The Kloiber Foundation
Children and Technology in Action
Another year has come and gone, and Kloiber Foundation is proud of the new and exciting projects it set in motion during 2017. Working with our longtime partner, Fayette County Public Schools, two new ventures began in earnest this year: a study surrounding the “If I Had a Hammer” program and the implementation of a mobile STEM bus.
These two projects will help improve the lives of all students in Fayette County in new and exciting ways, but the Kloiber Foundation understands that students’ lives are enriched not only through schools, but through the community as well. To that end, we wanted to branch out into community outreach, and so collaborated with the Whitaker Family YMCA to fund a new outdoor pavilion. The hope is that this new space will help to enrich the lives of the Hamburg community, especially those children who attend YMCA summer camp.
If I Had a Hammer
In 2015, Kloiber Foundation, as part of a large grant, funded a math program at Lansdowne Elementary that its teachers and staff were exuberant about. The program, developed by a carpenter, helps students learn math through hands-on experience with carpentry. As expected, the program has been doing well according to in-house metrics, so in an effort to push things to the next level, we attempted to compare those results to national standards. Over the course of three years, the University of Kentucky College of Education’s Evaluation Center will conduct a study showing the efficacy of the program in an unbiased scientific study. The focus will start with Lansdowne Elementary in the first year, with the full intention to expand to evaluate the program in at least two other schools in Fayette County. All of the data gathered will be compared to the results of other programs, to create a level of understanding about the program’s effectiveness to teach fractional math at the elementary school level. The study will seek not only to determine whether the program does what the designers intended, but also if it meets the expectations of teachers, administrators, parents, and the students themselves in the process. Ultimately, we are hoping for the program to pass these evaluations with flying colors and become an integral part of the FCPS math teaching model. We look forward to having solid, scientific evidence of the program’s usefulness which we can then share with other schools seeking to improve their math curricula.
The study will seek not only to determine whether the program does what the designers intended, but also if it meets the expectations of teachers, administrators, parents, and the students themselves in the process. Ultimately, we are hoping for the program to pass these evaluations with flying colors and become an integral part of the FCPS math teaching model.
Kloiber Foundation often works with the FCPS Technology Department to implement its vision of using technology to improve schools. This year, we decided to fund something not seen in Fayette County before. In conjunction with NOMI Design, a school bus is being converted into an amazing STEM lab full of a wide variety of equipment. The bus will include a number of modules contained in carts that can be switched out at any time, depending on the specific program for that day. Once the fabrication and construction is completed, this bus should be a self-contained mobile classroom, capable of changing and adapting as new technology becomes available. And with a cost far cheaper than outfitting every school with these resources, the STEM Bus should provide many schools who lack the funding the opportunity to utilize new and innovative teaching tools that would otherwise be out of reach. We are very excited to see this new addition roll out for use this year, with the goal being for the bus to begin serving students in time for classes in the Fall of 2018.
The YMCA of Central Kentucky has long been a valuable resource for the Lexington community, and October of 2016 brought a new location to the Hamburg area: the Whitaker Family YMCA. In its first summer of operation, the Whitaker Family YMCA served over 600 individual children during its robust Summer Camp program. During this inaugural summer, it became clear that an outdoor facility would be needed to provide shade, restroom facilities, and storage space for the camps held on the outdoor field. Kloiber Foundation is proud to have helped make that dream possible through a grant to the Whitaker Family YMCA, and we look forward to continuing to better the community through our partnership.
On the Horizon
Teachers’ Collaborative Exchange
The year 2018 has been shaping up to be an amazing one for Kloiber Foundation. In addition to continuing work on our projects from 2017, we will be expanding a project we began in 2016 called Teachers’ Collaborative Exchange. This project has been focused on bringing teachers from different schools together. In a virtual space they can communicate with their peers for support and inspiration, as well as share curriculum content and best practices in the classroom. We first rolled out the program to third grade teachers at Mary Todd Elementary, Lansdowne Elementary, and Yates elementary, connecting them to work together to develop curricula and share it online. This year (with the help of the FCPS Technology Department and the Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Team) we hope to expand the project to all the third grade teachers in Fayette County, in an attempt to facilitate an increase in the online sharing between teachers district wide. We hope this will expand the support base for all teachers involved, and create a huge opportunity for the program to have farther-reaching implications. While the current undertaking is somewhat ambitious, we are resolved to see this project through to the end, and are even discussing a partnership with the AP Social Studies teachers as a continued avenue for expansion. It is our goal to create a space where teachers of all grades and subjects can share support, curricula, and ideas with each other, bringing each school closer together through the technology of our digital age. Fayette County Public Schools are a family; we should all be connected and invested in making sure every child has access to the best educational resources.
Every year, new and innovative technologies are being developed, and Kloiber Foundation strives to keep up to date and well-informed. Our goal is to enhance the learning of every student, but we know this is not something we can do on our own. Just as we are seeking to bring teachers into close collaboration, we are always on the lookout for new partners to work with. Whether it is through technological improvements or community outreach, if you are interested in joining us, and share our vision of ensuring the best educational environment possible, please feel free to get in touch. Our world is constantly changing, and together we can help to better prepare our children for the future they will soon be inheriting.