Please Help Us Fund “Facing History and Ourselves”

Superintendent Jon Sills recently updated families on Bedford’s ongoing work in the wake of last year’s anti-semitic incidents. The Bedford Public Schools are taking a multi-pronged approach towards addressing this issue.

This year the BEF is funding curriculum changes through the Facing History and Ourselves program. As noted on their website, “Facing History and Ourselves provides ideas, methods, and tools that support the practical needs, and the spirits, of educators worldwide who share the goal of creating a better, more informed, and more thoughtful society” (www.facing.org).  We are honored to do our part.

We encourage all Bedford residents to do their part, too.  Supporters can get involved in the newly formed Equity and Diversity Committee, participate in the town-wide “Love your Neighbor” campaign, and/or make a designated donation to the BEF helping to fully fund the Facing History and Ourselves program (please include “Facing History” in the memo line of your check).

To read Superintendent Sills’ full statement please go to: Superintendent Sills’ Update 9.12.14

The BEF Supports District-Wide “Facing History” Initiative

The following article was featured in the Bedford Citizen on August 19, 2014:

FHAO check
Bedford Education Foundation’s Linda White and Marge Heckman presented a generous check to Superintendent Jon Sills and Assistant Superintendent Claire Jackson to support the addition of Facing History and Ourselves to Bedford’s curriculum.

The Bedford Education Foundation (BEF) recently helped kick off a new district-wide collaborative effort in the Bedford public schools to promote cultural proficiency and improve our students’ understanding and appreciation of human differences.

Linda White, outgoing BEF Co-Chair and Marge Heckman, Co-Chair presented a check for $5000 to Bedford school Superintendent Jon Sills and Assistant Superintendent Claire Jackson as the BEF’s contribution toward the new partnership just established between the Bedford Public Schools and Facing History and Ourselves (FHAO).

FHAO is an international organization with roots in Brookline, MA whose mission is “to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and anti-Semitism to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry.”

School administration initially consulted with FHAO after several incidents that occurred in the schools during the last school year. Those incidents and an ongoing reevaluation of the social studies curriculum at both the Middle and High Schools have inspired the motivation to help our students better understand the culture of the larger community and the long history of Bedford’s openness and diversity. To that end, the district will partner with FHAO to provide teacher and student resources for a new 8th Grade Social Studies curriculum, direct training of teachers involved, as well as access to all of Facing History’s resources including curriculum development support, speakers and in-service training for grades K-12. While the initial focus is on getting the 8th Grade curriculum up and running for this fall, there will also be ongoing efforts taking place at each of the schools to incorporate aspects of the FHAO curriculum into existing programs and continue to review and revise curricula as needed.

If residents would like to help

The total cost for this program is approximately $35,000. Given that this partnership agreement occurred after the normal budget cycle, the current school budget is not able to provide full funding. The district will make every effort to tweak out funding from the current budget as a result of staffing changes. Superintendent Sills will also be reaching out to the community for additional fundraising to be directed specifically toward the cost of FHAO. The BEF has agreed to serve as the conduit for these funds. Anyone wishing to make donations toward the cost of the FHAO initiative can make checks payable to: Bedford Education Foundation, indicating in the memo line that the funds are to be directed to FHAO. Please mail checks to: Bedford Education Foundation, 97 McMahon Road, Bedford, MA 01730.

About Bedford Education Foundation

The mission of the BEF is to promote and enhance classroom innovation and creativity through direct grants to individual classroom teachers and school administrators. Since 2008, the BEF has awarded a total of $130,977 in grants across all Bedford schools. A complete list of grants awarded is available at the BEF website: www.bedfordeducation.org.

The BEF board would like to thank Linda White for her tireless dedication and countless hours of service to the organization since 2008. Linda has been an active member of the Bedford schools community for many years. Her willingness to try new things and show up anywhere and anytime help was needed are legendary! She has recently stepped down from her co-chair position and we all wish her the best.

 

$10,000 Excellence in Teaching Grant

The Bedford Education Foundation recognizes and acknowledges the many demands and time constraints placed on Bedford’s excellent teaching staff. As part of BEF’s ongoing effort to promote classroom teacher creativity and innovation, we are offering a $10,000 Excellence in Teaching Grant to Bedford’s teaching staff. Summer provides an ideal time for teachers to explore and develop new approaches in their discipline.

The intent of this grant is to provide a grant opportunity that is larger in scope and value than the typical BEF grant. The teacher-initiated summer Excellence in Teaching grant is significantly different in that it provides an opportunity for a teacher stipend to be paid for summer work. In addition to summer stipends, the grant may fund equipment, supplies or expertise (during the summer or school year) that will allow dreams to become reality.

Click here for the grant application.

The grant application deadline is April 30. Technology grants are due to Colleen Murray (colleen_murray@bedford.k12.ma.us) by this date. Non-technology grants can be submitted online directly to Marge Heckman (maheckman@gmail.com).

We look forward to receiving your request.

Sincerely,
Linda White, co-president, BEF
Marge Heckman, co president, BEF

BPS Technology Showcase a Success!

Congratulations to all of the students, faculty, administrators, parents and Bedford residents who made the March 19, 2014 Bedford Public Schools Technology Showcase such a success!

It was a pleasure to see how effectively students at every level and every school are integrating technology into their school day and sharing their understanding of technology. The student presenters were animated, knowledgeable, professional and excited to share their knowledge with parents and all who attended.  It was a wonderful evening and a great educational experience for all.   Well done!

Thank You to Our Donors

The Bedford Education Foundation would like to thank our generous donors for their contributions to the Winter Bash.

A Big Thank You to:
Alice Rouse, Ann Marie Bernardon, Atlantis Sports Club, Bedford Car Wash, Bedford Chamber of Commerce, Bedford Cupcakes, Bedford Department of Public Works, Bedford Farms, Bedford Fire Department, Bedford Florist & Gifts, Bedford High School Music Department, Bedford Historical Society, Bedford Police Department, Betsy & David Boschetto, Blue Cape Cookies, Bob Segal, Boston Bruins, Boston Marriott Cambridge, Boston Sports Club, Bruegger’s Bagels, Build-a-Bear Workshop, Café Luigi, Caitlin De Santi, Callahan’s Karate, Carole Charnow Grainger, Catch a Falling Star, Chip In Farm, Chipotle, Claire White, Concord Toy Shop, Courtyard by Marriott Billerica, Denise Waldron and Mike Feinstein, Disney, Donny White, Doubletree Bedford Glen, Einstein’s Workshop, Essential Skincare, Firebox BBQ, Flatbread Company, Get in Shape for Women, Ginger, Great Road Gallery & Framing, Greenwood Tree Farm, Gretchen Kind, iDance Boston, Ilsa Gottlieb, iRobot, James Kostas, Jen Rosier, Jim Hurley, Joan Turnberg, JGMS Music Department, Jump on In Woburn, KA Tennis, Kamate Fitness/Nancy Griffiths, Karine Marino, Ken’s NY Deli, Kevin Latady, Kristen Manning, Laura Keating, Lazer Craze, Lea Ann Knight, Linda White, Lisa O’Brien-Bumbacca, Lore and Scott Griffith, Marge Heckman, Mary Hurley, Mary Murphy, Meg & Mike McAllister, The Melting Pot, Mike Feinstein and Denise Waldron, New England Olive Oil, New England Patriots, Organic Nail & Spa, Organix Spa & Salon, Panera Bread, Patriot Landscaping, Philip Ciampa Salon, Preferred Car Services, Prince Street Café, Ralph Hammond, Randy Robertson, Red Sox, Renzo’s, Robin Grace, Sandy Morvillo, Seasons 52, Serenity Yoga, Simply Your Home, Suzanne Schmuhl Koller, The Discovery Museums, The Edge, Vicki Markuse, Waxy O’Connor’s, Wicked Good