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Big Sonia Screening Rights & Speaking Engagement
The grant provides screening rights for each CPS middle and high school campus for the film Big Sonia, a documentary about then 91-year old Sonia Warshawski, one of the last remaining Holocaust survivors who resides in Kansas City. Students held a Q&A with director Leah Warshawski after viewing the film. The grant also included a free community screening of the film, as well as a speaking engagement and Meet & Greet with Sonia herself. The grant also included purchasing copies of the DVD for the Columbia Public Library.
Student Trip to China
As part of CPS’s Chinese program, students can take a two‐week trip to Shanghai and Beijing for language and culture learning. This was the fourth year of the trip, covered by the Chinese Ministry of Education. Once the students are in China, they are hosted by Shanghai Normal University, the leading teacher college in Shanghai. This year 18 students, from freshmen to seniors, traveled to China from July 3-16. CPSF grant funds covered the airfare, along with Veterans United and the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Family Welcome Center
Families new to Columbia have a welcoming space to gather and seek services, thanks to a 2017 grant for the Family Welcome Center, located inside the CPS Aslin Administration Building at 1818 W. Worley in Columbia. Grant funds went to renovating the area and providing new furniture to create a more welcome space for families of English Language Learner (ELL) students who are being evaluated.
Authors in Schools
The Foundation grant provided funds for author visits to CPS schools as well as materials for students to read books by the authors prior to the visits. Authors visited students at Shepard, New Haven, Ridgeway, Fairview and Blue Ridge Elementary Schools; Oakland, Gentry and West Middle Schools; and all four CPS high schools, Hickman, Battle, Rock Bridge and Douglass. The Authors in Schools program is part of the Unbound Book Festival.
Drumline Trip to Japan
The CPS drumline group is the only high school from the United States selected to participate in the 2018 Japanese summer festival in Nagano. During the trip, from Aug. 3-10, the students will have the opportunity to rehearse with 1,000 Japanese marching band students. The trip also includes cultural site visits and a ceremonial meeting with the local governor. The grant covered the costs of passports and provided two cultural experiences, including etiquette lessons, for the students. The Foundation funds also include the creation of a CPSF flag for use during the festival’s opening ceremonies.
Gardening in our Schools
Provides entire elementary school buildings the opportunity to learn about and experiment with aeroponic gardens, a gardening system that does not use soil and instead uses a nutrient solution for roots. The CPSF grant provides one garden tower aeroponic system for each elementary school. The towers will be placed in school lobbies, media centers or cafeterias, all spaces where each student in the building gets to experience it.
Ragtag Film Society Media Literacy Initiative
An initiative of the Ragtag Film Society, the umbrella organization of True/False Film Fest and Ragtag Cinema. The grant provides teachers with media literacy instructional strategies and materials and provides students with skills to be thoughtful, critical consumers of media. The grant funds will supplement Columbia Public Schools (CPS) core curriculum by providing screening rights for films and training for teachers to incorporate film into the classroom. Learning will be enhanced through extracurricular experiences, including year-round field trips to Ragtag Cinema for film screenings and a free film screening and filmmaker Q&A at the True/False Film Fest.
Author Visits and Novels to Engage Middle School Readers
Supports literary initiatives at the middle school level impacting nearly 4,000 students. The selected young adult novels – which include Jason Reynolds’ “As Brave As You” and “Ghost,” and K.A. Holt’s “Rhyme Schemer,” “House Arrest” and “Red Moon Rising” – will be available in novel and audio format at each of the six CPS middle schools. In addition to supplying the novels, the grant provides for in-person author visits from both Reynolds and Holt at each middle school.
Provides funding for MakerSpaces at ten CPS elementary schools. MakerSpaces promote STEM activities and provide a hands-on learning experience where children can flex their creative muscles and problem-solving skills. MakerSpace stations might focus on circuitry, design, electronics, robotics, building, coding, or other STEM skills. Supplies can include 3D printers, software, electronics, craft and hardware supplies and tools, and everyday materials, all with the goal of engaging students with making technology and developing problem-solving skills.
A Fine Arts Collaboration with Special Education and Practical Arts. This project proposes that district coordinators and specific practical arts and fine arts teachers use NAO robots to implement a project-oriented pedagogy characterized by hands-on experimentation. Computer Programming & Music teachers will use NAO to integrate team work, project management, problem-solving and communication skills and “choreography” in a stimulating setting that is engaging and exciting for students. Teachers will also use NAO to develop interdisciplinary projects. Students participating in the program will have the opportunity to focus on problem-solving and exploratory learning by working in teams to actively engage in challenges and discover solutions. Students gain hands-on experience using NAO, and, when used in the lab, they discover exciting topics such as locomotion, grasping, audio and video signal processing, voice recognition, and much more.