Endowment Programs


Northampton Education Foundation Endowment Distribution Awards

NEF Endowment Distribution Awards

The NEF Endowment was established to assist the Northampton Public Schools by providing funding for larger programs that can run more than one year, serve greater numbers of students, and require more than the $2,000 which is the maximum award for the organization’s Small Grants to Teachers program. These awards include funding from the Endowment’s two named funds, the Florence Savings Bank’s "Fund for Public Education" and Northampton Area Pediatrics’ "Education Fund."

The NEF Endowment Distribution Committee selected these proposals from a large group of strong applications. The Distribution Committee comprises a broad-based group of Northampton citizens including representatives from each School Council, alumni, current students, the community-at-large and the NEF Board.

2013 marks the 7th consecutive annual distribution from the NEF Endowment Fund. By June 2014, over $250,000 will have been awarded, encouraging innovation and collaboration in all areas of school curriculum.

2013-2014 Awards

Living History in Northampton, Florence and Leeds is a program organized by Northampton teachers to work with local experts to develop and implement a coordinated local history curriculum throughout our elementary schools. Our students will have the opportunity to engage with our rich local history in the classroom and in the community. Funding will help pay for planning and research time for teachers, development of curriculum with the assistance of experts on local history, development of curriculum materials and field trips for students to local sites. This is the third and final year of funding for this three year grant.

Get R.E.A.L. Reading Education and Leadership will provide funding for 25 Northampton teachers from all four elementary schools to attend a week long summer institute to become experts in the current best practices for teaching non-fiction literacy. This is a major target area for the new national and state Common Core Curriculum Standards. These teachers will then form learning communities at their schools to share their knowledge with colleagues. In addition the grant will enable each school to purchase a full set of interesting and up to date non fiction books.

Change-Makers will support the development of JFK’s Social Studies curriculum (and other aspects of the JFK curriculum) into a global service learning project. Students will utilize the technology provided to build on curriculum developed at JFK over the past two years to connect to others around the world. They will be involved in microfinance projects, making “e-pals” and learning about the world from students in a variety of countries while sharing their experiences with others across the globe. This project meets one of the NEF Endowment Fund’s stated objectives of increasing global connections.

The Northampton Engineers Project will introduce students at Leeds and Bridge St. Schools to the fascinating world of robotics and engineering. The goals are to improve technological literacy, expose youngsters to the engineering process and to demonstrate exciting applications of math, physics and computer science. A consultant will work with teachers of different grade levels to introduce age appropriate robotic curriculum as part of this project.

2012-2013 Awards

Living History in Northampton, Florence and Leeds is a program organized by Northampton teachers to work with local experts to develop and implement a coordinated local history curriculum throughout our elementary schools. Our students will have the opportunity to engage with our rich local history in the classroom and in the community. Funding will help pay for planning and research time for teachers, development of curriculum with the assistance of experts on local history, development of curriculum materials and field trips for students to local sites. This is the second year of funding for this three year grant.

A High School Advisory Program: Civic Engagement and Tolerance Education will fund consultants to assist Northampton High School to continue their work in developing the Advisory/Advisee program started in September, 2011. The Advisory/Advisee program helps students and staff build relationships that promote a positive climate and improve student learning. Consultants will work with students and staff to provide training and coaching in designing, organizing and running Advisory sessions. This year the focus of the program will be improving on the Advisory program by extending it to more students, developing a peer leadership program, adding new sessions to both the Advisory program and developing tolerance education lessons for the History department, and working to develop a plan to sustain the Advisory program.

The Creative Classroom Initiative is a collaboration between the Enchanted Circle Theater and Northampton teachers to further integrate arts into the everyday core curriculum of our elementary schools. This project is the second phase of the Initiative, which was funded by the NEF Endowment in 2010. In Phase 2, the Initiative will develop a teacher leadership team, continue to support teachers in learning to integrate the arts into their teaching and develop a creative curriculum development “think tank†. The “think tank†will generate new arts integration ideas for the classroom, propelling the CCI agenda forward.

2011-2012 Awards

Living History in Northampton, Florence, and Leeds
Living History is a program organized by Northampton teachers to work with local experts to develop and implement a coordinated local history curriculum throughout our elementary schools. The students will have the opportunity to engage with rich local history in the classroom and in the community. Funding will help pay for planning and research time for teachers, development of curriculum with the assistance of experts on local history, development of curriculum materials, and field trips for students to local sites. Living History will be funded for a three-year period.

High School Advisory Program: Civic Engagement and Tolerance Education
This endowment will fund consultants to assist Northampton High School in designing the new Advisor/Advisee program starting in September, 2011. The Advisor/Advisee program will help students and staff build relationships that promote a positive climate and improve student learning. Consultants will work with students and staff to provide training and coaching in designing, organizing, and running Advisory sessions. In addition, they will develop some of the “curriculum” of the Advisory sessions around the issues of civic engagement and tolerance.

FirstRobotics Team
The FirstRobotics Team is a collaboration between Amy Johnson, Physics teacher at NHS and several engineers to work with students to develop a team of students to participate in the nationally known FirstRobotics Competition. In this competition, teams of students design, program, and build robots designed to FirstRobotics standards. They then compete in regional and national competitions. All the work is done after school hours and staff and local engineers are donating their time to this exciting project.

2010-2011 Awards

Creative Classrooms Initiative
A collaboration between the Enchanted Circle Theatre and Northampton’s elementary schools, the initiative is a cohesive, district-wide arts initiative designed to integrate the arts and learning in the everyday core curriculum. The program includes: District wide professional development for every elementary level teacher in the Fundamentals of Arts integration; intensive professional development for core group teachers in Creative Curriculum development; an Artist in Residence Program; mentorship for teachers who have already been trained in the program and development of student assessment rubrics with documentation of creative curriculum projects. The project will receive $15,000 for one year.

Green Action In Northampton Schools (GAINS) Program
The Green Action in Northampton Schools (GAINS) Program will receive a second year of funding of $10,000 for the 2010-2011 school year. GAINS will focus on reducing energy dependence, solid waste management and food and nutrition in the curriculum and daily workings of our schools.

2009-2010 Awards

Green Action In Northampton Schools (GAINS) Program
The Green Action in Northampton Schools (GAINS) Program is an innovative environmental program that brings real world problems into Northampton’s schools and engages students and other members of our school community in critical and creative thinking to address those problems. The focus is on education about sustainability and on organizing students to learn about and take action towards sustainability. Green teams are organized in each school to lead the school in identifying projects to work on. These initiatives will then be used to develop cross-disciplinary learning experiences in the classroom. GAINS is a collaboration between concerned citizens, the Northampton Energy and Sustainability Officer, the Waste Management Supervisor of Northampton’s DPW, The Hitchcock Center for the Environment, the Center for Ecological Technology and the Principals, Teachers, Staff and Students of the Northampton Public Schools. The project will receive $15,000 for one year.

2008-2009 Awards

Bridges: Bridging the Gap Between Pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grade
The Bridges, Bridging The Gap Between Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and First Grade is an innovative initiative which will involve all of the students and teachers of Northampton in their first years of schooling and have a long term effect on our children’s success as they progress through their school years. The program will use professional development to transform our early education program by implementing the model of "Emotionally Responsive Teaching and Learning". Using this model, our early grades will limit their focus from an increasing reliance on "teaching to the test" and towards supporting healthy social and emotional development as well as self- regulation skills. Our early grades are currently struggling with an increase in disruptive behaviors, which this program will address. The program is based upon the ideas of Lesley Koplow, Director of the Center for Emotionally Responsive Practice at the Bank St. School of Education who has trained teachers in Northampton previously and who will be the primary consultant to our staff in this very exciting project. The program has strong support from all of the principals and early education teachers. The project will receive $40,000 in funding over two years.

Celebration of Ancient Greece
The Celebration of Ancient Greece is a partnership between John F. Kennedy Middle School and Athena Educational Resources, a 501(c) (3) non profit educational association in the commonwealth of Massachusetts. The program is collaboration between Massachusetts Cultural Council Creative Teaching Partner Nick Kachulis and twelve middle school teachers using stories, art, music, dance, dramatic play, technology, and research and classroom projects to teach Ancient Greek history, mythology, and culture to all 7th grade students at the school. The program seeks to deepen and expand cross-discipline connections, develop new content, and develop more effective strategies and modalities to engage students, community connections and resources. The project enlists local performing artists as well as parent and community volunteers. Celebration of Ancient Greece is based on an interdisciplinary learning model and is aligned with the Massachusetts Department of Education frameworks and school and district wide curriculum and initiatives in English, Social Studies, Music, Dance, Drama and Visual Art. The project will receive one year of funding at $10,000.

2007-2008 Awards

The Northampton Environmental Education Program (NEEP)
NEEP is a three-year initiative generated by the teachers at RK Finn Ryan Road School to develop and use natural areas surrounding Northampton elementary schools to enrich the district’s science curriculum, develop an enhanced appreciation for nature, and integrate science, literacy and mathematics. Teachers will partner with staff from the Hitchcock Center of Amherst to develop hands-on curriculum in life science, earth science, physical science as well as language arts, math, and local history while utilizing city conservation areas as laboratories. An in-school environmental lab with supplies and equipment will be created. Teachers trained by the Hitchcock Center will then become in-school trainers for new teachers using the curriculum. NEEP will be awarded $50,730 over a three-year period. From its introduction at Robert K Finn Ryan Road School, this program will be able to include all Northampton elementary schools.

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Last Updated: September 20, 2011