Toms River High School North in New Jersey is one of 15 recipients selected from over 950 applications, and the only school awarded a Steelcase Education Active Learning Center Grant in the Tri-State region. Dancker, a leading interior solutions provider and four-time Steelcase Premier Partner, will help remodel a classroom into an interactive, literary maker-space for sophomore and junior english classes.
In its third year, The Active Learning Center Grant is an awards program in which each recipient will receive one of four classroom types designed by Steelcase and valued at $65,000. Since it launched in 2014, the grant has provided educators with smarter, active learning spaces across North America.
“Research shows that space impacts behavior, and the classrooms we design utilize this idea to help new groups of teachers and students explore the learning possibilities interactive spaces can bring,” says Craig Wilson, Steelcase Education Director of Market Development, who leads the ALC Grant program.
At Toms River North, the new room will function as a model classroom for the school district and will engage students and teachers alike. Flexible furniture options from Steelcase foster both independent study and collaboration; sit/stand desks, rolling white boards, specialized seat configurations, and integrated technology, collectively support differentiated activities for a variety of learning models. The room also aligns with professional training in “Learner-Active, Technology-Infused Classrooms”, or LATIC, initiated by Norma DeNoia, the Director of Secondary Curriculum at Toms River North.
“In addition to improving student effectiveness, one of the main goals of the project is to bring state-of-the-art learning environments to our local community and to renew a love of teaching for the educators,” says Steven Lang, president and CEO at dancker.
As the participating Steelcase partner for the project, dancker will work specify, order, and install the furniture for the new classroom design, which will officially opened on August 14, 2017. Dancker will, in conjunction with Steelcase, train school faculty on the use of the furniture and technology and check in on the progress of all initiatives.
The Active Learning Center Grant is available to all institutions grade 6 through 12 and colleges/universities that focus primarily on instructor-led learning in a designated classroom. Applications for next year’s grant will be on the Steelcase website at the beginning of 2018.