Melissa Page, who primarily teaches math, might have to think about teaching her students how to apply for grants in the future.
A learning support/special education teacher at Warren Area High School, she is the winner of an education grant for the second time in less than two months. "I'd never applied for any (grants) before and honestly didn't expect to get either," Page added.
On top of the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees grant she was awarded in November, Page was chosen by the Association of American Educators Foundation to be the recipient of a national grant that will allow her to purchase math manipulatives for use in the classroom.
Times Observer photo by Brian Collins
Page does it again
Melissa Page, a graduate of Clarion University, has been awarded her second grant in less than a month. The money from the national AAEF grant has enabled the learning support teacher to purchase supplies which assist students in her class as they learn ‘real life math.’ Only in her first year at Warren Area High School, Page is helping to increase enthusiasm towards learning in the classroom.
"It's hard to teach students about abstract ideas without using concrete manipulatives," she explained. "Without them, it's just paper and a pencil."
Awarded nearly $500 to purchase supplies, Page has made quite an impact in the classroom already. In her first year at Warren Area High School, she has helped to bring in close to $750 in grant money which has helped to increase hands-on capabilities in math classes.
"The students were very excited when they heard the news. They've been playing (Budget) the game for the past couple days now and would rather do that than watch a movie before Christmas break," she added, pleased with the increased interest the games have brought to students in her Algebra Concepts class.
The application for the grant itself included a letter stating why she was interested in the grant, lesson plans incorporating the manipulatives, what she planned to purchase with the grant and their actual costs - A process that took a couple days to complete.
With the national grant, Page has purchased dice, play money, and calculators to help teach what she calls 'real life math.' The play money has also provided her with a unique opportunity to learn something herself.
"We have a student who is blind," she explained, "and we were thinking, 'how will this student know the difference in bills?'" The answer surprised and intrigued her. "It's in the way that the money is folded. The bank will know how to fold each bill in a certain way so that he will know what denomination it is as he gets older and starts going to the bank by himself."