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NEF and NPS Thank the 2019-2020 Grant Recipients

Congratulations to all of the 2019 – 2020 NEF Grant recipients! We appreciate your time and effort in making learning come alive for Needham Public School students! This year, NEF awarded 26 grants, totaling $106,700, benefiting students at every Needham school.
 

We wish that we could have held our annual Grants Reception to celebrate with all of this year’s grant recipients, however this year, our celebration will need to be virtual. The NEF truly appreciates the time and effort grant recipients have put into applying for their grants. Needham Public School students benefit so much from their thoughtfulness and creativity.

Superintendent Daniel Gutekanst would like to thank the grant recipients for their dedication to innovation and creativity in education. Please click the link below to view his video message:

 

The NEF Co-Presidents Seema Meloni and Joanna Herrera would also like to share their appreciation:

 

 

2019 – 2020 NEF Grant Recipients

Ann Ahnert

“Language-based Student Stability Chairs” (Pollard)

 

Robyn Briggs

Co-Grant Writers: Kate Bergeron, Nicole Burnor

“Your Voice Matters. What’s Your Story?” (Needham High)

 

Claudia Carpenter

Co-Grant Writer: Christine McAllister

“Arts Education Professional Development Opportunity” (All Elementary)

 

Christopher Dancy

“Cornell’s Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program” (High Rock)

 

Steve Dornbusch

“Charles Coe, Poet in Residence” (Pollard)

 

Jane Evans

“History At Play – “A Revolution of Her Own!” (Pollard)

 

Jennifer Grant

Co-Grant Writers: Maggie Charron, Jessica Downey, Jeannine Schroder

“Mindfulness at High Rock” (High Rock)

 

Hardeep Jassal

“Cooking For Kids” (Sunita Williams)

 

Elaine Kohen

“Professional Development at NSTA National Conference” (All Elementary)

 

Marissa Krantz

Co-Grant Writers: Erin Mack

“HR Digital Art Integration: Logitech Crayon Grant” (High Rock)

 

Cathy Lunetta

Co-Grant Writers: Luke Darling, Elizabeth Kuzmeski, Matthew Sylvestre

“Accessible Trike for 3rd Grade Rodeo” (All Elementary)

 

Molly Mullin

Co-Grant Writers: Jennifer Murray, Jennifer Potter

“Vox Books- Books that Talk! Express Grant Multi-school” (Broadmeadow, Eliot, Newman)

 

Catherine Nanda

Co-Grant Writer: Alejandra Acevedo

“Broadmeadow Lego Mobile Makerspace Grant” (Broadmeadow)

 

James Odierna

“PBLWorks Project Based Learning Workshop” (High Rock, Pollard, Needham High)

 

Anjali Petersen

Co-Grant Writer: Jane Shilalie

“Playful Learning: Enhancing Computational Thinking & Spatial Reasoning for All Learners through Mathematical Games” (Mitchell)

 

Rosemary Rose

Co-Grant Writer: Lynn Gotwals

“Sensory Pathways for Mitchell” (Mitchell)

 

Paige Rowse

“Author Jen Deaderick @TheNHSLibrary” (Needham High)

 

Jenn Scheck-Kahn

Co-Grant Writer: Rosemary Rose

“Sensory Pathways for Eliot” (Eliot)

 

Mackenzie Schnyer

Co-Grant Writers: Lisa Garsh, Angela Mullin, Lissa Williams

“Pedometers for Movement, Math, and More!” (Broadmeadow)

 

Kara Shea

Co-Grant Writer: Dayna DiCicco

“Google Virtual Reality Expeditions Kit” (All Elementary)

 

John Shea

Co-Grant Writers: Tammy Ghizzoni, Judith Wojtczak

“Math Recess: An experience in play and learning” (District-wide)

 

Mark Smith

“Pollard Middle School African Drum Program” (Pollard)

 

Jen Tuttelman

Co-Grant Writer: Patricia Mullen

“Grow Racks for NHS” (Needham High)

 

Erin Vacaro

“Imagination Playground Medium Blocks Set” (Sunita Williams)

 

Alison Weeks

Co-Grant Writers: Mary Beth Arigo, Laurie Blakely, Stephanie Hamel

“Brain Builder Breaks: Achieving Emotional Regulation through Constructive and Creative Projects” (Broadmeadow)

 

Karen Wilfrid

“Improv and the 4 C’s: Communication, Collaboration, Creativity and Critical Thinking” (Pollard)

 

Congratulations to all of the 2019 – 2020 NEF Grant recipients! Thank You for making learning come alive for Needham Public School students!

Since 1990, NEF has awarded 747 grants totaling over $3.1 million!

 

NEF Funds Four Spring Grants Totaling $22,301

At the Needham School Committee meeting on Tuesday, the Needham Education Foundation (NEF) announced the recipients of four grants totaling $22,301 in the spring grant cycle. A multi-school grant will fund a 30-unit Virtual Reality Expeditions kit to be shared across all five elementary schools which will allow teachers to take their classes on virtual field trips.

Awarded grants also include:

  • 32 African drums will be used for strings students at Pollard to work on rhythm, timing, listening skills, and group dynamics. They will also be utilized in 7th and 8th grade classes for a unit on drumming technique and the history of West African drumming.
  • A set of medium blocks at Sunita Williams will be used for indoor recess, STEAM projects, buddy activities, and more by K-5 students.
  • With the help from student groups and teachers, a four-tiered indoor Terraponic grow rack will allow everyone at the High School to watch the process of plants growing from seed to plate. The grow rack will reside in the cafeteria where the produce will be served to students.

NEF Funds 10 Winter Grants Totaling $34,296

At the Needham School Committee on Tuesday, the Needham Education Foundation (NEF) announced the recipients of 10 grants totaling $34,296 in the winter grant cycle. A large grant will allow 35 middle and high school teachers to participate in a three-day Project-Based Learning (PBL) workshop, where they will design a project to implement in their own classroom and learn skills and strategies to design and implement additional PBL activities in the future. PBL is at the forefront of educational methods that teaches many of the skills linked to the district’s recently-developed Portrait of a Needham Graduate competencies. 

Awarded grants also include:

  • Charles Coe, an African-American professional poet, author, and teacher, will spend a week helping 7th grade students use poetry as a lens for their own life experiences, and teaching them the importance of creative expression.
  • Mitchell students in grades 1 through 5 will benefit from visually-based math puzzles that support a deeper understanding of concepts for all students, including ELL and other high-needs learners. 
  • ImprovBoston will bring their program “Lessons of Improv: The 4 Cs (Communication, Collaboration, Creativity and Critical Thinking)” to Pollard, allowing 7th grade students to take the stage alongside the cast in an environment of supported risk-taking. 
  • To promote enhanced concentration through body stimulation, Balance Ball Chairs will be added to 7th and 8th grade Language-based special education classrooms. 
  • Master Lego Model Builder Ian Coffrey will introduce Kindergarten students at Broadmeadow to the basics of design, planning, and project management to create large structural towers using mobile Lego makerspace kits.
  • Logitech Crayons will be available to High Rock students as a tool for art and technology integration in all curriculum areas, expanding the ways they can learn and create, and providing accessibility to students who experience physical or sensory barriers to traditional art learning. 
  • Six creative calming stations with puzzles, project kits, and games will be installed throughout Broadmeadow for children needing a break from class due to stress or the need for self-regulation. The selected materials are creative, meditative, or cooperative, and will bring about a sense of accomplishment and self-efficacy when completed by a student.
  • One High Rock teacher, a member of the school’s Equity Steering Committee, will participate in Cornell’s four-course online Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program, which will provide training to support more inclusive practices to benefit both students and staff at the school.
  • An accessible three-wheeled bike will be available for students for whom a two-wheeled bike either is not safe or inaccessible in order to participate in the third grade “bike rodeo” at all five elementary schools.

NEF Funds 12 Fall Grants Totaling $50,102

At the Needham School Committee meeting last night, the Needham Education Foundation (NEF) announced the recipients of 12 grants totaling $50,102 in the fall grant cycle. Two of the grants provide for professional development in STEAM and visual arts, impacting instruction and curriculum across all five elementary schools. A large grant at the High School will fund an artist-in-residency program “Your Voice Matters. What’s Your Story?” to foster community and facilitate conversations around empathy and equity. 

Awarded grants also include:

  • Four performances for the Pollard 8th grade of “A Revolution of Her Own!” — the story of Deborah Sampson, the first woman to enlist, fight, and be honorably discharged from the American Military. 
  • A visit with graphic novel author of “She the People,” Jen Deaderick to host a series of workshops at the Needham High School’s One Day program. 
  • Cooking For Kids, a weekly cooking activity for students learning life skills in substantially separate early learning classrooms at Sunita Williams. 
  • Sensory Pathways at Eliot and Mitchell, which will allow students to take movement breaks using academic visuals to release energy and sensory build up.. 
  • The addition to Broadmeadow, Eliot and Newman libraries of Vox Books — hardcover books with an integrated audio recording to help emergent and reluctant readers. 
  • Pedometers for each second grade classroom at Broadmeadow to reinforce math concepts such as graphing and place value, and to better understand real-life distances in geography units.
  • Mindfulness workshops for students and teachers in each cluster classroom at High Rock. 
  • Professional development for all K-5 math coaches and grade 6-12 math teachers with Sunil Singh, co-author of “Math Recess,” a book which emphasizes learning mathematics through play and as a means to provide equity to all students. 

NEF Announces It Has Donated Over $3 Million to Needham Public Schools

At its 2nd annual Grant Awards Reception held on Monday, May 20 at the John Eliot School, Joanna Herrera, Co-President of the Needham Education Foundation (NEF), announced that the NEF just reached a landmark $3 million given in support of the Needham Public Schools. The $3 million has funded over 715 grants written by teachers, administrators, parents, students, and community members through the NEF’s grant program.

The NEF raises funds and awards grants to promote innovation and excellence in education for Needham public school students. It seeks out and supports programs that are beyond normal and expected public funding, including leading-edge projects in math and science, languages and the arts, emerging technologies, social development, and more. Community members may submit grant proposals throughout the year. The NEF also collaborates on a larger scale with the Needham Public Schools Department.  For example, the foundation provided seed money for the Interdisciplinary Learning Initiative at Needham High School.

The NEF was founded in 1990 by a group of alumni from Needham High School who were celebrating their 50th class reunion. They parlayed a class gift of just $3,000 into a foundation that has now awarded more than $3 million in grant money.

“The Needham Education Foundation has been our partner in educational innovation and student learning. Not only does the NEF provide resources, they offer expertise, guidance, and perspective as they assist educators in the development of creative and exciting funding proposals. We are fortunate to live, learn, and work in a community with a partner like the NEF that values its children,” said Daniel Gutekanst, Superintendent of Needham Public Schools.

The Grant Awards Reception was attended by State Representative Denise Garlick, members of the Select Board and School Committee, and Bruce Johnstone–a founding member of the NEF.  The event recognized the teachers, administrators, parents and one student who had received grants during the 2018-19 school year. The grants awarded included engineering backpacks for kindergartners, a documentary screening about the challenges of educating students with differences, professional development opportunities, Spanish-language and Latino-experience literature, robotics equipment, and much more.

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