By Brandi Makuski
Four local Catholic school teachers have won grants for their classrooms.
Thanks to the Bridge Mixer Marathon Group—a group of local women philanthropists who enjoy playing Bridge—four teachers at the elementary and middle-school levels will be able to employ new equipment in their classes.
This is the eighth year the group has sponsored education grants for Pacelli Catholic School teachers.
This year’s recipients are Jean Rosenthal of St. Bronislava and Joe Zawacki of Pacelli Catholic Middle School (formerly known as St. Peter’s Middle School).
Rosenthal’s grant was awarded for a fine motor-skill development program. The funds awarded will purchase a variety of tools, including manual dexterity vests and special scissor magnets to help 3- and 4-year-old preschoolers, and child care students, master fine motor skills like buttoning, zipping, and cutting with scissors.
Funding awarded to Zawacki will transform an unused courtyard into a usable green space that would function as an outdoor classroom. According to a news release from Pacelli Catholic Schools, the space could be used for providing a gardening opportunity to supplement the school lunch program, studying the outdoors, or providing a quiet place to read and reflect.
Two additional teachers also received grants from anonymous donors within the Bridge group, Kathy Hansel and Lisa Springob, both from St. Stephen.
Hansel will purchase hands-free Whisper Phones for her students, which will enable beginning, or struggling, readers to hear individual sounds in words, while Springob will get picture books as mentor texts for teaching reading and writing to her 4th grade students, an effort to model different writing traits and reading skills.