|Gifts for Learning
Following are the most recent grants awarded by the Lowell Education Foundation:
When most of the district’s seventh-graders took part in the global Outdoor Classroom Day in October, English teacher Andrea Struckmeyer was struck by how engaged they were.
“Even though it was cold and damp, students loved the change of venue and the creativity the staff put into our outdoor lessons and activities,” she said.
Thanks to Struckmeyer and a half-dozen of her fellow teachers, the middle school will be able to bring that engagement more often via a permanent outdoor classroom that could be used by all of the school’s more than 900 students.
Her grant request was one of 16 approved in the most recent round of awards from the Lowell Education Foundation.
The foundation has raised more than $350,000 since it was formed in 1995 to help fund efforts not included in the district’s operating budget. President Heather Cooper said private donations and the Lowell Community Fund help maintain the foundation.
Deborah Greenhoe and Olivia McCain, special education teachers at the middle and high school, respectively, plan to launch Lessons for Life after winter break.
McCain said the program will teach students who have cognitive impairments about nutrition, shopping and cooking, hygiene, and daily living skills. Another aspect would be that high school students would serve as mentors for their younger counterparts.
“We prepare them academically, and this is a real area of need,” McCain said. “It’s really all about fostering independence.