Grants Support Students

Oakwood Schools Foundation (“OSF”) Grants are designed to encourage, facilitate, recognize and reward innovative and creative instructional programs and ideas in education. Teachers, principals and school administrators can apply for grants to fund projects that benefit individual classrooms or their entire school.

OSF offers schools and specific departments the opportunity to apply for grants to support innovative programs or projects that promote higher levels of student learning and academic success. To be considered, grant proposals must enhance student academic performance and support the stated objectives, goals and initiatives of Oakwood Schools.

OSF awards grants annually in the fall and spring through a streamlined grants application process in partnership with the Oakwood Fine Arts Boosters, the Harman PTO, the Smith PTO and the Oakwood Junior High and High School PTOs. Fall grants support projects or programs in the current calendar school year, while spring grants support projects or programs in the current school year or the following school year.

students at Houk Stream
Anamotage table in use

While outside of the Foundation’s endowment grant budget, in early 2022 Foundation Trustees voted to make a very special grant for an innovative and exciting virtual 3-D anatomy dissecting table. They recognized that this opportunity was a complement to the late Ruth Herman’s legacy. Ruth was an Oakwood Schools Foundation Dream Builder and dedicated alumni member of the OHS Class of 1947. A portion of Ruth’s undesignated bequest gift to the Foundation covered the anatomy table in honor and memory of Ruth as a pioneer for women in the sciences and in the spirit of her endless pursuit of learning. This table was the first of its kind for a public school in Ohio and gives students an opportunity to learn about anatomy and physiology at an advanced level.


The Anatomage Table utilizes state-of-the-art technology to bring a unique learning opportunity to Oakwood students. This project brings textbook pages to life by allowing Oakwood Junior High and High School students the ability to interact and manipulate cadavers and organisms in ways that collegiate level students and professionals in the field of medicine can.

The Anatomage Dissecting Table provides endless possibilities for integration within Human Anatomy and Physiology Course, enables students in Biology courses to complete virtual dissections and comparative anatomy studies, and affords the possibility to view virtual autopsies. The integration of this learning system strengthens the understanding of students and provides a richer learning environment.

“This table allows us to be able to look at a real human body without having an actual cadaver in the room. It is also helpful because we can explore the body systems we are learning about in class with this table.”

Peyton Deutsch

Class of 2023

Trustee presenting grants check to Board of Ed

Fall 2022 Grants

aDOORable Oakwood Tiny Door Trail – Melody Knostman, Smith Elementary

In this grant, 5th grade Writing & Social Studies Standards, including: persuasive and informative writing, short story writing and cartography, are incorporated into a community outreach project through Mrs. Knostman’s Social Studies classes.  Students will create a tiny door trail throughout Oakwood through outreach to local businesses, as well as develop a website and brochure including QR codes, maps, and keys. The Wright Library will continue the aDOORable Tiny Door Trail project for the community after the initial project has been implemented. In addition to helping our students hone their skills and develop partnerships in the community, it will encouraging families to spend time together searching for the aDOORable tiny doors throughout Oakwood starting Spring of 2023.  Oakwood Zoning and City Council has granted approval for this project.

Playground Communication Board – Jessica Wright, Smith Elementary

In order to support all students with the opportunity to learn from one another, interact, accept differences, and decrease language barriers, playground communication boards utilizing “Talk To Me” technology will have playground vocabulary, common core language, and the ASL alphabet for our students that are not yet speaking or communicating using ASL. The boards will allow for augmentative and alternative communication to facilitate communication between nonverbal and verbal students while on the playground. These communication boards will allow for an inclusive environment for all students while building skills to engage in conversation and enhance literacy.

Sensory Calming Counselor’s Corner – Michael Wadham, Harman School

Students are not able to learn if they are not feeling safe, secure, and regulated. Having a space where they can do this is essential for students who struggle with emotional regulation if they are to access and connect with the curriculum. The Sensory Calming Counselor’s Corner will help students regulate their emotions and practice regulation and reflection skills, enabling them to participate fully in the curriculum.

Atlases to the World – Megan Moore, Harman School

In order to teach the Ohio Social Studies Standards, World Atlases will allow students to compare physical and modern political maps of each area of the world. For each unit, students will compare a primary source map to the modern maps within the World Atlases. Real world experience with atlases will ensure students are aware of the world around them and basic, critical geography for future grades and life.

Elementary Muse Machine Arts Integration Residency – Pamela Ellis, Smith Elementary

Professional actor and Muse Machine Elementary program director, Michael Kenwood Lippert, will work with the 1st and 2nd grade teachers and students to explore the elements of live theatre and how they can be used to communicate core curriculum concepts during a 6-day residency. Through daily hands-on sessions, students will experience the creativity, energy, and discipline of creating live theatre. The students will create original performance pieces allowing them to communicate the curriculum concepts they are working to master. The students will write original theatre pieces (one collaborative piece for each grade level) with the support of their theatrical and academic instructors. Once the original theater pieces are written, Mrs. Ellis and Mr. Vanden Eynden will work to add music and choreography for an even deeper arts integration experience. The residency will result in a live performance to provide the students a public forum to communicate what they have learned and created, allowing parents and their classmates to witness an amazing new level of excitement about learning using the arts as a vehicle for student learning.

Whale Week – Anthony Holzberg, Anne Kenney, & Jenna Lakin, Harman School

“Whale Week” will give students the opportunity to look at the world through a scientific perspective about marine life and ocean habitat. Harman 4th graders will encounter a floating classroom by adopting their own humpback whale, going on a Virtual Keiki Whale Watch off the coast of Maui, Hawaii, conduct hands on experiments as to how humpback whales use their animal adaptations to survive, and attend a Zoom meeting with a certified Marine Naturalist to discuss how we play a vital role in helping to protect our oceans.

Beginner Tubas, 6th Grade Band – Caleb Vanden Eynden & Scott Forney, Smith Elementary & Harman School

This grant will fund one ¾ sized (beginner) tuba for each Smith Elementary and Harman School. Currently, our buildings do not have any beginner-sized tubas for students that want to switch from trombone/trumpet to tuba. These instruments are very hard for students and families to rent as they are very rare, so having one at each school will allow for 6th grade students to experiment and play the tuba before getting to the JH/HS building. The tubas are expected to arrive in Spring 2023.

Granting exciting opportunity for our students!

Our grants have supported projects from field trips, to science kits, and even a virtual whale watching trip for fourth graders at Edwin D. Smith Elementary and the Harman School. You can learn more about the virtual whale watch in this video from Oakwood Schools Curriculum Showcase.


Percentage of graduating Oakwood seniors who received a scholarship through OSF in 2021

$1 million

In grants funded for Oakwood teachers and staff since 1991


Annual scholarships offered to Oakwood seniors

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