Grants In Action

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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Revolutionary War Reenactment at Hillside

Revolutionary War Reenactment at Hillside On a beautiful day in October 2012 a few hundred lucky students at Hillside Elementary School were transported back in time to the 1770s with the help of the Rehoboth Minute Company: 13th Continental Division.

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Student Directed Play at Needham High School

Needham High School senior Lynne Richman smiled with pride when the play that she directed, ”You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” received well-deserved standing ovations after both performances. The initial funds necessary to direct and produce the play were made possible by an NEF grant.

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