BTS Spotlight: 2023-2024 Grants at Fulbright Early Childhood Center


Three teachers at the Fulbright Early Childhood Center were awarded Back-to-School Grants this year! Donors and staff of FSPS recently visited and were shown the ways the funds are being used throughout the school.

First, Kristy Haffner showed us the different manipulatives that the grant she received was able to purchase. Some of these include figures to represent a diverse group of people of varying age groups, religious groups and races. The children use these in various activities and are often paired with other manipulatives. Some of the other manipulatives reveal a variety of textures, while others color or shape. Children can learn sorting and identifying from the use of these. All the manipulatives that were purchased with this grant provide a richer learning environment for the children, while teaching them the standards that they need to attain.

Lora Bowles welcomed us to her room and showed us the items she was able to purchase because of her grant. The items purchased were STEM items. The items were arranged in centers that combined the STEM item and the unit theme. The centers allow students to explore the STEM items, doing things like using tangrams to make their own snowflakes or winter animals talking about hibernation and how you might see animal footprints in the snow. Getting STEM items into the hands of Pre-K students helps them to build essential skills, like critical thinking, problem solving, finding connections, and investigating/exploring. Using these items supplements the science and math portion of the curriculum.

Renee Ramey had a student demonstrate for us how to use one of the Active Calming Centers that her grant had provided. The student went through all nine steps, giving a great demonstration of how this tool can be used to help students by calming them, helping them re-focus, or softening strong emotions. The calming centers allow the brain to reset, refocus and return to learning. Because of this grant, every classroom in the school has direct access to one of these tools, resulting in students actively learning strategies for self-regulation!

Grant Recipients & Grant Titles:

  • Kristy Haffner – You Can Grow Ideas in the Garden of Your Mind
  • Lora Bowles – Never Too Early for STEM
  • Renee Ramey – Active Calming Center