When the Entire School Wants to Visit Your Classroom
By Aly Quiroz-Perez (Program Associate) and Anita Brown (Program Officer)
“Over the past ten years you and the Thomas J. Long Foundation have supported all my proposals. At the beginning, my proposals were around manipulatives, books, and educational games. As technology increased, you have supported my students with touchscreen computers, tablets, software and a laser printer with ink refills. Thank you so very much for all that you have done for my students.” –Glenda Escanellas, Special Education Teacher at Margaret Collins Elementary
Since 2007, special education teacher Glenda Escanellas has applied for and received a Special Education Resource Grant from PVF to supply her classroom of severely disabled 4th-6th grade students with materials necessary for their learning and development.
At Glenda’s invitation, PVF Program Associate Aly Quiroz-Perez and Program Officer Anita Brown visited Margaret Collins Elementary to see Glenda’s classroom. Glenda enthusiastically showed all the different learning materials PVF’s funding allowed her to purchase for her students throughout the years, from classroom books, games, MagnaTiles, and Hooked on Phonics curriculum to touchscreen computers, Nooks, tablets, and a printer. Because of all these materials, “the entire school wants to come to my classroom,” joked Glenda.
This year, we provided funding for decorations and visual aids to make the classroom more welcoming, and an aquaponics system for her students to engage in learning science and nature concepts.
Glenda said, “Students learned to maintain a fish tank ecosystem. They also learned about the aquaponics concept, and they grew purple basil; next school year we will be growing lettuce with the system. All of the students at our school have come to observe the aquaponics system, and as a result, a family from our school donated a complete turtle system with two mature turtles.”
When asked what she would like donors to know, she said that the small grants are the best way to supplement her classroom in a creative way. “Normally my students wouldn’t be exposed to new things. This makes a big difference.”
PVF’s Special Education Resource Grant program is made possible with funding from Thomas J. Long Foundation.