Congratulations, 2019 Grant Recipients!

The Bedford Education Foundation funded thirteen grants in our 2019 grant cycle, totaling almost $21,000.
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.
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.
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.
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!

Thank you, Bedford community!

The incredible success of our Roaring 20s Casino Night was due in large part to the amazing support of our business sponsors. Thank you all! Whether longtime partners or new to the BEF this year, these local businesses came out in full force both through their generous sponsorships and at the Bash itself! We cannot thank you enough for all that you for our schools!both through their generous sponsorships and at the Bash itself! We cannot thank you enough for all that you for our schools!51401421_2540310556024619_4055775026777948160_o

The silent auction at the Bash was not only a beautifully decorated element of our Roaring 20s theme, but it also showcased many generous donations from local businesses and Bedford residents. As a result, we were able to raise even more funds for future grants for our schools! A huge thank you to all of these donors for their support this year!

We were so fortunate to have these wonderful Bedfordites as table sponsors this year. Thank you all for your support and generosity! With your help, the BEF looks forward to another successful year of funding creative and innovative initiatives in all four Bedford schools. What a special addition to the Bash you were!


This is it, Bedford! The biggest party of the year that supports our schools! Join us as we head back in time to the Roaring 20s – come to gamble (with funny money of course) or just to get out and soak up the evening – 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, don’t miss it!

When and where is this event?
Our Roaring 20s Casino Night is on Saturday, February 2nd, from 7pm to 11pm. We’re excited to return to last year’s 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 Wednesday, January 30th. 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! Wear what you would to any festive gathering, and if you are so inclined, throw on some Roaring 20s flair – think flappers, mobsters, bootleggers, or get some inspiration from a clip of The Great Gatsby or Downton Abbey! Google and Amazon are your friends, but no pressure!

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. 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 President Jen Kelley at and she will be happy to answer any questions.

We hope to see you there!
The BEF Bash Planning Committee

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