for methods and accommodations that will help prepare all students to become successful contributors to society. This grant will allow our school to purchase Playaways, which are MP3 players for individual books, that require students to listen to the book while reading. These devices are quite expensive, but are extremely helpful and popular among middle school students, who aren't allowed to access their phones in class to download a digital book. Right now, I have fewer than 50 titles to stretch across a school population of over 500 students. I have found these Playaways to be the most beneficial way struggling readers can improve their ELA test scores. Because these devices allow students to access the parts of their brain that require auditory stimulation, there's a greater chance that authentic learning is taking place.