Karen Toscano Receives NYSRTA Grant

Four women pose for photo; one holds a certificate

Jane Sitterly, Karen Toscano, Irene Hauser & Linda Sammons

Congratulations to Pleasant Avenue teacher Mrs. Karen Toscano, who received the New York State Retired Teachers Association (NYSRTA) Hudson-Kramer Memorial Grant of $1,000 from the Fulton County Retired Teachers Association on December 6.

Retired Johnstown School District teachers Irene Hauser, President of the Fulton County Retired Teachers Association, and members Linda Sammons and Jane Sitterly, attended the presentation ceremony at Pleasant Avenue School.

The purpose of the grant is to help fund an innovative, special project or program to be designed and implemented by an active teacher or administrator for use in the classroom, the school, or the district of any NYS public school district.

Karen’s grant application stated that the money would be used to provide an active student-centered learning environment in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities in her classroom.  By using the funding to support STEM projects, Ms. Toscano’s students will be doing hands-on activities that create opportunities for problem solving, collaborating, and questioning.

As written in the grant application, the money awarded will provide monies for Mrs. Toscano to purchase all of the materials needed to complete the weekly STEM projects.  Some projects require grocery store supplies – food, kitchen items like baking soda, food colors, wax, foil or parchment paper, and hardware supplies such as lumber, paint, batteries, sandpaper, seeds and living plants. In technology, she may purchase an app that will allow for a more in depth exploration of a topic and will support a lesson the students have completed. Mrs. Toscano’s application states that the STEM activities she uses with her students are aligned with the NYS standards. She designs them to help the students make predictions, observe, record results of the observations, and discuss what the students have learned.

This grant is given to honor the memory of Ross C. Hudson from Gouverneur, New York, who was a stalwart, devoted member of the NYSRTA for many years, and longtime NYSRTA member Florence Coulter Kramer, who was a dedicated veteran teacher in New York City and New Rochelle, NY school districts.

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