MS. NEUMEYER and her kindergartners were excited to try out their classroom’s new STEM-based building supplies on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at Durand’s Bertha Neal Elementary. Thanks to a grant from the Durand Educational Foundation, Ms. Neumeyer was able to purchase pipe-building sets, LEGO-style blocks, Bristle Blocks, magnetic tiles and a variety of other hands-on educational tools, which will be incorporated into the class’s Brain Bins. The students use the Brain Bins as part of their daily morning work, during breaks between lessons and during indoor recess.
The Durand Educational Foundation previously awarded grants to fellow Bertha Neal teachers Mrs. Church and Mrs. Lorenz for the purchase of Brain Bin materials, as well.
“The Durand Educational Foundation does an amazing job supporting the school district,” explained Mrs. Neumeyer. “All of our [school] buildings have received grants, which cover things like field trips, classroom supplies and educational tools; things that really enhance the educational experience for our students.”
The new Brain Bin toys engage the students in creative, complex tasks that allow the youngsters to feel successful at the start of their school day. Students also learn social skills such as playing with others and sharing.
The Durand Educational Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that was founded in 2013. The foundation offers mini grants to staff and volunteers who desire funding for unique educational experiences for Durand students. Grant applications are reviewed monthly by the foundation’s board of directors, which is chaired by founder Jan Harper.
Ms. Neumeyer (far left) and Bertha Neal Principal Robert Cawson (right) teamed up to pass out the new toys on Tuesday, and the students were able to rein in their excitement long enough to pause for a photo.
(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)