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Up to $5,000 for school enhancement projects

Lowe’s is asking nonprofit public K-12 schools and/or parent organizations to apply for funding to make improvements to their schools. There is usually a preference for funding requests that have a permanent impact such as facility enhancement — indoor and outdoor — as well as landscaping or clean up projects. Projects that encourage parent involvement and build stronger community spirit will be favored. But this year basic needs will also take priority.


$5,000 for teachers and school professionals to improve students’ academic achievement

The NEA Foundation is providing grants to improve the academic achievement of students in public schools and public higher education institutions in any subject area. The proposed work should engage students in critical thinking and problem solving that deepen their knowledge of standards-based subject matter. The work should also improve students’ habits of inquiry, self-directed learning, and critical reflection.

Proposals for work resulting in low-income and minority student success with honors, advanced placement, or other challenging curricula are particularly encouraged.


$5,000 to launch programs that are inclusive of students with disabilities

The CVS Caremark Community Grants program is awarding funds to public schools promoting a greater level of inclusion in student activities and extracurricular programs, and initiatives that give greater access to physical movement and play. Proposed programs must be fully inclusive where children with disabilities are full participants in an early childhood, adolescent or teenage program alongside their typically developing peers.


More than $5,000 for outstanding student volunteers

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program was created in 1995 by Prudential in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) to honor middle level and high school students for outstanding service to others at the local, state, and national level. The program aims to applaud young people who already are making a positive difference in their towns and neighborhoods, and to inspire others to think about how they might contribute to their communities.


Win up to $10,000 by working to save the environment

The Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) announce the 2009 Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge is now accepting entries. The second year of this national sustainability challenge — now expanded to include elementary school students — encourages students in kindergarten through eighth grade to team up with their classmates to create replicable solutions to environmental issues in their classroom (grades K-2), school (grades 3-5), and community (grades 6-8).

Student and teacher/mentor prizes, which vary according to grade level, include savings bonds, school grants, exciting trips, TV appearances, and more. The deadline for elementary level entries is January 31, 2010 (finalists and winners announced in March 2010); and the deadline for middle school entries is March 15, 2010 (state winners announced in April 2010 and national winners announced in May 2010).


eSchool News August 2009

8.09.esnCovereSN View Point
Students, adults have different views of technology’s influence on behavior.
— Julie Evans

NECC 2009 Coverage
Educators anticipate reform, future of education.
— eSN staff reports

InfoComm 2009 Report
New technologies hold promise for education.
— Dennis Carter

View the August 2009 Issue today…
View online as a Web-Book in your web browser

Download eSchool News August Issue in Adobe (PDF) format.

What’s News

  • Support for statewide data systems grows (pg 1)
  • New developments in brain research (pg 1)
  • Layoffs spur interest in online teaching (pg 1)
  • New recommendations for STEM instruction (pg 4)
  • Judge overturns cyber-bullying conviction (pg 6)
  • Push for 21st century skills increases (pg 8)
  • New rules for rural broadband grants (pg 10)
  • Software rivalry reveals options for schools (pg 11)
  • Groups ask for tech training funds (pg 12)
  • Project would measure ed-tech’s value (pg 14)
  • Frustrations surround e-Rate audits (pg 15)
  • New Kindle alternative piques interest (pg 16)
  • Proctors, logins for college web tests (pg 16)
  • Groups debate student copyright education (pg 17)
  • ED study supports blended learning (pg 18)
  • Online courses in high demand (pg 18)
  • Poll shows students’ views of tech,cheating (pg 20)
  • Two states differ on tech funding (pg 22)


  • Default Lines (pg 4)
    Schools vs. Businesses.
    Gregg W. Downey
  • eSN Online Update (pg 6)
    Updated Best Practices and SAFE Center.
    Nancy David
  • Newslines (pg 13)
    More news affecting eSchools
    —quick and to the point.
  • Grants & Funding (pg 34)
    How grant reviewers can help applicants.
    Plus,new grant deadlines and awards.
    — Deborah Ward
  • Stakeholder &Community Relations (pg 35)
    Tips for eCommunication this fall.
    — Nora Carr
  • Tech Buyer’s Marketplace (pg 36)
    Purchasing wisdom from our K-20 Tech Solutions Center
  • Prime-Time Product Preview (pg 37)
    New product information from eSN advertisers.
  • eSchool Partners (pg 37)
    Key organizations that support the eSchool movement
  • Viewer’s Guide (pg 38)
    This month’s highlights from our video news archive

View the August 2009 Issue today…
View online as a Web-Book in your web browser

Download eSchool News August Issue in Adobe (PDF) format.


Our Courts’ teaches civics lessons via online games

SiteofWeek090209A free computer game for teenagers created with the help of former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has made its online debut. “Supreme Decision,” the first of several planned web-based games, went online in August as part of a project called Our Courts. In it, students can play a Supreme Court law clerk helping a justice with a tie-breaking vote over a First Amendment case. Backed by the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University and Georgetown University, the Our Courts project is designed to teach middle school students about the Constitution and the courts. O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court, has said more people can name an “American Idol” judge than the three branches of government. Besides teaching about civics, she hopes the Our Courts project will help students learn how to analyze problems and develop arguments. In “Supreme Decision,” students play a law clerk and must help fictional Justice Irene Waters write the majority opinion on whether a school can ban students from wearing music band T-shirts. Another game, called “Do I Have a Right,” will be released soon. In that game, students will play the director of a constitutional law firm who must decide which amendment resolves a problem posed by a client.


9/11 Survivors and Families Honor the Fallen with the Country’s First Comprehensive Curriculum


Kati Elliott or Christine Allman
9/11 Survivors and Families Honor the Fallen with the Country’s First Comprehensive Curriculum
The Sept. 11th Education Trust and SocialStudiesSchool Service come together to help students learn from the terrorist attacks
Culver City, CAAugust 31, 2009– The Sept. 11th Education Trust, a nonprofit organization representing survivors and families, and Social Studies School Service, a leading provider of materials for schools, have created the first comprehensive curriculum for students.   Teachers, parents and elected officials across the country recognize the need to fold the events of 9/11 into classroom instruction.  Now they have the tool with which to do so.
“Our goal is to help students remember the human dimension of these events,” said Anthony Gardner, Founder and Director of The September 11th Education Trust and brother of 9/11 victim Harvey Joseph Gardner III. “With this curriculum, it is now possible for students to understand the history of the 9/11 attacks as they honor and remember the victims and survivors.”
Drawing upon the educational expertise of Social Studies School Service and the Taft Institute for Government at QueensCollege, The Sept. 11th Education Program: A National Interdisciplinary Curriculum is a multimedia curriculum that can be used as independent lessons or as a yearlong course of study. It provides seven curriculum units filled with inquiry-based interactive activities tied to national standards and a multitude of primary sources, including 70 first-person interviews with survivors, victim’s family members such as Beverly Eckert, and politicians such as Rudy Giuliani, Hillary Clinton, and others.
The seven units for students in grades 6–12 include:
  1. Visualizing 9/11
  2. The Historian’s Craft: Timelines
  3. The Post-9/11 Recovery Process
  4. Designing a 9/11 Memorial
  5. Honoring Heroes
  6. Advocacy and the Role of Government
  7. U.S. National Security and 9/11
Each unit includes first person interviews with people like Howard Lutnick, Cantor Fitzgerald’s Chairman and CEO, who lost his brother and 658 employees on Sept. 11th. It also includes interview transcripts, a video timeline of the day, lesson plans, an interactive Website, student handouts and advocacy activities that focus on acts of public service and civic participation which support President Obama’s recent establishment of September 11th as a national day of public service and remembrance. A full scope and sequence is included with each unit.
Social Studies School Service is making available a free 12-minute Remembrance Video, discussion questions, and a Web forum for discussing student reactions. Visit to access more information about this curriculum and to view the free Remembrance presentation.
About The Sept. 11th Education Trust
The September 11th Education Trust, founded in September 2001 as the WTC United Family Group, is a nonprofit organization directed by 9/11 victims’ families, survivors, rescue workers, and educators nationwide.  Evolving from its genesis as the WTC United Family Group, one of the original and largest of the 9/11 community organizations, the September 11th Education Trust produces comprehensive, flexible, and engaging 9/11 and civic literacy education programs that are personalized and enriched through firsthand accounts, filmed oral histories, and authentic, primary archival materials to permanently record this shared historic event in a way that is not stagnant, but inspiring and relevant to the nation’s youth.  
About SocialStudiesSchool Service
Social Studies School Service has been a leader in educational resources since 1965, meeting the evolving needs of teachers with accessible and engaging materials aligned with national standards. Social Studies School Service also offers interactive professional development focusing on skill development to effectively increase student achievement. For more information, visit

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