Summit ESC’s Katie Leigh Awarded Grant from Martha Holden Jennings Foundation

We are excited to announce that Katie Leigh, Student Services Supervisor, was recently awarded a Martha Holden Jennings Foundation grant for $11,449.  
The Foundation focuses their support toward encouraging creativity and more effective teaching in Ohio’s secular schools. Specifically, the Foundation is most interested in funding the programmatic aspects of projects, rather than capital needs, such as technology, equipment, furniture or books for PK-12 students and teachers.

The purpose of the grant awarded to Leigh is to provide professional development via the Zones of Regulation, an evidence-based curriculum to teach students self-regulation and emotional control. The grant funds are allocated to purchase books that support in the preschool program’s learnings about social-emotional development. These books also serve as support to teachers after attending the Zones workshop.

Teachers will be able to implement the curriculum fluidly into their daily routines as a means of providing tier-one instruction for all students regarding social-emotional development. All students in the Summit ESC Preschool program will develop the social-emotional skills needed to identify their emotions and the emotions of others, choose calming strategies when upset, problem-solve simple conflicts and maintain calm behavior in the classroom.

The idea to apply for the grant stemmed from Katie’s own experience with the Zones of Regulation.

“I was introduced to the Zones of Regulation a few years ago and adapted it for use in my preschool classroom,” said Leigh. “In addition to the curriculum, I used several high-quality children’s books to help teach the Zones to my students.”

The books Katie chose to purchase for the Summit ESC’s teachers with the grant’s funds coincide with the Zones curriculum and help students learn how to manage their emotions. 

“Our preschool program serves a large population of at-risk students; students that often struggle to learn because they are missing the social-emotional foundation,” said Leigh. “In addition, the state of Ohio includes Social-Emotional Learning as part of the Early Learning Content Standards. We are always looking for proven strategies to assist all students in our program by providing the teaching and skills necessary for success beyond the classroom.” 

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