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6268-SUNBEAMS Awarded Grant for Fifth Consecutive Year

6268-February 2, 2012

The Malone University School of Education and Human Development received word from the Ohio Board of Regents (OBR) that it has been awarded an Improving Teacher Quality grant for the fifth consecutive year. The project, called SUNBEAMS (Students Understanding the Natural World by Broadening the Education and Applications of Math and Science), has received $500,000 from OBR to date, allowing the School to touch 240 Preschool-Grade 2 teachers in high-need districts in Stark County. With this current grant, Malone plans to provide an additional 60 teachers with training in best practices and curriculum for teaching math and science.

The goals of SUNBEAMS are:   1) To develop the capacity of teachers to understand and utilize integrated math and science methods and standards-based content in preschool and primary grades classrooms; 2) To improve student achievement and learning outcomes as measured by teachers' reports of students' acquisition of science and math content/skills and technology skills; 3) To build professional learning communities within the schools through discussion and action research; and 4) To equip special educators, teachers of students whose primary language is not English, and early education teachers within high needs Local Education Agencies (LEA) with a greater understanding of and specific strategies for differentiating instruction with cultural diversity, poverty, and special needs in mind.

According to Rhoda Sommers, Ph.D., dean of the School of Education and Human Development, "It is an honor for us to partner with area school districts to improve student learning through SUNBEAMS. Our goal at Malone is to positively impact student achievement through providing quality teacher training for both in-service and pre-service teachers. In so many classrooms in Stark County, teachers consistently search for effective ways to encourage student learning, and we are delighted to work beside them to shape a bright future for our area."

The project is co-directed by Beth Clark-Thomas, Ph.D., professor of elementary education and Nancy Varian, Ph.D., director of the Malone University School of Education & Human Development's Center for Professional Development.


Malone University, a Christian university for the arts, sciences, and professions in the liberal arts tradition, affiliated with the Evangelical Friends Church, awards both undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than 100 academic programs. Malone is recognized by the prestigious Templeton Foundation as a leader in character development, named an NAIA Champions of Character Five Star Award winner, and is ranked among the top colleges and universities in the Midwest under the category Regional Universities according to U.S.News & World Report's America's Best Colleges 2012.


Suzanne Thomas, APR
Director of University Relations
Malone University
2600 Cleveland Avenue N.W., Canton, OH, 44709
Phone: 330-471-8239
Cell: 330-324-2424

Categories: academics