Many of our Sisters worked to feed the bodies of those who were affected by the COVID-19 shutdown. Sr. Joanne Caniglia, OP, a mathematics educator at Kent State University, decided to use her Sisters on the Front Line grant to feed the minds of children in Ohio.
Thanks to a grant from Catholic Extension in cooperation with the Leadership Coalition through the generosity of GHR Foundation, Sr. Joanne was able to help three local organizations by creating special hands-on STEM kits to keep students engaged in learning while school was conducted remotely.
Proyecto Raices of Akron, OH, supports more than 40 children with online activities to preserve their cultural heritage and ensure their academic success. The Sisters on the Front Line grant allowed STEM kits to be mailed to the students, saving valuable time and expense for program directors.
Sr. Joanne demonstrates the STEM activities via video call on Saturdays while the students follow with their at-home kits. Her students from Kent State University created the projects, giving them valuable teaching experience.
King Kennedy Community Center in Ravenna, OH, received Break Bags to be distributed with family food packages. Each bag included five STEM activities for students to conduct at home. The activities were all space-related, particularly relevant as the United States landed a rover on MARS. The children were able to become engaged in this important price of scientific history.
Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids (SPARK) in Canton, OH, received materials to create the activities for a Virtual Family Math Night and a storage cart to transport the materials to program events. SPARK serves more than 400 families throughout Ohio. These activities are rich in math and literacy content from which the entire family can learn.
Sr. Joanne directs the virtual family math nights and will be demonstrating them all over the state.
The success of the programs funded by the Sisters on the Front line grant also attracted other funders. NASA Glen Research Center donated to provide a virtual and in-person space camp for children who may never be able to travel to NASA.
“I have tried to find a way to support children, parents, and teachers as well as utilizing the gifts and talents of those around me,” Sr. Joanne says. “For example, sisters at the Akron Motherhouse assembled break bags for children. Future teachers at Kent State created activities. This funding was the catalyst for so many benefits for so many people.”