Lawrence Township School Foundation announces ‘Impact Grants’


The Lawrence Township School Foundation has awarded $20,000 Creative Impact Grants for the 2023-24 school year, funding projects proposed by educators, school personnel or parents within the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township.

The foundation also awarded its annual Susan Jordan Scholarship to Teresa James of Lawrence Central High School. According to the foundation, the scholarship will help James provide yoga as a resource to all Lawrence Central students.

“I would like to provide students with behavioral challenges some ‘breathing space’ by facilitating mini yoga sessions during their study halls,” James stated in her proposal. “My focus would be helping them learn to regulate themselves, so when they feel triggered by a situation, they have tools to cope. I would also like to start an after-school Yoga Club, and work with our student athletes to incorporate yoga into their practices. There are so many benefits of yoga, including improved strength, flexibility and focus.”

The scholarship is funded by the Susan Jordan Legacy Fund.

As part of the Creative Impact Grant program, the Frieden Family Legacy Grant was awarded to Greg Johnson of Lawrence North High School. The grant will go toward the purchase of new sound equipment and a portable truss system for the Lawrence North Performing Arts Department, according to the foundation.

“With these tools, all performing arts students will gain the skills necessary for design and execution of technical theater motions, including the use of lighting cues, sound boards, and other technical practices,” according to a social-media post from the foundation.

Other Creative Impact grant recipients and their projects are:

  • Mary Watts of ELC Mary Castle for a School Wide Kindness Initiative. This grant will encourage students to show kindness throughout the school day by implementing an “I am kind!” reward system and a “Wall of Kindness” to recognize students on a weekly basis.
  • Victoria Novilla of ELC Mary Castle, whose grant will provide students and teachers access to Math Pentathlon, a K-7 program of interactive problem-solving games to motivate students to enjoy and spend more time learning math.
  • Melissa Workman of ELC Brook Park, who will create a “Sensory for ALL” program to help young students build upon their senses, improving cognitive and language skills, as well as fine motor and social development.
  • Nicola Liss of Skiles Test Elementary School, whose “Visualizing Our Way to Comprehension” grant will serve to fill a gap by providing students with a variety of new reading comprehension resources.
  • Dave Shafer of Skiles Test Elementary, who received a grant for “STEM-in-ACTION: Geocaching” This grant will allow students to design and create geocache containers with information inside, such as codewords, math, vocab and trivia for other students to find and solve.
  • Jenna Funk of Crestview Elementary School, whose grant will fund a communication board on the Crestview playground consisting of pictures, symbols, and core vocab words in both English and Spanish.
  • Amanda Long of Crestview Elementary School, whose grant will purchase 16 new guitars for the music department to complete their classroom set.
  • Jill Zapf of Harrison Hill Elementary School, whose grant will provide students with the resources to prepare and cook a new dish each week based on different themes.
  • Timothy Henderson of Lawrence North, whose “Lawrence Township Winter Percussion” grant will serve Lawrence Central and Lawrence North students. It will cover the cost of their performance tarp and registration for performances.
  • Christina Noland of Lawrence North High School for her “Treehouse Project” grant, which will provide high schoolers with a safe and aesthetically quiet space to experience self-awareness, quietness, collaboration and solitude.
  • John Dolon of ELC Amy Beverland, whose grant will bring hand puppets and a premade theater into his kindergarten classroom for students to express themselves creatively and emotionally.
  • Natalie Watts of Lawrence Central High School, whose “Capturing the Cub Reporter” grant will provide the student-run newspaper with cameras.
  • Wendy Golden of Lawrence Central High School, whose “Creating Pottery From A New Point of View” grant will provide students with a new wedging table for pottery.
  • Deena Fogle of Lawrence Central High School whose grant will purchase two large maps — one of the United States and one of Indiana. Seniors will have the opportunity to place stickers on the maps for college or university acceptances.
  • Allison Weghorst of McKenzie Center for Innovation & Technology, whose grant will provide Sensory Exploration Kits to teachers and therapists working with Life Skills students in all MSD of Lawrence Township elementary and middle schools.
  • Rachel Sams of Belzer Middle School, whose Visual Examples for ALL grant will purchase a document camera for English to allow students to see in real time what their work can look like and show other students what their examples are.
  • Katie Thorn, at the Lawrence Education and Community Center, whose grant will fund the purchase of yoga mats for the MSD of Lawrence Township Transportation Fitness class to benefit all MSDLT employees.