We Invest in Innovative Learning
We fund unique projects that fuel growth for our students and support our teachers’ innovative ideas. Many of the projects become so successful that they are adopted permanently into the district’s curriculum and budget. Take a look at our showcase of grants to understand the extraordinary opportunities our students have, thanks to creative and committed teachers and community-minded donors.
Students impacted by
Awarded for grants
in last decade
What it means…
– Trisha Vamosi, Teacher and Eagle Writing Center Director
Meet our Spring 2021 Innovative Grant Winners
We’re Making a Difference
See how our involvement enriches the lives of students and teachers.
“I’m trying to reach for the stars and slowly progress in society,” said Kevin, President of his class at Osbourn High School and an aspiring guitarist. He jumped at the opportunity to attend the high school’s 12-week Build a Guitar Camp, sponsored by an MCPSEF grant and funded by Miller Toyota. Kevin and 25 other students ranging in age from 11 to 18 walked away from the camp with a custom guitar and the pride of knowing that they made it themselves. The camp succeeded in its goal to give MCPS students an authentic cross curricular learning experience using art, science, technology and engineering. It also fed the future aspirations of students like Kevin who said, “One day I want to express that I touched the stars and I made it.”
Distance learning thrived in Manassas during remote learning, thanks in part to the generous donations of several organizations to Manassas City Public Schools through the Manassas City Public Schools Education Foundation (MCPSEF). The William E. Karlson Charitable Fund, The Micron Foundation, Lockheed Martin and SWIFT contributed a total of $60,000 to fund two technologies that connect students and parents with teachers. The technologies – Zoom and the Remind messaging application – were critical to the 100% distance learning model. “I had the opportunity to sit in on an 8th grade class recently on Zoom. Just watching the teachers and students engage in a new way is so powerful. Those tools have made a world of difference.” - said the MCPS Executive Director of Student Achievement.
Remember the uncertainty you felt as a high school senior facing decisions about the future? For several Osbourn High School seniors, that uncertainty was replaced with confidence, thanks to Lockheed Martin, a Manassas City Public Schools Education Foundation partner. Since 2018, six Osbourn seniors have taken advantage of what one student called, “a rare opportunity,” for on-the-job training at this global aerospace corporation, while attending Northern Virginia Community College using Lockheed Martin’s tuition reimbursement program. They joined the company’s Manassas T.A.L.E.N.T. (Training Aspiring Locals to Engineer a New Tomorrow) Apprentice program. “All of the Osbourn graduates are excelling here, getting promoted and moving on,” said Lockheed Systems Engineering Manager Melissa Boyle
The Eagle Writing Center at Osbourn HIgh School enables students to tutor other students on how to write better – whether for English class assignments, or to pass the Virginia Standards of Learning test required for graduation. The dream child of teacher Trisha Vamosi, the writing center grew from a MCPSEF grant for 10 tutors and 250 sessions to now– five years later– having 40 tutors who perform over 1,000 sessions each year. The center has helped hundreds of students pass the writing SOL for graduation; improve their writing for classes; or inspire passion for the written word. After receiving grants from us for three years, the writing center became 100% funded by the school division.
“Instructing students to teach others is liberating, as I see the tutors and students empowering each other through the common ground of writing,” Mrs. Vamosi said. The Eagle Writing Center has established a school culture in which writing is seen as an important part of the success of all students.
Kate Green, Instructional Technology Training Specialist at Jennie Dean Elementary School brought the future to young students with two MCPSEF grants that brought coding and robotics to the curriculum. One grant funded a 3D Printing, Scanning, and Design Mobile Lab. The other grant supported a Robotics and Coding Mobile Lab that has multiple types of robots. Teachers bring the labs to their classrooms to interact with the robots and explore coding.
“I love to witness the ‘aha’ moments from students and see them persevere through a tough concept and excel at something they struggled with previously,” Green said, adding “My goal is for our school to have all the students enter 5th grade with a solid concept of coding, robotics and 3D design and printing. Also, my hope is that they will be comfortable enough with any type of technology that they can maneuver new equipment with ease.”