The Worthington Educational Foundation (WEF) awarded $13,559 in grants to teachers and staff members for projects that will enrich learning experiences for the students of Worthington Public Schools.

The Worthington Educational Foundation (WEF) awarded $13,559 in grants to teachers and staff members for projects that will enrich learning experiences for the students of Worthington Public Schools.

The awards were presented at the Worthington Board of Education meeting on Monday night.

Trish Laughman and Alison Palermo of Worthington Estates Elementary School were awarded $1,000 to purchase guided reading books to be used by reading and intervention specialists for students who struggle with reading and need extra support both in the classroom and at home.

Students will be able to take the books to their regular classrooms as well as home to share with parents so that they have more than one opportunity during their day to practice the strategies taught by the reading and intervention specialists.

Jennifer Williams, Karen Groff, and Julie Mowery of Worthington Estates Elementary School were awarded $5,364 to cover some of the start-up costs for their school-wide leadership initiative.

By teaching and developing character and leadership through the existing core curriculum, the goal is to raise levels of accountability and engagement among students, parents, and staff, and develop students who have the skills and self-confidence to succeed as leaders in the 21st century.

Grant money will purchase student activity guides and implementation manuals for use in the first year of this leadership initiative.

Lynn Apple of Thomas Worthington High School was awarded $945 to purchase licenses for Texas Instruments Smartview software for math teachers at the school. The software simulates the graphing calculator that students already use for math class, and will enable students and teachers to work interactively on projected images in front of the entire class.

Mike Miller of Kilbourne Middle School and Beth Mills in Adapted Physical Education were awarded $250 from the Nichols/ Hopper Fund to purchase materials needed to build switches for use by wheelchair-bound students.

The switches will assist with activities such as shooting a basketball, throwing a tennis ball or kicking a soccer ball with a push of a button, permitting greater integration of these students into general physical education classes. The switches will be designed and built by middle school students, giving them an opportunity not only to help some of their peers, but also to solve a real-world engineering problem.

Jon Baird, Mike Miller, Debbie Voisin, and Randy Ross of Perry, Kilbourne, Worthingway, and McCord Middle Schools were awarded $6,000 from the Grainger Fund to purchase additional robotics equipment. Teams of seventh- and eighth-grade students will learn to design, build, and program robots at each of the middle schools in preparation for competing in the National Robotics Challenge.