Grants In Action


Steve Kidd 002
A one-man show, written and performed by actor Steve Kidd, was performed for 406 students in eighth grade at the Pollard Middle School. The play was originated by Steve following several summers of work at a camp for HIV-positive children. He wrote the play in an effort to inspire young people to do public service through telling the stories of some of these children and families. He combines actual stories of children living with HIV/AIDs with excerpts from Ursala Le Guin’s short story “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.”

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James Rojas/Urban Planner

James Rojas, an activist, artist, and urban planner, came to Broadmeadow School for a weeklong art and design residency involving the entire Broadmeadow community.

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Helen Keller: A One-Woman Play

Helen Keller PlayStudents in grades 1 to 5 at all Needham public elementary schools were exposed to history through performance thanks to a Small Grant awarded by NEF during its spring 2013 grant cycle. The program, “Sheryl Faye Presents Historical Women,” served as the kick-off event for the town-wide Understanding Our Different Abilities program, which is coordinated by each school’s PTC. This fall, each elementary school had two sessions of the performance followed by a question-and-answer period with the performance artist.

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Author Grace Lin at Mitchell

Newbery Medal–winning author Grace Lin presented her seminar, How a Book Is Made, to the first- and second-graders at Mitchell Elementary School. She also read an excerpt of her book The Ugly Vegetables to the kindergarten classes.

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Engineering Extravaganza

Let's Build, Engineering Extravaganza With help from an NEF grant, the Hillside Family Engineering Extravaganza welcomed nearly 300 parents and children on a recent Saturday morning to solve engineering design challenges together. Activities included designing REAL Angry birds (working catapults) and windmill blades, making bubble wands, and saving Humpty Dumpty by building contraptions to protect a real egg from a real fall. Engineers from around Needham joined the Extravaganza to demonstrate projects as did Olin College students and the Needham High School robotics teams HackHers and T-10. Robots from MIT and a 3-D printer from Olin were also popular with children and parents alike.

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