Penn Manor Ed Foundation awards $40,000 in teacher grants

  Many thanks to the Penn Manor Education Foundation, which has awarded more than $40,000 in Venture Grants to teachers to enhance learning for students in multiple subjects at all grade levels at Penn Manor schools.

   The grants range from $345 for flexible classroom seating for sixth-graders at Central Manor Elementary School to $7,085 for a wind tunnel at Penn Manor High School to enhance the teaching of aerodynamics, fluid dynamics and aeronautical engineering.

   Two of the grants this year will support efforts to teach more students about local watersheds, which is the focus of a new partnership with Millersville University to expand watershed education efforts.

   The grants, totaling $3,842, will fund groundwater simulation stations that will help students understand how the movement of water impacts ecosystems.

   “This grant will provide a unique, hands-on opportunity for students to see and understand groundwater, seepage, infiltration, and pollution,” said Brad Showalter, a fourth-grade teacher at Hambright Elementary who received a $1,988 grant.

   “We are challenging our fourth-graders to become watershed ambassadors who understand how humans impact local and regional water quality and aquatic ecosystems.”

   Several Venture Grants will be used to expand opportunities for music students, including classroom sets of ukuleles at two elementary schools. Grants at the high school and middle schools will fund a gong, snare drum, cymbals, mallets, wind chimes and other percussion accessories to be used in band and music classes.

  “These instruments and accessories will impact our students for many years to come,” said Sara Masten, high school orchestra director and co-director of the middle school orchestra, band and chorus. “Having proper equipment directly impacts the overall quality of students’ experiences and performances.”

   Another grant will enable high school singers to compete at a choral festival next year.

   Students in family and consumer science and health classes at the high school will benefit from a grant to purchase two infant simulators, including one that demonstrates the dangers of shaking a baby.

   On the elementary level, several grants will fund sensory paths for school hallways to encourage active learning. Another grant will fund materials for a sensory room at Hambright Elementary School to help students with auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory, and visual needs develop coping strategies.

   In all, 29 different teachers received grants for 2021-2022. A second round of Venture Grants will be awarded in the spring. You can see the grants list here.

   In addition to funding teacher Venture Grants, PMEF administers more than $75,000 in scholarships awarded to graduating Penn Manor seniors each year and assists families in need with grants through its Strong & Healthy Families program.

   The foundation is a nonprofit supported by Penn Manor community members and businesses. You can learn more at

Many thanks to all those who help support the Foundation to make these grants possible!