The Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Education Foundation board voted to award two grants at its Sept. 20 meeting.

The Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Education Foundation board voted to award two grants at its Sept. 20 meeting.

The foundation will contribute $10,000 toward Grandview Heights High School media specialist Erin Engle's project to purchase new books for the school's media center.

The second grant of $4,300 will be used to pay a portion of the cost of purchasing "node chairs" combination chair/desktop on wheels for GHHS French teacher Steven Hedges' classroom. The school is participating in a pilot program to evaluate the chairs' use for students who are moving from one mode of activity to another during a class.

"We're very excited about being able to support both of these grant applications," foundation president Stephanie Brett said. "In both cases, the teachers provided us with a great deal of research material to show the benefits of their projects."

Approving Engle's grant application was particularly timely with the recently completed renovation of the media center funded by a donation from the Brotherhood of the Rooks, a former high school fraternal organization, Brett said.

Engle noted in her application that when she was hired as media specialist, she conducted an evaluation of the collection of books and materials and found that the average publication date of books in the non-fiction collection was 1989 and the average publication date of fiction, biography and reference books was 1991.

She weeded out books that were more than 10 years old or that had not been checked out in the last 10 years, not including classic works of fiction.

After the weeding, the media center now has 4,260 volumes or 12 books per student, Engle's application states. To meet the American Association of School Librarians' recommended rate of 16 books per student, Engle estimates the high school would need to spend $32,660 on new books.

The goal for this school year is to reach the association's "recognized" status and bring the collection up to date by purchasing 613 books at an estimated cost of $13,853.

About $3,853 from the high school budget will be used along with the foundation grant to allow the high school to reach that goal.

The node chairs is expected to make it easier for French students to transition from one activity to the next during a class, said Susan Douglass, chair of the foundation's grant committee.

"During a class, you may have a period of instruction, followed by breaking into small groups then students reciting or reading out loud," she said. "Since these chairs move around on wheels, it should be easier for the students to move around the classroom, especially given the small space in the room."

A total of 24 node chairs will be purchased for Hedges' classroom, Douglass said. The foundation grant will pay for a portion of the cost, with the rest coming from the high school budget.

As a pilot program, the high school's use of the chairs will be evaluated not only by Grandview, but by representatives of other schools who will be visiting the classroom, she said.

The foundation board meets quarterly to consider grant applications, Brett said. The next meeting will be held in January.

The annual foundation Gala will also be held that month, on Jan. 29 at the new Ohio Union at OSU, Brett said.

This year's gala will be co-chaired by Nicole Devere and Julie Freeman.

More details on the gala will be announced over the next few months, Brett said.