Eleven Christina School District teachers have been awarded grants by FMC Health and Nutrition Plant and its Community Advisory Panel.

This is the 10th consecutive year the Newark Plant and its CAP have sponsored the educational mini-grant program for teachers in the district. The program enables teachers to apply for mini-grants ranging from $1-500 to help fund special classroom projects and activities.

“The FMC Newark Plant is honored to continue a strong tradition and partnership with the Christina School District to support funding for STEM activities and programs that enrich the development of their students,” Plant Manager Dan Pierce said in a news release. “It’s exciting to see the creativity that goes into the projects with real life application and learning.”

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This year’s mini-grant recipients include Alaine Grunow, a kindergarten teacher at Downes Elementary, who plans use her $499.97 grant to on education surrounding animal life cycles. She’ll allow her students to watch chicken eggs hatch and grow in the classroom.

Jenny Rovner, who teaches 4th and 5th graders at Wilson Elementary, will fund a unit on space exploration with her $376.31 mini-grant. She wants them to learn more about solar energy and habitats on the moon.

Timothy Werbrich, a 5th grade teacher at Leasure Elementary and repeat mini-grant recipient, plans to use his $275.55 grant to purchase materials for studies on wind energy and solar power as alternative energy sources.

“FMC’s continued support of STEM projects by teachers in the Christina School District is so appreciated,” Werbrich said in a news release.  “Many of these projects simply wouldn’t happen or the teachers would ultimately pay for them out of their own pockets.”

Other mini-grant recipients this year include Nancy Ventresca, a 4th and 5th grade teacher at Marshall Elementary, who will buy materials with her $412.85 grant so her students can construct solar cars and learn more about the power of the sun.

Connie Crumlish, who teaches K-2nd grade at Wilson Elementary, will use her $420.20 grant to purchase books and other materials to assist her students in learning about the life cycles of butterflies, frogs and plants.

Four teachers at McVey Elementary are grant recipients. Kim Blevins, Suzanne Cline, Marleigh Darcangelo and Jennifer Tschaepewill receive classroom mini-grants.

Blevins plans to use her $444.99 grant to buy materials for her kindergarten students’ education about simple machines and force.

Cline will use her $150 grant to help her 3rd-5th grade students learn about the principles of engineering and physical science.

Kindergarten teacher Darcangelo will use her $500 in funding to buy materials for independent science exploration through the purchase of light kits and science specimens for three Kindergarten classes.

Tschaepe will apply her $418.96 to develop a hands-on instant science activity library, meant to bridge reading and science together.

Tara Lynch, who teachers 4th and 5th graders at Gallaher Elementary will use her $463.53 grant to purchase Sphero robots and other materials to allow students to develop programming and coding skills.

Margaret McNutt, from Maclary Elementary, plans to use her $500 grants to buy materials to establish a nature study/citizen science program.

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Since 2006, mini-grants totaling more than $44,000 have been awarded to 16 elementary schools, four middle schools and three high schools in the Christina School District, as well Sarah Pyle Academy and the Delaware School for the Deaf.

As part of the FMC Health and Nutrition’s Newark plant’s Mini-Grant program, recipient teachers attend CAP meetings to report on the success of their classroom projects and activities.

The FMC Newark CAP was organized in 2002 and serves as a forum for ongoing dialogue between the facility and its Newark neighbors.  One of the CAP’s objectives is to further educational efforts in the science field in the Christina School District.

Contact Adam Duvernay at (302) 324-2785 or aduvernay@delawareonline.com.

FMC Health and Nutrition Plant grants

Total amount awarded: $4,462.36

Alaina Grunow/Downes: $499.97

Jenny Rovner/Wilson: $376.31

Tim Werbrich/Leasure: $275.55

Nancy Ventresca/Marshall: $412.85

Connie Crumlish/Wilson: $420.20

Kim Blevins/McVey: $444.99

Suzanne Cline/McVey: $150

Marleigh Darcangelo/McVey: $500

Jennifer Tschaepe/McVey: $418.96

Tara Lynch/Gallaher: $463.53

Margaret McNutt/Maclary: $500

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