Grant Winners 2022-23


 by Dave Gynn


Grants by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

The Portage County Retired Teachers Association awards grants supporting innovative ideas in the classroom and in schools. The grant committee received 20 applications for the 2022 awards. Four proposals were chosen to receive $500 toward their projects:

Ravenna Integrated Preschool teacher, Cindy Chrin, will use the grant money to prepare “School-to-Home Connection Kits.” The kits will be designed to engage the family and student in learning experiences in their own home. The activities in the kits will be integrated into second-semester curriculum for the 2021-2022 school year.

Bio-Med Science Academy teacher, Julia Hunter, will use the funds for a multi-disciplinary group project based on The Giver, by Lois Lowry. Students will create a 3D model of a utopian society. They will be tasked with creating a constitution and laws, forms of agriculture, transportation, schools and everything else necessary for a real society.

Sarah Lambert, from Brown Middle School in Ravenna, will be introducing reusable boards called Wipebook Flipcharts to her classroom to promote group work, confidence in problem solving, and information sharing in the classroom. Her grant proposal outlined classroom research from the book “Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics” by Peter Liljedahl.

Vanessa Shafer and Kris Gilmer, from James A. Garfield Middle School, will use the grant money to fund a collaborative STEM and art project using coding and mathematics to create a Jackson Pollock inspired painting with a Sphero SPRK robot.


PCRTA Teacher Grant Winners Are Recognized at District Board Meetings

Ravenna Grant Winners 2022

Ravenna Grant Winners 2022
















The Teacher Grant Committee took a different approach this year in recognizing the PCRTA Teacher Grant winners. The Committee decided to award a certificate to the winners at district board meetings. We felt that a board meeting would be the perfect venue to recognize the teacher in front of his/her employer, peers, students and community. We also felt that the presentation would be good publicity for PCRTA. Each teacher received a framed certificate to display in their classroom.

Jim Montaquila traveled to James A. Garfield to recognize Venessa Shafer and Kris Gilmer for their innovative art project that integrates art, coding, mathematics, history and physics. He also traveled to Bio Med Science Academy to recognize Julia Hunter for the project she designed for her students to create a 3D model of a utopian society based on The Giver.

Haska had the honor of attending a Board Meeting at Ravenna City Schools. Sarah Lambert was recognized for her “Building Thinking Classrooms” project using Wipebook Flipcharts to improve problem-solving skills at the middle school level. At the preschool level, Cindy Chrin was recognized for her “School-to-Home Connection Kits” grant project. Cindy actually started the project prior to the board meeting and sent examples back to PCRTA. Both Sarah Lambert and Cindy Chrin received framed certificates to hang in their own classroom.