(BY CAROL ANDERS, TIMES-UNION) – The Tippecanoe Valley School Board accepted a number of grants and community donations during its meeting Monday.
Special Education teacher Cathy Olson shared her appreciation for a total grant fund that exceeded $1,500. Olson said, “The students I serve have many needs that go beyond typical pencil/paper and textbook activities. I work on social skills, physical therapy, emotional trauma, community and access to the curriculum using alternative materials.”
She reported that they had received three grants for the classroom at Mentone Elementary: LAAN – grant for Magical Meadows, Donors Choose.org grant for swings, and Key Grant for Super Hero Special Skills program.
Corporation Director of Marketing/PR/Grant Writing Cassie Jensen explained that the timelines for the grants were very tight. Jensen said the community stepped up to help fund the needs including a private donor, Creighton family, Mentone/Akron Kiwanis and Deb Girdler. Girdler is a speech therapist who serves the corporation.
The board commended Olson for her initiative in obtaining grant funding.
A grant from the K21 Health Foundation also was approved. The cost analysis reached $6,413 for Tower Garden Systems. The towers use aeroponic gardening that can increase yields by an average of 30 percent, use 98 percent less water, make pollution and pests less of a problem and the vertical design takes 90 percent less space. Initially, the towers will be used within the science curriculum in the middle school and the resource room at the high school.
According to TVSC Assistant Superintendent Blaine Conley, they will be expanding to the elementary schools in the spring. Yields from the towers will be used by the food services in the schools.
A second grant from the K 21 Health Foundation will help to fund a weight room expansion and equipment at TVHS. The equipment will be used by community members, students and staff members. Adult Education class participants will have access to the equipment as will law enforcement officers.
Conley said the grant is for $21,630. TVSC will provide $33,000 additional funds for the project. Equipment will include two treadmills ($4,270), two elliptical machines ($2,180), shipping ($260), TV/mounting bracket/DVD player ($650) and funding for the weight room expansion ($10,000).
A grant from Kosciusko REMC of $1,700 will be used to plant trees near the softball field.
Teachers Credit Union served as the corporate sponsor of the 2016 Tippecanoe Valley Distinguished Alumni Dinner and Induction Day activities by making a donation of $1,000.
Tippecanoe Valley Middle School was recognized by the Indiana Department of Education for the access in Making It Happen. TVMS was specifically recognized for implementing a Promising Practice with the Catch Up Café. Students who have missed assignments take their lunch to the study hall room to get help in completing assignments.
Riley Children’s Fund recognized TVSC for raising at least $1 per student during the 2015-2016 school year. The funds are used for children and families who are receiving care at Riley Hospital for Children.