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2015 Fall Foundation Grants

On Friday, November 13, 2015, the Homewood City Schools Foundation board members and HCS administrators had the wonderful opportunity to surprise teachers from all five Homewood City Schools with the first ever Fall Foundation Grants totaling more than $28,000. Thank you to our generous donors for making this possible.

Here is a list of what the Foundation is funding at each school for this fall:

Edgewood Elementary, Hall-Kent Elementary and Shades Cahaba Elementary

“Primary Comprehension Toolkits” – Dominique Prince (HKE), Angela Gerontakis (EE) and Ellen Helf (SCE)

Expanding on a grant that was awarded in the spring, the Reading Specialists will receive funding for Primary Comprehension Toolkits for grades K – 2. These materials will support students as they learn to analyze complex texts.

Hall-Kent Elementary

“Going Beyond the Screen” – Laura Ann Mims, Linda Klopack, Leigh Martin, Molly Sellers, Stephanie Williams

This grant will provide the Osmo Genius for each first grade classroom. This device allows students to use technology while also incorporating hands-on activities to build critical thinking skills.



Homewood Middle School

“Get Hooked with a Book” – Amy Jackson

This grant will fund hi/lo books for students who are struggling with reading. These books are high-interest subjects with low-level vocabulary and readability to keep students reading during their middle-school years.


“Breaking Down Barriers with Books” – Amy Jackson

With our diverse population, it is important that our library meets the needs of a wide-range of students. This grant will provide Spanish and Arabic titles for our ELL students. Studies show that as students increase their home-language reading proficiency, their English language reading proficiency increases as a result.

“Seed to Plate: Growing Learners and Harvesting Success”- Briana Morton (Family Consumer Sciences) and Molly Knudsen (8th Grade Science)


The Foundation is pleased to, once again, fund the Seed to Plate summer camp. This grant provides a fun way for students to learn where their food comes from and why what they eat matters. Students will learn the basics of gardening as well as how to create healthy snacks and meals from harvest. A one-year commitment from students is expected. The summer camp will offer two one-week sessions – one for 6th – 8th grade students and one for 3rd – 5th grade students.

“Enhancing Classroom Instruction in Eighth Grade Algebra through the Use of Graphing Calculators” – Kevin Hughes, Mary McLeod, Laura Thuirer


To help strengthen students’ understanding of mathematical concepts through real-world problems, the 8th grade math teachers are working to implement more graphing calculator activities. This grant will fund two class sets of graphing calculators so that all 8th grade students will have access to this technology.

“Hydroponic Window Gardening” – Mary Binkley and Georgia Miller


This grant will provide materials for window Hydroponic gardening units. Students will use the engineering process to design and build the units and grow herbs. Through this process, students will learn that you don’t need a large garden or backyard to grow food. It can happen in a window.

“SYNERGY – Therapeutic Drum Circle” – Chris Cooper and Elizabeth Stewart


Through this grant, Homewood Middle School will implement its first drum circle, SYNERGY, which brings together students with special needs and their peers through a social, interactive, cultural and sensory-filled experience. The grant will fund drums and training for the students.

Homewood High School

“The Physics of Art” – Will Alexander

 HHS 1

This new program will provide a hands-on learning experience for AP Physics students as they learn about the color wheel, wavelength and brightness. A local artist will work with students as they create paintings based on the science they are learning.

“Developing a Sound Foundation in Personal Finance” – Rhonda Rush, Rick Bagueley and Chet Walker

 HHS 4

The Economics teachers feel strongly that students should leave Homewood High School with a firm financial education. This grant will provide funding for Dave Ramsey’s high school curriculum, “Foundation in Financial Peace” to help enhance its current curriculum and prepare students for a strong financial future.

“Funding Forensics” – Jami Wilson


Forensic Science is a popular new course at the high school. This grant will help fund materials like fingerprinting and hair analysis kits so that students can have hands-on experience as they learn about the world of Forensics.

“Microcontroller and Electronics Intro” – Matthew Hardman


In an increasingly technological world, familiarity with programming and electronics will only continue to be an important asset. This grant will fund user-friendly microcontrollers and electronics in an engineering setting to gain invaluable experience and insight into the world of electronics and coding.

“Reviving the Menagerie” – Melissa Dameron-Vines, Amy Marchino and Carolyn McDonald


This grant will help fund the return of The Menagerie, the former literary arts journal at Homewood High School, written, designed and produced by students.

“Visible Human Anatomy” – Josh Donaldson and Mindy McBride

 HHS 2

Through this grant, students will now be able to explore the various organs and organ systems of the human body through a new app, Visible Human Anatomy. Students in Anatomy & Physiology, Biology, AP Biology, Psychology and AP Psychology can use this app to get a better understanding of how the body works.

“Is a Picture Worth 1,000 Words?” – Doug Welle


This grant will provide funding for new mythological graphic novels and bring two speakers to the school to present how storytelling, especially myth, occurs in visual and spoken forms. Students will attend two instructional presentations on the visual and oral modes of storytelling and will then produce and present their own oral tales and graphic novels.