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Unity Foundation of La Porte County has announced the latest grant winners from the Teacher Innovation Fund for Michigan City Area Schools.

This is the third time the grants have been awarded.  The permanent endowment fund was started by former Michigan City Mayor Chuck Oberlie and Michigan City Area Schools Superintendent Barbara Eason-Watkins, Ed. D.  It provides grants to teachers and professionals at Michigan City High School and the La Porte County Career and Technical Education – A.K. Smith Center.  Now those teachers have new and ongoing support for innovation and reaching students in new and exciting ways.

A total of $2,302.96 was awarded, and all applicants were fully funded. The recipients of the Teacher Innovation Fund grants will be recognized at a reception next spring, where they will share details about their inspiring projects. The winners include:


Ralph Gee, 3D Printing: $327. Printing materials for Project Lead the Way students will maximize their experience in designing with CAD software and utilizing the 3D printer to create their objects.This award is supported by Michigan City Chamber of Commerce in memory of AK Smith graduate and long time Horizon Bank employee, Joe Mellen.

Candy Feare, Put it on the Big Screen: $350. A projection unit will incorporate technology into students’ physical education experiences. Students will view and participate in various activities/workouts, learning the benefits of cardiovascular fitness and discovering activities that are easily accessible in their technological world.

Samantha Greenwood, History – A Visual Experience: $225.96.  A projection unit will enhance the visual learning experience of students. Differentiated instruction in the classroom will be enhanced with the use of PowerPoint presentations for teaching and allowing students to prepare their own visual class projects.

Dr. Rory A. Boone, Laser Line Algebra: $350. Additional K’Nex building materials (expanding on previous grant funding) will help implement a graphing game involving the construction of linear equations, bringing the abstract nature of algebraic graphing into a concrete experience.

Douglas Robertson & Bruce Stahl, Elmo Goes Reading: $700.  ELMO and a projector will be used as a teaching aide for the RAISE reading program. This program is designed to increase students’ reading comprehension and raise the level of classroom discussion through the process.

Jane Neulieb & Tabitha Hughes, Read Your Way to Healthcare: $350.  A class set of “Becoming Dr. Q: My Journey from Migrant Farm Worker to Brain Surgeon” will inspire students as they read this story of overcoming many of the same obstacles they face each day.


Applications for the 2014-15 Michigan City Area Schools Teacher Innovation Fund grants will be available online next fall.  District teachers and teaching professionals are encouraged to contact the Unity Foundation with questions about the process or what types of grant ideas they may submit, by calling 219-879-0327.

Contributions to the fund may be sent to Unity Foundation, PO Box 527, Michigan City IN  46361

Contact Sandy Gleim, 219-879-0327

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