The Bexley Education Foundation has announced $18,200 in grants made to Bexley City Schools.

The Bexley Education Foundation has announced $18,200 in grants made to Bexley City Schools.

These grants, which are awarded twice each year, are made possible through the generosity of donors to the foundation's annual fund campaign, the annual BRAVO! event, and other fundraising initiatives.

The BEF operates on the belief that excellent public schools are essential to the economic and social health of the communities they serve. To that end, BEF supports educational initiatives that enhance quality education for students in the Bexley City School District.

BEF support is delivered through its many grants programs. To date, BEF has provided more than $4 million in grants to Bexley City Schools.

Projects slated for BEF grant dollars this year include:

* Columbia University Home Grown Institute for Reading and Writing. A grant of $14,000 will support a four-day workshop this summer that will bring trainers from the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project of Columbia University to Bexley. The BEF grant, proposed by Montrose Elementary School Principal Quint Gage and Reading Specialist Sue Umpleby, will pay for the costs of the workshop; the Bexley City School District will partner in this initiative with an investment of close to $40,000, covering teacher stipends and other costs associated with running the summer institute for up to 50 Bexley teachers from all three elementary schools.

The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, recognized internationally as a leading force in literacy education, is a proven, research-based method to teach reading and writing that has been approved by the district and complements the International Baccalaureate at Cassingham Elementary School, the Effective Schools framework at Maryland Elementary School and the Literacy framework at Montrose.

The Home Grown Institute will be bring the training to a large number of teachers, as staff from Montrose, Maryland and Cassingham will be invited. The district has committed to pay stipends to those who attend.

* Cassingham STEM Club Project. A grant of $3,500 was awarded to the Cassingham STEM Club for the purchase of materials needed for robotic creations. The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Club, which meets regularly throughout the year, is open to all Cassingham Elementary students, second grade and above. The BEF grant will fund the purchase of robotics building workshop kits.

The grant was proposed by Cassingham teacher Jeannette Kuder, with Stacy Bell and Chris Melville as collaborators.

* Enhancing High School Visual Arts Experience. A grant of $823 will fund the purchase of tabletop easels for high school art classes. The grant was proposed by Bexley High School art teacher Mabi Ponce De Leon. These easels, which allow workspaces to quickly transition from flat to vertical, will provide greater flexibility within the classroom and will enhance the art-making experience for all high school art students.