Paint Branch Educational Foundation


Paint Branch High School Educational Foundation Awards Grants Totaling $2250.00 Benefitting Paint Branch Staff and Students in 2012-2013

The Board of Directors of the Paint Branch High School Educational Foundation is pleased to announce the awarding of five mini-grants to Paint Branch High School staff. The five winning mini-grants will benefit a variety of programs and classes at the school:

1. Grant: Cultivating Building Skills – Karen Sondak, Horticulture Teacher and Walter Hardy, Engineering Teacher
With the new school there is no storage for either soil or tools for the Horticulture class so a garden tool shed is an essential item. A main focus of the Horticulture class will be to design and plant target areas around the school in the future with the intention of applying for Green School Certification. There needs to be a place to store tools so this type of work can be done.

The Engineering students will work with the Horticulture students to design and build a garden shed that will contribute to the betterment of the school. The $500.00 will be used for the materials needed in the building of the shed.

2. Grant: 9th Grade Homework Center – Sam Silsbee, Social Studies Teacher, Elizabeth Maione, French Teacher, Connie Yeh, Science Teacher, Samantha Millman, English Teacher and Zaccary Mills, Science Teacher
The 9th Grade Homework Center’s mission is to ensure that freshman start out their high school career academically eligible. The transition from middle school to high school can be rough, and a big part of that is extra homework. The homework center provides students with a safe place to work on homework and receive individualized tutoring, as well as tips on organization, study skills, and time management.

The $500.00 mini-grant will provide healthy snacks for students who attend the Homework Center. The snacks provide them with energy, which they need at the end of a long day and help them focus on their studies. They also provide an incentive for students to attend the Homework Center and motivate students to stay after school and receive the help they need.

3. Grant: Paint Branch Radio Imaging – Thomas (Tom) De Groff, Radio Teacher
Paint Branch Radio is an integral part of the school’s Academy of Science and Media Signature. This hands-on program prepares students for internships and paid work in the field of radio communications. As such, it serves as a training ground for interested students to get as close an approximation to professional skills and work environments as we can provide. Radio imaging (including jingles, sweeps, bumpers, stingers, and promos) are an integral part of that environment. Those are the pieces that identify the signature sound of every commercial radio station such as “the glass-enclosed nerve center” opening of each hour of programming on WTOP.

At present, the radio station has no professional radio imaging/identification. Paint Branch Radio wants students to have as much hands-on, professional experience as possible. Also, the professional imagining this $500.00 grant provides will lay the groundwork for student produced radio imaging products in the future and replicate the professional environment of commercial radio stations.

4. Grant: Mainstream – Publishing of color pages – Brian Woodward, Journalism Teacher
As printing costs – especially for color pages – continue to rise, the newspaper consistently struggles to keep up with these fees. Add in the expectations of the reading public for color print in their newspapers, and the issue becomes a critical concern for the journalism program. In the tough economy, the newspaper’s ad sales have lagged behind other years and some of the other schools in the county due to fewer businesses who are willing to invest and advertise. This $500.00 grant will provide a partial make-up of the low ad revenue and continue to support the high quality publication that the Paint Branch community expects.

5. Grant: Creative Motion – Joanna Yoder, Photography Teacher
This $250.00 mini-grant will provide tripods to students in photography and digital art classes who are working with digital SLR cameras. In order to practice and utilize all of the features of these cameras, students need to have access to tripods to stabilize their cameras and to avoid “camera shake”. They currently have two tripods to be shared among 165 students.

With access to tripods, students will be able to use the shutter speed function on their cameras. This will allow them to experiment creatively with motion photography and video, it is imperative that the camera be completely stable. This grant will enable the assignment of projects where students can explore the topic of motion. With the grant money she will be able to purchase 7 new tripods. The tripods will be available for all students to check out with their cameras and to use for assignments.