GM Foundation Awards William and Mary Smith MS Innovative Education Grants

Posted on March 20, 2013, in Academics, Organizations

The GM Foundation Awarded the William E. and Mary S. Smith Middle School Innovative Education Program Grant to Bob Weber, Stephen Macfarlane and Wendy Berchtold.

“I’m going to Disneyworld! Just as winning quarterbacks feel at the end of the Super Bowl, that’s how excited I was to be awarded a grant from the William E. and Mary S. Smith Middle School Innovative Educational Program,” Weber said.
Weber was awarded $500 for a literacy project. He will be purchasing classroom copies of The Synonym Finder, a set of Scrabble games and a large supply of Post-It Notes.  These tools will be used by students to seek out new and unusual words to use in everyday conversations. It is Weber’s hope that this will help students build a foundation for college and career readiness in language, more specifically in the area of Word Study.
Macfarlane and Berchtold were awarded $500 for their plans to implement a genetics project. Each year, the University of Pittsburgh Mobile Laboratory visits the school and offers a week of scientific research to GM students centering around the extraction of strawberry DNA and running tests with this DNA to solve forensic style problems.  To help prepare the students for this experience, Macfarlane and Berchtold plan to purchase several DNA K’Nex kits so students can build accurate DNA molecules, manipulate the models to see how cells copy DNA and see how the sequences of DNA are “read” by cell to make vital proteins.
The grant stems from former James W. Parker Middle School math teacher Bill Smith and his wife, Mary. The $500 classroom grants are to fund special projects/activities/enhancements for middle school teachers.
“Both of the sixth grade science teachers appreciate that Bill and Mary Sue have made these opportunities available to enhance our programs,” Macfarlane said. “It is a selfless act of giving.  With the restrictive financial environments that schools operate in these days, it is a blessing to have these dollars available to continue to better our curriculum.”
The General McLane Foundation was founded in 2005 as an organization exclusively for charitable educational purposes that will benefit the students of the General McLane School District. Each year, the Foundation hosts the Holiday Arts Fair and the Golf Outing – two major fundraising events that help fund scholarships to graduating seniors. For more information, visit our website.