Kindergarten Math Backpacks
- Wednesday, 29 March 2017 19:11
A student and her sibling using materials found within the math backpacks
In Spring 2016, NEF funded a $12,000 multi-school grant for math backpacks in every kindergarten classroom across all five elementary schools. With three backpacks per classroom, students take home math-related activities they can do with their families.
Elaine McKenna, grant writer and Hillside/Eliot math coach explains the program, “The kindergarten math backpacks are a great home school connection where the students are completing math activities, playing math games, and are introduced to math literature. The math concepts are aligned with Massachusetts State Frameworks but are introduced and practiced in a fun and engaging way.”
Backpacks contain a journal for students to record their experience with the backpack, which includes books, interactive games and manipulatives. Teachersreport that their students are enthusiastic about the program, “The kids really enjoy using the math backpacks. They come to school excited to tell me that they played the games with their families.” And in the words of several students,
- “I learned how to count by tens.”
- “The books are my favorite!”
NEF Continues to Support Interdisciplinary Learning at NHS with Help from Staples Foundation
- Wednesday, 29 March 2017 18:56
NEF Continues to Support Interdisciplinary Learning at NHS
with Help from Staples Foundation
March 29, 2017
In its fifth and final year of funding from NEF, the Interdisciplinary Learning Initiative (ILI) is a
collaboration between NEF and Needham High School (NHS) intended to launch an
interdisciplinary model of teaching and learning at NHS. The cornerstone of this collaboration
was the development and implementation of the Greater Boston Project (GBP), a two-block
interdisciplinary class that combines instruction in English, History, and Statistics. The
collaboration has also seeded many smaller units of interdisciplinary learning (IL) programming,
such as Kinetic Sculpture and Art in the Dark.
An important piece of the collaboration has been funding a part-time IL Specialist position at
NHS dedicated to overseeing and supporting current IL projects, seeding new IL opportunities,
and promoting IL at NHS, throughout the district, and in the community. On February 28, the
School Committee voted to accept $36,000 in funding from NEF to support the IL Specialist
position for a second year.
The NEF gift is made up in part by a grant of $500 awarded to the NEF by Staples Foundation,
the private charitable arm of Staples, Inc., through a program called 2 Million & Change. With a
recommendation from Staples associate Jodi Fletcher, NEF was awarded funding in support of
its Interdisciplinary Learning Initiative (ILI).
“We were very pleased to be recognized by Ms. Fletcher,” said Jennifer Quinn, NEF
Co-president, “and we are grateful for the support of all the Needham area businesses and
families, including Staples Foundation, that helped to make this very large, multi-year
collaboration with NHS possible. Funding the innovative IL Specialist position will ensure that the
impact of the ILI remains broad and lasting.”
Blues Guitar Player Visits Needham High
- Friday, 20 January 2017 02:38
Toby Walker, Master Blues Artist, teaching NHS students how to play blues style music
NEF was proud to award the “Blues in the Schools” grant to Needham High School to fund a visit from Toby Walker (pictured), a Master Blues Artist and member of the NY Blues Hall of Fame. He provided an engaging presentation to the African American Studies classes that follows the history of blues from slavery, emancipation, and beyond. He also shared his personal narrative of how he came to acquire his knowledge journeying through the south. He also worked with guitar classes to teach them how to play blues style music, including rhythms and picking techniques.
See the article that appeared in the Hometown Weekly.
Large Grant Awarded
- Tuesday, 17 January 2017 21:14
Virtual Reality Coming to High Rock
On January 17, 2017, the School Committee voted to accept $9,999 in funding for Google
Virtual Reality Expeditions Kits at High Rock School. The large grant follows a successful
pilot last year and will fund the purchase of virtual reality equipment, including 30 student
devices, 30 Mattel View-Masters, a teacher device and other supporting equipment. High
Rock will use them for a wide variety of purposes, including virtual reality tours of historic
sites, virtual trips to foreign countries for language immersion, and virtual tours of the
galaxy in science classes.