BEF Announces Fall Grant Recipients

The Bedford Education Foundation funded seven grants in our 2018 Fall grant cycle, totaling just under $10,000. Congratulations to all of our grant recipients! To date, the BEF has funded close to $235,000 towards creative and innovation projects in the Bedford Public Schools.


hopscotchDavis 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.


thermometerOn 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.


cuisenaire rodsSecond 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.




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.



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.

BEF Announces Summer Grant Recipients

The Bedford Education Foundation is proud to announce the funding of twelve grants in our Summer 2018 grant cycle, totaling over $20,000. Congratulations to all of our grant recipients! To date, the BEF has funded almost $225,000 towards creative and innovation projects in the Bedford Public Schools.

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.


digital cameraArt 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.


heat press 2BHS 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.


weather station photoGrade 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.



ipads-in-music.jpgJGMS 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.


games.jpgJGMS 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 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.
Image result for adios textbook logo
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.


REFLEX MATH – 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.


problem solving 2PROBLEM-SOLVING WHEELS – Davis and Lane
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.


– Davis School
calming cornerDavis 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.


EARTH DAY – Davis School
earth dayDavis 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.


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. 


2017 K-12 Technology Showcase

Don’t miss your chance to see first-hand how technology plays an important role in student-centered learning. At the Technology Showcase on May 3rd, students from Davis, Lane, JGMS and BHS will present technology-based projects and speak about how technology is used to enhance their learning.

Bedford K12 Tech Showcase 2017