WEOF is proud to provide funding for a wide variety of educational initiatives in all Wissahickon schools. Here are some recent highlights and some grants from years past.
WEOF funded Romo Robots and a 3D printer for this exciting new learning community!
SHAKESPEARE COSTUMES AND PROPS
“Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand?”
The study of Shakespeare came to life at Wissahickon High School this month with students decked out in new Shakespearean costumes and using props provided through a Wissahickon Educational Opportunities Foundation (WEOF) grant.
The grant was awarded to the WHS English Department to enhance the Shakespeare learning experience through performance. The department is using the Shakespeare Set Free series from The Folger Library which develops speaking and listening skills and challenges students in a unique and energizing way. Costumes and props include capes, dresses, masks, crowns, Styrofoam swords and daggers.
“When you read the dialogue it’s hard to imagine and visualize what Shakespeare meant especially with the archaic language that is used, but when you perform it and get in costume you can really visualize it and see that a lot is open to interpretation and how people can interpret the text in different ways,” said student Ashley Ok.
“The beauty of making the performance piece so engaging is that the students are unwittingly challenged to make meaning of the text they are speaking and to think deeply about the staging that goes along with the words they are saying. All WHS students at all grade levels will have the joy of learning Shakespeare’s play for many years with the costumes and props supported by WEOF,” said Language Arts teacher Melisa Perlman who submitted the grant.
(from the WSD web site)
WMS students have been enjoying a creative new learning tool called Buddha Boards that also aide in relaxation. Ten Buddha Boards, purchased with a grant through the Wissahickon Educational Opportunities Foundation (WEOF), allow the user to paint images on a board using water which slowly disappear. Students can use the boards to create images again and again.
Courtney Fenstermacher, WMS Language Arts and Math Teacher, said the boards are great for academic related work and as a form of relaxation. She recently used the boards in a lesson about the middle school’s “No Place for Hate” initiative. Students drew images and wrote messages related to “No Place for Hate”. She has also used them for quick response answers, group and/or partner work and closure activities. During Language Arts, students have used them to visualize while reading and to learn new vocabulary. During Math, students have created representations of how data may look visually, as well as showing/ explaining how they would solve a variety of problems.
“The Buddha Boards have been useful in encouraging students to participate in activities in a unique way. It is enjoyable to watch students (and adults in the building) create on them during down time. Everyone who has used them is entertained and seems to unwind a bit!” Ms. Fenstermacher said.
WEOF grants enhance teaching and learning through new programs, equipment, technology and resources. Each year, teachers submit applications to WEOF with innovative educational ideas to further engage students in classroom and co-curricular activities that foster growth in the intellectual, physical, emotional, social and cultural spheres. Some of our past grants include:
- Romo Robots and a 3-dimensional printer for innovative learning activities at WMS
- Guest speaker and performing arts assemblies for all Wissahickon schools
- Expanded activities for an after school club called WissPals which pairs regular education students with the autistic support and life skills students
- Cardio equipment for the WHS Fitness Center and Physical Education classes
- TETRIX MAX Starter Set and a Hummingbird Classroom Duo kit to help the robotics team and club learn how to build and program robots
- Costumes and props to help teach Shakespeare through performance
- Tablets with additional speech and language software to support students with learning disabilities
- A Steinway Piano for the Wissahickon music programs
- Interactive models for biology classes to help students visualize how molecules fit together
- Signage for the Boo Crofton Nature Center which teaches students about plants and animals
- Geocaching devices which have been incorporated into indoor and outdoor science and physical education activities
- Installation of a walk/run trail at Blue Bell Elementary School
- A pug mill for the WHS Art Studio that allows the students to produce, use and recycle clay three or four times a day
- Buddha Boards used for creative classroom activities where students can paint disappearing images with water
- Audio books to bring books to life for kindergarten students and enhance literacy