The spotted lanternfly damages trees that it infests, but Lawrence Intermediate School students are doing their best to help combat the invasive inspect by planting special bushes at school.
Thanks for a $398 grant from the Lawrence Township Education Foundation, students will help to plant 15 to 20 milkweed bushes near some infested trees at the school on Eggerts Crossing Road.
Across town at the Slackwood School, students are getting ready to launch the Flex Farm – a hydroponic indoor farm that allows the young “farmers” to grow their own food – through a $4,833 grant from the Lawrence Township Education Foundation.
The students will plant seeds and watch the plants grow. They will harvest the fresh food, wash it and eat it, learning about healthy eating and organic food along the way.
Those grants are among the 26 grants approved by the nonprofit Lawrence Township Education Foundation during its spring cycle of grant awards to teachers. The grants, which total $50,876, were unveiled at the Lawrence Township Public Schools Board of Education’s March 16 meeting.
Karen Faiman, the executive director of the Lawrence Township Education Foundation, thanked the donors who made the grants possible and also thanked the teachers for seeking out money for the “innovative and creative ideas” that they bring to the foundation.
Among the other grants that were approved was one grant – Blue Blots for Computer Science Education – that will bring innovative equipment into the classroom to help teach the new computer science curriculum to all kindergarten and first-grade students in the district.
Ben Franklin Elementary School pre-school students and one special education kindergarten class will get new equipment, such as play kitchens and dolls, to engage in pretend play and to promote social emotional growth.
The Lawrenceville Elementary School is getting basketball hoops to help the children to develop gross motor skills and cooperative play skills.
At the Eldridge Park Elementary School, a traverse climbing wall – a climbing wall that is climbed horizontally, not vertically – will give students a chance to increase their physical activity and improve their strength, coordination and balance. It will help them to develop courage, perseverance and patience.
Lawrence Middle School students will be able to attend a virtual assembly that celebrates the contributions of Black Americans, including Dr. James Still. He was known as the “Doctor of the Pines” and was a self-taught physician in southern New Jersey.
Lawrence High School students will take advantage of Stukent, which allows them to engage in activities as if they were real social media marketers.
The Lawrence Township Education Foundation raises money from individuals, local businesses, corporations and foundations for grants to teachers. The foundation has approved more than 1,000 grants, totaling more than $4 million, since its inception in 1992.