Dina Casabianca Awarded With Classroom Grant

By  //  December 13, 2014

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teacher at Southwest Middle School

ABOVE VIDEO: This video explores the many reasons why educators are called to the teaching profession and draws particular attention to the growth and positivity of the non-union movement. The AAE members featured in this video not only express their love of teaching children, but also their dedication to elevating the standard of teaching to a more professional level.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Ms. Dina Casabianca, a teacher at Southwest Middle School in Palm Bay, Florida, has been awarded a classroom grant by the Association of American Educators Foundation to fund a classroom field trip to Zoo School.

“Lions and tigers and bears, oh my,” said Casabianca.

“No, we don’t want to attend the circus, we want to attend Zoo School! Students who attend Zoo School have the whole zoo as their classroom. They still learn the state standards, but everything is taught within the context of the zoo using the animals, habitat, and expertise of the zoo staff.”

Attending a week of Zoo School will allow my students, all of whom have intellectual disabilities and/or autism, to apply academic information in a real world, hands on environment. This will enable students to generalize and assimilate material more effectively.

Association of American Educators-180Although my students are in middle school, due to their disabilities they are unable to learn using traditional teaching methods.

They require more support, hands on activities, and innovative techniques in order to learn and retain information. Students will learn better with a thematic approach that integrates different subject matter into an overall experience.

AAEF is committed to offering individual educators classroom grants for optimizing student learning.

“AAEF applauds the dedication that Ms. Casabianca has demonstrated in securing this field trip for her classroom” said AAEF Executive Director Gary Beckner.

“These scholarships and grants are an investment in empowering teachers as professionals across the state.”

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The Association of American Educators Foundation is the non-profit charitable arm of the Association of American Educators, a non-union professional organization for teachers across the country.

The AAE Foundation’s National Scholarships and Grants competition is held twice a year in the fall and spring and is open to all educators. The deadline for the Spring competition is March 1, 2015.

For more information about AAEF or the Association of American Educators, visit AAETeachers.org.