Hillsdale ELA Teacher Awarded Teacher Mini-Grant from Ashland County Community Foundation

An image of students standing with teachers, one holding a certificate.


JEROMESVILLE, Ohio — Hillsdale Local Schools is pleased to announce that Mrs. Carly Black, an English Language Arts (ELA) teacher at Hillsdale 7-12, has been awarded a teacher mini-grant from the Ashland County Community Foundation (ACCF).

As a dedicated educator returning to the classroom, Mrs. Black had a vision to provide students with contemporary novels, inspiring a love for reading, and harnessing the power of technology to create an engaging learning experience.

The grant, totaling $2,500, was used to fund a collection of 60 books, ensuring students have access to a wide array of captivating stories. Additionally, Mrs. Black created a groundbreaking podcasting project designed to enhance the students' educational experience.

"The idea," Mrs. Black explained, "is to have students read books like an authentic book club would. They read independently and then come together to dive into discussion questions. The conversation portion would be recorded and then edited into a podcast episode. Since we also blog using Edublogs, students will upload their episodes onto their blogs to share with their audience."

A committee of local educators meticulously reviewed each grant application, ultimately recommending Mrs. Black's innovative proposal for approval by the Foundation's board of trustees. The evaluators were impressed by Mrs. Black's creative plan to use culturally relevant technology to deepen student engagement with a core subject.

“Podcasting is a great way to stimulate discussion using a media that the students are aware of, subscribe to, and are excited about,” said Cameron Dedrick, an Ashland High School teacher who serves on ACCF’s Teacher Mini-Grants Committee. 

The Ashland County Community Foundation awarded a total of nine teacher mini-grants this fall, providing $15,344 to K-12 educators throughout Ashland County. This initiative underscores the Foundation's commitment to supporting innovative educational projects that go beyond traditional school budgets.

Teachers in Ashland County are encouraged to apply for teacher mini-grants, with application deadlines in January and September. The grants should focus on programs and projects that enrich the educational experience and are not covered by standard school budgets. K-12 educators from all schools in Ashland County are eligible to apply online at www.ashlandforgood.org/grants.

For more information, interested parties can contact Kristin Aspin, Chief Program Officer, Ashland County Community Foundation, at (419) 281-4733 or kristin@ashlandforgood.org. Hillsdale teachers can also reach out to Mrs. Jennifer Grissinger, who serves on the Foundation's Teacher Mini-Grants Committee, for additional information.

Hillsdale Local Schools congratulates Mrs. Black on this well-deserved recognition and looks forward to witnessing the positive impact of this grant on our students' education.