Bedford Education Foundation Announces its Fall Grant Recipients

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Submitted by the Bedford Education Foundation

The Bedford Education Foundation (BEF) is proud to announce the funding of seven grants in our Fall 2017 grant cycle, totaling $11,000. Congratulations to all of our grant recipients! To date, the BEF has funded over $200,000 towards creative and innovative projects and materials in the Bedford Public Schools.

SCREEN-FREE CODING – Davis School
Davis Kindergarten teachers Jaclyn Bentinck-Smith and Stacy Vallely were awarded a $2,900 grant for Screen-Free Coding Equipment for all of the Kindergarten classrooms. This is a great way to introduce logic and coding without exposing children to more screen time. Every Kindergarten classroom will receive a Robot Mouse activity kit with an extra programmable mouse, plus a Let’s Go Code activity set. In addition, three KIBO robots will be shared amongst the Kindergarten classrooms.

EXPANDING EXPRESSION TOOL PROGRAM – Lane School
Lane School Speech and Language therapist Nadia Trant was awarded a $500 grant for an Expanding Expression Tool program (EET). EET is a multi-sensory approach for improving oral and written language, using a systematic, semantic, and hands-on methodology for organizing and describing. EET is a creative and innovative hands-on tool that will help students with their writing, close-reading and speaking skills.

SHAKESPEARE NOW! – JGMS
JGMS 8th grade English teachers Denise Breakall and Peter Jacob-Dolan were awarded a $1,200 grant to bring the Shakespeare Now! Theatre Company to JGMS to perform Romeo and Juliet for the eighth graders this coming Spring. We expect that this creative and innovative pilot program will resound with students and help many better understand and connect with Shakespeare.

MINDFUL MOMENT ROOM – JGMS
The JGMS Guidance Department was awarded a $1,850 grant for Creating a Mindful Moment Room. The grant will provide resources and curriculum necessary for the complete transformation of Room B241, an alternative setting room in JGMS, often used for in-school suspensions, into a Mindful Moment Room, a safe place for middle schoolers to reconsider their choices while learning to decompress, reflect, and participate in sensory-based activities. This grant will help create an environment more conducive to early adolescent students’ engagement in deep, reflective thought, especially when confronted with social and emotional stress, in the hopes that coping skills improve and translate into a more positive school and classroom experience. We are proud to be a part of this ongoing initiative at JGMS.

COSTUME & PROP INVENTORY SOFTWARE – BHS
BHS theater director Katrina Faulstich was awarded a $720 grant for Costume and Prop Inventory software for the BHS theater department. The costumes and props used for BHS performances (and eventually JGMS performances) will be organized and cataloged so they are easier to find. Students will also be involved in this effort. The new software should allow the department to reuse more items, share resources with other schools, and spend more time working with students on the creative process.

DIGITAL CAMERAS – BHS
Art Director Sean Hagan was awarded a $2,800 grant for five DSLR Cameras for a new BHS Digital Photography class, proposed for the 2018-2019 school year. These sophisticated cameras will offer students a much higher level of control, finesse, artistic choice, and creativity in their photography work than the various hand-held devices often used. Mr. Hagan envisions these cameras being used in a multitude of ways going forward, including the potential for high school students to give back to the Bedford community with their photography skills.

VISITING WRITERS’ SERIES – BHS
BHS English teachers Patti Messenger and Jillian Butler were awarded a $1,000 grant for a Visiting Writers’ Series. This program will allow for students to read selections from several authors and then have these authors come to BHS individually to discuss their work and process in a workshop format. This innovative program will help humanize the work and the writing process as well as allow students to think more critically about writing as a profession.

The Bedford Education Foundation thanks the members of the BEF Grant Committee for volunteering their time and energy to review the grant proposals submitted for our November deadline: Jennifer Klein (chair), Colette Ciregna, Melissa Cull, Jennifer Kelley, Meg McAllister, Jyotsna Mulgund, Noelle Oliveira, Lalitha Ranganath, Linda White, and Mary Lou Sallee (advisory member).

The Bedford Education Foundation (BEF) promotes classroom innovation and empowers teachers and students to meet the growing challenges of the 21st century. Through direct grants to individual classroom teachers and school administrators, and by collaborating with other established school organizations, the BEF is dedicated to enhancing classroom curricular creativity and innovation in the Bedford Public Schools. 


Keep our journalism strong! Support The Citizen Journalism Fund today. Contact The Bedford Citizen: editor@thebedfordcitizen.org or 781-325-8606

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