SEF announces grants, seeks volunteers for board and updating website (Updated)

by beth on June 26, 2019

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The Southborough Education Foundation announced its latest round of awards supporting initiatives at Southborough schools and Algonquin.

The grants allow a range of initiatives across Pre-K to 12th grade, including: yoga, appbook creators, outdoor screen, think boards, and creating podcasts.

The list includes grants for programs that will be piloted by teachers in 2019-20 and mini-grants, at least one of which was already launched this past school year.

This spring, SEF was able to share an update from an Algonquin teacher on the success of mini grant he received in April for “Light-Up Art”:

SEF also shared footage of how Woodward students took advantage of an award granted to Woodward last year:

The grants by SEF were made possible by more than just generous donors. It requires volunteer involvement.

The board is still seeking new members to join them for the coming school year. They are also asking for someone to lend technical expertise to update their website.*

Anyone interested in finding out more can email amy@southboroughedfoundation.org.

Now here are the latest grants, from pre-K to high school: 

Move with Me Yoga Adventures
Finn School (Pre-School) – Colleen Bercume, Andrea Flanagan

Research shows that students benefit from participating in yoga and mindfulness techniques in the classroom. Move with Me Yoga Adventures is a program that incorporates yoga movement and mindfulness into an early childhood setting. The school year long program is used to enhance active play for social-emotional learning with a goal of helping students increase their self-awareness in the classroom and beyond.

A Powerful Path to Learning
Finn School – Betsy Loefler and Nicole McMahon

Researchers in the field of Early Childhood Education all agree that young learners need to move so that teachers can maximize each child’s learning potential. Hands-on wooden panels installed on the walls of a Finn hallway encourage students to move while providing opportunities for language development, sensory input and fine motor development. The panels are also incorporated into a school-funded learning pathway on the hallway floors to create a multi-sensory experience for students.

Write On!
Woodward School – Amy Benford,

Studies have shown that publishing and rereading their own writing allows students to improve their writing skills. Listening to their own recordings also promotes better reading fluency. Book Creator AppBook Creator for Chrome is a web-based platform where students create books that include text, drawings, voice recordings, and imported (from a safe search) media. All books are then stored in a teacher’s class library, allowing students and teachers to collaborate, enjoy, digitally share and print their books!

Plan-Imagine-Create-Play
Neary School – Karyn Fisher and Kathleen Valenti

Playing with Imagination Playground blocks helps Neary students nurture creativity and practice using the design process. The blocks are large, lightweight, soft and friendly to the touch yet dense and strong enough to build structures and shapes. During recess, Neary students create their own designs in “free play”, helping to foster and inspire innovation, creativity, design, and collaboration. Teachers also incorporate the blocks into STEM lessons by encouraging students to use the design process and teamwork to solve specific scenarios.

Outdoor Projection Screen
Neary School – Kathleen Valenti

Studies have shown that children tend to have increased concentration and are more motivated, inspired and willing to learn when they are outdoors. The addition of an outdoor, portable projection screen allows Neary to expand the use of its outdoor flexible learning space. The screen gives teachers the opportunity to project instructional materials and resources in connection to curriculum across content areas.

Think Board X
Trottier Middle School – Sandy Scordato

The Think Board X functions like a traditional whiteboard and connects digitally so that notes can be scanned to a variety of online destinations. The Think Board X helps students be more
organized and efficient, and it helps Trottier take another step toward becoming more “green.” A small set of X boards is used in math classrooms, enabling students to solve equations, show
their work and then share digitally with their teacher. Additionally, 10 large X boards are used by a cross-section of teachers so that they can capture and store their class notes digitally and collaborate.

Podcast Creation
Algonquin Regional High School – Brian Kellett, Kristin Turner, Amelia Braun, Jusin McKay, Greg DeCosmo, Renee Moulton, Kim Honey

This project funds podcast studio equipment for content creation in the social studies department. Students develop digital content while working on their technological and interdisciplinary skills. The studio is an outlet for building their creativity and learning skills that can be used in a 21st century career.

DUCKS Bring Us Together
Algonquin Regional High School – Sara Pragluski Walsh

The LEGO Duck challenge project highlights the importance of having people come together to accomplish a common outcome and to embrace the different pathways each takes to arrive at the outcome. As ARHS brings together students from Northborough and Southborough, the LEGO Ducks project provides tools and activities that promote the development of these skills. The project gives a clear illustration and live-time process of articulating how having differences within a group can help push our critical thinking and communication skills.

Light-Up Art
Algonquin Regional High School – Dan Welty

Students are challenged to create art (drawing, cartoon, sketch, etc.) that incorporates the use of electric circuits to illuminate their display using Chibi Electric Circuits. Students learn the fundamentals of circuits (Ohm’s Law, series & parallel circuits, switches) through the design of a compound circuit which then lights up their own piece of artwork.

For more information on SEF, including past years’ awards, click here. And keep on top of their updates by following their Facebook page.

You can also support SEF throughout the year by making direct contributions, buying SOBO gear & gifts (hats, t-shirts, mugs, decor, etc.) and/or participating in special event fundraisers.

*The SEF website is currently based on a Wix program.

Updated (6/27/19 8:19 am): The correct contact email address is amy@southboroughedfoundation.org.

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