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PWEA Members win VEA Mini-Grants

Congratulations to two PWEA Members who won VEA Mini-Grants: Laura Provencio and Stephanie Ryan


Laura Provencio, a librarian at Montclair ES, received a grant of $341 for her proposal of "Colonial Crafts".  Students in 4th grade will be participating in a Colonial Crafts day in conjunction with their VA Studies unit on Colonial Virginia.  "Our crafts will be making hand dipped candles, tin punch windscreens, corn husk dolls with felt clothing, and silhouettes."


Stephanie Ryan, a 5th grade teacher at Coles ES, received a grant of $425 for her proposal of "Readers are Leaders."   Stephanie shared the following with us:

"I am very honored to get this grant and the opportunity it is allowing to promote conversation about diversity and tolerance through literature. As educators, we know that in order to get students reading, we have to put GOOD literature in their hands. I feel it is also important to use these books to have a discussion about what makes us unique and how to encourage empathy and tolerance. 

I was inspired after attending a Social Justice Conference at Teachers College in New York and hearing Christopher Paul Curtis speak about his life and his message to teachers. The breakout sessions revolved around how to promote equality and tolerance in schools. 

 My grant was written to receive a class set of books, "The Watson's go to Birmingham" for my fifth grade students students to read along with as a literature study. This is used as a listen to reading station, we write about the plot, discuss the historical impact and current events that connect. It contains rich vocabulary, vivid details and emotional events. In the Spring, we will be watching the play and so students can see the story come to life. We will continue to conversation about the differences between the play and the book along with their reactions. 

I feel grateful that I've had people inspire me to continue this conversation of diversity, empathy and tolerance in my classroom and with our students who will grow from this experience."