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FUTURES Foundation Announces Superintendent’s Most Creative Mini-Grant Award Recipient

FUTURES Foundation Announces Superintendent’s Most Creative Mini-Grant Award Recipient

FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools named this year’s recipient of the Superintendent’s Most Creative Mini-Grant Award during a Nov. 1 celebratory program at Mainland High School in Daytona.

Deltona Lakes Elementary School Art Teacher Janice Schiavo received the annual Superintendent’s Most Creative Mini-Grant Award for her project “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, A Mary Poppins Kind of Day!”  The project goal is to reflect on each students’ favorite artists and styles throughout elementary school. Giant umbrellas divided into eight sections will be filled with artwork designed by each 5th grade student. A reflection of individuality, these amazing pieces of art will be hung upside down from the ceiling in the school lunchroom and will serve as decoration for the schools’ 5th Grade graduation.

In addition to being honored at the event, FUTURES Foundation presented Ms. Schiavio $250 in recognition for her creativity in addition to fully funding the grant which was sponsored in memory of former School Board Member & Supervisor of Elections Ann McFall. This year’s mini-grant sponsors also included Alexis Lenssen, CFP at Ameriprise Financial; BRPH Architects Engineers; Cobb Cole Law Firm; William & Linda Cuthbert, Duke Energy; Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; Florida Health Care Plans; Florida Power & Light Company; Heart of Volusia; Jean Greenlaw Children’s Literature Mini-Grant Program; Latitude Margaritaville Daytona; Launch Credit Union; Rue & Ziffra, Patricia Sample, the State of Florida School District Education Foundation Matching Grants Program; Stetson University; Synergy Billing; and Dr. Rosaria & Paul Upchurch.

Ten additional projects were recognized for their creativity including: Mary Berg Brown, “Bringing Learning Alive,” Port Orange Elementary; Lynn Boutwell, “Hungry-Hungry Oil Eaters,” Mainland High; Laura Buckley, “Flower Power,” Orange City Elementary; Michael Dye and Shelli Walters, “Criminal Justice: Traffic Direction” University High; Katelyn Filz, “Concussions: Protect Your Head,” New Smyrna Beach Middle; DeAnna Haught, “Crazy About Coral,” New Smyrna Beach Middle; Dana Luff, “Food Beautification Through Science”, New Smyrna Beach High; Elizabeth Pearce, “It’s a Sticky Situation: Project-based Learning with Trash Bags & Duct Tape”, Freedom Elementary; Janet Stone, “Rocking Rotational Symmetry”, George W. Marks Elementary; and Margaret Williams, “Faces of Florida: Past, Present & Future”, Port Orange Elementary. These recipients received an award certificate and a goody bag of items from FUTURES’ various supporters.

This is the eighth year FUTURES Foundation is using an online teacher mini-grant portal, Find it & Fund it, Volusia! to assist local teachers obtain the resources they need. The portal,, was created to provide teachers with a way to secure funding through crowd sourcing their ideas and provide students with opportunities they would not have otherwise. Through this platform, teachers can request funding for a variety of projects and donors may fund them, either fully or partially, with 100% of contributions going directly to the posted project by using the “Fund This Project” button. Teachers can also promote their projects through their own social media networks. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, donations to FUTURES Foundation for these teacher Mini Grant requests may be tax deductible; please consult your tax advisor.

From June to Sept. 15, Volusia County teachers submitted 190 grant requests totaling more than $147,000. FUTURES Foundation and its sponsors were able to fund more than $71,000 to 141 Volusia County teachers and/or teacher teams during the Nov. 1 Mini-Grant Celebration hosted by FUTURES. An additional $30,000 in funding will take place Nov. 8 through the generosity of a donor who wants to remain anonymous. The public is encouraged to visit to view these creative, innovative grants and assist local teachers in finalizing funding for their projects. The columns may be easily sorted by clicking on each header and funding takes place by using the “Fund This Project” button.

FUTURES Foundation’s vision is “All Volusia County Public School Students are equipped and prepared for college or career success” and its mission statement is “We engage business and civic leaders to promote and achieve educational excellence for Volusia County Public Schools.”  For more information about FUTURES, please visit or contact Executive Director Cynthia Ramirez at 386-255-6475, ext. 50730, or

Photo 1 – Janice Schiavo, center, an art teacher at Deltona Lakes Elementary School received the Superintendent’s Most Creative Mini-Grant Award from FUTURES Foundation along with a $250 check. Pictured with Ms. Schiavo, left to right, are School Board Member Carl Persis, School Board Chairman Linda Cuthbert, School Board Member Anita Burnette, School Board Vice Chairman Jamie Haynes, School Board Member Ruben Colon and Superintendent Dr. Scott Fritz.


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