The Zionsville Education Foundation recently announced the recipients of its fall 2005 grants.

More than $22,000 will be distributed to educators for 13 programs in Zionsville Community Schools.

The grants allow teachers the opportunity to try a new program in their classroom, or educators to try a new program school-wide, without being a financial burden on the school or teacher, said Katrina Willis, executive director of the Zionsville Education Foundation.

"A lot of people don't realize how much teachers spend out of their own pockets to try new things in the classroom," she said.

She said the grants given by the ZEF allow educators to try a new program with no financial risk, but the grants are not intended as a continuous source of funding.

"It allows people to try things for the first year, and if it's successful, the school can incorporate it into its annual budget," she said.

The ZEF gives grants in both the spring and fall semester, and gives away more than $45,000 a year to Zionsville educators.

Willis said most of the funding for the grants comes from private donations, but the ZEF holds several fundraisers every year, including Oktoberfest and ZSLAM, a three-on-three basketball tournament.

The grant committee received 16 grant submissions for the fall grant cycle, and were able to reward grants to 13 of the submissions, Willis said. One of the programs the ZEF will support with a grant from this cycle is the "Earth Balloon Program." Willis said the Earth balloon is a balloon 20 feet in diameter that is decorated like a globe that will be taken to Zionsville elementary schools. Students will be able to enter the inflated balloon, and the goal of the program is to teach students the importance of recycling, and to give them a better understanding of how big the Earth is.

The program will be for all Zionsville elementary students, she said. Recipients of the fall 2005 grants are: ¥ "SMART Board-Promotion of Academic Excellence Through Interactive Technology," Janet Ostendorf, Zionsville West Middle School, $1,500 ¥ "Celebrating Musical Beginnings at Zionsville West Middle School," Julia Shaw, ZWMS, $500 ¥ "Special Needs Library Additions, Emily Duhn for all ZCS elementary schools," $492 ¥ "Love and Logic Seminar," Emily Duhn, Stonegate, $1,500 ¥ "Calculating Acceleration Using a Radar Gun," Bart Archer, Zionsville Community High School, $2,100 ¥ "Brand New Readers for Brand New Readers," Jane Pettibone on behalf of all ZCS elementary school reading specialists, $1,200 ¥ "Earth Balloon Program," Joni Golde for all ZCS elementary schools, $2,975 ¥ "Engaging Young Minds Through Interactive Technology," Beth Ditto, Pleasant View Upper Elementary, $2,747 ¥ "Union Elementary Reading Overnight," Delora Douglas and Susie Cash, Union, $1,812.50 ¥ "Picture This...to Better Writing," Sarah Seligman and Carrie Sanders, Zionsville Middle School, $252.37 ¥ "Listen as You Work," Michal Murphy, Pleasant View Lower Elementary, $1,269.60 ¥ "Student Assistance Committee Research Team," Chris Willis, ZCHS, $450 ¥ "Zionsville Middle School Makes Getting Fit Top Priority," Andy Maguire, Vince Flecker, Trisha Faulkner, and Steve Simmons, ZMS, $5,224.25 Deadline for the spring 2006 ZEF grant cycle is March 10.

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