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Mini-Grants Support Teaching Innovation

Twenty-four teachers won 20 New Haven Promising Practice Mini-Grants of up to $15,000 each to fund projects to advance teaching practices that have demonstrated successful outcomes for students.

The grants support an array of experiences, content areas, and age groups. Each project is aligned with culturally relevant pedagogy, project-based learning, student-centered learning, technology integration, or the arts. In each case, the teacher has tested out a theory, model, or curriculum and is using the funding to grow the successful practice. The funding for this first round of mini-grants, through the district’s larger Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) grant, totals $230K.

“It is an honor to recognize the hard work and creativity of the teachers whose projects earned awards,” said Ivelise Velazquez, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction, and assessment. “We are very excited to be able to fund work that will so benefit students.”

Among the projects that will be supported by mini-grants:

  • Middle school students taught by Eric Widmeyer at Brennan Rogers will explore math discourse supported by technology.
  • Students taught by Jennifer Drury at Hill Regional Career High School will create mini capstone projects.
  • Middle school students taught by William Wagoner at Family Academy of Multilingual Education and by Matthew Kelsey at Betsy Ross Arts Magnet School will produce news and documentaries.
  • At Wilbur Cross High School, students taught by Steven Taft will build actual computers from start to finish.
  • Students taught by Jonathan Berryman and Kevin James at Barnard STEM Magnet School and by Patrick Smith at Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School will play a wider array of musical instruments.
  • High school students taught by Edward Lauber at Metropolitan Business Academy will experiment with various forms of art in an afterschool program.
  • Students taught by Kimberly Stewart at Lincoln-Bassett School will use LEGOs in learning about technology and apps, while those taught by Tracy Langley-Cunningham at Hill Central Music Academy will use them for problem-solving and social and emotional learning.
  • Students taught by Michael Pavano at Riverside Academy will explore virtual reality applications supporting art, anatomy, languages, and public speaking.
  • Multilingual learners taught by Kaitlyn Goodwin at Hillhouse High School will develop their writing skills through trips.

A second round of mini-grants is planned for the spring.