Educators working with children who have disabilities possess invaluable expertise in effective teaching methods. Frequently, there is a lack of funding from government-regulated taxes to support innovative educational initiatives, leading teachers to either personally finance materials or abandon expensive projects. The Special Education Foundation has been bridging this financial gap by providing Classroom Innovation Grants to selected teachers each year since 2002.
SEF is now using a new secure application platform!
Teachers can now submit applications for all programs through SEF’s application platform Submittable - teachers can now create a secure account with SEF, submit their applications, and have the ability to view the status of their submissions and communicate directly with us through the platform.
Occupational Therapist Jeanie Hall was awarded a grant and is implementing her “Eat a Rainbow” project with her students at the Ladue Early Childhood Center. This project was created to provide a safe space for her students explore and become more comfortable with new, healthy foods. It also offers the opportunity for them to improve utensil usage, as we have adult support in her classroom to assist with learning those skills.
Each week has a color theme introducing 3 foods of that color which have varying textures. The students explore the foods by touching, smelling, poking, cutting, and stirring - the principals of the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Eating developed by Dr. Kay Toomey. These principals encourage students to work through the 32 steps to eating.
The Classroom Innovation Grant program has provided Ms. Hall the opportunity to implement this project with her students and the students’ parents are enjoying it too.
Classroom Innovation Grant applications for the 2024-2025 school year are being accepted now through December 15, 2023. Those selected will be notified in early 2024.