NEF Funds Eight Fall Grants Totaling $30,317

Nov 17, 2021

At the Needham School Committee meeting last night, the Needham Education Foundation (NEF) announced the recipients of eight grants totaling $30,317 in the fall grant cycle.

Awarded grants include:

  • Renowned master trumpet player, composer, and educator on the cutting edge of Black American Music, Marquis Hill, will work with the Pollard Middle School and Needham High School Jazz ensembles as a guest artist, as well as conducting a master class open to all students.
    — Awarded to: Alex Lee-Clark, Jazz Ensemble Director, and Steven Heldt, Pollard Music Teacher
  • Four pedal desks will allow Broadmeadow Elementary School students to incorporate movement into their library learning environment. Movement has been shown to greatly improve learning in elementary students.
    — Awarded to: Jennifer Potter, Teacher Librarian
  • Needham Steps Up staff and mentors at Needham High School will receive professional training from Mass Mentoring Partnership to formalize their mentoring of 20 income-eligible high school students.
    — Awarded to Martha Cohen Barrett, Community Member, and Elizabeth C. Zajac, K-12 Director of World Languages
  • Twenty-five ukuleles will complement the existing selection of percussion instruments at Newman Elementary School to bring a fresh, new, and exciting dimension to students’ musical experience.
    — Awarded to Sarah Casados, Elementary General Music and 2nd Year Strings Teacher for the NPS District
  • Books written in the languages most spoken by Needham English Language Learner (ELL) students will be added to all elementary school libraries for ELL teachers to access for their students, as well as for general circulation. The books will support ELL students’ academic growth and independent reading.
    — Awarded to Elizabeth Hitron, Sunita Williams Librarian; Kelly Haas, Sunita Williams ELL teacher; and Jenn Potter, Broadmeadow Librarian
  • The garden space at Newman Elementary School will be transformed into an inclusive community and outdoor living classroom with the purchase of a white board, picnic table, rocking chairs, and some garden supplies. Students will benefit from the time spent learning outdoors.
    — Awarded to Deborah Toffler, Parent, and Cathy Herndon, Newman 3rd Grade Teacher
  • Staff of the sixth grade Social Studies department at High Rock Middle School and the Needham High School Latin classes will work with respected scholar and expert, Professor Kelly Dugan of Trinity College, to create a nuanced and grade-appropriate approach to addressing human enslavement in the ancient Mediterranean world.
    — Awarded to Stephen Guerriero, High Rock Social Studies Teacher (on behalf of the Social Studies Department)
  • A new group reading component of High Rock Middle School’s independent reading program will use 150 new, diverse books to give students the chance to read books collaboratively, engage in culturally relevant topics, and connect with peers and adults.
    — Awarded to Elizabeth Vaccaro, High Rock Library Teacher