SEF announces 2018 Grants

Above: Last week, the Southborough Education Foundation hosted its annual award breakfast honoring grant recipients. This year, $20K in awards will support initiatives at Southborough schools. (image cropped from contributed photo)

Last week, I shared readers that “Apple Awards” can be made as end of school year gifts to teachers and staff through tomorrow, June 15th. I reminded that the gifts support teacher-driven educational grants. SEF’s latest announcement reveals what past fundraisers will make possible next year.

Over $20,000 was distributed to representatives from the three elementary schools and the middle school for projects ranging from an organic garden to infrared cameras. 

Here are the initiatives that will be piloted by Southborough teachers in 2018-19 thanks to the Southborough Education Foundation:

Finn Family Garden
Sue Hughes and Alysun Stephens, Mary E. Finn School

The Finn Family Garden is an ongoing, multigenerational, community farming project that integrates multiple Southborough organizations, including the Finn School, the Southborough Gardeners, and the Southborough Food Pantry. The garden’s installment and cultivation principles align with Finn’s new science curricula and the CARE themes of Respect, Integrity, Communication and Excellence, as well as the Finn School Improvement Plan.

Root, Root, Root for Coding!
Amy Benford, Albert S. Woodward School

Coding curriculum at Woodward encourages higher level thinking and learning through hands-on and collaborative experiences. Students become active participants in their learning as content creators. Coding is all about problem solving and Root Robots give students more interesting, fun, and engaging problems to solve than just flat images and puzzles on a computer screen. This grant provides 10 Root Robots for the Technology Lab.

Hear Me Hear You
David Finneran and Kristin Theve, Margaret A. Neary School

This state-of- the-art technology for large classrooms allows the teacher to hear students working in small groups and help them in real time. Currently, students working in small groups have to wait for a teacher to come over to their group to discover if they have any challenges working on assignments. Hear You Hear me employs the Red Cat classroom audio system that places microphone pods in each small group and the teacher can hear the students work on projects and respond quickly.

Throw your Voice
Miriam Soldo, Karyn Fisher, Sheila Finnegan, Kristen Ahearn, Margaret A. Neary School

Public speaking, even simply asking questions, can be a challenge for many children. Oftentimes, they can be intimidated and don’t want to participate or ask questions that can help them. The QBall technology is a small microphone wrapped in a soft ball that the teacher can throw to a student and make speaking up in class feel like a game. 

Smart Brain Wise Heart
Jennifer Matthews and Jennie Bogaert, Woodward, Neary and Trottier Schools

Using biofeedback (a non-invasive app that measures anxiety, stress and emotional responses) students at Woodward, Neary and Trottier will be able to learn how to use their own bodies to regulate emotions. Currently, students are directed to emotional regulation via a red, green and yellow chart but studies show that students who can see the stress they are under and use tools such as games and breathing techniques are more likely to employ those strategies themselves. In addition, a curriculum called smart brain wise heart will be employed for all students to learn how to regulate stress, anxiety and emotion.

Infrared Thermal Imaging Cameras
Amy Reilly and Sandy Scordato, Trottier Middle School

A TechEdu FLIR C2 Thermal Imaging Camera for Trottier Middle School will enhance the scientific exploration and instruction of complex and abstract concepts in the science and technology classroom. The camera will allow the students to learn about heat transfer, exothermatic and endothermatic reactions and the electromagnetic spectrum through visual images. It aligns with the STEM initiatives at Trottier, and allows students to increase their critical thinking and problem solving skills through hands-on experimentation.

Working our Way to the Top
Aimee Horgan and Erin Valcourt, Trottier Middle School

One of the goals of the CASTLE and New England Center for Children partner classrooms at Trottier, is to prepare students with special needs for independence through vocational and life skills development. Through this grant, these classrooms will have access to items such as a cash register, mail cart, laundry items and other daily living and employment-related materials.

For more information on SEF, including past years’ awards, click here.

Reminder, the deadline for this year’s Red Apple Award gifts is tomorrow, June 15th. (Click here to handle that online.)

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.

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