JACKSON TWP — The Seneca Valley School District announced this month that it has been awarded two grants from the Alcoa Foundation totaling $40,000, to be used for the continuation and expansion of professional development.
This means teachers will examine and refine their own classroom practices, work with colleagues toward shared goals, and take advantage of existing knowledge and of expertise from local and internationally known instructors.
The Alcoa Foundation approved a $25,000 Math Collaborative grant to be used by elementary and middle school teachers to participate in professional development with professors from the University of Pittsburgh to improve and enhance student mathematical achievement. This will impact all of Seneca Valley's K-8 teachers and about 4,750 students. The program will include monthly instructional/coaching sessions with internationally known mathematics instructors and follow-up sessions held at each school site supported by a trained lead teacher.
The Alcoa Foundation also approved a $15,000 Metacognitive Processing Initiative grant to be used by elementary and middle school teachers to participate in professional development with Lead to Learn consultants to increase reading comprehension skills in our students. Research shows that students learn best when they apply metacognitive processes — the act of thinking about and applying what they are learning. Professional development will focus on the development of metacognitive instructional skills for teachers in each of the district's six elementary/elementary-middle schools; impacting each of the 164 elementary teachers and 3,755 students.
The program will include monthly coaching sessions with expert instructors from a contracted service provider that the district has been working with for several years.
Founded more than 50 years ago, Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S. and has invested more than $350 million since 1952.
In 2010, Alcoa Foundation contributed nearly $20 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, focusing on promoting environmental stewardship, enabling economic and social sustainability, and preparing tomorrow's leaders through education and learning.
With assets of about $436 million, the work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa's thousands of employee volunteers, who gave more than 720,000 service hours in 2010.
Through the company's signature Month of Service (October) program, Alcoa employees share their energy, passion and purpose to make a difference in communities. In 2011, a record 56 percent of Alcoans took part in Month of Service events across 24 countries.
For more information about Alcoa Foundation, access www.alcoa.com/foundation.