Latest Grants Awarded

ZEF 2023 Spring Grants Announced

The Zionsville Education Foundation announced more than $37,700 in grants to the Zionsville Community Schools (ZCS). Two types of grants were awarded: $23,393 for Classroom Grants and $14,330 for Imagine Professional Development Grants. These grants will bring unique learning experiences to students and provide growth and renewal opportunities for ZCS educators.

ZEF Classroom Grants bring educators’ innovative ideas and creative projects to life for their students. Unique learning opportunities funded by these grants promote academic excellence across the district. The 2023 Spring Classroom Grants include funding for math manipulatives for middle schoolers, new technology for high school speech classes, decodable readers for early and emergent readers, advanced digital illustration tools for high school digital design courses, and hands-on tools for 3rd and 4th graders learning how computers work.

ZEF Imagine Professional Development grants provide professional growth and renewal opportunities for teachers with three or more years of full-time education experience. The 2023 Imagine Grants will take educators to a variety of conferences where they can learn with peers from across the country and have access to subject experts. They then bring renewed enthusiasm and ideas for their classroom back to their colleagues and students.

Classroom and Imagine Professional Development Grant applications are reviewed by a combination of ZEF Board members and community members. The generous work of these volunteers is essential to ZEF’s grant process.

2023 Classroom Grants
Total Awarded:  $23,393.46

To Infinity and Beyond: Exploring Literature through Time and Space with Historical Fiction and Fantasy Genre Studies ($846.20)
Emily Wleklinski and Kim Lalley – Zionsville Middle School
Provides novels for 5th and 6th grade students in the Books and Bites Club and adds more choices to the Fantasy and Historical Fiction genre studies in 6th Grade Humanities classes.

Let’s Play! Incorporating Purposeful Play in Kindergarten ($3,284.20)
Julie Beck, Patty Williams, Pam Fremion, Shannon Merrell, Maria Smith – Union Elementary
Provides a variety of diverse, multidisciplinary, play-based materials and supplies for purposeful play within kindergarten classrooms at Union Elementary.

Math Manipulatives for Building Thinking Classrooms ($2,231.00)
Erin Manifold and Maggie Smith – Zionsville Middle School
Enables the purchase of a variety of tools and manipulatives to support 5th grade students’ mathematical learning and thinking. Math Manipulatives are essential to building a student’s strong conceptual understanding of mathematical thinking skills.

 21st Century Speakers ($4,993.98)
Mica Wilson and Elana Cutter – Zionsville Community High School
The procurement of modern presentation technology including teleprompter equipment, corresponding software, and digital presentation remotes will give ZCHS seniors enrolled in Speech the opportunity to develop skills in audience engagement, communication, research, and multimedia presentation.

Jump Rope for Just Right Reading ($3,992.38)
Marissa Grant – Eagle Elementary
This grant puts high-quality, decodable texts into early and emergent readers’ hands. The text sets, accompanied by online resources and teacher’s guides, are beautifully and thoughtfully constructed to be highly engaging and representational while reinforcing important phonics skills.

Exploring and Expanding Design with Digital Illustration ($2,795.65)
High School Art Department – Zionsville Community High School
Students will explore digital illustration in digital design courses with the technology provided by this grant. More technologically advanced tablets will enable teachers to expand the current curriculum to include digital illustration and painting to every student in the Digital Design I and Digital Design II classes.

Decodable Readers! ($3,045.59)
Jill McCune, Tina Boudreau, Lauren Driesen, and Katie Sarpa – Trailside Elementary
These sets of decodable readers, Jump Rope Readers – A Series of High-Quality Decodable Books and Pip and Tim Small Group Book Pack Stages 1-6, will provide texts for the diverse needs of Trailside’s Kindergarteners for use in the classroom and at home.

How Do Computers Work? ($1,092.32)
Molly Seward – Trailside Elementary
Third and Fourth grade students will work through a binary code using a Turning Tumble to understand the logic used to create a computer through a hands-on marble machine. The kits will challenge students to learn coding principles in a screen-free way by solving a variety of logic puzzles using a binary code and yes or no statements.

Alternative Seating Arrangement ($374.40)
Adelpha Twyman – Zionsville Community High School
Alternative seating options will increase opportunities for students to engage in instructional activities in a more relaxed format.

Kindergarten Recess – Teamwork, Social Skills, and Fitness Fun ($737.74)
Shannon Merrell – Union Elementary
This grant gives Kindergarten classes access to outdoor supplies for important ways to stay active, communicate, have fun, and work together.

2023 Imagine Professional Development Grants
Total Awarded:  $14,330.18

Kylie Staples – Zionsville West Middle School ($1,397.66)
Enhancing Multilingual and Multicultural Education for Cultural Understanding
Enables attendance at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL) Conference will give Ms. Staples an opportunity to learn new, research-based teaching techniques for her Spanish classes. It provides the chance to visit more than 500 educational sessions and participate in hands-on learning environments that will provide tangible resources and ready-to-use techniques that will help her build content knowledge and learn new strategies.

Jim Crismore, Megan Grady, Ashley Murray, and David Schurger – Zionsville Middle, Zionsville West, and Zionsville Community High Schools ($3,000)
Ohio State University String Teacher Workshop
Supports the further education of the string department across the Zionsville Community Schools. The Ohio State University String Teacher Workshop brings together professionals from around the country to teach and collaborate on new string pedagogy, repertoire, and best classroom practices.

William Doublestein – Boone Meadow Elementary ($1,850)
Playing Our Orff Instruments for All They’re Worth!
Enables attendance at the American Orff Schulwerk Association’s 2023 Professional Development Conference. Mr. Doublestein will further his understanding of the Orff Schulwerk philosophy of music education, gain new ideas on how to make the most of Boone Meadow’s set of Orff instruments (purchased through a 2017 ZEF Classroom Grant), and help his students deepen their love of music.

Ashley Boutillier, Allison Tripolitis, and Danielle Wilson – Zionsville Community High School ($1,444 each)
Attending and Presenting at the 2023 National Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference
Provides funding for attendance at the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) conference will help these educators and their colleagues create student-centered learning environments to prepare students for rigorous and independent learning. They will learn new instructional methods to engage students, network with colleagues from across the country, and possibly present a session on Project Based Learning in the U.S. History classroom.

Erin Manifold and Maggie Smith – Zionsville Middle School ($932)
Building Thinking Classrooms
Affords an opportunity for these educators to continue their growth towards becoming mathematical leaders by learning more about Peter Liljedahl’s Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics, 14 Practices for Enhancing Learning. This conference will help build their repertoire of best mathematical practices and pedagogical knowledge and provide the chance to connect with peers from across the state.

Rebecca Hampton and Emily Zucker – Pleasant View Elementary and Union Elementary Schools ($2,818.52)
“Viva!” – Musical Professional Development and Renewal in the Desert
Provides the opportunity to attend the American Orff Schulwerk Association’s 2023 Professional Development Conference for two ZCS Music educators. Mrs. Hampton and Mrs. Zucker will extend their knowledge of the Orff Schulwerk method of teaching music by attending professional development workshops that relate to the Schulwerk teaching pedagogy and style, experience performances from high-quality performance groups, and collaborate, network, and connect musically with colleagues from around the country and the world.

Past Grants Awarded