Anderson Children's Foundation

John F Kennedy Elementary School

Headphones for Literacy (2022-2023)

Headphones for literacy is a way to promote literacy for all the students in 3rd grade. These headphones will allow students to listen to computer programs and information on the internet without disturbing others around them. Students who struggle reading can access information and be able to be successful in participating in discussions and in demonstrating mastery of the third grade standards. Providing students with functioning headphones will provide equity and inclusion for all students in the grade level because reading struggles will no longer hinder their ability to comprehend the material. Currently, I have seven students at a kindergarten reading level, six who are at a first grade reading level, and four at a second grade reading level; these students struggle to participate in many third grade activities due to their reading levels. Students will be able to utilize these headphones everyday throughout the whole year. They will also be able to take them home to complete work. This grant will provide funds to purchase a personal set of headphones for each student in third grade for two years.

Stacey Bonacci 3rd grade teacher at Kennedy Elementary School in the Desert Sands Unified School District


Lego Robotics (2018-2019, 2015-2016)

John F. Kennedy Elementary is a designated Math Science Magnet School. To fulfill our school's mission, "to provide our future workforce with the necessary skills to obtain careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics," we entered into the FIRST LEGO League robotics competitive arena in 2010. Since then, our students have participated in the LEGO robotics class, in which they build and program robots made from LEGO pieces.

The LEGO Education WeDo system will directly feed into our established after-school LEGO Robotics program for Third-Fifth Graders. The WeDo kit contains 280 LEGO building pieces, sensors, motors, and lessons for projects linked to Next Generation Science Standards and is designed to be used by a pair of students.

As a First Grade teacher, I see a need for students to challenge themselves beyond computer, tablet, and Chromebook games. LEGO WeDo provides this opportunity. Combining hands-on LEGOs with easy-to-use coding software and inspiring STEM projects, WeDo 2.0 enables students to explore the building blocks of coding in a real-world environment.

Our school is 100% free lunch, 91% Spanish; English Learners 51.3%. To master Common Core standards, it is crucial that we expose students to as many learning styles as possible. LEGO WeDo is hands-on; create three-dimensional objects that move via coding, trial and error, and collaborating with a partner. LEGO sets have no written directions: it’s entirely visual. This is a great advantage for our EL population.

Coding exposure at the earliest ages will build confidence and understanding in the technology field. This is their world. WeDo 2.0 strengthens students’ understanding of the eight science and engineering practices: asking questions and solving problems, modelling, prototyping, investigating, analyzing and interpreting data, computational thinking, creating evidence based arguments, and obtaining, evaluating and communicating information.

Our LEGO Robotics team has scored higher than many Middle School teams in the First LEGO League qualifying events. With early exposure and the proper tools, there is no limit to what our students will achieve!

Kennedy Leaders, Citizen Scientists (2013-2014)