Boone County Education Foundation
Mini-Grant Projects
2021 – 2023

The Boone County Education Foundation’s mission is to fund additional learning experiences and resources for students, teachers and administrators within the Boone County School District. Every year our Foundation raises enough money to provide mini-grants to help support our mission. The school and classroom projects highlighted below are a direct result of the funds raised from individuals and companies in Northern Kentucky just like you.  Click here for donation options!

Mann Elementary School – STEAM Purpose Play

Thornwilde Elementary School – Audio/Visual Production

Ms. Jordan Scheid of Thornwilde Elementary applied for funds through BCEF and was awarded during the 2021/2022 school year for the brand new Thornwilde Media Club!  Hear what Ms. Scheid had to say: 

In November 2021, Thornwilde Elementary School received the Boone County Education Foundation (BCEF) Innovation Mini-Grant. This grant, funded in the amount of $2,400, allowed us the opportunity to purchase cutting-edge audiovisual production equipment for a brand-new Thornwilde Media Club. The Media Club, open to students in fifth grade, provided 16 fifth grade students experiences in broadcast journalism, public speaking, creative and investigative writing, and more. Additionally, students learned about a multitude of film techniques, such as live action, claymation, and other stop-motion techniques. Using the newly purchased equipment, the Thornwilde Media Club was able to produce weekly student newscasts including school and community announcements, field trip and event reports, social emotional learning mini lessons, special interviews, and more. Specific highlights from our work this year include interviews with staff from the Cincinnati Bengals during the historic Super Bowl LVI run.

Furthermore, our students benefited exceptionally across the entire campus from the work of our Media Club, and the generosity of our Boone County Education Foundation. As we have worked to rebound from the impact of virtual instruction and the Coronavirus pandemic, our school staff has been making a diligent effort to increase the effectiveness of our social emotional learning. Our students have received instruction surrounding each of the CASEL 5 SEL Competencies, again as a direct result of the generosity of our BCEF.

With the support of the Boone County Education Foundation, we have made impactful work this year, and have developed continued plans for future growth.

Burlington Elementary School – Yoga Therapy

Ms. Combs from BES is using BCEF funds to become Trauma-Informed Yoga Certified and implement the “Getting To Know, Me” program. She is already using her knowledge to implement the strategies within the instruction that she provides to support her students in sensory/self-regulation skills. As of this date, these strategies have been utilized in preschool, SPED Social/Emotional Skills groups, and a 3rd grade class settings. These strategies are to further be utilized within classroom settings this school year as appropriate to work towards sensory/self-regulation skills for optimal states of learning. Once the certification is completed, this will also look to include a Yoga Club, at BES next school year!

Thornwilde Elementary School – Second Step Program

Ms. Stephanie Strausbaugh, School Counselor at Thornwilde Elementary applied for grant money through BCEF to run a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) program called Second Step. Read more about it directly from Ms. Strausbaugh:

Thank you for supporting the social, emotional, and academic needs of our students. As a School Counselor for approximately 670 Pre-school to 5th grade students at Thornwilde Elementary, I am always looking for resources to support the needs of our students. With COVID-19 affecting many of us, I have noticed a strong increase in anxiety and frustration among our students that occurred during remote learning and working our way back to full-time in-person learning. As a School Counselor I support students on a variety of levels (socially, emotionally, and academically) and the Second Step program that I received as part of the 2021-22 School Year Innovation Grant request has allowed me to be more intentional in delivering that support to all of my students. Second Step is a holistic approach to building supportive communities for children, at all ages. Second Step covers topics from emotional language (you have to name it to tame it) to calming strategies, building empathy and compassion, and conflict resolution. I used Second Step 15 years ago with great success and am proud to use the current version with my students.

Upon receiving Second Step, I started using it with small groups with the goal to implement it into whole classroom lessons for our Pre-school to 5th grade students. My small groups really enjoyed the lessons and realistic pictures of student showing the expected behaviors that we discuss for that group. Their emotional language increased, they learned and incorporated more calming strategies when they are struggling with big feelings, and their positive peer connections increased exponentially. I am looking forward to introducing Second Step to more students in the 2022-23 school year so all students can benefit.

Thank you for offering the opportunities for educators to bring innovation into our schools. As a School Counselor my budget is very minimal and the majority of the resources I use with students, families, and teachers are paid for out of my own pocket. Being able to request and receive an incredible resource such as Second Step will continue to benefit the social, emotional, and academic needs of our students now and in the future.

Thank you,
Stephanie Strausbaugh
School Counselor
Thornwilde Elementary School

North Point Elementary School – SEL Book Club

Ms. Kim Hamrick, School Counselor for NPES was interested in starting a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Book Club. So she applied for BCEF mini-grant funding and was awarded the funds necessary to start the club!  Hear directly from Ms. Hamrick on how it has impacted her school:

Thank you for providing funding for our social/emotional book clubs at NPES.

With the funding provided, 37 out of 40 fifth grade girls participated in a social/emotional book study with the school counselor. Students read the book The Girls by Amy Kloss. They were able to learn about relational aggression and were able to discuss how to handle this in their lives. They also participated in some activities to build self-esteem. On pre and post-test surveys, the girls showed slight increases on how they rated their friendships (increasing from 85 to 87%). The girls said that they enjoyed the following about their participation in book clubs:

      ● Having conversations & interacting with friends in the group
      ● Everyone getting a chance to read
      ● Reading out loud (voluntarily)
      ● Seeing friends
      ● Listening to the story while they ate

The fifth grade boys were also given a chance to participate in a book study led by the FRC Coordinator & School Psychologist. 27 out of 39 boys participated and read the book The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger. The boys discussed different elements of friendship (i.e. accepting people that are different from them, handling bullying). The boys also enjoyed getting together in a small group, especially after the separation caused by the pandemic. They also enjoyed talking in a small group with people they could trust.

All in all, the students enjoyed the book clubs and we plan to do them again next year.