BEF Receives $50,000 from Middlesex Savings Bank

The Bedford Education Foundation today announced it received a $50,000 gift from Middlesex Savings Bank. The support will allow the BEF to continue their ongoing mission to fund creative and innovative programs and materials for the Bedford Public Schools.

MSB press release photo

From left to right: BEF Treasurer Bob Segal, Middlesex Savings Bank branch manager Melinda Nicholson, BEF Corporate Sponsor Liaison Lisa Harrell, and BEF Co-presidents Jennifer Kelley and Meg McAllister

“The BEF is thrilled about the possibilities this gift from Middlesex Savings Bank will mean for our students,” said Jennifer Kelley, BEF co-president. “The core of our mission is to provide Bedford’s educators the means to transform their visions into reality in their classrooms and schools. Funding of this nature is an incredible boost to what we will be able to help our teachers and administrators accomplish. We are beyond grateful for MSB’s generosity and feel so fortunate to be able to partner with a local business so clearly dedicated to helping the communities it serves.”

The Bedford Education Foundation (BEF) empowers teachers and students to meet the growing challenges of the 21st century. Through direct grants to individual classroom teachers and school administrators, and by collaborating with other established school organizations, the BEF is dedicated to enhancing classroom curricular creativity and innovation in the Bedford Public Schools. “Over the past few years, the BEF has increased our efforts to promote our fundraising goals to the community”, said Lisa Harrell, Corporate Sponsor Liaison at the BEF. “To have Middlesex Savings Bank recognize the work we do for our schools by providing us with this generous gift is truly an honor.”

“Middlesex Savings Bank has great respect for the education foundations in our community,” said Michael McAuliffe, President and CEO of Middlesex Savings Bank. “They work hard to support projects and programs that foster learning and creativity. We hope these donations will make their jobs easier this year and are excited to see their existing academic programs flourish or new ones come to life.”

The Bedford Education Foundation is a volunteer board of parent and community members committed to serving all of Bedford’s public schools.  Since their inception in 2008, they have funded 187 grants at all four schools in all disciplines. For more information on the BEF, please visit and ‘like’ their Facebook page at

About Middlesex Savings Bank

Founded in 1835 and headquartered in Natick, Mass., Middlesex Savings Bank has been right there with its community for nearly 200 years. The Bank takes a customer-first focus when it comes to offering products, technology, and an unparalleled level of customer service. Middlesex Savings Bank provides funds to local nonprofits and organizations through corporate giving and community sponsorship, as well as through its philanthropic arm – the Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation. The FDIC and DIF insured bank has 30 branch offices located in 25 communities – Acton, Ashland, Bedford, Bellingham, Boxborough, Concord, Framingham, Franklin, Groton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Littleton, Maynard, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Natick, Needham, Sherborn, Southborough, Sudbury, Walpole, Wayland, Wellesley, and Westford. For more information, please visit, and

BEF Mardi Gras Bash FAQ

When and where is this event?
Our Mardi Gras Bash is on Saturday, February 3, from 7pm to 11pm. We’re excited to host this year’s event at a new venue–the Hilton Garden Inn in Burlington.

Where is that place?
The Hilton Garden Inn is located at 5 Wheeler Road in Burlington. Just past the Burlington Mall on Middlesex Turnpike, take a left at the Dunkin Donuts onto Wheeler Road. The hotel is 0.2 mile down the road on your left. Or, you can shoot right up 128N to the mall exit – you will see the hotel coming down the ramp. Then, take a left onto Middlesex Turnpike and the next left onto Wheeler Road.

How much are tickets and where do I get them?
Tickets are $50 each and can be purchased online at our website––through Monday, January 29. If you don’t buy your tickets by the deadline, tickets will be available for $60 at the door.

When should I buy tickets?
The sooner the better! If you are planning on going, we encourage you to buy tickets NOW. It will greatly help us in planning how much food to provide and how many beads and other items to purchase.

What should I wear?
Good question! There are no requirements here. Wear what you would to any festive gathering, and if you are so inclined, add some Mardi Gras flair! Some people may wear PURPLE, GOLD, or GREEN, take the opportunity to wear something SPARKLY, or wear Mardi Gras themed accessories–MASKS, BEADS, HATS, etc.–OR all of the above!

Trust us, a good time will be had by all no matter what you are wearing! There will be beads available at the event with a chance to ‘win’ more throughout the evening, but feel free to come wearing more of your own as well.

Will I need cash?
The bar is cash only, but we will accept all major credit cards, cash, or checks for the raffle, silent auction, and tickets at the door.

Will there be food?
Yes! We will provide a selection of stationary and passed appetizers throughout the evening.

Do I have to be a Bedford resident to attend?
No. If you have friends and family who are interested in a fun night out and supporting our schools, bring them along. The more the merrier!

Is this a family event?
No. This event is adults-only.

What are you raising funds for anyway?
Great question! The Bedford Education Foundation, established in 2008, provides grants to support innovation and creativity at all four of Bedford’s Public Schools. Find out more about us at

What if I can’t go to the Bash, but I’d still like to support the BEF?
Thanks! You can make a tax-deductible donation to the Bedford Education Foundation here.

I have a question about your event. Who should I contact?
Send an email to BEF Co-Presidents Meg McAllister and Jen Kelley at and they will be happy to answer any questions.

We hope to see you there!
The BEF Bash Planning Committee
Lisa Gedaminsky, Lisa Harrell, Jen Kelley, & Meg McAllister

Bash:date:venue:time 2018 v2

BEF Announces Fall Grant Recipients

The Bedford Education Foundation is proud to announce the funding of seven grants in our Fall 2017 grant cycle, totaling $11,000. Congratulations to all of our grant recipients! To date, the BEF has funded over $200,000 towards creative and innovation projects in the Bedford Public Schools.

Davis Kindergarten teachers Jaclyn Bentinck-Smith and Stacy Vallely were awarded a $2,900 grant for Screen Free Coding Equipment for all of the Kindergarten classrooms. This is a great way to introduce logic and coding without exposing children to more screen time. Every Kindergarten classroom will receive a Robot Mouse activity kit with an extra programmable mouse, plus a Let’s Go Code activity set. In addition, three KIBO robots will be shared amongst the Kindergarten classrooms.


Lane School Speech and Language therapist Nadia Trant was awarded a $500 grant for an Expanding Expression Tool program (EET). EET is a multi-sensory approach for improving oral and written language, using a systematic, semantic, and hands-on methodology for organizing and describing. EET is a creative and innovative hands-on tool that will help students with their writing, close-reading and speaking skills. 

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JGMS 8th grade English teachers Denise Breakall and Peter Jacob-Dolan were awarded a $1,200 grant to bring the Shakespeare Now! Theater Company to JGMS to perform Romeo and Juliet this coming Spring. We expect that this creative and innovative pilot program will resound with students and help many better understand and connect with Shakespeare.

The JGMS Guidance Department was awarded a $1,850 grant for Creating a Mindful M
oment Room. The grant will provide resources and curriculum necessary for the complete transformation of Room B241, an alternative setting room in JGMS, often used for in-school suspensions, into a Mindful Moment Room, a safe place for middle schoolers to reconsider their choices while learning to decompress, reflect, and participate in sensory-based activities. This grant will help create an environment more conducive to early adolescent students’ engagement in deep, reflective thought, especially when confronted with social and emotional stress, in the hopes that coping skills improve and translate into a more positive school and classroom experience. We are proud to be a part of this ongoing initiative at JGMS. 

BHS theater director Katrina Faulstich was awarded a $720 grant for Costume and Prop Inventory software for the BHS theater department. The costumes and props used for BHS performances (and eventually JGMS performances) will be organized and catalogued so they are easier to find. Students will also be involved in this effort. The new software should allow the department to reuse more items, share resources with other schools, and spend more time working with students on the creative process.

costume inventory

Art Director Sean Hagan was awarded a $2,800 grant for five DSLR Cameras for a new BHS Digital Photography class, proposed for the 2018-2019 school year. These sophisticated cameras will offer students a much higher level of control, finesse, artistic choice, and creativity in their photography work than the various hand-held devices often used. Mr. Hagan envisions these cameras being used in a multitude of ways going forward, including the potential for high school students to give back to the Bedford community with their photography skills.


BHS English teachers Patti Messenger and Jillian Butler were awarded a $1,000 grant for

a Visiting Writers’ Series. This program will allow for students to read selections from several authors and then have these authors come to BHS individually to discuss this work and process in a workshop format. This innovative program will help humanize the work and the writing process as well as allow students to think more critically about writing as a profession. 


BEF Mardi Gras Bash – Save the Date!

BEF Bash 2018 Save the Date v2

Mark your Calendars!

The French Quarter may have Bourbon Street, but our Mardi Gras Bash is going to be hard to beat!

The Bedford Education Foundation is excited to announce that this year’s annual BEF Bash will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Burlington on Saturday, February 3 at 7pm.

Tickets will be available starting on November 24th.