Hands-on Learning

Creative Impact Grants

This Lawrence Township School Foundation program provides funding for creative and innovative projects that would otherwise not be supported by tax dollars. Any MSD of Lawrence Township teacher, teacher group, school personnel, administrator, student or parent is eligible to apply.

This year 19 grants totaling $27,933.70 were awarded! Congratulations to the teachers listed below!

To access our online grant management system, click here.

2016-2017 Creative Impact Grants Awarded

ACP Geology Caving Trip “Knee Pads”

Lawrence Central High School, Amanda Cole

This grant allows for the purchase of reusable knee pads for use by ACP Geology students during the yearly spelunking field trip to Buckner Cave.

Aviation Day Camp

Crestview, Oaklandon, Skiles Test, & Sunnyside, Renita Hill

6th graders visit the ACE Aviation Camp, where they have the opportunity to interact with active professionals from the aviation community, are given career-mentoring advice, tour facilities, and see how professionals achieve their goals. This field trip exposes students to an entirely different world of opportunity.


Brook Park, Sonya Schkabla

This grant allows for the purchase of can and bottle recycle containers in an effort to make their environmental footprint as small as possible.

Classroom Pet Habitat

Brook Park, Takea White-Logwood

Provides aquarium, shelter, lights, food, and other supplies needed to provide care and a safe habitat for classroom pet (an axolotl).

Community Service Through Art: Empty Bowls Project

Fall Creek Valley, Mickie Barsic

Allows hosting of an “Empty Bowls Event” at FCV. Students create ceramic bowls which are used to create awareness and raise money to battle hunger. The project starts with knowledge about world issues and solutions of poverty and evolves into an awareness of community issues and solution of poverty.

Cooking Club Kitchen Supplies

Belzer, Alexander Richards

Allows purchase of new equipment for the Cooking Club at Belzer, including a set of pots and pans, knives, cooking utensils, and baking pans.

Creating Teamwork for a Lifetime

Winding Ridge, Susan Granger

Provides games and toys for children in the Intensive Intervention Classroom in order for students to play and team up with each other to build friendships and use the skills they are learning daily. As the children play with the few toys currently in the classroom, there has been a noted decrease in verbal and physical aggression, as well as an increase in friendships being created between the children.

Fidget to Focus!

Fall Creek Valley, Katherine Russo

Allows for the purchase of a variety of fidgets to help students with ADHD better focus in class. The brain is tricked into focusing on the important, educational things, because the part of the mind that wants to wander is distracted with the fidgeting.

Doktor Kaboom! Look Out! Science is Coming!

Brook Park, Barbara Wright

Field trip to Clowes Memorial Hall on the Butler University campus to see the Doktor Kaboom!  Look Out!  Science is Coming! performance. In addition to seeing a live, science-themed performance, the students also get the chance to see a college campus.

Full STEM Ahead!

Mary Castle, Holly Ellis

Through the purchase of these resources students will become the teachers. They will design, model, experiment, and collaborate with one another with hands-on projects and engagement. The kits will also help supplement other STEM activities in the classroom, without teachers paying out of pocket for supplies.

Japanese Book Binding with Student-Made Marbled Paper

Fall Creek Valley, Elizabeth Althardt

Students learn the process of paper marbling and Japanese book binding and take their most powerful personal writings and make them into books. This process builds a sense of place in the school community as well as increases their awareness of themselves as writers and academic performers.


Fall Creek Valley, Forest Glen, Mike McBride

Purchase books for beginning Mariachi students and one guitarrón (a Mariachi instrument similar to a large, acoustic bass guitar).

Mariachi Together

Lawrence North, Jose Valencia

Purchase specialty instruments (guitarron, vihuela, and folk harp) and some music to begin a high school mariachi band as a before school activity.

Math in Your Feet

Winding Ridge, Lindsey Shaurette

Teachers in grades 3-5 attend a 3-hour professional development workshop, “Math In Your Feet” with artist/teacher, Malke Rosenfeld, a percussive dance artist. Teachers learn how to use simple foot patterns to orient students in space, apply problem solving strategies to the choreographic process, challenge students to learn and apply principles of transformation and symmetry to dance patterns, infuse classrooms with math vocabulary that is used in context, and help students communicate their creative work using written reflections, word studies, graphs, symbols, and maps.

Pick a Perfect Place: Alternatives Accelerate Learning

Skiles Test, Amanda Pickrell

Provides students with choices in their seating options, and gives them the ability to move when they need to, without distracting their peers, and while increasing achievement.

Quest for a Well-Trained Quincy

ELC @ Brook Park, Mary Jo Mack

4 weeks of Lodge and Learning training for Quincy, the school companion dog, to prepare for his Canine Good Citizen certification.

Second Grade Outdoor Experience

Brook Park, Toiya Smith

Field trip to Tuttle’s Orchard. Apples and pumpkins are used to explore math concepts, practice writing skills, learn new vocabulary, and learn about the process of “farm to table”.

STEM Robotics for Younger Students

Skiles Test, Dave Shafer

Purchase LEGO WeDo 2.0 to provide robotics projects for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, & 4th graders. LEGO WeDo 2.0 allows students access to 17 projects that capture motivation and engagement across key science topics, including: physical sciences, life sciences, earth and space sciences and engineering.

Zentangle Mandala Mural

Fall Creek Valley, Adrianne Overby

Funds a school mural, taking up the entire art hallway at Fall Creek Valley, using large repeated Zentangle Mandalas of all colors of the rainbow.


Legacy Study Trips have been added to every elementary school’s curriculum. Beginning in 2nd grade and continuing through 6th grade, students participate in a study trip designed around the state standards and offering experiential learning.

Grade 1: Fire Station - Students travel to a nearby fire station to learn from firefighters & police officers the importance of safety.

Grade 2: Lawrence Central High School – Students travel to LC to get a behind the scenes look at the spring musical.

Grade 3: Children’s Museum – Students experience while learning about history, science, and the universe as they partake in a day of exploration.

Grade 4: Indiana Statehouse Tour– Students will travel downtown to experience the Indiana State Capital building, Indiana State Library, and the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site.

Grade 5: Conner Prairie – The Indiana History which students read about in text books becomes a vibrant learning experience full of activities to see and do. 

Grade 6: Indianapolis Museum of Art - Students visit and study at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the new grounds for team learning.

Elementary Music Education

Studies prove that students who participate in extra-curricular activities, including music, are successful students. Lawrence Township is nationally recognized for its outstanding performing arts departments. This musical education program allows all elementary school student the same exceptional music education, irrelevant of the school’s magnet focus, by developing a teaching plan for all eleven elementary schools centered around the Orff-Schulwerk (Orff) philosophy. 

Orff is a student-centered, experience-based teaching method, very similar to the Project Approach teaching style the district has already adopted.  It encompasses speech, singing, congas, xylophones, cajons, and movement.  This approach is most beneficial to kinesthetic, hands-on learners, a demographic that is growing due to our increased diversity in student population.  The Orff teaching method allows children to sing, say, move, and play to create their own musical experiences.  They don’t just hear the music - they are the music.