The Shrewsbury Education Foundation awarded $14,752.89 in grants to thirteen programs.
SHS – Sarah Williams and Kris Cobb
This grant will cover the cost of several initiatives for the Traditional & Digital Photography course. The items requested include the materials needed for students to have access to cameras, which is the first step to working with digital cameras. The rest of the materials are to create posters as a way to display and highlight the work done in this photography class. Access to more materials will expand the possibilities for student work.
SHS – Heather Thompson
Edpuzzle provides educators the opportunity to introduce their own lessons in a video format. The dissemination of information in this format has proven valuable for all learners, as comprehension questions and educator’s voice notes can be embedded in the video lessons. Students can rewatch or pause the lesson to assimilate the information at the pace that works best for them. Edpuzzle is an excellent enhancement tool for the flipped classroom as it enables videos to be watched at home instead of taking up valuable class time. It allows educators to take a video of many sources; has a quiz feature; and student progress can be monitored. Edpuzzle can also be easily embedded into the district’s Schoology learning management system. The grant cost would provide access to all teachers at SHS to serve students better, in a modern, up to date fashion.
Authentic, Real-Time Interpersonal Communication with Native Guest Speakers
SHS – Heather Leger
The purchase of Guest Speaker Conversations will provide students with opportunities to apply their interpersonal skills in real-time, with a variety of target language speakers from different walks of life and countries. The conversations are recorded and could be used to debrief language/vocabulary with the current class, and have the potential to be used for listening comprehension at various levels. Students can use the recording to review the conversations, to increase their understanding, to learn from their mistakes, and to motivate them to do better and understand more the next time.
Sharper Skates, Sharper Minds
SHS – Paula Toti and Alesia Raczelowski
This grant is for funding to purchase a skate sharpener that will allow the physical education department to not only care and maintain equipment that they currently have, but also allow for reduced maintenance costs over time. Students will be able to continue to benefit by having ice skating offered as part of the physical education offerings.
We Love Food’s Class a Waffle Lot
SHS – Shirley LeMay
This grant is request funding for four Cuisinart Waffle Makers for the culinary classes in the Family Consumer Science Department. The waffle makers will be helpful appliances in a variety of classes, including the “Waffle Iron Wars,” which allow for the creative use of different ingredients in this competitive challenge. Due to the lack of enough waffle irons, students need to bring them from home, which is not practical. Currently, the department likes to apply all of its budget towards ingredients that will enable students to do as many labs as possible while in foods classes. The purchase of these appliances will allow the department to continue to use their budget for ingredients instead of updating equipment.
Promoting Universal Messaging for Health-enhancing Behaviors in our School Community
SPS – Beth Morin
Students learn and demonstrate Health skills during their Health classes but don’t always make the connection that these are life skills. This grant will provide funding for materials to make posters to place throughout the district messaging about these crucial life skills to all grades.
The Wonderful World of Wellness
SMS – Alison McDonald
The grant funding is to purchase the Project School Curriculum kit to be used to create a 30-day experience for all students in grades 5 & 6. This program will address the dimensions of wellness that are crucial in the development of our students; in particular, social, and emotional health will be included in a way that is designed to develop life-long learning.
Building Student Success with “Hi-Lo” Books for Struggling Readers
Sherwood & Oak – Hilary Clegg and Andrea Collins
The grant request is to build a collection of essential Hi-Lo titles to support access to books for any student struggling to find age-appropriate middle level stories at their independent reading level. Expanding and diversifying the school’s Media Center collections will show the libraries belong to all students and that all students, regardless of their reading ability, are members in our community of readers.
Floor Hockey Equipment for Oak PE & Shrewsbury Community
Oak – Jeff LaRose
The grant request is to purchase the equipment needed to implement a new striking unit in the Physical Education curriculum called floor hockey. This game can be enjoyed by all ages from elementary school aged children through adulthood. It is a popular recreation, and physical education game, that has been around for over 40-years. It can be played inside and outside and has rules similar to ice hockey. The fundamental skills required for floor hockey are important foundational skills for learning other striking sports such as ice hockey and field hockey.
An Old-School Zoom-In: Stereo Microscopes for Shrewsbury’s Seventh-Grade Scientists
Oak – Sophie Straubel
This grant requests funding to purchase (4) Stereo Microscopes to help students engage in a variety of learning experiences throughout the school year. This microscope is easy to set-up and manipulate and do not require special preparation of specimens and can be easily integrated into lab activities or used spontaneously by students when the need arises.
Pillow Polo Equipment for Sherwood PE & Community
Sherwood – Lauren DeSantis
The grant request is to purchase the equipment needed to implement a new striking unit in the Physical Education curriculum called Pillow Polo. This game can be enjoyed by all ages from elementary school aged children through adulthood. It is a popular recreation, and physical education game, that has been around for over 40-years. It can be played inside and outside and has rules similar to ice hockey. The fundamental skills required for floor hockey are important foundational skills for learning other striking sports such as ice hockey and field hockey.
Creating a Culture of Purposeful Learners
Beal – Lisa Papazian, Christie Moore, and Kathleen Barnes
The third and fourth grade teams at Beal have made social emotional learning their goal for the 2021-2022 school year. An example of this goal is: “All of my students will strengthen their understanding of 3-4 character strong traits as evidence by participation in character strong lessons and responses in pre and post assessments.” This grant will provide funding to integrate meaningful literature into their instruction by purchasing additional books to help aid students’ development of the characteristics and behaviors of well-adjusted, caring members of the school community.
Exploration of the Essential for Living Curriculum for use in the SPS Moderate/Severe Special Education Classrooms
SPS – Robert Parry-Cruwys Clinical Coordinator
For many programs primary function is to close the gap between the learning of students with special needs and their non-disabled peers. However, for students for whom closing the gap may never be a realistic outcome, needed skills such as making requests or tolerating “no” are taught only as needed or when serious problem behaviors arise, rather than as a component of a clear and individualized scope and sequence. Invariably, despite the hard work of many educators and the efforts of motivated learners, progress towards increased safety and independence becomes variable or stale. The funding goal for this grant is to explore this curriculum for greater understanding of what it does or does not have to offer the SPS students and to prepare to pilot its use with a subset of SPS moderate-to-severe population in the 2022-2023 school year. The funding request is for materials and training in the curriculum. The costs are for the author and one special education teacher.
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As we usher in 2022, the Shrewsbury Education Foundation will mark 30 years of funding grants for Shrewsbury Public Schools. Since its inception in 1992, well over $300,000 has been raised and awarded. We humbly ask for your support to help us continue our vital work.
The SEF has been a steadfast partner of Shrewsbury Schools by funding innovative learning opportunities outside the scope of school budgets while supporting the educational needs of the whole child - intellectual, physical and social-emotion.
Through the years, while the school district has weathered crowded schools, budget shortfalls (some more dramatic than others), and presently an unprecedented pandemic, the SEF has been by their side.
It is important to note that we did not reach out to the community to raise funds last year because we knew the challenges folks were facing. However, the SEF continued to support education and awarded ten grants.
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Particularly timely, the Spreading Sunshine Card Project, developed by Oak Middle School teachers Lisa Arteca and Laura Candelaria, acknowledged the emotional toll of the pandemic on students. They procured cards for staff to use to recognize students for a variety of reasons from doing well on a project, improving in class to performing a simple act of kindness.
They said: “This small personal connection with a student or family can make a huge difference.” And it did! Over 300 cards were sent and feedback included this remark: “These cards were just perfect. It elevated their self-esteem with encouragement that they were thought of!”
So, to ensure that the work of the SEF can continue, won’t you consider supporting the SEF?
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The SEF is now accepting nominations for this year’s John P. Collins Awards for Excellence. These awards honor the exemplary efforts of those dedicated individuals whose work brings to life the mission of the Shrewsbury Public Schools. The award is named for former Superintendent, John P. Collins, PhD, who served for 16 years in Shrewsbury (1978-1994) and exemplified the highest standards of professionalism and a commitment to lifelong learning.
Multiple awards will be presented in the following categories:
Anyone who currently works or volunteers in the Shrewsbury Public Schools can be nominated. This includes any staff member or volunteer who you or your child either works with now or has worked with in the past. Just about everyone who’s been touched by the Shrewsbury Public Schools at any level can nominate someone. All the nominees receive a copy of the nomination letter and a note of appreciation from SEF.
It’s easy to nominate online. Nominations will be accepted until Monday, February 7th and awards will be presented during the week of February 14th. Traditionally, these awards are presented at the annual SEF Dinner. However, due to COVID restrictions, there will be no annual dinner this year.
Shrewsbury Education Foundation (SEF) is an all-volunteer organization that raises money to fund grants which put resources and programs directly into the classroom.
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