NEF Funds Five Spring Grants Totaling $34,177

May 17, 2023

At the Needham School Committee meeting on May 16th, the Needham Education Foundation (NEF) announced the recipients of five grants totaling $34,177 in the spring grant cycle.

Awarded grants include:

  • Development of interdisciplinary learning experiences in social studies and the visual arts for seventh grade students at Pollard Middle School. Students will work on projects focused on Hindu, Buddhist, and Islamic art to strengthen their understanding of the social studies units on India and the Middle East.
    — Awarded to LeeAnn Sutton, Director of Fine and Performing Arts, K-12, Brooke Kessel, Director of K-8 Social Studies, and the 7th grade Social Studies team: Maria DelVecchio, Ben Etscovitz, Nick Nogueira, Jason Orlando, and Joshua Sanders

  • A four-part adventure program facilitated by Waypoint Adventure for students in the Independent Learning Center and Post-Grad programs at Needham High School. The students, paired with general education peers in the Special Education Intern course, will participate in fully-accessible and goal-focused programs in team building, rock climbing, hiking, and kayaking, challenging how others perceive them and how they perceive themselves.
    — Awarded to Mira Tamir Spiegel, Parent, Ilene Asarch, Transition Specialist & Special Educator, NHS Post-Grad Program, and Meg Hennessey Schofield, Special Educator, NHS Post-Grad Program

  • A Lego table and Lego sets, including diverse figurines, community members, animals, plants, and construction machines, for each Kindergarten classroom at Newman Elementary School. The materials will support creativity, fine motor skills, and social skills, in addition to enhancing the Kindergarten units of study on community, construction, our earth, and animals and their needs.
    — Awarded to Lesley Stroud, Kindergarten teacher

  • Two performances by local musician, author, and storyteller Bill Harley for all students at Sunita Williams Elementary School. Through live storytelling, singing original songs, and encouraging audience participation, Bill will enhance the K-5 literacy program and demonstrate how stories can be shared in different ways.
    — Awarded to Elizabeth Hitron, Librarian, Laura Miller, Grade 5 teacher

  • Attendance for seven of the eight Needham Public School Librarians and the new incoming Director of Media and Information Technology at the 2023 American Association of School Librarians conference. This district-wide professional development opportunity will support the team’s goals in strengthening research curriculum, teaching with tolerance, and strategies for inclusivity and representation in the libraries. Note: the Sunita Williams librarian was unable to attend.
    — Awarded to Jennifer Potter, Broadmeadow Librarian, Jennifer Murray, Newman Librarian