The Bedford Education Foundation funded nineteen grants in our 2018 grant cycles, totaling over $30,000.
GRANTS FUNDED AT DAVIS SCHOOL
Davis School teachers Pat Flaherty-Dawson, Kim Marino, and Kristie Kimball-Dorey were awarded a $660 grant for reusable materials for the Davis School annual Earth Day celebration. This celebration, and the preparation for it, not only honors the Earth and the importance of its preservation, but also allows young children the opportunity to see how they can be called to action and make a difference in the world.
Davis School teachers Alli Lua and Karen Shamon, and special education teacher Laura Albonesi, were awarded a $630 grant for Calming Corners for their second grade classrooms. They will create quiet and welcoming areas in their rooms using new soft furnishings and soothing materials to provide a safe place for students to regulate their emotions and calm their bodies and minds. Assisting students with self-regulation will help them to return to their learning with less interruption to both themselves and the class as a whole. Materials provided through this grant are: stress balls, stuffed animals, bean bags, pillows, soft rugs, visual timers, two sets of I Am In Control of Myself books, a CD player, noise-cancelling headphones, and a kids relaxation music CD.
Davis school first grade teacher Kristie Kimball-Dorey was awarded a $550 grant for materials to create permanent sidewalk games on the Davis School playground using a night-sky and space theme. This grant aims to unite the community, social/emotional goals, and the Grade 1 science curriculum.
On behalf of the first grade teaching team, Deb Davies was awarded a $375 grant for thermometers to enrich the science curriculum in relation to weather observations, implications, and patterns. Each first grade classroom will receive a 30-inch tall thermometer that measures temperature in both Fahrenheit and Celsius. In addition, two large thermometers will be placed in easily accessible spaces for all who visit Davis School.
Second grade teachers Kim Marino and Pat Flaherty-Dawson were awarded a $550 grant for manipulatives to enhance their math curriculum. The materials, Cuisenaire rods, Rekenrak 100 beads, and visual cluster number cards, will help students develop number sense, visualize numbers, and apply their knowledge to higher level math problems.
The BEF and BEST PTO partnered to co-fund a grant initiated by Assistant Principal Jessica Colby. Davis School was awarded a $6,100 grant for a set of oversized blocks and building materials for use at recess. This fun and engaging portable construction set encourages creativity, imagination, and cooperative problem-solving skills.
GRANT FUNDED AT DAVIS AND LANE SCHOOLS
Davis School Guidance Counselor Paula Francis-Springer and Lane School Guidance Counselor Jessica Smith were awarded a $675 grant for spinning problem-solving wheels to help students navigate difficult social challenges during recess times at Davis and Lane. The 30-inch wheels are portable and may be used in classrooms as well, as the sections of the wheel correspond to the varied strategies currently taught at Davis and Lane to help navigate potentially challenging situations in the course of the day.
GRANTS FUNDED AT LANE SCHOOL
Elementary Math Curriculum Coordinator Sarah Dorer was awarded a $3,300 grant to pilot an exciting new online math skills program at Lane School. Reflex Math is a game-based, motivational approach to developing fluency with math facts that supports the current structure and practice of the grades 3-5 math curriculum primarily via student accounts used at home. The program also has the capacity to generate weekly reports to help teachers and parents monitor students’ progress.
Lane School Speech and Language therapist Nadia Trant was awarded a $1,500 grant for a Sensory Path to be installed in the west wing of Lane School. The path creates a space for students to have a structured movement break if needed during the course of the school day. This creative addition to Lane will provide all students the opportunity to access tools that will help them be more focused and more available for learning.
GRANTS FUNDED AT JOHN GLENN MIDDLE SCHOOL
Grade 8 Science teachers Charlie Puopolo and Heidi Scaltreto were awarded a $1,300 grant for a weather station with two monitors, one for each classroom. Students will engage in authentic and relevant opportunities that allow them to collect data, recognize trends, and make predictions about the weather.
JGMS Performing Arts teacher Amy Budka was awarded a $2,200 grant for six iPads and a charging cart for dedicated use in her general music, theater arts, and chorus classes. The iPads will be used for videotaping and editing projects as well as student vocal assessments and performances. In addition, students will be able to work independently in small groups with access to accompaniments, ear training apps, and sight reading apps.
JGMS Reading teachers Rachel LeBlanc, Katie Cardinal, and Alison Breaux were awarded a $230 grant for a game center, equipped with twelve board games, for the Reading Department. The games identified focus on vocabulary development, understanding sentence structure, phonetic structure of words, and comprehension skills. The goal of the game center is to increase students’ literacy skills in a more engaging, hands-on way with fun, motivational tools.
JGMS adjustment counselor Lisa Butterfield, Special Education teacher John Glynn, and teaching assistants Kimberly Limoli, Virginia Stepper, and Katherine Connell were awarded a $850 grant for a Sensory Spot within the SAIL classroom. This will be a safe space for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other related disabilities to help them self-regulate. Some of the materials funded include 2 crash pads, 2 noise-reduction ear muffs, a weighted shoulder wrap, calming sand panel, and a cylinder pillow with vibrations.
JGMS Spanish teacher Bonnie Klein was awarded a $1,500 grant on behalf of the entire district’s Spanish teachers. This grant will pilot a one-year membership for Bedford’s twelve Spanish teachers for Adios Textbook, a proficiency-based online curriculum with authentic resources. This resource includes a wonderful variety of reading and listening activities to support the department’s work on literacy, especially in relation to the district’s goal of providing students with a wide range of text genres that are engaging and relevant.
GRANTS FUNDED AT BEDFORD HIGH SCHOOL
BHS Science teacher Beth Billouin was awarded a $170 grant for curriculum materials for interactive notebooks for honors chemistry and honors biology classes. Interactive notebooks help students to organize and synthesize information with creative, interactive, and easily personalized activities. The notebooks accommodate multiple learning styles at one time, both in and out of the classroom, and will help students build a portfolio to show academic growth over the course of the year.
Art Director Sean Hagan was awarded a $5,900 grant for ten DSLR Cameras and lighting to round out the funding of a classroom set of cameras for the new BHS Digital Photography class. 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 Business teacher Justine Flora was awarded a $2,600 grant for a Hotronix heat press package to enable Marketing, Introduction to Business, and DECA club members to design and print custom apparel. This machine, which transfers designs onto fabric and other materials, will allow students to have hands-on experience in all that running a small business entails.
Jillian Butler, advisor of the student-run TV show BHS Live!, was awarded a $900 grant for equipment to update the studio’s audio system. The BEF is excited to play a role in the revitalization of this valued program at BHS.
BHS librarian Christine Magoon was awarded a $2,800 grant to bring Val Emmich to Bedford High School. Emmich is an actor, singer-songwriter, and an author, most well known for his best-selling novel adaptation of the musical Dear Evan Hansen. This full-day visit will center around the theme of being “All of You,” and include discussion of the writing process and a songwriting session. This grant brings many interdisciplinary elements to BHS and supports the discussion of the social issues that affect all students.
In addition to the author visit, as part of this grant, the BEF also funded two classroom sets of Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel.
TEACHERS AS SCHOLARS
The BEF funded a $2,400 grant for four spaces for Bedford teachers to attend the very popular Teachers as Scholars program. Teachers as Scholars offers content-based professional development seminars led by university faculty for K-12 educators. TAS allows teachers to study a chosen topic in depth, enabling them to bring creative and innovative ideas relating to this discipline back into their classrooms.