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ALTON - The Alton Educational Foundation held its annual Guardians of Education Breakfast Wednesday morning at Eunice Smith Elementary School and by presentations, it was evident the difference the organization is making in Alton schools.

The annual breakfast showcased five who received 2019 grants from the Alton Educational Foundation. Alton Educational Foundation President Chuck Parr was the emcee of the breakfast.

The 2019 grant recipients were the Alton Middle School Programming a Brighter Future, the Eunice Smith Elementary School It's a Small World, the Alton High School Alton ABCs, the Alton Middle School Coffee Club, and Eunice Smith Elementary AerobicBeats.

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The Alton Educational Foundation grants have been distributed since 2013.

Alton Middle School robotics teacher Rob Miller talked about how he received around 1,400 dollars to buy code cars with this grant. He was also able to buy a 3D printer with a prior donation from the foundation to help print stuff that will help him teach his class.

Eunice Smith Elementary teacher Teresa Arview elaborated on her classroom grant did to help her. She said she would teach about the continents to her elementary students and they wouldn’t understand. So one summer she started brainstorming how to teach them to where they understand, she came up with an idea she would find a fiction book that would correlate to that continent. With the grant money, she bought books to help.

Alton High School teacher Lexa Browning discussed how her high school students were able to write a book and publish it with the grant money and several students were able to get full scholarships to college after they published it. The book was about Alton history. The kids drew the photos in the book, wrote the words and put them together. The book also won an international award. The book can be purchased at the Hayner Library in downtown Alton. The book is named ABCs Alton.

Alton Middle School teacher Kayla Logan talked about how she started a coffee club with her autistic students. Each Friday the teachers can order a coffee and the students make the coffee and deliver the coffee to the teachers. “It helps the kids with independence and social skills,” Logan said. The grant money was able to buy Keurig, coffee pots, coffee, and other supplies. The teachers love the idea and the kids write cute notes on the cups when they deliver them.

Eunice Smith's teacher Amy Evans discussed how she came up with an idea to help the kids have fun and teach at the same time. She came up with a thing called Drumming and the Brain. The kid's drum, dance, and bounce on balls to music. It gets kids motivated and it helps with the motor cortex, prefrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens, auditory cortex, hippocampus, visual cortex, and cerebellum. The grant money was used for buckets, drumsticks, and balls. Evans brought in some kids to do a demonstration.

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