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SPE Kindergarten Students got a TREAT when their teachers were awarded an Excellence in Education Grant

Sunrise Point Elementary has an amazing group of educators, and among them are seasoned Kindergarten Teachers Julie Woulfe and Cristi Clark.  In November 2017, they applied for a teacher grant from BVEF and were awarded $1378.94 to make their idea come to life! The initiative? Use project-based learning to support social and emotional development through dramatic play.

Q. When you applied for this BVEF grant, what were your objectives and how were these met?

 A. We wanted to address our social-emotional goals for our five and six year olds. The students guided each dramatic play set up, brainstormed needs of each, and helped put together the dramatic play area with the help of some 5th graders who read directions and helped guide the building. Then, the kids “played” during free choice time!

 Q What were the most significant achievements of your program?

A. Kindergarten students learn best through play and exploring and they continue to be incredibly motivated to create each dramatic play center.  So far, they have created an apple orchard, a bakery, an animal hospital, an ice cream shop, a lemonade stand, and we ended the year with an aquarium.  Our kids researched different careers, props, goods and services, they needed for each center.  Then, they created many of the materials used throughout the month, and they practiced their reading, math and writing skills through play.  The students also worked on taking turns, listening to others, and many other standards in our social-emotional curriculum.

Q Describe the impact these play centers made on student learning.

A. Our students are motivated to learn each day and LOVE this area in the room.  They call this their free play time, but we know we’re sneaking in learning! We have the best group of students this year- they support one another and they are patient and kind.  We believe a large part of that is because of the focus on their social-emotional development and, thanks to the grant from BVEF, the dramatic play area was a large part of that.

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Stay tuned for more grants stories all summer long.