Grants Showcase: 3D Printing at Jefferson

Ryan He, a very well-spoken and inquisitive fourth grader at Jefferson School, taught the board all about 3D printing and showed us some 3D plastic objects made with the Cube 3rd generation printer. His teacher and recipient of the grant, Jodi Kline assisted in the presentation. Watch the video below to learn more.

Grant Showcase: Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi

Blog written by Jodi Cline

I am very thankful for the Excellence in Education Foundation grant award I received in the Spring of 2015 for 10 Raspberry Pi, monitors, and keyboards. I am the district’s Gifted and Talented Education teacher and we use these credit-card sized computers every day in our classroom. Students in our classroom complete math assignments and then have the opportunity to use the Pi to access a variety of computer coding languages like Scratch and Python through games and coding websites.

Computer-science related fields have been rapidly growing throughout recent years. By 2018, the CS field is projected to represent 51% of all of the jobs in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) areas. Having access to the Raspberry Pi in our classroom has allowed students to gain experience in this growing field.

Jodi Cline

Grant Showcase: WWI Material for Charleston Middle School

Ms. Holly Pantle, Media Specialist, and Mr. Chris Bily, Social Studies teacher, at Charleston Middle School submitted a grant to purchase new and updated non-fiction, primary, and secondary source materials specific to World War I.  Since a wide variety of resources about WWI are often less readily available in schools than those for WWII, the students greatly benefited from the grant.

The diverse needs of middle school students were considered as leveled texts, a range of formats, and a wide-range of high-interest topics were selected. As a result, students were able to research, investigate, and create projects for CPI propaganda posters and speeches. The projects included creating an imaginary advertisement agency and poster along with writing a two-minute persuasive speech.

Excellence in Education Foundation grant
Excellence in Education grant
Excellence in Education Foundation grant


Grant Showcase: Cuisenair Rods and Hovercam

Kaj Holm, 5th grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary, received a grant from Excellence in Education Foundation to further his classroom teaching.  He describes below how Cuisenair Rods and Hovercam, purchased from the grant, have made learning easier and a lot more fun for students.

1.       Cuisenaire Rods

The goal of this project was to get students more involved with the learning of fractions.  This mathematics manipulative certainly helped achieve a higher level of understanding then I had anticipated.  The Cuisenaire rods helped students develop a way to look at fractions and recognize that all the pieces do not have to come from the same wholes. That a fraction of something can be either the same or different depending on what the whole actually represents.  The students can try and understand this through traditional algorithms but visual hands on learning can certainly solidify that base knowledge the student needs to succeed.  This additional tool certainly proved beneficial to the learning of the 5th grade classroom.


Hovercam Solo 8:

This piece of classroom technology changed the way I did many of my hands on activities across all of my subjects.  More than just a document camera, the Hovercam is able to take screen shots as well as record what is happening under that camera.  This allows instructions to be easily repeated without wasting additional materials in the process. Student placement no longer is an issue when showing examples because of the benefit of having these examples on the SmartBoard rather than being held up in the air in my hand.  Any visual can now be shown with incredible detail.  When sharing information with colleagues, these saved visuals help aid with explanations to help come up with best practice in our teaching.  This small, easy to move piece of technology has been a blessing to have in the classroom. 

The EEF has been supporting Charleston schools, students, and teachers for over 20 years.  In that time, we have awarded more than $400,000 in grants to teachers in the school district. Learn more about our grants here.

Kaj Holm

5th Grade Teacher – Jefferson Elementary

Cross-Country Coach – Charleston Middle School

Assistant Girls Track Coach – Charleston High School

Lincoln Funeral Train Provides Educational Tours for Students

Lincoln Funeral Train

EEF Grant Showcase – The Lincoln Funeral Train

Awarded to Pam Evans, Jefferson Elementary School

The Lincoln Funeral Train pulled into Charleston on May 4, 2015. This project was a joint venture with the City of Charleston. Dianne Ratliff was the spearhead for bringing it here. The Excellence in Education grant helped to fund almost half of the cost so that it could be offered free to the public. The train was available for tours on May 5th and 6th.

EEF grant winner Pam Evans in front of the Lincoln Funeral Train.

EEF grant winner Pam Evans in front of the Lincoln Funeral Train.

All of the students from Carl Sandburg, Jefferson Elementary and Charleston Middle School toured the Funeral Car from 8 am to 3 pm. The Funeral Car was also open to the public each evening. Some people actually travelled several hours for this opportunity. There were approximately 3500 visitors that passed through the car during its short visit including 1400 school children from Charleston, Mattoon, and Marshall along with those from private schools and home schools. The students enjoyed seeing what the train would have looked like 150 years ago and thought it was really cool! They also had the chance to visit the Lincoln-Douglas Debate Museum that is onsite as well as listen to the speakers that were on hand to authenticate the experience with their period dress and conversations. On the walk back to school, the students passed through the nearby cemetery to visit the gravesites of several of Lincoln's relatives.


This blog was submitted by EEF board member Tim McCollum.

This blog was submitted by EEF board member Tim McCollum.