Success Stories – Opportunities that have been Ignited

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The Joy of Ukuleles

As an English language development teacher, music has been a wonderful tool to develop my students’ language skills in English. I applied for and received a $500 SPIE grant during the 2013-14 school year. The monies provided through the SPIE grant enabled me to equip my classroom with ukuleles that my students could use to develop many skills that include language development, rhyme, rhythm, and fine motor skill. The best outcome? The joy that these instruments bring to the children I work with. Thank you, Poudre Foundation, for your continued support in providing the students in PSD with wonderful opportunities to expand their learning.

– Sue Harbour


Science Non-Fiction Library

Because of our SPIE grant, we have been able to set up a science non-fiction library at Blevins for our 7th grade science classrooms. It has been awesome to increase and improve our literacy and science connection. Every year we set up a “book café” where students get to go “shopping” for a science non-fiction book to read about and prepare for the start of their own science fair project. We have books ranging from 1st-12th grade reading levels, so it is great to be able to reach ALL readers. We could not have done this without the support of the PSD Foundation and the SPIE grants. Thank you!

– Katy Williams, Blevins Middle School


Science Cooperation Projects

The SPIE grant has supported the materials needed for the Blevins/Olander science cooperation projects. Specifically, the 1st graders and 7th graders have improved their learning about the state chemistry standards by learning the ins and outs of tie-dyeing. They then come together and the 7th graders teach them how to make the dyes and then design and dye their own shirt. This project has integrated ALL learners, regardless of disabilities or language barriers, and that has been inspiring! We hope to continue this project in the future. Thank you, SPIE grants!!!!

– Katy Williams, Blevins Middle School


Spanish for Heritage Speakers

We were able to purchase 36 eReaders and 135 different titles of novels in Spanish for the Spanish for Heritage Speakers class. The kids love using them for their free reading books since our library has so few books in Spanish. They get to read books that just came out or were just made into movies, so it’s really high interest for them. Many of them are reluctant readers, so it’s been so fun seeing them excited about reading.

– Adrienne Brandenburg, Spanish Teacher at Poudre High School


A Special Gift

So often, the extra time put in to special projects such as writing grants, helping out the families of their students with the basic needs, raising money for field trips and special projects, etc., goes unnoticed.

If there is one person who has the potential to change a student’s life, it’s a teacher, especially when the parent is absent. Teachers have a special gift and we need to recognize and encourage their dedication to their profession. It’s not a 40-hour week by any stretch. Unless you are in the trenches along side them, it’s hard to really appreciate the amount of work needed to do a good job. Most teachers would not stop at a “good job”; they want to strive to do an exemplary job for their students’ sake, each and every day.

– Jeannie Craft, Irish Elementary