For more than 25 years, Clover Leaders for Educational Advancement Foundation, Inc. (Clover LEAF) has provided grant funding to teachers in the Clover School District to support innovative classroom projects and programs. This year, 14 grants totaling $12,354.71 have been selected to receive funding.

Each spring, Clover LEAF opens a competitive application period. This year shattered records in both the number of applicants and in the total amount of funding requested. There were 56 grants submitted requesting $44,446.25. For perspective, the total number of applications from 2013 and 2014 combined was 55.

“It is a joy each year to read the applications and peer into your classrooms and the hopes and dreams you have for your students,” said Ginger Bowman, Clover LEAF president. “Many times the grant applicants extend learning opportunities to their students that would otherwise not be possible.”

“Their innovation and desire to provide unique learning experiences for their students is very much appreciated and really hits home to the longstanding history and support provided by Clover LEAF.”

The following grants will be funded this year:

Be Epic in Job Seeking by Renee Monteith and Beth van Etten of Clover High School received $981.99. This project aims engage students in Career and Technology Education courses to design and market an employment booth with the intention to help students learn how to search for careers, conduct themselves for interviews, practice interview etiquette and more.

Life on the Farm by Kelsey Anderson of Clover High School received $1,000. This project will fund updates, renovations and additions to the on campus farm. Students in the agriculture program breed meat goats and part of the renovation will create separate areas for goats of different ages.

Culinary Art Goes Pro! by Bou Baker of Clover High School received $1,047.26. Students in the high school culinary arts program will directly benefit from recorded cooking demonstrations filmed in the school’s cooking lab by Chef Bou. In time, students will be able to record their own demonstrations for broadcast on the televisions in the cafeteria.

Read. Share. Swap. by Carmen Boheler of Clover Middle School received $1,000. As part of this grant, CMS students will receive a high-interest, good quality book of their choice to take home for the summer. Boheler understands the importance of summer reading and its direct impact on student achievement. Providing books to students will help promote summer reading.

Motivating Reluctant Writers and Increasing Communication with Wireless Keyboards by Susan Hopper of Clover Middle School received $556.19. Hopper’s students will receive Bluetooth keyboards that will enhance daily writing activities including reader response prompts, journals and essays. The keyboards will also be used by the school’s journalism club.

Steel Making a Difference by Dan Lenard and Anne Lewis of Clover Middle School received $900. Band students at CMS will gain more insight and learn more in their study of performance music from other cultures through the addition of a Calypso steel drum. This will add to a collection of African Djembes and will integrate well into instrumentation already available to the Clover Percussion Ensemble.

Excite, Enrich, Energize with Math Olympiads by Jessica Allred and Rachel Hester of Crowders Creek Elementary School received $431.98. Fourth and fifth grade students will be able to participate in this internationally known competitive program that stimulates an enthusiasm and love for mathematics. Students will explore mathematics topics, concepts and strategies.

Boosting Literacy with Clover’s Little Free Libraries by Crowders Creek’s Rebecca Crute received $1,000. Through this grant, three Little Free Libraries will be placed in the community where adults and children will be able to take any book from the box and leave another in its place. Through this initiative, Crute aims to promote literacy and a love for reading as well as create a sense of community as books are shared with neighbors and friends.

Raiders of the Lost Trunks by Erin Few, Alicia Gross, and Lisa Killian, all of Crowders Creek, received $995.97. Students will use inquiry skills to explore artifacts, primary and secondary documents and foods from three periods in history.

Signing Time by Jean Weisner of Griggs Road Elementary School received $1,000. Students at Griggs Road will have the opportunity to learn how to communicate using sign language. Also, the students in Weisner’s multi-grade special education class will broaden their sign language signs and learn to communicate more effectively through the use of the Signing Time DVD-series.

Weather Station by Samantha McCarter and Julie DeCuir of Griggs Road received $1,000. The pair of teachers will use the grant to setup an outdoor weather station that can be used by second and fourth graders to observe, record and track weather.

For the Love of Reading by Kelly Ussery of Kinard Elementary School received $993.57. Aiming to help struggling readers, listening libraries will be created for students in grades 3-5. The books offered would be higher reading levels than the students’ current independent reading levels, providing them with the opportunity to build vocabulary while being exposed to books they would not read on their own.

Kids in Balance by Nadine Cash of Kinard Elementary received $999.67. Students at Kinard will benefit from this grant by learning the importance of balance and flexibility through the introduction of yoga in physical education classes. Cash says she’ll offer an afterschool yoga program that would further provide age-appropriate yoga instruction.

Technology Portfolio by Michelle Hubbard, also from Kinard, received $448.08. All fifth grade students at Kinard will have access to a wireless printer on which they can print their technology portfolios. Having a hard copy of their portfolio will allow students to take pride in their work and enable them to share their masterpieces with friends, family, and other teachers.