Exploring the World and Beyond at Richland Elementary School
Walking on the moon, traveling to ancient societies, climbing mountains, exploring caves, and scaling volcanoes are just some of the experiences Richland Elementary School students may soon partake in thanks to a $3,000 grant from the Pine-Richland Opportunities Fund (PROF). The grant supports the purchase of virtual reality goggles, which will help immerse students in the subjects they are studying in a new and innovative way.
The grant application was developed and submitted by a trio of Richland Elementary teachers, Todd Murphy, Brian Sauers, and Lisa Sciulli. In crafting their application, the team was inspired by one of the core objectives of the Pine-Richland School District’s strategic plan – to introduce students to innovative technology.
In addition to exploring and researching various places in the world in an engaging and immersive way, virtual and augmented reality are cutting-edge tools and provide another amazing resource to help keep Pine-Richland students and faculty up-to-date with emerging technologies.
Through its Outstanding Ideas Grants program, PROF is committed to providing financial assistance to Pine-Richland’s teachers and staff as they uncover novel ways to enrich the learning experiences of PR students. PROF is accepting new grant proposals for its spring grants cycle, which closes on March 2, 2018. Click here for more details and an application.
PROF Grant Provides Flexible Seating for Elementary Students
Wiggle chairs, yoga balls, stability balls and cushions, along with different leveled tables allow children to work where they will best achieve learning goals. Last spring the Pine-Richland Opportunities Fund (PROF) awarded Richland Elementary 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Tracy Hanna, funds to implement flexible seating for her class. Mrs. Hanna states, “Students need to be problem solvers and thinkers and this new idea of choosing the best learning spot helps to prepare them for a real-world learning experience.” This pilot program was very successful and led to implementing the flexible seating concept in the other elementary schools. This fall, fourth grade teachers Mrs. Racheal Zaspel, Mrs. Lori Prentice, and Mrs. Christina Strine applied for a similar grant to launch a pilot program for Eden Hall Upper Elementary. While there seems to be a more apparent use for flexible seating at the lower grade levels, these teachers saw the need in the upper elementary grades as well. Their goal is to “enhance the learning environment by providing choice that allows for “active” sitting in the classroom.” They share that, “Active sitting is known to improve attention and concentration, blood flow, flexibility, coordination and balance.”
At the November meeting, the PROF Trustees voted to accept their grant request and awarded $4,500 to pilot the program at Eden Hall Upper Elementary. Every student learns differently and this concept aligns with the district mission to focus on learning for every student every day. Active sitting will give students the opportunity to move as they learn to help them stay focused and increase their level of achievement.
PROF is proud to recognize these teachers’ efforts in their grant request, and grateful to our donors, whose generous donations make grants like this possible.
PROF’s spring grants cycle closes on March 2, 2018.
Your support and donations to PROF will continue to serve the outstanding ideas of our talented Pine-Richland staff.
PROF Grant Helps Bring Writing Workshop to PRSD Teachers
Pine-Richland School District elementary teachers took off their teaching hats and put on their thinking caps during summer break. They worked to fine tune their skills in the art of teaching writing during a week-long workshop. Facilitator Richard Koch emphasized to educators and students that writing can be a journey of improvement with feedback from peers.
The workshop helped teachers fine tune their skills in the art of writing and was a second part of a two-part grant funded by the Pine-Richland Opportunities Fund through the Western PA Writing Project in association with the National Writing Project.
This writing initiative, being implemented at PRSD, proved to be an inspirational workshop for teachers as they prepared for the start of the school year. See this video, which captures many of the critical concepts for an effective school community. This initiative has also been featured on the PA Schools, Success Starts Here website. PROF is proud to have been a part of this wonderful opportunity for PRSD teachers.
Pine-Richland Opportunities Fund Partners with Central Blood Bank for Scholarship
Pine-Richland students and community work together to help our community while raising scholarship dollars for seniors. Read more about this partnership.
PROF Grant Plays a Part in the Pine-Richland High School Fall Play "Fahrenheit 451"
See the article posted on Wed., Nov. 11, 2015.
"Where I Am From" - PROF-Supported Project Featured on WQED
With a grant from PROF, Mr. Riley brought together students from Pine-Richland High School students and students from his alma mater Woodland Hill High School to create art works about “where they are from,” just as Riley's exhibition will revolve around the same theme. The students' works will be presented on 12-inch panel surfaces.
Mr. Riley said that “Where I Am From” is cultural experience that could not happen within a single school. “Where I Am From” unites two schools with vastly different socio-economic, ethnic and geographic dynamics. Mr. Ramon Riley is connecting students from both schools to share in the arts community.
PROF Proud to Support the FIRST Lego League Robotics Program
FIRST Lego League is a robotics program for students aged 9-14. In this program, students learn thinking processes required in fields of STEM, as shown through competitions in Robot Game and Research Projects as well as the Core Values culture that ties this program together. The theme for the 2015-2016 season is Trash Trek!
Last season, the first-ever FLL team at PRMS ranked 18 out of 65 teams at the Western PA FLL tournament, the second highest ranking rookie team at the competition! The students grew enormously throughout the season individually, and as a group, and really were a great start to FLL at PR. We hope to be as successful in future years!