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Northampton Education Foundation
P.O. Box 299, Northampton, MA  01061
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2000-2001 Funded Projects

Fall 2000 | Spring 2000


FALL 2000 AWARDS - (Projects completed between 1/1/01 and 6/30/01)

Poetry Slam
Heather Drucker, Suzanne Strauss; Northampton High School, $2,000

This project repeats and expands upon the highly successful program funded by NEF last year and features a one-day poetry slam event in which students perform their poems in front of an audience. The Poetry Slam will be preceded by two days of instructional workshops for student poets where they will work with professional poets. The event will be publicized for the community and student poems published in an anthology.

Songs of Africa
Candy Carlisle, Eveline MacDougall, Beau Flahive; JFK Middle School, $600

This is a joint project between the JFK 6th Grade Chorus, NHS Chorus and the community-based Amandla Chorus designed to incorporate music into a major 6th grade social studies unit on Africa. Students in their respective choruses will explore African culture through learning, studying and discussing selected songs from Amandla's African repertoire. In the spring, the JFK and NHS choruses will perform with the Amandla Chorus in two concerts at JFK for 6th graders. The concerts will be videotaped for assessment and possible public viewing.

Kid Pix
Trish Duffy; Leeds, $766

Students and their teachers will learn the multimedia software program “Kid Pix” together. This creative response to the need for technology teachers at the elementary level has the dual goals of showing teachers how to integrate technology into the curriculum while teaching children how to produce a curriculum-related presentation.

Multiplying Intelligent Learning
Gail Furman; Leeds, $791

The study of “multiple intelligences” recognizes that children have distinct styles of learning arising from a variety of intelligences and that successful teaching must adapt to a child’s particular style. Principal Gail Furman, Ph.D. will put her work on this subject into action by developing workshops and trainings for staff at Leeds School and providing materials for classroom teachers that can be used to apply the information they will have gained about multiple intelligences. Other interested Northampton Public Schools staff will benefit from similar workshops at system-wide Professional Development Days.

Sixth Grade Transition Book for Incoming Sixth Graders and Their Families
John Crescitelli; JFK, $668.71

Sixth graders at JFK will rewrite and publish an updated “Through the Eyes of Sixth Graders – Life at J.F.K.” book and distribute 25 copies throughout the Northampton public elementary school system and the onto the JFK web page. This project features both a writing and technology component, with students first completing an extensive writing and editing process and then mastering the computer software and other peripheral technologies (e.g. digital cameras, scanners, etc.) needed to actually publish the finished product.

Reading Together/Leyendos Juntos
Marta Mangan Lev, Maria Garcia, Linda Barca, Kim Gerould, Elba Colon, Iraida Pastor; Jackson St., $2,000

This project will bring Spanish-speaking parents and children together at Jackson Street School over four sessions to explore Spanish language children’s literature. Following an opening of snacks, songs and games, parents will meet to discuss ways to enjoy children’s literature with their children and to identify ways to support and advance their education.  Children will gather separately to read the same books and participate in drama, crafts and other activities. Teachers will develop children’s literature curriculum for use both in the classroom and by parents and children at home. This project offers an innovative approach to supporting Hispanic students to finish school by strengthening the role of parents.

Beginning Marching Band
Kerstin Becker, Kim O’Connell-Ryan; Jackson St., $1,000

This project involves the formation of an after-school beginning marching band for all Northampton 4th-8th grade students, a musical experience that currently isn't available until high school. The "Northampton Junior Marching Band" will be co-instructed by the NHS Marching Band director and the K-5 district elementary music teacher, meeting once a week for 12 weeks of instruction and rehearsal at Jackson St. School. The project will culminate with a joint concert by the NHS Marching Band and the Northampton Junior Marching Band.

Audio Library
Camilla Munska, Jan Spearance, Trish Duffy, Kathleen Lajoie, Denise Wood; Leeds, $617

This project builds upon the existing NEF-funded Primary Literacy Center through the creation of an Audio Library Center, where taped books in a follow-along format would be available to support the English Language Arts Curriculum. The project leaders will identify and purchase books written for 5-7 year olds, record those books onto cassette tapes and make the books-on-tape accessible to children via portable tape players.  Individual tape players help prevent overcrowding at classroom centers by allowing children, particularly those easily distracted, to locate themselves in any area of the classroom.  The project is designed to promote independent listening and reading by children and will be assessed through teacher observation and photographs. 

Quilts ‘R’ Math
Denise Wood; Leeds, $425

This project will supplement and support the “Quilt Squares and Block Towns” module of the First Grade Investigations Math Program in Northampton elementary schools through the photographing and distribution in transparency slide form of ten quilts.  The project leader, an avid quilter, has used her large collection of quilts with this unit of study for six years and has shared her quilts with other classrooms and grade levels to further students’ understanding of 2-D geometry and 3-D design.

Enchanted Circle Theatre/Student Performance Residency
Mark Dean, Holly Ghazey, Priscilla Hellweg; Jackson St., $1,950

This project will consist of an extended residency in the spring of 2001 with the Pioneer Valley’s nationally renowned educational theatre company Enchanted Circle Theatre at the Jackson Street School. The project will be divided into three sections: student involvement (K-5) in creating and performing their own theatre projects; an in-service teacher training in how to integrate theatre as a learning tool into curriculum; and performances for the school of Enchanted Circle Theatre’s own production, “Latino Voices/Voces Latinas." NEF funding represents a portion of an overall budget of $12,080 matched by grants from the Mass Cultural Council, Northampton Arts Council and the Jackson Street PTO.

NHS Drama Club – Artists-in-Residence
Ellen Augarten, Robert Bonneau, Virginia Mayer, Mark Gaudet; Northampton High School, $1,000

The NHS Drama Club intends to expand performance opportunities for students, as well as strengthen the theatrical production skill of students, by retaining two theatre professionals as artists-in-residence for the 2000-01 academic year. The artists-in-residence will provide students training in acting, production, ensemble building and all other aspects of theatre. The NHS Drama Club’s schedule will include an evening of student-directed short plays in conjunction with First Night, a series of evening Interarts Coffehouses, a one-act submission to the Yankee Regional Thespian Festival, a full-length spring production and the hosting of the Third Annual One-Act Festival of area high schools.

FIRST Robotics Competition
Bonnie Schuman; Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School, $2000

Smith Vocational High School will use NEF funding, together with a $5,000 N.A.S.A. Scholarship grant, to field a team entry in a national robotics competition. Students and instructors in the technology and engineering departments will collaborate with local engineers and companies to build a robot that will compete in regional and national robotics competitions.

After School Comic Book Art Class
Lahri Bond; Northampton High School, $600

Funded by the generosity of an anonymous donor, the "Art Angels", NEF is the conduit for this funding of this continuation of a three-year-old after-school art club. Student artists meet once a week during the school year to learn, draw and collaborate in the sequential art form, commonly known as comic books. Students are taught character and anatomy drawing, pencil drawing skill and the pen, ink and coloring techniques used to finish their art. The project culminates with a public show of the students artwork – last spring’s show was exhibited at the Hampshire Mall.

SPRING 2000 AWARDS - (Projects completed between 7/1/00 and 6/30/01)

Bookmaking with Handmade Paper: A Pilot Program
Lisa Leary, Martha McCormick, Lynn Goldman; Northampton High School, $2,000

NHS art teachers will develop a new course, drawing on the expertise of professional artist Sheryl Jaffe. They plan to introduce students to a variety of printmaking experiences, as well as several different methods of bookmaking. The goal is to instill a lifelong love of books through the process of making them and to have students create books that contain their artwork and examples of their own writing. Ms. Jaffe’s 11-day residency with the three teachers and approximately 60 students will include: one day of introduction and planning; three days of paper making; five days to construct an elaborate book; and two days to make a simpler book. The teachers are working towards the acceptance of "Bookmaking with Handmade Paper" as a course offering beginning in Fall, 2001. They are seeking the remaining funding necessary to complete this project from the Northampton Arts Council and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Music, Movement, Technology and Art: Exploring a Common Ground
Nick Kachulis, Kathy Itterly, Marsha Ciaschini, Jean Hoffman, Jane Punska, Seroe Michaud, Jacklyn Coe; Leeds School, $1,000

This proposal repeats and expands upon a program funded by the NEF for the past two years. The program for second graders utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to integrate music, art and movement into the elementary curriculum.  It is designed to expand basic initiatives of literacy, mathematical thinking, problem solving and creative thinking, and to encompass different learning styles.

Fifth Grade Power Point Presentation
Holly Ghazey, Fran Cooper, Carol Carson, Arlene Carmichael;  Jackson St. School, $2,000

Fifth grade students will learn how to design Power Point presentations, which will integrate Internet and text research, scanned photographs, imported sound effects and graphics into student research reports on fifth grade curriculum topics, including birds of prey, oceans and explorers.  The grant will pay for training the teachers this summer in the use of Power Point, zip drives and the scanner. Monies will also be used to purchase computer work stations on wheels and software relevant to student research areas. The School Department has pledged in-kind contributions of relevant hardware, an instructor for the summer training and support to publish these activities for dissemination in the district and beyond.

Strings in the Schools
Johanna McKenna, Karen Hurd, Northampton Community Music Center (NCMC); Bridge St, $2,000

This is the second year of funding for this program that offers violin and cello instruction to Karen Hurd’s second grade class (and to the teacher too). While offering this program at Bridge St., NCMC is engaged in ongoing efforts to build public support for incorporating string instruction into the regular public school music curriculum, boosted by the success of this program. If the School Department provides funding for another music teacher, students who participated in the program during the 1999-2000 school year will be able to continue next year.

Bookmaking: Preserving an Ancient Tradition
Ruth Mackenzie, Linda Wayne, Lorraine Carlson; Leeds, $955

This grant will provide a daylong workshop to fourth and fifth grade students and their teachers. Consultant Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord will help participants explore ways that cultures preserved their knowledge as they make books based on traditional forms from Egypt, Greece, Rome and China. There will also be a professional development opportunity for the district’s fourth grade teachers, art teachers and librarians in an after-school workshop conducted by Ms. Gaylord. This project provides an interdisciplinary approach to teaching fourth grade social studies skills mandated in the Social Studies Frameworks.

Helping Children and Teachers Deal with Loss in the School Setting
Karen Bryant, Diane Keating, Anna Richi; RKFinn/Ryan Road School, $1,740

The intent of this project is to better prepare the school community to deal with issues of loss and grief in students. Teachers will learn about the process of grieving and the importance of developmental considerations when helping children and, as a result, children will learn to develop healthy coping skills when faced with all kinds of loss. The grantees will develop a resource kit (one to stay at RR and one that may be borrowed by other schools) that will include a range of developmentally appropriate literature for children and resources (books, videos, research articles) to guide adults. There will also be two workshops offered to teachers and one for parents; all will be facilitated by Barbara Weiner from The Garden, A Center for Grieving Children and Teens, in Northampton.

Writing Across the Curriculum Manual, Poster and Library
Nancy Cheevers, Irene Sylvain, Patty McGrath, Denise Johnson, Chris Nolan, Kimberly Schlichting; JFK Middle School, $2,000

This project grows out of the work being done by JFK’s Communicating Across the Curriculum Committee (CAC). It addresses the need to help teachers in all subject areas teach writing in a way that is consistent across grade levels and content areas. Major goals are to: define writing terms that can be applied across the curriculum; create teacher handouts that can support student writing efforts; create a school-wide writing vocabulary; promote sharing and teaching about writing throughout the school; and improve student’s MCAS performance on writing objectives. A booklet and poster about writing process methods and terms will be produced for all teachers/classrooms. These will be the focus of several faculty presentations during the school year.

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Last Updated: January 9, 2008