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LION Faculty Awarded $35,000 in Micro Grants!

The diverse talent of our LION faculty is one of the highlights of our school. We are committed to providing outlets for faculty to foster their creativity and connect with students, staff, and families in unique ways. This goal prompted the creation of LION’s Faculty Fellowship Program, an in-house grant program administered by teachers, for teachers. Faculty Fellowships focus on projects that aim to improve student outcomes, promote teacher leadership and collaboration, and further LION’s mission. We believe that by empowering teachers with micro grants, LION will increase faculty engagement, efficacy, and innovation.

This year LION is proud to announce the funding of 11 faculty fellowships! This is the highest number of fellowships ever awarded in a single year. We are proud of all the recipients for your leadership, innovation, and dedication to LION’s mission. We can’t wait to hear the results of your projects in June!

Below is a list of all projects for which fellowship grants were awarded:

LION Roarers

Facilitators: Natasha Ramos, Deanna Lindsay, and Gilroy Godoy

The LION Roarers strive to enhance the Elementary School community by encouraging leadership and increasing curiosity through community-building activities in vocal music and performance. We aim to broaden the horizons of students seeking an outlet for musical expression. Students will have the opportunity to enhance their learning in vocal performance and music theory with like-minded peers of various ages with a passion for music.

LION’s Club

Facilitators: Shakra Wailes and De’Shawn Carnegie

This is LION’s Club second year. Through this program, at-risk students are able to build relationships with their peers, student leaders, and select staff. The club meets weekly and addresses a different student or staff spark each week. Club members will also participate in staff-led and student-led discussions about issues in the school and community. Together, students will work to find solutions for the issues discussed. Along with the weekly club meetings, students will participate in quarterly field trips, community service projects, and “reach for the paw” events, which students will also assist staff to plan and facilitate.

Girls on the Run

Facilitators: Jes Perkins, Cinnamon Lewis, and Sadie Semrau

Girls on the Run is a transformational, physical activity-based, youth development program for girls in 4th and 5th Grade. The program aims to inspire an appreciation for fitness and healthy habits as well as teach key life skills, including treating others with care, practicing gratitude, and managing emotions. At the end of the program, participants will complete a 5K with other Girls on the Run councils. Completing the 5k gives the students a tangible understanding of the confidence that comes through accomplishment, as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals.

Heart + Sole

Facilitators: Jes Perkins, Denyea Nelson, and Sarai Hertz-Velasquez

Heart + Sole is a research-based, physical activity curriculum for girls in 6th-8th grade. The program motivates students to learn more about themselves, become independent and critical thinkers, develop skills to write their own stories, and find inner strength through physical activity. Physical activity is integrated into the program to develop healthy habits and teach key life skills, including treating others with care, building self-determination, practicing gratitude, and managing emotions. Continuous physical activity also helps develop cognitive skills, such as thinking, learning and judgment. At the end of the program, participants will complete a 5K with other Girls on the Run and Heart + Sole programs in the NYC area. Completing the 5k will give students a holistic understanding of the confidence that comes through accomplishment, as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals.

Young Men of Excellence

Facilitators: Michael Morales and Marlla Torres

Young Men of Excellence will meet once a week with a group of young men in 5th-8th Grade to discuss topics related to students’ life experiences as young men and create meaningful relationships. This project will ultimately further LION’s mission of developing character and leadership through the relationships fostered and the support members receive throughout the year.

Personal Finance

Facilitators: Maryam Khan and Marlla Torres

The Personal Finance Fellowship will develop and implement a comprehensive financial literacy education program that aims to help students gain fluency and confidence with foundational concepts and skills. The program will ensure that financial literacy is embedded in activities early in the student pathway experience and will support the financial literacy certification process for students as early as 8th grade.

World Scholars Program

Facilitators: Whitney Helton, Shaniqua Dunn, Vida Ebron, Stephanie Seda, and Stephane Ubini

LION’s World Scholars Program aims to help students see the world and themselves in it through annual international trips. The knowledge and skills our students attain through these experiences will ensure they are poised to succeed in an increasingly interconnected world and will prepare them to embrace the challenges and opportunities of our globalized society. This year’s trip, “France Beyond the Eiffel Tower: Unveiling the Hidden Stories of People of Color & Immigration,” will give bright, hardworking, and dedicated students the opportunity to see firsthand international ties to their humanities and social justice curriculum. 

Student-Teachers Art Coalition (STAC)

Facilitators: Jeff Allyn, Danielle Nicolosi, and Quamisha Moreno

The Student-Teacher Arts Coalition (STAC) will create a centralized, K-12 body to share resources, information, talent, and artistic opportunities for all our students. The Coalition will provide a “one stop shop” for students to access and learn about community programs, internships, trips, and internal programming related to the arts. STAC will also serve as the primary contact for external arts groups seeking to partner with our school, with an eye towards forging new relationships with institutions (museums, theaters, concert halls, youth groups, etc.) interested in providing teaching artists, guest speakers, performances, workshops, and discounted tickets or admission. Students will be able to list achievements and performances on their resumes, learn skills that will allow them to turn their passions into profits, and form important contacts in creative professions, community organizations, and university programs.

Dance Cardio

Facilitator: Danielle Nicolosi

Ms. Nicolosi will host LIVE Dance Cardio classes weekly for Elementary School staff. These classes will be follow-the-leader style and will be a mixture of repetitive dance movement as well as exercises. There will be a 45 minute long playlist that includes a variety of music genres. Each class will begin with a warm up and end with a cool down.

Sunshine Club

Facilitator: Davina Davis

The Sunshine Club has become an institution in LION’s Elementary School. The club has been successful in uplifting morale and bringing positive interactions amongst faculty and staff. Sunshine Club grant will provide key funds for showers, flowers of condolences, holiday gatherings, and an end of the year staff event. 

Bonding Leaders Committee (BLC)

Facilitators: Paola Bautista and Ruperto Peres

BLC seeks to foster positive team morale and staff culture at LION High School. By increasing team morale and staff culture, we can have one cohesive approach to support students and families inside and outside of the school. The committee aims to strengthen our LION Pride through community, family, and character.