Mason Schools Foundation 2016-2017  Grant Highlights




Mentoring Mason's Men

For five years, MSF has supported this mentorship program. This year, Adam Toohey and Michael Planicka at Mason High School received $1,400, for Mentoring Mason's Men. Male teachers and other students volunteer in this mentoring program for male students with special needs. Our funding provides an end-of-year trip to a Reds game, to test the real-life skills that they've learned under the care and eyes of their mentors.

A Brush of Hope Art Therapy

This $9,112 grant provides three, nine week sessions of art group therapy and counseling in each school building reaching students in grades 1-12. This program is spearheaded by Shannon Norman and other Mason guidance counselors 

MMS House System

To ease the transition between intermediate school and high school, the middle school has instituted a "house system" which provides bounding and a sense of belonging to our middle schoolers. This $5,350 grant will provide a motivational speaker and team-building activities at the star of the school year, and will be administered by middle school teachers Jacob Reutter, Elizabeth Mills, Karen Byrd, Eric Schaltzle, Roni Carpenter, Amanda Kemen, Hayley Kennedy and Laura Tonkin.

MMS/MI Mentoring 

MSF funds a mentorship trip for students at MMS/MI. This $2,354 grant funds an experience at the Web for mentors and menthes to foster relationships. 

School Supplies
The Foundation makes sure that no student is without school supplies due to economic hardship.  Whether it is a new set of crayons for kindergarten, or graphing calculators for high schoolers, Mason Schools Foundation will provide school supplies for those in need.  This effort is coordinated through the guidance counselors at each building.

Project Learning Spaces
Traci Hetzel and Kristin DeGroft at the middle school will provide a creative alternative learning environment for struggling learners, so these students can focus on learning rather than the challenge of sitting quietly.  Their grant in the amount of $2555.63 will purchase a variety of seating options that allow students to incorporate movement in class.

Life Skills for Independent Living
One MMS classroom is transformed into an apartment to provide special needs students a hands on learning experience.  This special program is in honor of Mason Student Maddie Brewer who’s family generously designated for this program funds in her honor. 

MSF has a strong history of investing in STEM opportunities for our students, including funding the Coding and Robotics lab at the Middle School, and partnering on the STEM Lab at Western Row.  We’re proud to continue that tradition.

This year, expanding the very successful 3rd grade STEM lab MSF funded last year, 2nd grade science teacher Kim Peters will receive $5200 to build MECC/Western Row 2nd grade STEM Lab

 Mason Innovation Lab
In a world of 1:1 computing, our students (Adity Singh and Jasmine Bacchus) and tech leader (Randy Doughman) are creating the Mason innovation lab (Mason’s version of a Genius bar) at MHS and MMS.  MSF will fund the furnishing of these new labs in a grant designed by our students.

World Languages

MSF’s first grant was the Foreign Language at MHS eight years ago and have consistently invested in language acquisition 7-12.

Breakout EDU
Leveraging the popularity of the Breakout room mysteries to engage our Middle School Students, Spanish Teacher Lauren Richardson is bringing this problem solving mystery into her classroom and sharing learnings across the building with a $500 grant.

Lauren Richardson at Mason Middle School will receive $759 for the Swivl robotic video platform, which will allow recording of personalized in-class instruction for review by Spanish I students at a later date.

A Day with a Master Musician
Mason Middle Schools 7th and 8th grade bands will have a “Day with a Master Musician”as part of a $3000 grant by Susan Bass, Jason Sleepy and Zach Hinson.  Students will benefit from in-depth exposure to specialists on their specific instruments. 

MMS Shakespeare
Through the efforts of grant recipient Katie Lin, all Mason 8th graders will experience the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s presentation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, that aligns with their curriculum for a grant amount of $1400.


Adding Art to Stem funds discovery and real world problem solving.  The WR STEAM lab builds on the success of the MSF funded WR stem lab in 2015.  Kerry Kronenberger and Karen Vome will create a maker space studio at WR for every third grader to experience.

Piloting New Learning Environments
Next year the Foundation will fund projects that experiment with learning in environments beyond your basic desks and chairs.

 Personalized Learning Environment
MI teacher Gia Borgerson will use the $1570 of her grant to transform her classroom into a flexible and active learning environment utilizing moveable high and low tables, bean bag chairs, stability ball chairs and other alternative seating.
Melissa Anderson and Cindy Smith will experiment with active sitting using hokki stools with their $1650 Alternative Seating for Improved Learning grant.

 Project Citizen Government in Action
Eighth grade teacher Renee Thole will transport her “Project Citizen” students to Columbus for a day of hands-on learning outside the classroom, visiting the Ohio Supreme Court, the Governor’s office and the Executive Branch.  This grant is for $900.

 Inspiring Innovative Teaching
Through the years, Mason Schools Foundation has helped bring a new methods of teaching to Mason by funding the Columbia University teachers’ training.  Now the Foundation enters a new frontier of encouraging innovation in teaching with a partnership with Mason’s Innovative Learning Officer.

Innovation Catalyst Project

Jonathan Cooper and his team will present monthly challenges to Mason teachers, with the goal of inspiring innovation.  In a grant that reaches all buildings and all subject areas, funds will be available to encourage and reward innovation in areas such as Maker Culture, STEM, STEAM, Service Learning, Sustainability, Global Awareness, and Personalized Learning.   Awards will be made on a monthly basis, across the district as part of this $20,000 grant.