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PVEF Grant Recipient Testimonials

Dewey Days Project Grant

The Education Foundation grant for the "Dewey Days Project" provided funding to create a fun and educational outreach program for students entering Kindergarten to students starting third grade. We ran three sessions during the summer (June 21st, July 19th, and Aug. 9th). During each of the sessions participants were provided with math learning games, books, a storytime and the opportunity to play games and do an activity. Teachers volunteered their time to meet with parents and work with the students. The program was available to 25 students per grade level, priority was given to students that were invited to the summer academy or recommended by teachers. In addition to the support of the PVEF we received a grant from the PVE PTO to cover additional costs. We were supported by the Western Pocono Women's Club. They provided snacks to families on each of the Dewey Days. St. Luke's Network provided bike helmets and first aid kits to all children who attended the second or third session. We were also able to have service/therapy dogs attend one of the sessions, to help students learn about service dogs and animal safety tips. Our August date ended with all students in attendance leaving with new backpacks filled with school supplies provided by the HOG (Harley Owners Group) organization. Group members also provided a bike safety course for students. All sessions were well attended and feedback from parents and community members was positive. We will be continuing the program next summer and expanding to include a session in April for incoming kindergarteners. Thanks to your support for the pilot program we will now be funded through the district as part of a family involvement and community outreach program.
Ann Geffkin – Gordon | PV Elementary School

Middle School Drama Production Grant -2023

On November 10, 11, and 12, 2023, the Pleasant Valley Drama Club performed Monstermania! Canceled on Spooky Island. The play was written by Pleasant Valley students and staff. Twenty-four students attended eleven sessions during August 2023 to write the play script. Each student received a binder with the completed script as a memento of their hard work. The writing stipends and ancillary writing materials were funded with a grant from the Pleasant Valley Education Foundation. The show was a great success and provided over 60 middle schoolers the opportunity to be a part of an original drama production. Although the original proposal called for a stipend for an outside mentor to assist us with set design, we were unable to maintain contact with our resource and did not use that part of the grant.
Dr. Alexandria Gibb | PV Middle School

PVE Library Grant

The PVE library received tonie boxes with characters, books and headphones to be used in the classrooms and the library. These are going over very well. We have had teachers from all grades, although mainly kindergarten, check these out to use them in the classroom. I have heard positive feedback from both students and teachers. One wonderful thing that came out of this was I had multiple parents tell me they got a tonie box for their child for Christmas because they loved it so much. Not only do the teachers use it in their classroom, but I also have one set up as a center in the library and it is always one of the first students go to. We are currently in the process of having some teachers record themselves reading a story on a tonie character and then the students will be able to hear their past teachers reading them a story! We also received Novel Effect stickers. These stickers go on the spine of the book to let everyone know it is on Novel Effects (an app that provides sound effects when reading picture books). This is a slow process getting them on all the books, but it has been very helpful in quickly identifying if the book is on Novel Effects. I’ve seen teachers look for the sticker when choosing books to read aloud to their class and they have commented on how helpful the stickers are. So all around, very positive feedback on everything we’ve received from the grant.
Candice Bustos | PV Elementary School

Middle School Drama Production Grant -2022

We, Dr. Alexandria Gibb and Amanda Altemose, decided to apply for the Pleasant Valley Educational Foundation Grant because we knew that we wanted to write the Middle School play with our students. In the past, when we directed purchased scripts, we found that students wanted to add their own voices to the productions. We also found that many of the scripts that we were interested in did not have enough parts for all of the students that were coming out for drama (usually 60+ students!). During our grant funded writing camp in the summer of 2022, we wrote Spaced Out! Navigating NASA Prep with 17 students. The grant enabled us to consult with a middle and high school playwright to demonstrate to students how to build connections within the drama community. Don Zolidis, one of the playwrights whose shows we directed before we started writing our own, helped our students understand the importance of characterization and gave us some finer points on scriptwriting. The PVEF grant has allowed Pleasant Valley students, of all academic levels, to express themselves, create new worlds, and to develop reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. We even had students write an original song and some are working on the score for the upcoming production. More importantly, our students have learned to collaborate and build a community. We are so grateful to have had the opportunity, afforded by this grant, and the support of the PVEF board and our administration, to demonstrate the excellence of the students in this district.
Dr. Alexandra Gibb and Amanda Altemose | PV Middle School


Sound Walls to Support Classroom Instruction

The grant, Sound Walls to Support Classroom Instruction, which my colleagues and I were awarded through The Pleasant Valley Educational Foundation, will help strengthen our students’ foundational phonological awareness and phonics skills. As “reading science” research outlines, these foundational skills are pivotal to students’ success in reading and writing. This grant allowed PVE’s seventeen teachers to implement a Sound Wall in each of their classrooms which in turn will support students by focusing on the articulation of sounds (phonemes) and the various letter/letter patterns(graphemes) that represent the sounds in words. Students’ ability to make these connections between phonemes and graphemes are essential to learning how to decode and encode. Classroom sound wall instruction will benefit students by laying the foundation for reading and writing success. This year alone, 199 kindergarteners, 63 first graders and 45 second graders, will benefit from the sound wall and all of the supplies purchased will further benefit students for years to come. Purchasing the sound wall is an investment for the present as well as the future.
Valerie Rudawski | PV Elementary School