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Stocker Foundation gives $1.35M to Elyria Schools for STEAM program

  • STOCKER-DONATION-1-jpg

    Patty O'Brien, left, Director of the Stocker Foundation, presents Brian Kokai, Elyria Schools information technology director, Natalie Matthews, Elyria Schools academic services director and Superintendent Ann Schloss, with a check at the Elyria School Board meeting July 17.

    STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE

  • STOCKER-DONATION-2-jpg

    From left, Brian Kokai, Elyria Schools information technology director, Natalie Matthews, Elyria Schools academic services director, and Superintendent Ann Schloss show a check from the Stocker Foundation at the Elyria School Board meeting July 17.

    STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE

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ELYRIA — Elyria Schools will receive $1.35 million over the next three years for its STEAM program across the district.

The Stocker Foundation presented a check at Wednesday’s school board meeting.

The STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) program is for preschool K through eighth grade. Superintendent Ann Schloss said many of the STEAM or STEM programs in schools are for specific groups and used for electives.

“We’re setting it up so that all students get a taste of it to see if this is something really that they want to do,” Schloss said. “Or are these skills that are being taught in STEAM classes skills that will help them do well in other areas, which we know is very true.”

Schloss said the goal by the end of the grant is to have eight to 10 STEAM teachers in the district.

With the funding, Elyria Schools will partner with Project Lead the Way, a nonprofit that provides curriculum. In the first year of the grant, every sixth-grader will be required to take a design modeling class.

In year two, there will be a computer science course for eighth-graders.

Schloss said the district based the grant on a manifesto an Elyria graduate wrote for it. The superintendent said they want to help students “find their niche.”

“I feel that is our job. To give them the skills and provide opportunities for the skills that will help them be successful citizens down the road.”

Elyria Schools applied for the grant; The Stocker Foundation has worked with the school several times.

In 2014, the foundation gave a $1.25 million grant to the school, which ended last year. The money went toward two preschool classrooms at Franklin Elementary School and new technology at the school.

“These students are going to have opportunities that are just awesome, really awesome. And that’s what gives me goose bumps. … It’s going to help on so many levels with 21st century skills.”

Principal named

A new Ely Elementary School principal was also announced at the board meeting. Brandon Easton will replace Jack Dibee.

Dibee took a job as the curriculum director for Avon Lake Schools.

Easton was the elementary principal for two years at Helen Steiner Rice at Lorain City Schools.

Contact Laina Yost at 329-7121 or lyost@chroniclet.com.
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