From support for a STEM Day in McKeesport, to funds to create graphic comic books in West Jefferson Hills, to helping to promote character education in West Mifflin, the Consortium for Public Education's recent round -- more than $26,000 worth -- of Great Idea Grants is funding varied learning opportunities.
Support comes from The Grable Foundation and is supplemented by businesses, organizations and individuals. The latest awards brought distributions to more than $1.6 million since the grants began in 1987.
Winners in the South Hills:
Chartiers Valley: Chartiers Middle
The grant of $500 will benefit 250 seventh graders who will raise ducklings for experience in biology. The project also will bring reading, writing and math into the science classroom.
Elizabeth Forward: Greenock Elementary
Some 180 K-2 students will use lunch food scraps to make compost for the school garden and learn about recycling, soil and gardening. The grant is for $400.
McKeesport Area: Twin Rivers Intermediate
A grant of $2, 900 will benefit 200 fifth-graders in a program using math games to reinforce math lessons in class and at home. Also in McKeesport, $1,400 will go to help 600 seventh- and eighth-graders in a program that initiates STEM Day when students will participate in a variety of science, technology, engineering and math activities in small groups, including working with robotics.
South Allegheny: SA elementary
A $160 grant will help fifth-graders learn about the U.S. Postal Service and design a stamp. A $3,000 grant will help two dozen students combine core subject lessons with art to make a gallery that features art, writing, photos and a mural.
West Jefferson Hills: Jefferson elementary
A $2,000 grant will fund a program for 280 students to use Lego building block figures, cameras and computers to develop narratives in comic book format.
West Mifflin: High school
A $600 grant will benefit some 70 seniors in learning about Native American culture. Students will host a community fair on the subject.
Clara Barton Elementary
A grant of $1,000 will help 250 K-3 students in a program that uses literature-based character education and reading, writing and comprehension skills to promote kindness and reading. Students will make a poster to be hung in the hallways.