Grant helps students with medical restrictions or with special needs

Posted on August 4, 2015, in Organizations

Students with medical restrictions or with special needs will have a new opportunity for fitness next year at James W. Parker Middle School.

Thanks to the William E. and Mary S. Smith Middle School Innovative Education Program, James W. Parker Middle School Health and Physical Education teachers Bob Santos and Heather Karns will be using an Xbox kinect. This will be used for adaptive PE classes when students with medical injuries cannot participate in the regularly scheduled class, in addition to being part of a fitness-based PE class.

“This generation enjoys technology dealing with fitness. Now we will be able to use this program to help improve students cardiovascular health,” Karns said.

Karns and Santos will use the grant to purchase the Xbox 360 4G Kinect with fitness, dance and sport-related games.

The grant stems from former James W. Parker Middle School math teacher Bill Smith and his wife, Mary. These classroom grants provide middle school teachers with up to $500 for special projects/activities/enhancements.

“Grants give us the ability to purchase equipment that we normally couldn’t purchase with our yearly budget that will enhance our curricular activities,” Karns said.

The William E. and Mary S. Smith Middle School Innovative Education Program is run through the General McLane Foundation, which 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 events that help fund scholarships to graduating seniors.

Please consider donating to the General McLane Foundation on Erie Gives Day, which is August 11, 2015. All donations received through will receive a prorated match from the Erie Community Foundation. Matches will receive an additional match from the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority (ECGRA) as part of the School District Endowment Challenge.

To learn more about the General McLane Foundation, visit