Currituck Education Foundation awards mini grants

Pictured (left to right, top to bottom) are: Chavaleh Nophsker, Amanda Lowman, Kelsey McCluster, Winter Turner & Katrina Costello. (Submitted)

On March 19, 2024, at a virtual meeting of the Currituck Education Foundation, four projects supporting Currituck County Schools were awarded mini-grant funding. 


$500.00 to Chavaleh Nophsker of Dr. WT Griggs Elementary School for “The Walking Classroom” to purchase “walking kits,” which are individual wearable devices, loaded with over 150 podcasts pertinent to concepts taught in third through fifth grade. The Walking Classroom is a Science and Social Studies-aligned curriculum delivered through 15-20 minute podcasts. The topics range from the Revolutionary War to the Circulatory system, and are narrated by a teacher (the Walking Classroom founder) and a group of her students. Our school’s PE teacher has been instrumental in bringing support to our classroom teachers by collaborating and creating lessons that involve movement and grade level concepts. The walking kits from the PE class could also be “loaned” out to classroom teachers. We’d like to get the teachers and students interested in the Walking Classroom through this grant, and then we hope to get more kits to have full classes of students walking.

$500.00 to Amanda Lowman of Currituck County High School for “Foreign Language Communication on Familiar Platforms” to purchase supplies for a student communications lab and green screen room. Rather than having a final exam, students will have a comprehensive and collaborative final project that incorporates all four key skill sets from our NCSCOS Standards: Interpretive Reading, Interpretive Listening, Presentational Speaking and Presentational Writing. Students learn best when using the target language authentically and in a way that is meaningful to them. Students also love creating and editing videos, vlogs and podcasts as these are important communication tools of their generation. This communications lab could be used throughout the semester to make smaller projects such as Spanish News Reports, book reviews, commercials for Spanish products, weather forecasts and other such speaking projects that match the curriculum. This space could be used for similar projects in other disciplines.

$500.00 to Kelsey McCluster of Central Elementary School and Knotts Island Elementary School for “Family Connection Summer Series” for supplies for Family BINGO Day, an ice cream social and Family Open House Day. According to research it is imperative that school officials check in with students and families during the summer months to assess students’ social-emotional well-being, maintain trust with families and create a school, family community partnership. Engagement between families and schools during the summer months leads to improved student achievement, decreased disciplinary issues, and improved student-educator/parent-educator relationships in the fall of a new school year. During the 2023-2024 school year, the school counseling department at Central and Knotts Island Elementary Schools began working more deeply on projects that would increase parent-child relationships, family engagement and build lasting school, family and community partnerships. This proposal will be an extension of the current family engagement programming that has been developed. Research supports the concept of summer family engagement events that build relationships between school systems and the families that they serve.

$500.00 to Winter Turner & Katrina Costello of Moyock Elementary School for “Engaging with Animal Adaptations” to purchase science lab supplies for animal adaptations and survival: Bird Beaks Lab, Blubber Lab, and Owl Pellets Lab. During the Bird Beaks Lab, students will be presented with a variety of materials that represent different soil types, insects and different beak types of birds. Groups will make predictions as to which beak will grasp its prey best and then test and record their findings. Cooperative groups will complete the Blubber Lab by creating a layer of blubber to protect their hands from iced water and discuss adaptations for surviving in a frigid environment. During the Owl Pellets Lab, students will research owls and how they have adapted to digest their prey.  Students will make connections on how owls have adapted to “cough up” the undigested stomach contents in order to survive, while the nutrients and protein were absorbed during the process.  Students will then dissect owl pellets and sort their findings. The students will learn about science in the real world as well as working cooperatively to problem solve.

The Currituck Education Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization that exists to support public education in Currituck County. For more information on how to be involved or to make a donation, please visit