YOU Put Our “Mission in Motion!”
Shaker Schools Foundation’s mission is simple and singular: To provide essential resources to enrich the educational experiences of students of the Shaker Heights City Schools.
Last year, through the help of generous donations from individuals like you, plus gifts from corporations and grants from other foundations, SSF was able to put our Mission in Motion by providing resources for more than 160 projects that enrich learning for all Shaker students. Read below for just a few examples!
Keeping the “A” in STEAM
The Shaker Schools Foundation remains firmly committed to supporting the arts as an integral part of a Shaker schools education. In the past year, the Foundation supported a number of new ways for Shaker students to innovate and create:
High school music composition students wasted no time putting some fun new technology to good use, says Dan Crain, who teaches the class: “With the Foundation’s assistance, we were able to purchase MIDI keyboards, MIDI controllers, and a high-quality audio recorder and microphones. Students have been using the MIDI controllers to manipulate sounds and live mix their compositions. We used the recorder to capture live performances and upload them to our classroom website.” Rock on!
High school jewelry classes upped their game, thanks to a new “Form 3” 3-D printer and casting equipment provided by the Shaker Schools Foundation. The new tools allow students to take concepts from their imagination to reality by creating a printed wax model and then casting them into metal. Says jewelry student David Szoke, “With these new technologies, we are now able to design and create resin models of our jewelry at a professional level. Normally we would have to hand carve our pieces in wax, and then use those wax models in a casting to turn it into metal. Not only do the new printer and CAD program allow us to create these models with much more precision, they also allow us to create pieces that wouldn’t even be possible to hand carve into wax. Using the CAD program has also given me valuable, real-world experience as this is the same program professional jewelers and designers use.”
A new embroidery machine offered a group of High School students yet another way to exercise their artistic license and flex their entrepreneurial muscles: by upcycling thrift store clothing items into beautiful new creations. Students Lane Murrray, Louise Spadoni, and Rachel Raddock then sold the items through their business, CyCLE clothing, donating 100 percent of the profits to charity. Says Louise, “You can make nearly perfect designs so that it looks like something you could buy in the store.”
The Foundation also brought state-of-the-art technology to Keaf Holliday’s graphic design classes, with the purchase of 25 Huion Tablets. His students took to the new equipment quickly, designing professional logos and branding materials for local businesses. “These tablets enable us to work on the same equipment we’d be using if we were out in the real world,” says award-winning art student Grace McCormack. “The graphic design program has been clear about being as industry-standard as possible, and now, with these tablets and all of our illustration and animation software, we’re there.”
Motorcycles at the Middle School? Yes!
When an organization called Motogo offered to bring their mobile shop class to Shaker Middle School for an after-school club, we jumped on board. Supported by the Shaker Schools Foundation’s Innovation Fund, the Motogo Club provides an exciting experience for middle school students at their weekly Monday meetings.
The club got off to a roaring start, injecting real-life, hands-on learning into the bargain. Over the course of seven weeks, 12 students took apart three Honda motorcycles – and learned how to put them back together.
Says middle school student Addie Weingart, “Almost every kid wants to drive a car, but personally, I think motorcycles are way cooler. So when I saw there was an after-school club where you got to work on them, I immediately signed up. We learned all about the tools and how motorcycles actually work and run. I learn better with visuals than I do with writing, but Motogo was on another level. We got our hands dirty and I got to use hammers, screwdrivers, and socket wrenches. I do many after-school activities, but Motogo was by far my favorite.”
Starting Off Right: PreK Family Engagement Nights
Several times each year, Shaker Pre-K families gather together to play, learn, and socialize. The recipe for success? Food, fun, and a book to take home! This year, the PreK department added a new twist with an all-family book read. The families ate dinner together as a community while listening to the book Be Kind, by Pat Zietlow Miller. They then broke into their classroom groups to discuss the book, made refrigerator magnets reminding them to be kind, and decorated kindness cards for others.
The PreK families also came together for the second annual Engineering Night, where they designed boats for a “Raingutter Regatta,” built structures with marshmallows and toothpicks, and programmed Beebots to draw shapes.
The PreK Family Engagement nights are specially designed to bring preschool families from all backgrounds together, to increase parent participation in this critical development stage, and to help them feel prepared to enter Kindergarten.
Perhaps best of all, says Shaker PreK teacher Kristin Koenigsberger, “parents get an opportunity to talk with other parents, which is so restorative for them.”