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Pre-K educator granted virtual learning equipment
posted by: Melissa | November 04, 2020, 03:07 PM   

Pre-K educator Allison Pattion applied for an AAE Foundation Classroom Grant and found out how valuable her particular grant request would be for her students in the coming virtual learning school year. Some projects are approved not because they are glamorous but because they meet a specific need in a specific setting. These needs may seem unique, but many educators were struggling with similar challenges. Daily I wondered how I was going to implement effective and engaging learning experiences for my pre-K students over a full virtual learning day. The list of questions that ran rampant, that I spent an entire summer preparing for, felt endless. How would the virtual space replicate a classroom setting? What would I use to model teaching? What normal supplies would I have in my room that I could gather for students? How could I make virtual learning hands-on for pre-K students? Lastly, where would these materials be stored and retrieved by parents?


As of March 2020, many cities, states, and countries encountered COVID-19 with an increasing rise in cases. As school systems started to shutter, I began to plan for fall 2020 and how individualized materials would be better than universally used materials, for health and safety needs. I knew that learning at home through the virtual platform was a new concept for both pre-K teachers as well as students. It would take some researching, but I found ways to support my classroom through personal donations and the help of others. Every student would receive an abundance of learning materials and kits.


Entering pre-K is sometimes the first learning experience many of our young learners have encountered. To do so virtually was an incredibly challenging task. Not only do my kiddos need teacher support but they learn better with one-on-one experiences. To make learning online more engaging, I wanted to provide manipulatives for learning. Each student would have the opportunity to master skills in academic literacy, academic math, fine motor, gross motor, and creative expression. Manipulatives are used in lessons for letter recognition, developing writing skills, rote counting, number recognition, and quantities with games to play at home with their family. Learning kits also provide art supplies for weekly crafts and books for home libraries.


Whether engaged in learning with the teacher virtually or purposeful play with their families, my goal was for my pre-K students to master skills that supported their kindergarten readiness needs. By choosing to create a project, donate personal funds, and seek out support I sent home a multitude of materials with each pre-K student that will increase their retention and bring hands-on learning to a virtual setting.


AAE Foundation offers a competitive Teacher Scholarship and Classroom Grants Program twice annually, and has given away hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding to support educator development goals and meet classroom materials and activities needs. Visit to find out more. The next deadline is March 1, 2021.

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