Nearly $10,000 in grants were awarded to seven teacher projects at the Dec. 2 meeting of the Buena Vista school board by the Buena Vista Community Education Assistance Fund.
BVCEAF president Dan Potter presented the grants.
Fourth grade teacher Heidi Atha received a grant for a 14-by-21-foot map of the state of Colorado.
“I’m able to do all kinds of stuff – regions, latitude and longitude, math, teamwork. The kids absolutely loved it,” Atha said.
Avery-Parsons Title One teacher Kaya Bell and librarian Laurie Hancock were awarded a grant for books that feature diverse characters so that students from diverse backgrounds and families can see themselves represented in the books offered in their classes and to promote acceptance of diversity in other students.
“Recently I was approached by a parent who has a diverse family and she stated that she has to go to her child’s teacher every year and ask if there are going to be books in the classroom that represent her family, and I thought ‘OK, I can do something about that,’” Bell said. “We requested funds to purchase a selection of diverse books for our library as well as each classroom.”
Title One teacher Michelle Martin received a grant for Learning Ally audiobooks to be used by all students in the elementary school.
“Multi-sensory learning accommodation is what Learning Ally is,” Martin said. “It’s for struggling readers. Anyone who struggles with decoding, fluency or comprehension.”
BVHS music and drama teacher Tanner Oharah received a grant for a mobile filmmaking studio.
“There’s this whole other field, this whole other group of people, they call themselves filmies, where this could be a passion of these students,” Oharah said.
Kip Drawbridge was awarded a grant for three glute and hamstring machines for the high school weight room.
“Sometimes in the strength and conditioning room, the quads are overdeveloped, leaving the hamstrings to be prone to injury,” Drawbridge said.
The Avery-Parsons fifth grade teachers were awarded a grant for a Cave Sim – an interactive cave that teaches students about cave ecology and conservationist practices.
“This is the second year that we’ve gotten the same grant for the same program, because I feel that it’s just super beneficial to our students and super fun,” said fifth grade teacher Becki Cummins.
BVHS music teacher Marti Bott received a grant for two sets of concert tom drums and wooden bongos that will be used for both concert and jazz bands.
“We’re steadily trying to build up our instrumentation,” Bott said.
Three members of the board left, and three new members were sworn in following the results of an election last month.
Nancy Best, Erin Flavin and Leslie Quilico were given a warm, thankful goodbye by the rest of the board and district superintendent Lisa Yates, who presented each outgoing member with a commemorative bell.
Jessica Crites, Brett Mitchell and Stacey Moss were sworn in as new members of the board, and members Suzette Hachmann and Tracy Storms were sworn in for new terms by Chaffee County Clerk and Recorder Lori Mitchell.
The new board also appointed officers. Hachmann will continue her role as board president, Ken McMurry will continue as vice president, Storms will serve as the board’s secretary and Crites will serve as treasurer.
Additionally, Mitchell was appointed as the district’s representative in the Mountain BOCES, or Board of Cooperative Services.