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Northampton Education Foundation
P.O. Box 299, Northampton, MA  01061
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2010-2011 Funded Projects

Fall 2010| Spring 2010


FALL 2010 AWARDS - $23,036 awarded! (Projects to be completed between 1/1/11 and 6/30/11)

10F-1 Mural Project (Year 1) BSS $1,750
Jackie Coe, Johanna McKenna, Laurie Sperry, Mandy Gerry
Using the theme of “friendship,” students from all grade levels will be involved in submitting artwork to be included in a mural installed on the exterior wall of BBS. Fifth grade students will help design and paint the mural, which will be donated to the school as their parting gift.

10F-2 For Whom the Belle Tolls (Year 3) JSS/NHS $1,000
Susan Ebitz, Suzanne Strauss
After studying aspects of Emily Dickinson’s biography and poetry, students at NHS and fourth graders at JSS will partner four times for the purpose of developing and deepening their understanding of Dickinson and the beauty of her work. Docents from the Emily Dickinson Museum will visit and share artifacts and background material appropriate to the development of the students. Later, the two school groups will visit the museum together and use Dickinson’s poetry as a model to write their own poems at the very place where she composed 1800 pieces. During the third year, the program will expand by offering guidance and materials to other teachers at both JSS and NHS interested in including Dickinson’s work in their classrooms.

10F-3 The Kime Project (Year 1) JSS, $2,000
Janis Totty, Mary Cowhey
The Kime Project offers a novel, integrated approach to issues of safe and healthy schools, with a particular emphasis on bullying prevention. For three weeks in March, all K-5 physical education classes will practice skills, games and role-plays designed for teaching self-protection and non-violent martial arts skills to children. In addition, two “Families with Power” workshops will be co-hosted and planned in conjunction with Families of Power, a grass roots organizing effort of low-income families of color in Northampton schools. These workshops will include a family fitness component linked to content from Kime Project PE classes, followed by dinner and discussion, sharing ways families practice safety, respect and caring.

10F-4 Creating a School Garden as Outdoor Classroom (Year 3) JSS $1,000
Mary Bates, Aaron Piziali, Mary Ellen Reed, Susan Ebitz
In the first year of this grant a school garden was created that functioned as a viable outdoor classroom. Teachers spent hundreds of hours designing, creating, and maintaining the garden, coordinating volunteers, and developing related lesson plans. Students used the garden for a range of lessons – from organisms to seasonal changes, Native American traditions to economics. In the second year of the project teachers and students, with the help of a consultant, continued to maintain and cultivate the garden, connecting it with the classroom curriculum. During the third year organizers will continue to develop and implement a strategic plan to make the program sustainable. This plan includes connecting with local farms, promoting healthier eating through collaboration with Healthy Foods in Northampton Schools and GAINS, and identifying additional funding sources.

10F-5 Ewe Drumming-Adding the Dance (Year 2) JSS/RKFRR $2,000
Kim O’Connell
Ewe drumming is a complex tradition from West Africa. Workshops and classes will be held for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders at both schools on drumming, lyrics, and basic dance steps. A master drummer will teach exercises using patterns and movements. The students’ work will culminate with concerts in March.

10F-6 “Better Together” (Year 1) Leeds $2,000
Roxanne Nieman, Karen Bryant
A three-part anti-bullying project will teach students and staff concrete skills in school-wide peace-building, and further develop a tolerant and civil school climate. An in-service training and two assemblies will build and make transparent intervention skills used in “speaking up” during a conflict. Students will participate in the writing, shooting and editing of two brief peace-building videos, to be shown in Community Meeting and later in class rooms.

10F-7 Teacher Round Table (Year 2) JSS/Leeds $275
Mary Bates, Hannah Kristek
In seven after-hours workshops, elementary school teachers will participate in a research group on student thinking and the ways in which classroom teachers can access and understand student learning. Students benefit from teachers who develop a habit of mind of paying closer attention to student thinking. They learn how to pay closer attention to their assignments and activities, and begin to see themselves and their classmates as thinkers.

10F-8 Rehabilitated Garden (Year 1) Leeds $2,000
Bonnie Palmer, Roxanne Nieman, Micki Darling, Heidi Renauld
This will be a collaborative effort, involving teachers, principal and parents, to rehabilitate and maintain the elementary school garden. In consultation with School Sprouts, teachers will create a viable outdoor classroom, connecting the garden to classroom curricula. Students’ participation will correlate to the GAIN environmental curriculum, currently being introduced in the class rooms.

10F-9 Sojourner Truth “I will shake every place I go.” (Year 1) JFK $1,000
Aelan B. Tierney, Lesley Wilson, Tracey Dawson-Greene
Two performances of Enchanted Circle Theater’s touring, theatrical concert will be performed for all grade levels at JFK, coordinated with a walking tour of Florence for several social studies classes, provided by the Sojourner Truth Memorial Organization.

10F-10 Story Theater Workshop (Year 1) JSS/RR/NHS $1,600
Elizabeth Wotjusik, Stephen Eldridge, Kim Gerould, Aaron Pizali, Andrea Egitto, Diana Ramsden
NHS theater students will perform original plays based on well-known global folktales for two RR 1st grade and two JSS 3rd grade classes. These performances will be structured in an intentional way that supports development of children’s oral discussion, reading and writing skills.

10F-11 Landscape, Memoirs, Paper (Year 1)JFK $1665
Michelle Mallory, Sheryl Jaffe
7th and 8th grade art classes will make numerous sheets of paper from cellulose plant fibers such as corn husks, iris leaves and onion skins. 7th grade classes will use the paper for landscape drawings and printing. The 8th grade will use their handmade paper for original poems and print-making. These pages will be bound as books. Both projects will be displayed and shared in an evening “demonstration event” at JFK. All works will then be displayed in the JFK library.

10F-12 Adventure Education (Year 1) FLC $500
Jason Scavotto
Students will participate in a series of in-class activities that focus on team building, critical thinking and problem solving. In addition, students will work with Outdoor leadership Program from Greenfield Community College to experience rock climbing and ropes courses.

10F-13 Chemistry Olympiad Competition (Year 3) NHS $997
Susan Biggs
Sixty-five AP and Honors Chemistry students will attend the local Chemistry Olympiad competition in March of 2011, with the prospect of sending individuals on to the national and international Olympiads. NHS teams have had impressive results in past years, including 1st place in the 2010 local competition, 2004 and 2009, sending two students to the nationals.

10F-14 Contemporary Scrolls (Year 1) NHS $2,000
Lisa Leary, Sheryl Jaffe
Drawing and Painting 1 students will create handmade paper scrolls and books that incorporate historical process photography, drawing, painting collage and print-making techniques. Final projects will be exhibited publicly in downtown Northampton and the Forbes Library.

10F-15 Stage Craft: Molding and Making Living Elements for the Theater (Year 1) NHS $1,600
Stephen Eldredge, Sheryl Jaffe
Stagecraft students will create molded masks, life-size characters, puppets and sculptural set elements, some of which will be used in spring 2011 stage performances.

10F-16 Exploring Ocean Ecosystems (Year 2) SVHS $1,646
Mary Belge
Seniors in the Environmental Science class will supplement their study of ocean ecosystems and the effects of climate change with a day-long field trip to the New England Aquarium and a whale watch, where they will be accompanied by a marine educator. It is anticipated that this will be the first time that some of the students have seen the ocean.

SPRING 2010 AWARDS - $16,829 awarded! (Projects to be completed between 7/1/10 and 6/30/11)

10S-1 Bridge After-School Enrichment (Year 1) BSS $2,000
Beth Goldstein, Johanna McKenna, Michaela O'Brien
Until now, BSS is the only elementary school in the district without an after-school program. The project will provide classes in Spanish, computer, fiber arts, animal and pet science, and band instruments. Experienced teachers will provide instruction, and a Program Coordinator will oversee onsite program details.

10S-2 Storytelling (Year 1) BSS $2,000
Barbara Black, Mary Porcino
This project will support the district's Writers Workshop curriculum by bringing storyteller John Porcino to BSS to work with five classroom teachers in grades two through four. Mr. Porcino will help students remember, shape, write, polish and present their life stories.

10S-3 Yoga in the Classroom (Year 2) Leeds $2,000
Hollie Marron, Janet Spearance, Karen Bryant
In six after-school sessions, teachers are taught to use yoga as a tool for their own health, wellness, and development. Subsequently they will discuss and adapt techniques for use with their students in the classroom. Year 1 of the project has proved that yoga can be a very useful tool for helping children focus and transistion from one activity to the next.

10S-4 Matching Books to Readers (Year 1) RFKRR $1,000
Andrea Egitto, Diana Ramsden, Susan Lavallee, Michele Siarowski, Carlene Osborn
Workshops will guide parents in matching appropriately leveled books with their young readers, and will offer reading aloud skills, and ways to improve children's reading strategies.

10S-5 The Human Sun Clock (Year 1) RFKRR $1,940
Michele Andrews
A sun clock will be installed by parents and community members in the playground area, and the Amherst College Planetarium Director will volunteer his time to teach the fifth grade how to use it. Those fifth graders will mentor younger students in its use.

10S-6 Inspiring Young Writers (Year 3) RFKRR $900
Margaret Riddle, Michele Andrews, Greg Kerstetter, Santha Parke
Six writing workshops will be offered for fifth grade students and teachers to develop fluent writing to recognize strengths. Teachers from other grade levels may also attend. Students will produce six or more pieces, at least one of which will be fully revised and published in a class booklet.

10S-7 Recess Nature Study (Year 1) RFKRR $1,973
Susan Lucey, Patty Tosswill, Lynne Lovett, Jayne Reeves, Lorraine Caron, Linsay Whittier-Liu, Pat Connors, Alison Gleason, Valerie Tompkins, Evelyn Gore
This project responds to the desire of ESP staff to learn how to guide students in their nature studies during outdoor play times. ESP staff will meet three times with a Hitchcock Center educator, to develop their knowledge and to create a nature guide for each season. The guide will suggest recess nature study possibilities for that season and offer questioning techniques to support the children's learning.

10S-8 What's Math Go To Do With It? (Year 1) RFKRR $1,016
Margaret Riddle, Beth Brady, Michele Andrews, Patricia Erikson, Rebecca Thomas, Pamela Maurer, Jen Crowther
This project will acquaint teachers and family members, working together, with the research that supports a new way of teaching math. The group will read the book What's Math Got To Do With It? and, in one-hour sessions, try out each of the four number operatins using strategies the children use. The result will be that parents are prepared to support their children's math education at home.

10S-9 Middle School Mentors (Year 2) JFK, RKFRR, Leeds $2000
Linda Hamashima Umbach
This project trains Middle School students to become peer mentors for elementary schoolers. With supervision from elementary after-school staff, the mentors assist with reading skills, board games, and art and science projects. After each session, mentors meet with project advisor for debriefing and support.

10S-10 Jazz Education (Year 2) JFK $2,000
Claire-Ann Williams
This project invites students from all four JFK bands to participate in a jazz clinic which is conducted jointly by the band director and members of a professional jazz quartet. Weekly JFK jazz band rehearsals will result in integrating jazz pieces in the three JFK annual band concerts. The JFK jazz band will compete in a "Junior Jazz Festival" competition at the end of the year.

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Last Updated: June 9, 2010