Meet Marguerite Dimgba, Program Director for Greece Professional Learning Center in Rochester, NY. Marguerite and her amazing staff provide services to nearly 1100 teachers in the Greece Public School District, as well as, the many organizations that make their corner in upstate New York a community.
For 30 years, providing academic resources and professional learning to educators and community groups has been Greece PLC’s number 1 goal and having the VariQuest Cutout Maker 1800 “has changed how we support teachers”, says Marguerite. “With over 4,500 shapes to choose from in a variety of sizes, teachers are able to create academic resources that support the needs of the students in their classrooms in areas such as social emotional learning and culturally responsive education.”
Funded by the New York State Teacher Center Grant, Greece PLC acquired their first Cutout Maker when it hit the market some 13 years ago, adding a second one to their resource center in 2015. Since then, approximately 450 teachers put their Cutout Makers to good use each year.
Benefits to Staff and Students
When asked about the benefits the Cutout Maker has provided their teachers, Marguerite cited its ease of use, stating, “I give basic directions and don’t have to babysit it — it tends to run itself.” She also mentioned the tool’s cost-effectiveness – because everything is written in their grant, it’s very easy to maintain for their teachers, with supplies readily available to them. “Having a variety of tools in your toolbox helps teachers.” As for student benefits, Marguerite put it simply— “It supports hands-on learning and makes lessons come to life, keeping students engaged in their learning. It [Cutout Maker] makes learning interactive and more meaningful to kids.”
Make manipulatives with the Cutout Maker and have students assemble the diagram as shown!
One of the main benefits to the learning center is the little space the Cutout Maker requires. With all the shapes, fonts & collections stored electronically, versus the real estate mechanical dies take up, there’s more room for teachers and community members to create, cut & assemble!
Now that spring has sprung, Marguerite finds the Cutout Maker an important tool for creating lots of colorful seasonal displays, which is just one of their favorite uses, along with thematic displays (great for Earth Day coming soon!) and academic benefits which are numerous at Greece PLC, especially in the areas of Math, ELA and SEL. Not to mention the teacher guided VariQuest Learning Modules that correlate output from the Cutout Maker with classroom instruction, putting teacher’s minds at ease.
Cutout Maker Applications for All Grade Levels
From the entire alphabet right at their fingertips, including the ability to connect letters at the primary level, to manipulatives that support their math and social studies curriculum at the high school level, plus benefits to pre-service teachers with various shapes & displays available through their “Make & Take” study skills class, the VariQuest Cutout Maker is an excellent fit at any grade level. And teachers at Greece Public Schools couldn’t be more thrilled to get their hands-on brand-NEW Cutout Maker content constantly being released by VariQuest!
Cutout Maker shapes are also used to support their district-wide athletic programs, senior night – where parents cut their student’s name and favorite activity shape(s) to display proudly on graduation night – and to boost a respectable school culture for every learner.
Providing Support to Their Community
Greece PLC prides themselves with their ongoing support to teachers, but it doesn’t stop there. With the help of the VariQuest Cutout Maker, support to their community members is noteworthy! Just some of the many examples include-
- Curriculum materials for the Greece YMCA (i.e. lacing cutouts to develop fine motor skills for their 2 & 3 yr. old program)
- Camping themed cutouts and signage for the Girl Scouts’ camp adventure weekends
- Rockets and other featured cutouts to support vacation bible school programs at area churches
Confidently stated by Marguerite, “We love our VariQuest machine, thank you!”
For more information on how the VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Tools could benefit your district or school, request a personalized meeting with one of our expert Education Consultants today!
Professionally-supported educators leads to outstanding student achievement
Use hands-on manipulatives to achieve a positive school culture for every learner
Endorse curriculum materials to help build a balanced community