Mini-grants spice up classrooms in West County

December 5, 2012

When school began this fall, Peres Elementary kindergarten teacher Meredith Belany said she saw a surprising trend: many of her students didn’t seem to be able to physically write.

The reasons, she said, are unclear.

At least half of this year’s class did not have a preschool education, but busy parents with less time to spend working with their children could also be a factor.

At that age, she said, students use small materials — pencils, paints, Legos, scissors— to build the appropriate muscles used in writing. What they needed, Belany surmised, was to send home these materials with the students, to give them the opportunity to practice outside of the classroom.

Belany and co-teacher Susan German-Zec, reached out for help, and received a $500 mini-grant from the Ed Fund, a nonprofit that supports education in West County, to make kits that will help their students develop fine motor skills.

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