More than 90 OnRamp Grants Awarded to Teachers for School Projects

OnRamp Teachers across Allegheny County will be putting their ideas for joyful and creative learning into action following awards from the AIU’s OnRamp Grants for Remote Learning program.

Across two rounds, more than 90 applications were awarded grants totaling $150,000.

Any educator from Allegheny County, including those from the AIU’s 42 member districts, Pittsburgh Public Schools as well as brick and mortar charter schools were eligible to apply for an award of up to $2,500.

Teachers were encouraged to submit proposals designed to increase opportunities for joyful and creative learning, as well as implementing instruction that is “engaging, empowering and equitable,” as well as addressing new challenges in creative and innovative ways.

The grants were provided with a generous donation from The Grable Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of children in the Pittsburgh region.

“COVID-19 has totally disrupted our schools,” said D’Ann Swanson, senior program officer for The Grable Foundation. “New ways of teaching and learning had to be developed almost overnight. Both educators and students have worked extremely hard over the last year, and we wanted to do something to bring a sense of joy back to classrooms.”

More than 340 proposals were submitted between the two rounds, the first of which opened for application submissions in September 2020.

A few of the winning proposals include: A virtual “food truck” project in Sto-Rox in which students design a menu, purchase foods and create dishes; bringing a socially distanced “Peaceful Playground” to Duquesne City; and music-learning software for Montour School District 4th graders picking up their first instruments.

Spearheaded by the AIU, OnRamp is a regional collaboration of intermediate units, school districts, universities, nonprofits and out-of-school time providers that support schools in accessing and accelerating remote learning.

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