Florida DKG Educational Foundation
2021 Professional Development Award Recipient
Winter Springs Elementary School
Project: “Space Academy for Educators”
June 3 – June 7, 2021
As a STEAM Coach, Missy Jones is charged with finding and implementing new hands-on science, technology, and engineering activities to present to teachers and students at Winter Springs Elementary. Jones has created a special Space Lab in an empty classroom to engage students in hands-on Space Science Lessons in a “space” atmosphere. By attending the Space Academy for Educators, Jones will experience lessons and activities that can be conducted with the 600 K-5 students in the “Space” Lab at her school. Her goal is to foster an interest in Space Science and have a better understanding of the Space Science Standards. Jones plans to provide training to the staff at her school site. She is also willing to share her experience through Professional Development sessions.
2021 Grant Recipients
Project: Discovering Endorphins (Sports Konnected to Literacy and STEAM)
Cyd Heyliger-Browne plans to purchase and mail science kits to 30 elementary age students so that they may participate in an online standards-based integrated curriculum that includes physical/mental fitness, literacy, science, technology, education, art, and mathematics activities. The one (1) hour online lessons will be provided through the Miami Dade County Public Library System Zoom portal once a month. The organization Sports Konnect will provide the content for the lessons. Content includes an introduction to a book of the month, a mental health activity, a S.T.E.A.M. video-quiz-experiment and physical fitness activity. The program provides students with an outlet for desired activities along with a socialization component and creates a safe space for students to learn the educational basics while having fun. The project is a collaborative effort between the Sports Konnect (a 501(c)3) and the Miami Dade County Public Library system.
Middle School Science
Project: Supporting STEM Learning with iPad Technology
Paula Nelson-Shokar, a middle school teacher recognizes that science teaching and learning would benefit from teacher-led science field studies. Although her online class is unable to participate in actual field trips to conduct data collection, Nelson-Shokar would like to purchase an iPad to be used in conjunction with a Hot Spot to make it possible to conduct science field studies virtually to engage her students. The iPad will allow her to use Zoom technology with each class to collect the necessary data while she is in the field. She can then upload and transfer data to students for them to immediately analyze. Nelson-Shokar will be able to communicate with her students out in the field while the iPad camera allows students to see, in real time, what is being collected and analyzed. Students will be able to extend their learning beyond the walls of the classroom/home and be engaged in real-world problems through collaboration.
Jacksonville Beach, FL
Project: Help Me to Be Me
Kathleen Poe will be working through PossAbilities Plus, an educational center in Atlantic Beach, Florida that addresses the needs of young adults (age 14 and up) with Autism, Down Syndrome, and other such social and intellectual diversities. One of the classes offered is Time Management and Interpersonal Communications. The time management class is designed to help these young adults prioritize their time; set goals; plan a to-do list and schedule using personal calendars and planners. Poe will be purchasing items and supplies for students that will help them better understand their strengths and weaknesses when communicating with peers as they work through scenarios where they must read clocks, learn to set a time; plan with a time deadline; and plan for doing multiple tasks within a specified time frame.
Roulhac Middle School
Project: “Check It Out”
Melissa Whitson is a middle school language arts teacher at Roulhac Middle School who has discovered that her students are becoming more disinterested in extra-curricular reading each year. Whitson plans to purchase a list of current and popular books to add to her classroom so that her students will make stronger connections to the titles in the class library. Whitson feels that there is a vital need for expanding reading for all of her students. She knows that reading helps improve student vocabulary, communication, grammar and writing skills. The project will impact over 100 - 7th and 8th grade students.
2020 Professional Development Award and
Educational Grant Recipients
Educational Grant Recipients
Professional Development Award
2019 Professional Development Award Recipients
5th Grade Science
Associate Professor at FSU Schools
Space Academy for Educators
Space Academy for Educators
Nancy attended the Space Academy for Educators at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama in July of 2019. The week-long camp was packed with simulated space missions. Nancy is thankful to the Florida DKG Educational Foundation for assisting in funding her dream of attending Space Camp! Entering her 14th year of teaching, Nancy is refreshed, rejuvenated and inspired by the experience, and eager to share her excitement with a new class of 5th graders!
The Space Academy for Educators is a week-long program sponsored by the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. The program submerges educators into authentic astronaut training simulations and trains educators to facilitate activities that have been developed for classroom use.
Nancy is a passionate science educator who plans to utilize the training to assist her in teaching space science to the 96 fifth graders she teaches each year. She is working towards starting a STEM club at her school. The training will improve her ability to provide enrichment for those students who explore the STEM subjects.
Nancy strives to inspire, engage and build curiosity in her students, open their minds to science and build enthusiasm towards space exploration. This experience will inspire and recharge her so the students get the best of her abilities.
Speech Language Pathologist
Happy Teacher Revolution Facilitator Training (online)
Happy Teacher Facilitator Training
July-Sept 2019 (Online Course)
Sarah took the “Happy Teacher Revolution” online training course. This three-month long course allows Sarah to facilitate meetings that will focus on the mental health and wellness of teachers at her school site. Sarah interviewed teachers at her school so she can design meetings to fit their specific needs. She is working on a teacher lounge make-over to provide a welcoming meeting space. Sarah is excited that she will establish the first “Happy Teacher” group in the state of Florida!
Participants in the Happy Teacher Revolution Facilitator online course are trained in the basics of starting a support group to increase the mental health and wellness of the teachers at their school. The training sessions continue for three months. Participants learn from other facilitators and then tailor to the need of their site situation.
Sarah plans to utilize this training to enhance her knowledge and skills in the area of mental health and to help her establish a healthy work/life balance. She can then better assist colleagues in providing trauma care for their students and provide the best therapy and services to her 50 – 80 students.
Sarah believes good teachers are thermostats, not thermometers, and set the tone through modeling behavior for students. This training may potentially impact the school climate at large.
2018 Professional Development Award Recipient
Lee County School District
North Fort Myers, Florida
Lee County School District
North Fort Myers, Florida
International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference Chicago, Illinois
By attending the International Society for Technology in Education Conference, Carol Hedrick enhanced her skills and her knowledge of teaching with technology so that she can properly educate her students using the products and innovation that comes with digital learning.
2017 Professional Development Award Recipients
Dr. Stephanie Lutton Carey
Assistant Research Professor, Engineering
University of South Florida
Hillsborough County, Florida
International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) 16th World Congress; International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics
Cape Town, South Africa
May of 2017
Dr. Stephanie Carey, an Assistant Research Professor, Engineering, at the University of South Florida, attended the “International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) World Congress”, an event held in Cape Town, South Africa. This event allowed for professionals from around the globe to learn about the latest scientific research, innovative technologies and clinical advances to help people who use a prosthesis, orthosis, mobility or assistive devices. By attending this event, Stephanie hopes to gain a better understanding of the international perspective concerning prosthetics and assistive technologies. During the ISPO World Congress, Stephanie gave two (2) presentations on the research projects that she has advised which targeted improving prosthetic design and training. Her research projects are part of the “Center for Assistive, Rehabilitation & Robotics Technologies” (CARRT) at the University of South Florida. CARRT employs between 15-20 students from the undergraduate and graduate level each year. These students, as well as the 40-50 students that enroll in the Rehabilitation Engineering course at USF each fall, will benefit from Stephanie’s experiences at the ISPO World Congress. Stephanie plans to add a global perspective to her course in the fall of 2017 by adding a project for the students to design assistive technologies that will help those with disabilities in developing countries.
Stephanie conducted a Skype web-based exchange between the students at local school in Cape Town, South Africa and students at Corbett Prep in Tampa where she is the coach of the FIRST Lego Robotics League team and a Board of Trustees member. Stephanie plans to present the information she learned at the event by writing a Critically Acclaimed Topic (CAT) that will be presented on the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP) website. (www.oandp.org)
Cara Dunford Holt
Cara Dunford Holt, a reading coach, at Yankeetown Pre K-8 school in Levy County, Florida will attend a hands-on writing workshop titled “Kagan Cooperative Learning - The Writing Process”, which will be held in Orlando, Florida. The workshop will demonstrate ways to use the interactive Kagan Structures to enhance each stage of the writing process. Cara plans to use the strategies she learns from this workshop to make writing engaging for the students and teachers at her school site. Statistics have proven that pre-writing experiences boost motivation to write, and positive peer response groups motivate students to edit and re-write. A variety of presentation structures turns publishing a written work into a non-threatening opportunity to share. Cara will have an opportunity to learn Kagan’s foolproof techniques that successfully integrate writing across the curriculum. Students experience the power of simple peer feedback techniques to motivate and re-energize their writing. This experiential writing workshop will give Cara dozens of strategies to address the eight stages of the writing process that will change the student perspective of writing into an opportunity instead of an assignment. She plans to conduct a professional development session for her colleagues at Yankeetown School during the back to school week in the fall of 2017.
By using a cooperative learning structure and engaging ways to learn the writing process, Cara strongly believes that she can give her teachers the tools for success that will positively impact the 280 students at her school. She also plans to share what she has learned at the Levy County District Reading Coaches meeting so that other Reading Coaches in her district can share the writing process techniques with their schools. If enough interest is generated, then Cara will present a district professional development session for teachers. Cara also looks forward to sharing what she has learned from the training with her Alpha Rho sisters at her local Delta Kappa Gamma chapter meeting.
Professional development is defined as a growth-promoting learning process that empowers employed educators to further excellence in education.
Thank you for your interest in the Florida DKG Educational Foundation Professional Development Award and Educational Grant.
Last Update: April 2021
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