BEF Grant Cycle Update

The BEF Board would like to share an important update regarding this summer’s grant cycle. The next grant period would normally have a deadline of July 15th and thus result in a late July meeting for grant selection. The BEF Board met last week and voted unanimously to allocate $15,000 for a district-based grant initiative in lieu of our usual July grant cycle in light of the current Covid-19 crisis. This decision was made in consideration of the uncertainty surrounding the future of our students’ education going into next year and with the thought that individualized teacher-initiated grants do not seem to make the most sense at this time, given the many needs of the district as a whole as this situation is being navigated. The BEF is aware that our schools are facing budget shortfalls at a time when needs are increasing as a result of this crisis. And while we would never want to take away individual teachers’ opportunity to develop creative and innovative projects, the board agreed after discussing the idea with Assistant Superintendent Clifford, who serves as the BEF School Liaison, that such initiatives may not be a top priority at this time, especially given the need for so much additional transition preparation this summer. The grant committee will meet before the end of the school year to vote on proposals submitted by central administration to determine the exact use of this funding. Our entire organization extends our deepest gratitude to Bedford’s educators for their dedication and hard work during this unprecedented time, and we look forward to continuing our mission to provide vital funding to all Bedford’s schools.

BEF Hollywood Bash Raises Over $30,000

We’re winding down Bash month here at the BEF, and we are thrilled to share that the BEF Hollywood Bash brought in over $30,000 this year! This record breaking result comes thanks to our guests, corporate sponsors, silent auction donors, “Be A Star” sponsors, and of course, everyone who worked so hard to make this event a success. THANK YOU! Whatever will we do in 2021???

Thank you once again to our generous sponsors – please keep these local businesses in mind when you are in need of services! They have been so supportive of the BEF’s mission!
Please support these local businesses and organizations when you have the chance – they helped create an amazing silent auction this year!
We thank these Bedford families who opted to make a special contribution to the BEF Hollywood Bash!

Hollywood Bash FAQs

We are in full Bash countdown mode at the BEF! The BEF Hollywood Bash is the biggest party of 2020 that supports our schools, and you do not want to miss it! The BEF always makes it a night to remember with plenty of fun in store. This is your chance to help us raise funds to support innovation and creativity in the Bedford Public Schools. With just over a week to get your tickets, here is everything you need to know about the event!

When and where is this event?
The BEF Hollywood Bash is on Saturday, February 8th, from 7pm to 11pm. We’re excited to return once again to 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 – https://bedfordeducation.org/events/bef-bash-2020 through Thursday, February 6th. You can also purchase a “Be A Star” sponsorship if you so choose. 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, etc.
 
What should I wear?
Good question! There are no requirements here. Some folks love to dress the theme, some don’t – perfectly fine! Some may choose the glamour of Oscar Night, but you can also dress as your favorite celebrity or movie character, we love a mix of funny and fancy ideas! Think all things Hollywood, be a director or even a paparazzi, or just dress like you’re going to the movies – anything goes, it’s just a party!
Trust us, a good time will be had by all no matter what you are wearing!
 
Will I need cash?
The bar is cash only, but we will accept all major credit cards, cash, or checks for the silent auction and tickets at the door. There is an ATM at the venue.
 
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. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year, so we need YOUR HELP to continue being able to support such wonderful grant programs. Find out more about us at bedfordeducation.org.
 
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 President Jen Kelley at president@bedfordeducation.org and she will be happy to answer any questions.
 
We hope to see you there!
The BEF Bash Planning Committee

Congratulations, 2019 Grant Recipients!

The Bedford Education Foundation funded thirteen grants in our 2019 grant cycle, totaling almost $21,000.
GRANTS FUNDED AT DAVIS SCHOOL
Davis School Science Curriculum Coordinator Kevin Smaldone was awarded a $900 grant for a weather station for all of the Kindergarten classrooms. This grant includes rain gauges, a 5’ windsock and frame, six wireless remote monitoring weather stations, and two jumbo thermometers.As part of the new Kindergarten science curriculum, students will be observing and recording the weather each day, looking for patterns, and drawing conclusions. By establishing an analog weather station as well as a digital version, we can empower classrooms to collect the data from their own instruments in their own environment.
Second grade teachers Alli Lua and Karen Shamon, and special educator Laura Albonesi, were awarded a $1,500 grant for a Sensory Path to be installed in the hallway at Davis 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 Davis School will provide all students the opportunity to access tools that will help them be more focused and available for learning.
Literacy Specialist Christina Avis and ESL Teacher Lisa Bourgeois were awarded a $1,500 grant to create a child-centered, inclusive learning and socializing space where children feel welcome. This grant provides for materials used to support a diverse literature base in place at Davis school while helping to enhance the opportunities for students to have a window into the various cultures and abilities of their peers, as well as to shine a mirror onto their own. Through this literature, but also through thoughtful crafts, games, and newly organized learning space, this program will allow for the students to creatively access ‘sliding doors’ into the experience of others in a more welcome and inclusionary classroom environment.
GRANTS FUNDED AT LANE SCHOOL
Lane School counselor Jessica Smith, speech and language pathologist Nadia Trant, and occupational therapist Elizabeth Larrabee were awarded a $4,500 grant to bring Brain Power Wellness to Lane School. This grant will provide 12 Lane School educators a full-day training session to give them tools to promote focus, mindfulness and emotional wellness for students. A facilitator will also provide three classroom visits per teacher to model activities in the classroom.
Lane School art teacher Hailey Yerova was awarded a $3,000 grant for six iPads, cases, an Apple pencil, and a charging cart for dedicated use in the art room. The iPads will further the students’ independence as learners and help document student artwork throughout the year. Students will also use the iPads for a new stop motion animation unit.
Third grade teacher Kathryn O’Brien was awarded a $500 grant for ready-made, project-based activities to support the current math curriculum. These materials will help engage students and differentiate the curriculum to meet the needs of all students. This grant will provide over one hundred hands-on, cross-curricular activities from Teachers Pay Teachers, an online marketplace for original educational materials created by teachers. The materials will be shared with all third grade teachers.
GRANTS FUNDED AT JOHN GLENN MIDDLE SCHOOL
JGMS Librarian Lynda McGraw was awarded a $3,200 grant to bring author Gary Schmidt to the middle school. The two-time Newbery Honor winner will speak to Grade 7 students in January, after they finish reading his novel Wednesday Wars. Mr. Schmidt will speak about his writing process, what he wants the students to learn from his novel, and share how literature acts as a window and mirror into their lives.
Grade 8 teacher Kelsey Little was awarded a $350 grant for a classroom set of headphones for use in her English classes. The headphones, which include microphones, will be used for students to listen to each other reading their written work, verbalize opinions, and ask and respond to each others’ questions. They will also be used for listening to audiobooks, helping to engage struggling readers. This creative approach to increasing access to literature for 8th grade students falls directly in line with district goals to improve literacy throughout the school system.
Lauren Noferi was awarded a $400 grant for a Wonderstructs Kit for the JGMS Girls’ STEM Club. The kit includes materials to design and build a rolling ball sculpture involving motors. The club plans to display the finished sculpture on the windows of the JGMS library to be viewed from the courtyard and library.
GRANTS FUNDED AT BEDFORD HIGH SCHOOL
Academic Achievement Center teacher Zuzka Blasi was awarded a $450 grant to pilot equipment intended to improve the quality of lighting in an AAC classroom. The plan includes full spectrum lamps and panel diffusers to cover the fluorescent light fixtures in the classroom. Studies show that more natural lighting such as this, designed to mimic sunlight, can help to improve mental health and academic performance in high school students.
BHS Library Media Specialist Christy Walker Magoon was awarded a $1,800 grant for equipment to extend the capabilities of the growing BHS Library Fab Lab. The grant will provide a crafting station to create glass and jewelry projects and a clamshell heat press to use in conjunction with the existing vinyl-cutting machine. These creative pieces of equipment will be innovative additions to the high school maker space, affording BHS students the opportunity to create a limitless number of projects as they employ their collaborative and problem-solving skills in this highly engaging and hands-on space.
BHS Science teachers Sarah Leshay and John O’Connor, and STEP teachers Victoria Breslin and Cia Dill, were awarded a $2,200 grant for twelve Root robots for use with students enrolled in the STEP program as well as those enrolled in the Robotics 2/3 elective at BHS. These students will design lessons and opportunities to teach coding to younger students at Lane and JGMS, allowing them to take on a leadership and peer mentor role. Root is a small mobile robot designed to teach logic and coding skills. It can draw, play music, light up, and drive on whiteboards with the help of magnets.
ESL and Reading teacher Matthew Brennan and Reading teacher Deb Murphy were awarded a $600 grant to develop an online magazine forum for ESL, reading, and foreign language students. Students will publish authentic and engaging stories about their lives in English or other languages. These stories can take the form of memoir, biography, book reviews, artwork, and creative texts as well as podcasts, iMovies, and multimedia stories.

It’s Time for Bash 2020!

SAVE THE DATE, Bedford! The BEF is going Hollywood, and you do NOT want to miss it. This year’s BEF Bash will take place on Saturday, February 8th at the Hilton Garden Inn in Burlington.

Details will be forthcoming, but it’s never too early to start planning…you know we have! Stay tuned for more info on the biggest party of the year for Bedford’s schools!

The BEF Needs Your Help!

Your friends at the Bedford Education Foundation hope you have been enjoying the back-to-school season! We know it’s a very busy time, but we need your help to continue the work we have been doing to fund creative and innovative grants at ALL FOUR Bedford schools!  Please take a moment to read below to find out more about our board and committees. We are looking for new members, and we have roles for all schedules, though we have a particular need for general board members. Thank you for your consideration!