NEF Funds Eight Winter Grants Totaling $43,258

Mar 6, 2024

At the Needham School Committee meeting on March 5th, the Needham Education Foundation (NEF) announced the recipients of eight grants totaling $43,258 in its winter grant cycle.

Awarded grants include:

ISTE Conference Professional Development Opportunity
Technology Integration Specialists from Broadmeadow, Eliot, Mitchell, Newman, and Needham High School will attend the 2024 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Live Conference to learn current pedagogical strategies, curricular innovations, and new techniques in using technology to create high-impact, sustainable, and scalable learning experiences for all students.
— Awarded to Barbara Tennyson, Eliot; Dana Cantor, Newman; Gershona Fein, Mitchell; Technology Integration Specialists

Rubik’s Cube Mosaics
A set of Rubik’s Cubes to create mosaics using specific patterns, as well as both beginner and advanced versions of the Rubik’s Cube for exploration will provide an opportunity for High Rock students to participate in creative, engaging, and collaborative problem solving activities. This is an Express grant from a 2018 grant awarded to Needham High School.
— Awarded to Erin Mack, Technology Integration Specialist

3D Printing Exploration
Two 3D printers will allow High Rock to explore how 3D printing can motivate students, connect to the curriculum, create engaging lessons, and empower students to become designers and creators using this innovative technology. The printers would allow students to print a 3D model of the artifacts they are studying in the archaeology unit of their Social Studies classes.
— Awarded to Erin Mack, Technology Integration Specialist, Maureen Trowbridge, Social Studies teacher

Year-Round Book Clubs
The addition of contemporary, high-interest, grade-appropriate texts will support year-round, informal book clubs that meet briefly every Friday in all Pollard 7th grade ELA classes. By adding a structured time and social component, the program has had success in increasing students’ independent reading.
— Awarded to Liz Welburn, ELA Department Chair, Grades 6-8

Spanish Storytelling Workshop
All elementary Spanish teachers will attend a professional development workshop with educator Carolina Gómez to learn how to incorporate storytelling into language learning for grades K-5 across the district. Stories provide an engaging way to access the target language, in addition to supporting student social and emotional learning by allowing them to participate and show what they know in a low-stakes manner while using different skill sets.
— Awarded to Delia Jodrie, Elementary Spanish teacher

Sensory Support Tools
All first grade classrooms at Broadmeadow will receive sensory-friendly seating options and therapeutic tools to support students’ efforts to regulate their own emotions and behaviors and to bolster their individual achievement as well as the time-on-task for the class as a whole.
— Awarded to Cara Karelitz, Parent, Lillian Chen, 1st Grade teacher

Civil Rights: Bringing History to Life
Performances of “The Right to Dream” by Living Voices, in addition to new high-quality, accessible, and diverse classroom reading materials about the Civil Rights Movement will support social studies and literacy integration for all grade 5 students across the district. Live theater and literature will enhance classroom ​instruction on the “Slavery, Civil War, and Civil Rights” unit of the new elementary social studies curriculum.
— Awarded to Brooke Kessel, Social Studies Department Chair, K-8, Jennifer Collings, Broadmeadow 5th grade teacher, Stephanie Hamel, Broadmeadow 5th grade teacher, Lisa Messina, Literacy Director K-8

Enrichment Programming
Educational enrichment activities will complement the tutoring program at the Needham Housing Authority facility on Captain Robert Cook Drive for their students who attend the Eliot, High Rock, and Pollard schools. These activities include a painter from Gorse Mill, musician David Polansky, a Jamaican storyteller, a historical reenactor, and field trips to the Larz Anderson Auto Museum and Worcester Science Center.
— Awarded to Penelope Kirk, Board Commissioner for the Needham Housing Authority