2015-2016 Grants

We are proud to announce the funding of ten BEF grants during the 2015-2016 school year, totaling $15,500.

The Davis School Kindergarten was awarded a $1,550 grant for costumes, props, and multicultural play food, initiated by Jessica Colby and Alysse Bridenbecker. These items will support all learners, enabling them to engage in more pretend and imaginative play in the classroom. This endeavor is aligned with the school’s mission statement, to allow more opportunities for creating an interactive environment in which children can learn and practice various critical thinking skills through hands-on play.dressup.png

gagaThe BEF and BEST PTO partnered to co-fund a grant initiated by second grade teacher Pat Flaherty-Dawson. Davis School was awarded a $4,109 grant for a GaGa Ball Pit for the playground. GaGa Ball is a fast paced, fun-filled game, which allows a large group to play together on an equal playing field. This initiative is designed to increase student engagement in cooperative play through active games and to provide additional opportunities for students to develop positive social/emotional skills through authentic play at recess, while continuing to build a strong sense of community.

hokkiFirst grade teacher Amy Cormie was awarded a $500 grant for five Hokki stools. The Hokki is an ergonomic stool with a convex base that allows rocking, twisting and turning, increasing students’ attention spans and concentration.




Second grade teacher Michael Dattoli was awarded a $250 grant for a classroom set of KEVA Contraptions. The blocks will be used to enrich the Forces in Motion unit, using a hands-on approach to investigating how the motion of an object can be changed based on the design and building of different structures.


Kindergarten teacher Jessica Colby was awarded a $500 grant for cube chairs, textured seat discs, and bean pad seats for her kindergarten classroom. These seating alternatives can help students focus and learn self-regulation strategies.


Lane School librarian Linda Coviello was awarded a $2,090 grant for two Afinia 3D printers for the Lane School MakerSpace. The goal of the newly created Lane Library MakerSpace is to creatively engage students using 21st century skills, to increase “hands on” student time and engage them with current, exciting cutting-edge technology. The mission of the program is Think. Design. Innovate. Create.printer.png
Noelle Elien and the entire Grade 4 teaching team were awarded a $5,000 grant for a Musical-Theater Workshop to enrich the Social Studies curriculum. All Grade 4 students will participate in a hands-on week-long workshop in which they step directly into the shoes of an immigrant to the United States. Pairs of classes will focus on one group’s journey to Ellis Island in the 1800s: the English, Italians, Irish or Russian Jews. The workshop will culminate in a performance at the end-of-the-year Celebrate America concert at Lane School.

Bedford Art Director Sean Hagan was awarded a grant for $1,023 for 6 Little Bits electronics kits. These kits allow students to design, problem solve and create a limitless amount of inventions. At Lane and JGMS, art teachers Candace Banks, Hailey Drummond, and Paul Harrington will pilot this program in select art classes. Here is a link to Little Bits “Drawing Bot” examples: http://littlebits.cc/bits-generated-art

Foreign language teachers Wendy Tanahashi-Works and Bonnie Klein were awarded a $1,023 grant for 2 iPads and apps to help differentiate the curriculum for the wide range of learners. Most Bedford students have been taking foreign language starting in Grade 3. These iPads will help not only new students moving in from other districts who may be new to the language, but also students who may want to try more challenging activities. The BEF is proud to support the use of technology in a curricular area that does not currently have wide iPad access.

Math Director Patrick Morrissey was awarded a $1,500 grant for twelve TI-84 Plus graphing calculators for students in the Calculus Project. The Calculus Project began in the summer of 2015 with rising eighth graders attending a summer Algebra preview at Boston University. The program’s vision and goal is to support African American and Hispanic students on their path to Advanced Placement Calculus as seniors in high school.