St. Amant Primary teachers utilize Ascension Fund grants to implement ideas

Staff Report

St. Amant Primary School had four teachers receive Ascension Fund Grants for the 2022-23 school year. 

St. Amant Primary School had four teachers receive Ascension Fund Grants this school year. Shown from left are Ann-Marie Porrier, Amber Vizinat, Taylor Dunigan, and Ginne Crawford.

Ginne Crawford, Taylor Dunigan, Ann-Marie Poirrier, and Amber Vizinat wrote grants to impact their students’ academic success. 

Crawford, Dunigan, and Vizinat were awarded grants for $1,000 each, and Poirrier was awarded a grant for $500.

Crawford’s grant titled “Learning and Loving Math Through Literature” was funded by Williams-Olefin. This project focused on using literature to introduce and reinforce skills taught within the mathematics curriculum. 

This year, Crawford has embedded literature in her third grade math classes to motivate the students and to help them better understand the skills they have been learning.  The students in Crawford’s class have really enjoyed seeing how storybooks can be used in classes other than English Language Arts. The project has increased math success by reinforcing new math skills and making the introduction of new math topics fun and interesting.

Dunigan’s grant titled “Movement Makes Magical Minds!” was funded by Viola Philippe in memory of Ed and Virginia Braud. This grant allowed Ms. Dunigan to purchase flexible seating tools for her first grade students.

This school year, Dunigan was able to meet her students’ needs by providing a variety of flexible seating options.  Her students can now move, bounce and wobble around without causing distractions during learning.

Dunigan has noticed that with these new seats her students can focus and produce better work. She said she has thoroughly enjoyed allowing her students to express themselves by moving during class in an organized way. 

Poirrier’s grant was funded by BASF Corporation, and it was titled “Beautiful Butterflies: A New Life Begins “. This project focused on reinforcing students' writing skills while observing butterflies grow and change.

Students were given the opportunity to better understand the growth process while becoming better writers. The funds were used to provide all of St. Amant Primary’s kindergarten students with the necessary materials for growing new life and for journaling about the amazing process.

Vizinat wrote a grant funded by Regions Bank titled “Making Math Fun and Comfortable”. Vizinat’s grant allowed her to purchase activities and games to be used in math stations. 

These games have motivated her students to focus on foundational math skills that first grade students need to master. Vizinat was also able to purchase comfortable cushion chairs for her students. She has implemented these games and activities daily during math stations, and the students have been able to participate independently and in small groups.

Regarding the implementation of all four of these projects, St. Amant Primary’s assistant principal, Stacey Hughes, stated, “It excites me to witness the student learning that results from classroom projects supported by The Ascension Fund.  Our teachers are so fortunate to have this organization in our community.” 

The Ascension Fund is a non-profit organization established in 1991 by the Gonzales Rotary Club as an instrument for private sector leaders to invest directly in the work of individual teachers and schools through grants for innovative ideas and programs in Ascension Parish public schools. 

Teacher Grants of $500 or $1,000 and School Impact Grants of $2,500 are awarded on an annual competitive basis.  To date, the Ascension Fund has awarded approximately 1,400 grants representing over $1.7 million dollars in the school system. 

For more information, visit www.ascensionfund.com.