Southborough Education Foundation awards $30K in grants

Above: ENO Interactive Whiteboards were purchased for Woodward through an SEF grant (photo from PolyVision.com)

The Southborough Education Foundation (SEF) recently awarded more than $30K in grants to support innovative programs at each of the four Southborough schools and Algonquin. Some of the grants were used to purchase technology like interactive whiteboards, a visible wavelength spectrometer, and even a Wii gaming system to be used for fitness programs. Other grants went toward developing innovative programs around reading, language, health, and other areas of the curriculum.

Since its inception, SEF has awarded more than $200K in grants to the schools. You can read more in this press release.

The Southborough Education Foundation (SEF) awarded over $30,000 in grants to support innovative programs in the various Southborough schools for the 2010-2011 year. All of the Southborough public schools, including one for Algonquin Regional High School, received grants to continue to improve their teaching of the community’s children and young adults.

“We are excited about the programs our recipients will undertake and we, on behalf of the children who will benefit from these programs, would like to thank the individuals, local businesses, and international companies like EMC who make these grants possible through their generous financial contributions,” said SEF President Cathy Cook.  “In difficult budgetary times like now, it is more important than ever to support innovative teaching programs so our next generation can be more effectively taught in today’s environment and become better prepared for the future.”

This year’s grants ranged from one providing advanced scientific equipment to significantly expand the science offerings and teaching lessons at the high school level to one funding decidedly low-tech but effective displays promoting health issues to the students at the Woodward School.  Individual grants at Finn and Neary will enable programs that leverage the consumer-based technology of the Wii platform and iTouches respectively to assist in the instruction of students with developmental delays or similar issues starting in the fall.  Another Neary grant will assist in making poetry pervasive throughout the school in the spring of 2011.

Both the Woodward School and Trottier will benefit from grants that include new interactive boards being installed in classrooms.  At Trottier, SEF is funding two new interactive boards for use in the World Language Department, enabling students to “virtually visit” foreign lands and do such things as talk to foreign students and navigate foreign cities and museums as “virtual tourists”.  SEF also approved a grant to equip each of the third grade classrooms with interactive boards, marking the first time an entire grade in the school system will be able to leverage this type of interactive technology to share, improve and develop lessons for all of its students.  To date, only a few classrooms among all the schools have had this technology and they have seen significant benefits to teaching their students, especially in the areas of math and science.  Within this grant, SEF also agreed to fund an interactive software program to assist with language skills and editing for third graders.

As alluded to above, the Algonquin High School’s science department received a grant to purchase new science equipment for a program that will allow students to increase their scientific knowledge, data acquisition skills and better integrate math with science, impacting over 500 students.  Rounding out the recipients of this year’s grants was a program at Neary to provide a program emphasizing non-fiction reading and associated cross-class collaboration for all fourth graders.  For more information regarding the grants and the grant recipients, please refer to SEF’s website: www.soutboroughed.edu.

The mission of the Southborough Education Foundation is to provide private funding for innovative and challenging programs that enhance the educational excellence of the Southborough public schools.  SEF seeks to foster academic excellence by awarding grants for innovative and creative programs that enhance, but do not duplicate, the standard public school curriculum, and that would otherwise not be funded through the traditional school budget process.  The Foundation seeks grant proposals that will motivate the faculty and students by creating opportunities for inventive educational programming, multidisciplinary team projects and community-focused activities.

The Foundation supports these grants through membership fees, private donations, generous corporate grants, the annual Southborough Spelling Bee and several individual events.  Since its inception, SEF has distributed over $200,000 worth of grants to the Southborough school system.  For more information regarding SEF, please go to www.southboroughed.org or contact Kathy Cook at kcook@fusiongroup.org.

You can see a complete list of grants here (PDF).

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