Friday, November 19, 2010

AAPS Educational Foundation Grants Announced

ANN ARBOR - The Board of Directors of the Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation has neared completion of its review of grant proposals and has determined to fund the following programs for the 2010-2011 academic year as part of its Initiatives for Excellence:
Elementary World Language ($108,400):  In 2009-10, Ann Arbor Public Schools launched the Ann Arbor Language Partnership (A2LP) collaboration between the Ann Arbor School District and the Teacher Education Program at the University of Michigan School of Education.  For this 2010-11 year, this program provides twice a week Spanish language instruction to nearly 2,500 third and fourth grade students attending the Ann Arbor Public Schools.  AAPSEF will support this collaborative effort to make the AAPS school system a leader in preparing students for work in a global economy.  Funds contributed will cover the District's partnership contribution to the University of Michigan as well as costs for materials and supplies.  For more information on the program, click here.
Elementary Enrichment Coordinators ($55,220).  This is the second year of AAPSEF funding for a program that brings cohesion and best-practices planning to the district's use of curriculum-enhancing activities.  Elementary Enrichment Coordinators work with each of the elementary school clusters (the group of schools that feed a middle school) and examine current activities.  They then work with building administrators and classroom teachers to bring greater depth to the curriculum through academic games, hands-on classroom activities, field trips and connections to higher education resources.  For a look at last year's activities in this program, click here.
Environmental Science Program ($35,479).   This program, established in the early 1960's, is one of the oldest environmental science programs in public school history.  It has a broad scope, touching points in the school curriculum from grades one through six.  Specifically, AAPSEF funds will be used to support field trips related to the program for children at all 21 AAPS elementary schools.  The cost breakdown of the trips is simplified here: Kensington Metropark, first grades, $16,286; Gravel Pit and Life Cycles, second grades, $5,464 and $2,319; and Hydrology and Planetarium, sixth grades, $11,410. To learn more about the environmental education program, click here.  Support for this grant is made possible by a gift from IMRA, America.
            ACT's EXPLORE and PLAN Assessments ($22,000). The EXPLORE assessment will be administered to all AAPS eighth graders and the PLAN assessment will be administered to all tenth graders.  These tests help students find their academic strengths and weaknesses, and focus on their career inclinations at the outset and midway-point of high school.  The premise is that these assessments help guide students in career choice and course preparation for college or other post-secondary work.  Guidance staff then coordinates meetings with parents and students to help interpret the results and create a plan for their future.  The assessments are also helpful as a tool to prepare students for the Michigan Merit Exam.  For more information, click here.
5th Grade Instrumental Music Program ($10,000). All AAPS 5th graders have the opportunity to experience instrumental music hands-on. Ann Arbor's award-winning high school music programs build on this early foundation.  Most importantly, this program ensures access to the best in music education for all students at all schools.  In Ann Arbor Public Schools, no one is left out because of an inability to pay for private music lessons.  AAPSEF funding will support the repair of musical instruments and purchase of new and replacement music books for fifth grade students for the 2010-2011 academic year.
The Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation's Board of Directors is continuing research into other district program applications and will determine additional funding this month.  Due to the generous support of the Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation's donors, the Foundation is able to make substantially larger contributions to the school district this year than in the past.  Total support from the AAPSEF will total over $300,000 for the 2010-2011 academic year.   Approximately $40,000 remains to be distributed from dollars raised through the One Million Reasons campaign, and will be granted to programs in early childhood education, math and science, as stipulated by donor preference.
The Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation (AAPSEF) is an independent, community-based, non-profit organization committed to helping all Ann Arbor Public Schools students achieve their highest potential by providing community support for innovative and excellent educational opportunities.
For more information and interviews, contact Wendy Correll at or (734) 994-1969.