Small Grants Awarded – History


Spring 2017 |

Spring 2016 | Fall 2016

Spring 2015 | Fall 2015

Spring 2014 | Fall 2014
Spring 2013 | Fall 2013
Spring 2012 | Fall 2012
Spring 2011 | Fall 2011
Spring 2010 | Fall 2010
Spring 2009 | Fall 2009
Spring 2008 | Fall 2008
Spring 2007 | Fall 2007
Spring 2006 | Fall 2006
Spring 2005 | Fall 2005
Spring 2004 | Fall 2004
Spring 2003 | Fall 2003
Spring 2002 | Fall 2002
Spring 2001 | Fall 2001
Spring 2000 | Fall 2000


NEF Small Grants to Teachers – Spring 2015

The Board of the Northampton Education Foundation approved funding of $26,033.90 to 12 applicants in the Small Grants Program for the Spring 2015 cycle.

15S-1   Celebration African Culture and Art – $3000

JSS

Brenda Lilly, Kim O’Connell, Janis Totty                                                                  

This grant supports a school-wide immersion in the West African arts during the fall in art, music and PE classes. Students will learn dance movements and drumming, make African masks, study and print Adinkra Symbols, and perform at a November celebration.

Funds consultants and supplies

15S-2   Community Outreach – $3000

Leeds

Heide Eriksen, MaryJo Nagle, Leslie Macutkiewicz, Lizette Rodrigues and six other teachers and ESPs.   

This grant aims to build a collaborative teaching and learning community at Meadowbrook Apartments that strengthens student/family, using and role modeling Responsive Classroom techniques. Once a week, for 11 weeks from September to December, a team of educators from Leeds Elementary School and/or members of the Meadowbrook community will work with students and families for two hours in three content areas: Lego Robotics, Literacy and Cultural Arts.

Funds school employee time and supplies

 

15S-3   Florence Heights Community Engagement – $2400

RKFRR       

Rachel Ellis and eight teachers, the RR Principal, and Barbara Black

This grant will bring families from the Florence Heights Community together to spend time with each other, spend time with teachers from Ryan Road, and be able to take something home that they can either display or use together (e.g. picture books, math games, writing journals). The lead organizer, Ms. Ellis, will work with other teachers each session to plan and deliver the program.

Funds school employee time, materials and food 

15S-4   Math Night (year 3) – $932.50

RKFRR

Mary Beth O’Connor, Beth Brady

In year three of the very success full Math Night program, parents will be introduced to games specific to the Investigations math curriculum. Families will learn the importance of playing games as a way to support their child’s mathematical understanding. Simple materials (dice, cards) will be used so these games can be easily played at home. Families will collect game directions and leave with a complete set of game rules and cards to take home.

Funds school employee time, materials, postage and printing

15S-5   Media Studio – $630.40

RKFRR

David Marks, Drea Marks

This grant will expand the Ryan Road after school radio program by building a media studio at the school. Students are primarily responsible for the show and its contents which includes real news from the school itself, some fun jingles, and fake commercials. A flat screen kiosk display will be installed in the school lobby to display school events, weather, lunch menus etc. and would play the audio of the newscast at the top of every hour.

Funds equipment

15S-6   Youth Farm Garden Trips – $3000

Elementary and Middle School

Kim Gerould, Clem Clay

This project is a collaboration between NPS and Grow Food Northampton. During Fall 2015 and Spring 2016, NEF will provide partial funding for 30 field trips that will bring approximately 1,200 Northampton elementary and middle school classes to Grow Food’s community farm. Activities can include tours of Crimson and Clover CSA Farm and the Community Garden, meetings with farmers and gardeners, as well as hands-on opportunities to plant, tend, harvest and sample vegetables. Trips are led by staff of The Farm Education Collaborative (TFEC), a group of experienced educators dedicated to creating farm-based education programs for schools in the Pioneer Valley.

Funds consultants and transportation

15S-7   Tools of the Mind (year 2) – $2475          

Pre-school

Barbara Black, Casey Matthias, Jean Flegenheimer, Laura Mangones, Jen Busone, Janet Korzenowski, Samantha Willis

This grant will again support the coaching process for pre-school teachers as part of Tools of the Mind, a comprehensive early childhood (preschool/kindergarten) program which promotes the development of self-regulation through a developmentally appropriate, play-based model. Two BSS kindergarten teachers will coach pre-school teachers as part of the program, which includes professional development and supporting materials.

Funds school employee time and substitutes 

15S-8   Day of Service – $3000

JFK

Kate Parrott and JFK School Adv. Council

This grant funds an ambitious effort by the entire JFK community and it’s School Council to create a school-wide community service learning day to promote leadership, citizenship and self-confidence. JFK teachers, administrators and parents will partner with Smith College and the Northampton Council on Aging to arrange and supervise activities. Each student will spend the day engaged in a supervised CSL project with an area non-profit or city department.

Funds school employee time, transportation, supplies, postage and printing                       

15S-9   Summer Tech Conference – $2950

JFK Middle School

Dinah Mack, John Crescitelli, Molly McLoughlin

Building on a previous NEF Endowment project, JFK will sponsor a 2-day intensive technology conference open to faculty and staff. Participants will have a choice of four workshops and will complete a final project to implement in the 2015-2016 academic year.

Funds school employee time, supplies and food

15S-10   Poetry Slam (year 3) – $812

NHS

Heather Drucker-Brown 

The Poetry Slam, now in its 18th year, will bring in local poets including NHS alumnae to run poetry workshops preceding the spoken word competition. This competition is held during the school day for the entire school community and judged by the workshop presenters and some audience members.

Funds school employee time and consultants

15S-11   20th Century Woodcut: China-USA – $1834

NHS

Sheryl Jaffe

This grant will support students to study 20th century woodcut artists Kathe Kollwitz, Li Hua, and Gu Yuan. They will learn woodblock cutting and printing with Lyle Castonguay and will produce a woodcut print.

Funds consultants and supplies.

15S-12   The Next Level of Play Day – $2000

Smith Vocational HS

Nelsen Lacey

This grant will fund a “next level of play day” where Smith Voc softball, baseball and basketball coaching staff and varsity players will mentor young athletes and parents from the community. The day will involve physical training and sportsmanship and workshops on nutrition and preventing unhealthy habits such as smoking and “vaping.”    

Funds consultant and supplies NOTE: Funding is contingent on clarification of budget.

Back To Top


NEF Small Grants to TeachersFall 2015

The Board of the Northampton Education Foundation approved funding of $35,278 to 16 applicants in the Small Grants Program for the Fall 2015 cycle.

F15-1 Emotionally Responsive Classroom Study Group, Year 1

JSS – $2000

Maria Garcia, Jen Reed, MaryEllen Reed, Sarah King, Gwen Agna

A six-week Professional Learning community book study group for interested staff and faculty to retool, renew and review current best practices in the field of emotionally responsive classrooms. Participants will read and discuss “Creating Schools that Heal” and “Bears, Bears Everywhere” and re-implement the “bears curriculum” an in-class nurture/healing program using small teddy bears.

F15-2 Stop Motion Animation, Year 2

Leeds – $1370

Andrew Foster, Leslie Macutkiewicz, Andrea Marks

The Stop Motion Animation Workshop is designed to engage 4th Graders at Leeds School in the design and creation of stop-motion animated films. Working in teams, students will learn how to animate and explore different stop-motion techniques. Students will use multiple means of stop-motion materials including but not limited to clay, paper and cardboard, and Legos. Grade 4 stop motion projects will be used to demonstrate concepts to first grade classrooms. Additionally, students will learn film language, camera techniques, editing, sound editing, and adding credits.

F15-3 Tony Vacca Residency, Year 2

Leeds – $3000

Sal Canata, Amy Seldin, Doug Wheat

In the second year of this residency, in addition to leading hands-on workshops, Tony Vacca will lead an all-school assembly and a faculty workshop. Also new is a cross-cultural art project between Leeds students and Senegalese students creating collaborative large drawings. Art supplies will be collected by Leeds students to send to students in Senegal.

F15-4 Time Capsule Theater, Year 1

RKFRR – $1900

Sarah Madden, Cindy Berry, Paula Cleary

Piti Theater will work with the two 3rd grade classrooms to create an original musical inspired by their Massachusetts, and particularly Northampton, history curriculum. Activities include script and character development, design and construction of props, costumes and sets, and making songs and creative movements. 

F15-5 Creative Forrest Flags, Year 1

RKFRR – $2200

Sarah Madden, Lindsay Fogg-Willits

Local artist Lindsay Fogg-Willits will work with every class to create a series of flags that will exemplify values important to Ryan Road School. Each class will have 2 sessions to conceptualize, design and create their classroom flag – a tree with each student designing a leaf. The project will culminate in an outdoor display of the flags – a school-wide forest – as part of the spring celebration of the schools 50th anniversary. The flags will continue to be displayed beyond the anniversary celebration.

F15-6 Summer Reading, Year 1

RKFRR – $2750

MaryBeth O’Connor, Rachel Ellis

In an attempt to address the summer reading slide-back that many students experience, this project will provide struggling readers a steady stream of new and exciting books to read over the summer. Each book will come with a letter from Ms. O’Connor or Ms. Ellis about the book and a pre-stamped postcard inviting feedback on the book. The target population is struggling readers (Title 1 and ELL) who may not have access to books or the ability to get to the library.

F15-7 Parent Cafes Year 1

JFK – $1500

Erika Frank, Mandy Geary, Paul McNeil

The JFK Parent Cafes, for parents of 6th graders, will build on the success of previous cafes focused on parents of young children. Parent Cafes are gatherings where parents participate actively in guided, open conversations about issues arising from parenting – raising strong children, maintain strong relationships with your children, and self-care. A Parent Café Host presents a set of questions which participants discuss, listen for patterns, insights and deeper, shared understandings. Dinner, childcare and transportation (where needed) will be provided.

F15-8 Lego Robotics, Year 1

JFK – $2000

Jim Kohrman, Jennifer Hodgdon, JFK Sci/Tech. Dept, and NHS Robotics Club

This project will provide JFK students the opportunity to explore a variety of engineering and technology systems using Lego robotics kits and prepare them for the more advanced programs at NHS. The NHS Robotics Team will work collaboratively with JFK teachers and students.

F15-9 Writing Group, Year 2

JFK – $1870

Holly Graham, Kristen Picard

This award will continue the after-school writer’s workshop community for JFK students, particularly motivated 8th graders looking to challenge themselves as writers outside the classroom. Students will write both prose and poetry based on writing exercises and prompts, working with peer feedback and engaging in multiple revisions. They will explore bringing works to the publication level. Students will continue to submit pieces to the regional Scholastic Art and Writing Contest.

F15-10 Jazz Experience, Year 1

JFK – $2000

Claire-anne Williams

The JFK Jazz Band will meet weekly with young, professional area jazz musicians to learn different jazz styles and techniques such as improvisation. Students will also have the opportunity to learn from and play with young musicians who now making their living playing jazz and other genres.

F15-11 Digital Storytelling, Year 1

JFK – $3000

Dinah Mack, Henry White, Kate Way

The JFK SOCA (Students of Color Alliance) will work with facilitators from NCTV to explore social identity and develop critical media literacy and digital storytelling/media production skills. Students will work in teams to produce a digital story (video, audio or photographic) of importance to them. These pieces will be exhibited in the school and the community to inspire dialogue around important issues of social identity and living in the Pioneer Valley.

Funds teacher time, consultants, transportation

F15-12 Positivity Week Year 1

NHS – $1500

Paul Fitzgerald, Karen Jarvis-Vance, Kathy Goodwin-Boyd, Trish Armstrong, Ellen Hirschberg, Rhiannon Diehl, Lily Ruderman

The purpose of Positivity Week at NHS is to create a safer, more inclusive and supportive community through awareness and activities that will de-stigmatize depression, anxiety and other common mental health conditions. Activities include writing affirmations, images, and positive quotes to be displayed around the school, a student assembly with a performance of Caught Off Guard, “HOPE” bracelets, and evening discussion sessions for students and adults, facilitated by qualified mental health specialists. Additionally, resource books will be added to the library and guidance area.

F15-13 Technology Media Collaborative, Year 1

NHS – $2200

Jerome Whalen, Al Williams, Anne Marie Osheyack

The project will enhance the ability of students, particularly those interested in journalism and photography, to take photos of their own sporting events, theater productions, assemblies, etc. Photos would be taken at an event, uploaded to an online platform and be available for sharing/downloading. Pictures will be available for use by the yearbook and the school newspaper. 

F15-14 Teaching Number Book Group, Year 1

All Elementary Schools – $3000

Mary Cowhey, Beth Brady, Tasha Rimany, Kate Nateley

Building on district work in Math Recovery, this grant will fund a group of up to 12 teachers to read, study and implement Teaching Number: Advancing Children’s Skills and Strategies (Math Recovery) by Robert J Wright, et al. The group will meet monthly to discuss the reading and try out activities together, make teaching materials that teachers can implement in classrooms, and reflect on that teaching and learning.

F15-15 ELL Acculturation Field Trips, Year 1                                                          

K-12 – $2000

Laurie Farkas

This project will use field trips to introduce ELL students to elements of our history and culture through hands-on experiences. They will document those experiences in writing, photos, and displays, and then share their experiences and understandings with their peers. In addition, these trips will help students to develop community independence by taking the PVTA bus. Students will also be able to practice English in an authentic, meaningful, context with the support of their teachers.

F15-16 Sojourner Truth’s Florence: A Walk Through History, Year 1

Leeds, Ryan Road, Jackson Street – $2988

Michele Subocz, Nicholas Ames, Michele Andrews, Roxanne Nieman, Putnam Goodwin-Boyd, Diane Liebert, Terry O’Toole, Wendy Sintin

The project covers the history and legacy of Sojourner Truth through a walking tour as well as classroom reading materials about her life and work, the abolitionist movement, the Underground Railroad, and social activism in 19th century Florence. Students will be introduced to some primary source material from 19th century writers and then participate in a walk tour of the history of Florence in this time period.

Back To Top


SPRING 2014 AWARDS

The Board of the Northampton Education Foundation awarded funding of $14,815 to 10 applicants in the Small Grants Program for the Spring 2014 cycle.

14S-1 Outdoor Learning Playground Enhancement Project
BSS $2,000

Mandy Gerry, Craig Murdock, Michele Marotta
Projects enhancements will include mathematical components, signage, and state map painted on playground surfaces. These tangible elements will be used to present fundamental curriculum at all levels (pre-K-5th Grade) to enhance understanding of core mathematical concepts, as well as focusing on students’ “sense of place” through social studies and geography.

14S-2 See Hear Feel Film Visual Literacy Program for 3rd Grade Students
BSS $1,727 (year 2)

Kristen Gianchetti, Karen Hurd, Beth Choquette, Jennifer Sanders James
Lead teachers plan to tie See Hear Feel Film in with the Writer’s Workshop curriculum, an important 3rd grade literacy program where students are given the opportunity to write in a variety of genres. Year 2 will emphasize journal writing and include collaborative writing project with 4th grade “graduates” of See Hear Feel Filmprogram.

14S-3 Professional Learning Community (PLC) for Math Inquiry (year 3)
JSS $1,000 (year 3)

Mary Cowhey, Holly Ghazey
Project will continue to support the ongoing professional development of classroom, Title 1 math and special education teachers at JSS. Continuing the process from prior PLCs, 3rd year will emphasize collaborative discussions on readings, implementation and reflection of math curriculum; its effectiveness in engaging students in classroom setting and achieving learning targets via student-engaged formative assessments.

14S-4 Family Math Night
RKFRR $1,813 (year 2)

Mary Beth O’Connor, Beth Brady, Michele Andrews, Paula Drabeck
One family math night (K-5) will be held in early fall 2014. Parents will be introduced to games specific to the Investigations math curriculum. Families will learn the importance of playing games as a way to support their child’s mathematical understanding. Simple materials (dice, cards) will be used so these games can be easily played at home. Families will collect game directions and leave with a complete set of game rules and cards to take home.

14S-5 Stop-Motion Animation Workshop
RKFRR $1,450

Andrea Marks, Leslie Maculkewicz
Project will engage 5th graders in the design and creation and creation of stop-motion animated films. Students will learn visual, media and technology literacy skills, as wellas the opportunity to use computers for creativity and self-expression.

14S-6 Introduction to Color Glass Fusing with Visiting Artist (year 3)
JFK $400

Herschel Levine, Michelle Mallory, Max Lefko-Everett
This project will introduce all 7th grade students at JFK Middle School to the history and art of glass, specifically glass fusing. The visiting artist will share his knowledge and experience of glass with students. The artist will also demonstrate and work with students to create their own glass fused artwork.

14S-7 After School Buddies for Elementary School Students
JFK, JSS, Leeds $2,000 (year 2)

Linda Hamashima Umbach, Scott Andrews, Sal Canata, Gwen Agna
8th grade students will be trained as “After School Buddies” for individual or groups of special needs students at Ryan Road, Leeds and Jackson St, schools. Supervised by a JFK program advisor and after school personnel, buddies will help assigned students with after school activities including homework, art, as well as group activities such as basketball or tag. Buddies will meet with students on a weekly basis for 14 weeks.

14S-8 Poetry Workshops Mentors at the High School
NHS $1,625 (year 2)

Suzanne Strauss, Heather Brown
Project will again bring three former NHS students, now practicing poets, back to the high school to conduct poetry workshops with English students. Faculty and students from other disciplines will be encouraged to attend. Each poet will conduct 10 “sessions,” in both small and large groups, working with English teachers on specific content.

14S-9 Scholastic Arts and Writing Contest
NHS $1,251

Holly Graham, Stephanie Osienski
After-school program will provide 8th grade students with coaching and peer support as they develop fictional writing skills beyond classroom writing expectations, and learn the process of writing for publication. Students will participate in the Scholastic Arts and Writing Project and may submit art and creative writing pieces in a regional contest.

14S-10 Upgrade and Advancement of NHS Online Newspaper
NHS $1,550

Scott Mahar, Angela Rota, Jonathan Goldman
Project will redesign and upgrade NHS online newspaper Devil’s Advocate through the purchase of SNO, a software program pertinent to high school newspapers. Interested students will participate in 2 -part workshop on the use of software program, as well as the design, editing and maintenance of newspaper’s website.

Back To Top


FALL 2013 AWARDS The Board of the Northampton Education Foundation awarded funding of $21,088 to 12 applicants in the Small Grants Program for the Fall 2013 cycle.

13F-1 Bridge Street School Garden Project (2nd Year)
BSS $2,000

Mandy Gerry, Elizabeth Cunningham, Karen Hurd, Laura Vachula
Project will use the now facilitated garden as an outdoor classroom. A garden educator will provide teachers with an expanded view of the garden as an extension of the indoor learning environment.

13F-2 Inspiring and Creating MORE Young Writers (2nd year)
BSS $1,988

Beth Choquette, Karen Hurd, Kristin Gianchetti, Laura Vachula, Katie Galenski
In an effort to promote and develop greater writing fluency, teachers and students in both 2nd and 3rd grades will participate in a series of 6 one-hour writing workshops. Both 4th grade teachers will participate as well.

13F-3 Celebrate the World (2nd year)
BSS $2,000

Jennifer Sanders James, Beth Choquette, Sarah Towers, Michele Marotta
Project will bring awareness to the diversity of countries around the world. For a week in June 2014, all classrooms in grades Pre-K through 5 immerse themselves in learning about a selected country other than their own. The week will culminate when the students come together to teach their peers about their adopted country through presentations, artistic exhibits, and performances.

13F-4 Lights, Camera, Read!
RKFRR $600

Mary Beth O’Connor
Readers Theatre is a creative instructional approach that gives students the opportunity to work on reading fluency by practicing a script and then performing it. Students will become voice actors and create a podcast of the performance to share with other students and families.

13F-5 Hooping Program for Jackson St. School
JSS $1500

Janis Totty, Mary Clark, Shenandoah Sluter for “Alotta Hoopla”
Jackson St. School is adding a hooping program to physical education curriculum. All JSS students will have two classes with guest artist, Shenandoah Sluter of ‘Alotta Hoopla.” Purchase of high quality hoops in a variety of sizes should allow nearly all our students to hoop successfully by the end of the week.

13F-6 Rehabilitated Gardens (year 3)
Leeds $1,000

Renee Bachman, Bonnie Palmer, Mary Jo Nagel, Hannah Kristek
The rehabilitated elementary school garden will continue to provide hands-on curriculum based lessons that will accommodate all learning styles. In a continued collaboration with School Sprouts, teachers and students will maintain a viable outdoor classroom throughout 2014 growing season.

13F-7 Training for VINS Volunteers in K-5 Literacy Support (2nd year)
BSS, JSS, Leeds, RKFRR $2,000

Anne Schlereth, Mary Porcino
Project will provide training of volunteers to support teachers of reading and writing in all NPS elementary school.

13F-8 AP English Mock Exam Program
NHS $2,000

Susan Crago, John Selfridge
Project will administer AP English Mock Exam to approximately 200 students, and have exams graded by same professionals who will be grading actual AP exam. Results will enable teachers to tailor instructions to address identified needs prior to the actual AP exam in May.

13F-9 Northampton Robotics FIRST Team: Devilbots (2nd year)
NHS $2,000

Stephen Eldredge, Toby Vera Bercovici
Visiting artist Toby Vera Bercovici will work with students to develop a deep understanding of the plays of Henrik Ibsen through acting exercises, text analysis, research, theatrical composition work, and finally through the rehearsal and performance of a full-length Ibsen play.

13F-11 Wall Drawings, Algorithms & Art
NHS $2,000

Lisa Leary, Alison Keefe
Honor Art and Honors Pre-Calculus students will explore various connections between art and mathematics through field trips, reading discussion and film. Students will then collaborate to create their own set of algorithm “instructions” combining math and the visual arts. The set of algorithm “instructions” will be executed as actual wall drawings and installed in the school.

13F-12 Caught Off Guard- Theater Education/Peer Health Troupe (2nd year)
NHS $2,000

Karen Jarvis Vance, Heidi Hass, Trenda Loftin
This project is designed to implement peer health education into the curriculum by establishing a student based troupe to work with their peers and younger students. The program is modeled after the NYC troupe NiteStar, which has performed at JFK in the past.

Back To Top


SPRING 2013 AWARDS Total: 11 projects @ $18,491

13S-1 See Hear Feel Film Visual Literacy Program for 3rd Grade Students
BSS $1,725

Kristen Gianchetti, Karen Hurd, Beth Choquette, Michelle Marotta
Lead teachers plan to tie See Hear Feel Film in with the Writer’s Workshop curriculum, an important 3rd grade literacy program where students are given the opportunity to write in a variety of genres. Just as in Writers Workshop where students are immersed in in texts of the genres being studied, See hear Feel Film uses different film genres to spark the imagination and to encourage both creative spoken and written response.

13S-2 Learn, Share, Explore: Tools of the Mind Enrichment Program
BSS $1,288

Janet Korzenowski, Jennifer Buscone, Jennifer Sanders James, Sarah Towers Project will supplement Tools of the Mind (structured, dramatic play) curriculum that teaches self-regulation with Astronomy, Martial Arts and Zoology experts and provide busing transportation for kindergarten children to Amherst College Museum of Natural History and Planetarium. Grant will provide funding for new art and dramatic play materials.

13S-3 Professional Learning Community (PLC) for Math Inquiry (year 2)
JSS $2,000

Mary Cowhey, Holly Ghazey
Project will support the ongoing professional development of classroom, Title 1 math and special education teachers at JSS. During the fall 2013 PLC will focus on using assessment to inform and differentiate instruction. Specifically, this Math Inquiry Group will focus on using assessment materials to inform how we assign students to intervention, practice or extension groups for Response to Intervention (RTI) sessions, and how we design those sessions.

13S-4 Celebration of Asian Arts through Art, Music and Physical Education
JSS $2,000

Kim O’Connell, Janis Totty, Brenda Lilly
Project will focus art, music and physical education classes on unifying theme of Asian Arts. Students will learn through hands on activities in art, music and P.E. about cultural significance and heritage of Asia throughout the time of the Silk Road.

13S-5 After School Buddies for Elementary School Students
RKFRR, Leeds, JSS, JFK $2,000

Linda Hamashima Umbach, Sal Canata
8th grade students will be trained as “After School Buddies” for individual or groups of special needs students at Ryan Road, Leeds and Jackson St, schools. Supervised by a JFK program advisor and after school personnel, buddies will help assigned students with after school activities such as art, physical fitness classes, and reading skills on a weekly basis for 14 weeks.

13S-6 Family Math Nights
RKFRR $1,850
Beth Brady, Michele Andrews, Paula Drabeck, Andrea Egitto
Two family math nights (K-2 and 3-5) will be held in early fall 2013. Families will attend a brief over view of math curriculum and learn math games from the Investigations math curriculum. Teachers and ESPs will assist and answer questions. Families will collect game directions and leave with a complete set of game rules and cards to take home..

13S-7 Responsive Classroom-Train the Trainer (year 2)
RKFRR $1,900
Susan Lucey, Patty Tosswell, Beth Brady
Lead staff members will lead their colleagues in Teacher Language training sessions derived from Responsive Classroom workshops. The training will provide materials to use in leading colleagues in up to eight training sessions. This project will allow RKFRR teachers to deepen their understanding of the Responsive Classroom approach and train new staff who join the community.

13S-8 Introduction to Color Glass Fusing with Visiting Artist (year 2
JFK $800

Michelle Mallory, Herschel Levine, Max Lefko-Everett
This project will introduce all 7th grade students at JFK Middle School to the history and art of glass, specifically glass fusing. The visiting artist will share his knowledge and experience of glass with students. The artist will also demonstrate and work with students to create their own glass fused artwork.

Back To Top


FALL 2012 AWARDS – The Board of the Northampton Education Foundation awarded funding of $24,795 to 15 applicants in the Small Grants Program for the Fall 2012 cycle.

12F-1 What’s the Big Idea? (2nd year)
JFK $2,000

Julie Akert, Nancy Cheevers, Dinah Mack, Leslie Skantz-Hodgson
Grant will allow director, Julie Akert,, to work with teachers and designers to finish building the “What’s the Big Idea?” web site, as well as provide teacher training for use of the web site in a variety of classrooms.

12F-2 Celebrate the World
BSS $1,988

Jennifer Sanders James, Beth Choquette, Sarah Towers, Michele Marotta Project will bring awareness to the diversity of countries around the world. For a week in June 2013, all classrooms in grades Pre-K through 5 immerse themselves in learning about a selected country other than their own. The week will culminate when the students come together to teach their peers about their adopted country through presentations, artistic exhibits, and performances.

12F-3 Student and Faculty Book/Film Club (2nd year)
SVHS $1,300

Leslie Skantz-Hodgson, Maureen Ryan-Wise
Student and Faculty Book/Film Club will discuss/write about one book each month, and two films over the course of the semester. Books and films will be supplemented by related readings, and will focus on issues involving culture, workplace readiness and social justice, as well as topics identified as important by the students.

12F-4 Adding Alternative Energy to Engineering the Future
NHS $719

Robert Melnik
Project will add “hands on” activities to electrical engineering curriculum, which will expose students to alternative energy and demonstrate their benefits.

12F-5 Math Department Data Analysis
JFK $2,000

Laurie Boosahda, Eli Edinson, Mike Soucy, Laurie Walker
Teachers in the Math Department will be trained in the use of Smart Response technology (clickers and receivers). This will facilitate the collection of data to track student progress and comprehension. Grant will provide additional Smart Response technology to math classrooms.

12F-6 Wright Flight (2nd year)
JFK $2,000
Sal Canata, Matthew Collins
15-20 8TH grade students will attend 10 one-hour classroom sessions at JFK taught by 3 volunteers. Following the classroom sessions there will be a field trip to the New England Air Museum and a culminating personal flight out of Northampton Airport for all participants.

12F-7 Student Government and Electrical Go to Boston
SVHS $1,557
Chris Tremblay, Michael Parks
11th grade students from the Electrical shop and Student Government will visit the State House and the Boston Museum of Science. This trip will foster interdisciplinary learning through cross curricular collaboration in the areas of law, trade, policy and history.

12F-8 Inspiring and Creating Young Writers
BSS $1,988

Beth Choquette, Jed Dion, Carolyn Moriarty, Laurel Cuylo
In an effort to promote and develop greater writing fluency, teachers and students in both 4th and 5th grades will participate in a series of 6 one-hour writing workshops. Both 3rd grade teachers will participate as well.

12F-9 Bridge Street School Garden Project
BSS $1,995

Louise B. Homstead, Mandy Gerry, Laura Vachula, Deborah Bazer
Project will facilitate the design, rehabilitation and maintenance of pre-existing garden. A garden educator will provide relevant education for teachers and staff.

12F-10 Heritage Project
SVHS $760
Shannon Brisbois
Grant will provide funding for school library subscription to ancestry website. This tool will assist 10th grade students in the completion of multi-genre projects related to their own personal histories.

12F-11 Centripetal Force Swing
NHS $590

Amy Johnson, Eric Newman
Project will provide funds for AP Physics students to assist in the building of a Centripetal Force swing. Once built, the swing will be available for use by Middle School Science teachers.

12F-12 Non-Fiction Zone
RKFRR $2,000

Paula Cleary Drabek, Beth Brady, Andrea Egitto, Greg Kerstetter
Project will create a comfortable, appealing “non-fiction zone” in school library, which will allowing students direct access direct access to reading materials.

12F-13 Training for VINS Volunteers in K-5 Literacy Support
BSS, JSS, Leeds, RKFRR $2,000
Lynn Barclay, Mary Porcino Project will provide training of volunteers to support teachers of reading and writing in all NPS elementary school.

12F-14 Jackson St Extended Day Program (2nd year)
JSS $2,000

Beth Bellavance-Grace, Amy Martyn, David Marlin
Grant will provide “need based scholarships” to JSS students for participation in an extended day program designed to enrich the learning experiences of students K-5. Administrative revisions to ensure financial viability beyond NEF grant limits.

12F-15 Math Inquiry Group
JSS $2,000

Mary Cowhey, Holly Ghazey
Project will support the ongoing professional development of classroom, Title 1 math and special education teachers at JSS. Specifically, this Math Inquiry Group will focus on improving teachers’ ability to orchestrate mathematical discussions ( a critical component of the investigations math curriculum) and increase their capacity to heighten the mathematical reasoning of students.

Back To Top


SPRING 2012 AWARDS – $14,945 awarded! (Projects to be completed between 7/1/12 and 6/30/13)

12S-1 Music Together Preschool! (2nd year)
BSS $1485
Barbara Black
Weekly “Music Together” group for three of NPS half-day preschool classes. The BSS preschool program serves children from all of Northampton, providing programming for children with disabilities and age appropriate peers.

12S-2 Outdoor Classroom Gardens (2nd year)
Leeds $2,000
Renee Bachman, Bonnie Palmer, Mary Jo Nagle, Hannah Kristek
The rehabilitated elementary school garden will provide hands-on curriculum based lessons that will accommodate all learning styles. In a continued collaboration with School Sprouts, teachers and students will maintain a viable outdoor classroom throughout 2012 growing season

12S-3 The Power of Our Words- ESPs and Teachers Together
JSS $2,000
Mary Porcino, Kathy Bredin, Paula Welchman, Maria Rivera
ESP’s are frequently called upon to work with our most challenging and challenged children. ESP’s will join teachers in a monthly study group to examine The Power of Our Words as well as the companion video: Teacher Language in a Responsive Classroom. Both the book and video demonstrate how to use words, tone, and pacing to build a school community and enhance our work with children.

12S-4 Jackson St School Mindfulness in Education Initiative (2nd year)
JSS $2,000
Gwen Agna, Ellen Goldsmith, Tiki Govantes, BethAnn Albro-Fisher
PHASE 2 of the JSS Mindfulness Program will support Phase 1 participants in bringing mindfulness practices more fully into the classroom setting. Through mentoring and coaching in research-based mindfulness curriculum, teachers and students will experience discreet mindfulness activities, as well as begin to develop mindful behaviors that will support positive learning communities, enhance academic performance and promote social-emotional growth.

12S-5 Responsive Classroom-Train the Trainer
RKFRR $1,945
Margaret Riddle, Susan Lucey, Patty Tosswell, Beth Brady
Three staff members will receive training to lead their colleagues in Responsive Classroom workshops. The training will provide materials to use in leading colleagues in up to eight training sessions. This project will allow RKFRR teachers to deepen their understanding of the Responsive Classroom approach and train new staff who join the community.

12S-6 What’s Math Got to Do With It? (3rd year)
RKFRR $600
Margaret Riddle, Michele Andrews, Beth Brady, Paula Drabek, Mary Beth O’Connor
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 addition and subtraction operations using strategies the children use. Since all mathematics computation is based upon similar principles and strategies, we propose to complete our three year series by concentrating only on addition and subtraction, moving along only as fast as the group is able to handle. We feel this approach will better meet the adult learner’s needs.

12S-7 Introduction to Color Glass Fusing with Visiting Artist
JFK $1,200
Michelle Mallory, Herschel Levine, Max Lefko-Everett
This project will introduce all 7th grade students at JFK Middle School to the history and art of glass, specifically glass fusing. The visiting artist will share his knowledge and experience of glass with students. The artist will also demonstrate and work with students to create their own glass fused artwork.

12S-8 Northampton Robotics FIRST Program
NHS $2000
Amy Johnson, Mark Arsenault, Scott McEuen, Scott Barton
Weekly meetings will be held in the fall 2012 to introduce students to software necessary to design a robot, the hardware involved, basic techniques and safety procedures of the workshop, and other topics critical to the building of a successful robot. Beginning in January 2013, students will spend 6 weeks designing and building a robot to compete in the Worcester Polytechnic Competition in early March 2013.

12S-9 Caught Off Guard- Theater Education/Peer Health Troupe
NHS $2000
Karen Jarvis Vance, Heidi Hass, Trenda Loftin
This project is designed to implement peer health education into the curriculum by establishing a student based troupe to work with their peers and younger students. The program would be modeled after the NYC troupe NiteStar, which has performed at JFK in the past.

12S-10 NHS Model UN Club Conferences
NHS $1,720
Ben Taglieri, Sara Moss-Horowitz, Katie Sperry, Sage Loomis
This project will expand Northampton High School’s Model UN club, both in terms of numbers and increased activity. The plan is to attend three Model UN conferences in the 2012-2013 school year, as well as to explore international issues by sponsoring simulations within the NHS Model UN club.

Back To Top


SPRING 2011 AWARDS – $15,549 awarded! (Projects to be completed between 7/1/11 and 6/30/12)

11S-1 Bridge After-School Enrichment (Year 2) BSS $2,000
Beth Goldstein, Johanna McKenna, Michaela O’Brien
This project will continue to provide classes in Spanish, fiber arts, animal and pet care, yoyo, outdoor education, and sports and movement activities. Experienced teachers will be hired from the school and the local arts community, and a Program Coordinator will be hired to oversee onsite program details.

11S-2 Yoga in the Classroom (Year 3) Leeds $1,000
Hollie Marron, Karen Bryant, Diana Ramsden
In six after-school sessions, teachers will learn yoga as a tool for health and wellness, and receive support as they develop and implement yoga techniques in their classrooms. 3rd year project will expand to include both Leeds and Ryan Road schools.

11S-3 What’s Math Go To Do With It? (Year 2) 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 operations using strategies the children use. The result will be that parents are prepared to support their children’s math education at home.

11S-4 Welcoming New Students and Staff (Year 1) RFKRR $1,800
Margaret Riddle, Andrea Egitto, Susan Lucey, Sara Simmons
Staff members will beet to review “Responsive Classroom” resources, summarize support material into “Tips for Welcoming New…” to be used in the orientation of new students and teachers.

11S-5 What’s The Big Idea? Ethical Questions through Film (Year 1) JFK $2,000
Julie Akeret, Nancy Cheevers, Dinah Mack
Develop a web site to accompany Part 1 of the film “What’s the Big Idea,” which looks at issues around the topic of bullying. The web site will contain necessary curriculum and support materials for teachers to present this topic in either short of long lesson plans.

11S-6 Jazz Education (Year 3) JFK $1,000
Claire-Ann Williams
This project will introduce 140 traditional band students to styles, influences, and practitioners of jazz. Subsequently, 20-25 jazz band students in grades 6-8 will take part in three hands-on, skill-building clinics led by Northampton-area musicians. 3rd year funding will be used to complete acquisition of diverse collection of jazz literature. The band leader will lead weekly jazz band rehearsals.

11S-7 Middle School Weekly Podcasts (Year 1) JFK $1,953
John Crescitelli
This project will create 3 podcasting stations in computer classroom, to be used by 7th grade students to develop an informational podcast channel that will be posted on the main JFK website. The podcasts will keep parents and the community at large informed about JFK, via weekly updates, postings of upcoming events and classroom projects.

11S-8 7th and 8th Grade Library Reading Program (Year 1) JFK $1,930
Kate Shaw Olander
This project will promote reading and increase the use of JFK reading collection by 7th and 8th grade students. The JFK librarian will host a bi-weekly book group for 7th and 8th grade students. The library will collaborate with teachers to increase students’ access to library during classes and study halls. Comfortable, durable seating will be purchased for the library in an effort to create a more inviting atmosphere for informal reading.

11S-9 Middle School Mentors (Year 3) JFK, BSS, RKFRR, Leeds $1,000
Linda Hamashima Umbach
Year 3 introduces the participation of Bridge Street School to the project. The work begun at the Leeds School last year will also be revised and possibly expanded. The 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, art and cooking projects, and board game mastery. After each session, mentors meet with the project advisor for debriefing and support.

11S-10 Story Theatre Workshop (Year 2) NHS, JSS, RKFRR $1,850
Elizabeth Wotjusik, Stephen Eldridge, Kim Gerould, Aaron Pizali, Andrea Egitto, Diana Ramsden
NHS theatre students will perform an original adaptation of an American folktale for kindergarten through 3rd grade students at both Ryan Road and Jackson Street schools. These performances will be structured in an intentional way that supports development of children’s oral discussion, reading, and writing skills.

Back To Top


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.

Back To Top


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.

Back To Top


FALL 2009 AWARDS – $23,730 awarded! (Projects to be completed between 1/1/10 and 6/30/10)

09F-1 Explorations of Leonardo da Vinci (1st year) BSS $950
Jed Dion, Pamela Wicinas
Smith College students in the departments of math, art, and engineering will collaborate with a fifth-grade teacher to design four units, including an introduction and Leonardo’s interdisciplinary work in the three named fields.  Explorations of Leonardo will conclude with individual student projects.  The overall project will be designed so that in future years any fifth grade teacher can conduct it.

09F-2 The Very Hungry Storytellers: Inspiring Young Artists and Authors through Picture Book Art and Bookmaking (1st year) BSS $2,000
Mary Beth O’Connor, Katie Galenski
Eric Carle Museum educators will visit Kindergarten, first grade, and second grade classrooms, to read stories and to talk about book design, production elements, and illustrations.  Second grade students will then author and illustrate their own books.  Finally each second grade class will read, display, and take questions on their completed books during an “Author’s Tea,” to which school staff and families are invited.

09F-3 Creating a School Garden as Outdoor Classroom (2nd year) JSS $2,000
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, will continue to maintain and cultivate the garden, connecting it with the classroom curriculum.  Organizers will also develop a strategic plan to make the program sustainable, including  connecting it to local farms, promoting healthier eating, and affirming the identity of multi-cultural students.

09F-4 Teacher Round Table (1st year) JSS $308
Mary Bates
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. 

09F-5 MOVIExperience (1st year) JSS $2,000
Cathy Santosus, Gwen Agna, Nancy Fletcher, Veronica Rahal Haddad
An eight-week after-school workshop will be offered on improvised moviemaking.  The project intends to help build character and confidence among 4th and 5th grade girls from a cross-section of socio-economic backgrounds using a tested technique that combines improvisation and video.  The video created by the workshop will be screened at school and on Northampton Community Television.  A subsequent workshop will be offered to boys and girls.

09F-6 Ewe Drumming (1st year) 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.

09F-7 For Whom the “Belle” Tolls (2nd year) JSS/NHS $1,997
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.

09F-8 Parent Math Nights (2nd year) Leeds $1,790
Michele Subocz, Kathy Lajoie, Ruth Mackenzie
The goal of this project is to increase mathematics achievement by providing information to parents so they can support their children at home in making sense of mathematics.  Two evening sessions for parents will be led by seven classroom teachers from a range of grade levels.

09F-9 Friends of Charlotte (2nd year) RKFRR            $947
Susan Lavallee, Barbara Kowalski, Lynne Lovett
Fourth graders will read Charlotte’s Web and, together with kindergartners, create a story board to depict each chapter. They will then take part in drawing lessons, create “Barnyard posters” to be displayed in the school’s entry, and write.  Finally, fourth graders will help teachers escort kindergarteners as they attend a live theater production of Charlotte’s Web by THEATERWORKS USA.

09F-10 Three Cups of Tea (1st year) JFK  $1,400
Dinah Mack, Tracy Dawson-Greene
In preparation for classroom activities, the two teachers will attend a workshop at Bard College.  Then, using the book Three Cups of Tea, they will lead all the 7th-grade classes in: participating in literature groups for reading and discussing the book, conducting research about issues in south and southwest Asia, and participating in cooperative learning groups to explore issues of social justice.  By reading this non-fiction book and applying it to “real life,” students should achieve a sense of accomplishment and also an understanding that one person or a dedicated group can have a positive effect on people in other parts of the world. 

09F-11 Science Fair (2nd year) JFK $950
Kate Parrott, Lesley Wilson, Phil Korman
During class and after-school sessions, teachers will work with students to develop projects tied to the science curriculum and well-suited for exhibition.  A science exposition will then be held over two days, with students presenting their work in locations around the school.  The PTO will host an evening reception for students, parents and teachers.   In response to student requests, this year’s projects will be judged and ten grand prize winners will be selected.

09F-12 Recyclones Reach Out (1st year) JFK $2,000
Julie Spencer-Robinson, Kathy Adamcik, Liz Albertson, Amy Burlingame
Sixth grade students on the Recyclones team will read a book that addresses one of three social issues: hunger and poverty, war and US troops, and physical and cognitive disabilities.  Then students will learn how these issues are manifest in their own community.  Finally, students will help design and implement service projects to meet local needs related to each issue, e.g. a food drive, writing letters to the troops, or together with JFK students with disabilities visiting pediatric residents at Northampton Nursing Home.

09F-13  Invention Convention (1st year) JFK $325
Liz Albertson, Jon Henry, Jim Kohrman, Ken McDonald
After learning about the design process, inventors, and common inventions, all sixth graders will design and build their own inventions.  Inventions will be presented to the whole school and the community at large during the Invention Convention.

09F-14  Child Soldiers throughout the World (1st year) Smith Voke $842
Emily-Ann Dumais
In the 11th grade “World Cultures and Geography” class, students will do an in-depth study of child soldiers in Sierra Leone.  They will then study the phenomenon in other parts of Africa and the world, expanding their knowledge of geography, history, and political conflicts and wars.  The curriculum will include discussion, reading a biography of a former child soldier, mapping, researching the issue as it is manifested on different continents, watching a documentary, and listening to a guest speaker with experience working with former child soldiers.

09F-15  Voices in Theater (3rd year) FLC $1,000
Chip Kaufman, Heidi Haas
A theater consultant will work with students to accomplish the following goals:  1) identify the different roles/voices they have in their worlds, 2) find ways to share those voices through theater, 3) appreciate theater, 4) feel safe enough to take more risks in improv games and exercises, and 5) create an original theater piece themselves.

09F-16            Chemistry Olympiad Competition (2nd year) NHS $1,471
Susan Biggs
Forty-three AP and Honors Chemistry students will attend the local Chemistry Olympiad competition in March of 2010, with the prospect of sending individuals on to the national and international Olympiads.  NHS teams have had impressive results in past years, including, in 2004 and 2009, sending two students to the nationals.

09F-17 Connecticut Science Center AP Trip (1st year) NHS $1,750
Amy Johnson, Susan Biggs, Leslie Prudhomme
The three AP science teachers will spend a day working with museum educators to plan a program for students in the three AP classes.  Approximately 90 students will take part in the field trip in late May, during the period after the AP exams and before the end of the school year. This grant will lay the groundwork for a yearly educational experience for students who choose AP science courses.

Back To Top


SPRING 2009 AWARDS – $15,975 awarded! (Projects to be completed between 7/1/09 and 6/30/10)

09S-1 Yoga in the Classroom (1st year) Leeds $2,000
Hollie Marron, Janet Spearance, Karen Bryant
Eight teachers will take part in classes to learn yoga, and in after-school sessions they will be trained and supported as they use yoga in their classrooms.

09S-2 Inspiring Young Writers (2nd yr) RFKRR $2,000
Margaret Riddle, Paula Drabek, Cindy Berry, Michele Andrews, Greg Kerstetter
The goal of this project is to inspire students to write fluently. A consultant will lead a series of eight writing workshops in third and fifth grade classrooms. As a result, students will be able to recognize the strengths in their pieces and teachers will learn how to lead the workshops themselves. Each student’s favorite piece will be published in a class booklet. In addition, a writing workshop for the entire faculty will be offered so that other grade levels may benefit.

09S-3 Middle School Mentors (1st year) JFK, RFKRR $2,000
Linda Hamashima Umbach, Sal Canata

Fifteen JFK students will be trained to become peer mentors, and then be paired with RFKRR students as part of the after-school program. An adult advisor and several after-school coordinators will provide the training and program oversight. At the end of each peer mentoring session, the JFK student mentors and their advisor will meet for processing, support, and additional training.

09S-4 Jazz Education for Middle Schoolers (1st year) JFK $2,000
Claire-anne Williams
This project will introduce 140 traditional band students to styles, influences, and practitioners of jazz. Subsequently, 20-25 jazz band students, in grades 6-8, will take part in three hands-on skill-building clinics led by Northampton-area musicians. New arrangements will be acquired and the school’s band drum will be upgraded. The band leader will lead weekly jazz band rehearsals.

09S-5 Dance! Baile! Drum! (2nd year) JFK $1,000
Julie Spencer-Robinson
TSeventy-five sixth-graders will learn Latin American and West African dance from native teachers. The two weeks of intensive dance and drumming instruction complement the varied approach to teaching about Latin America and Africa, which will also include reading and writing, researching chosen topics, cooking food from the regions, and creating Latin American and African art projects.

09S-6 Literacy Through Photography (3rd year) NHS $1,000
Kate Way, Michael Jacobson-Hardy
This year-long project will serve fifteen to twenty “underachieving” students, who will borrow the project’s cameras to document their lives, both in and outside of school. The focus will be on combining written and visual literacy as a means of expression, and on producing work of quality and depth which reflects the students’ lives. The final phase of the project will be to select and combine various photographs and writing from each student into a group show to be exhibited in the area. At each step along the way, students will be learning skills deeply embedded in both language and image-based literacy.

09S-7 Art and the Three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle) (1st year) NHS $1250
Martha McCormick
The Graphic Design class will design logos or other “Green” designs for reusable shopping bags and possibly tee shirts, and print them using the silkscreen method. These items could be used by the students themselves, for art department fundraising, and/or for funding to replenish printing supplies to continue this project.

09S-8 Culinary Competition (2nd year) SVAHS $2,000
Nelson Lacey
All interested students take part in eight weeks of after-school training in the areas of menu building and design, food cost, plate presentations, garnishing, hands-on practice with different foods, equipment and cooking methods, and practice working in competition-like conditions. Five students will be selected to take part in the state-wide Pro-Start culinary competition, with a chance at advancing to the national level.

09S-9 Exploring Ocean Ecosystems (1st year) SVAHS $1725
Mary Belge
TStudents 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.

09S-10 Veterans in the Classroom (3rd year) SVAHS $1,000
Rob Wilson, Kathy Brown, Matthew Gilbert
The project will bring volunteer veteran speakers, trained by the Veterans Education Project (VEP), into classrooms to give presentations that will complement the History, English, Health, Violence Prevention, and Substance Abuse Prevention curricula. Speakers will share compelling stories about important historical eras, drawn from wartime and civilian life experiences, from the 1940s to the present.

Back To Top


Fall 2008 AWARDS – $24,891 awarded! (Projects to be completed between 1/1/09 and 6/30/09)

08F-1 Inspiring Young Writers (1 st year) RFKRR $1,991
Margaret Riddle, Paula Drabek, Cindy Berry, Sara Simmons
The goal of this project is to inspire students to write fluently. A consultant will lead a series of eight writing workshops in each third grade classroom. As a result, students will be able to recognize the strengths in their pieces and teachers will learn how to lead the workshops themselves. Each student’s favorite piece will be published in a class booklet. In addition, a writing workshop for the entire faculty will be offered so that other grade levels may benefit as well.

08F-2 Kindergarten and the Bauhaus(1 st year) RFKRR $2,000
Andrea Egitto, Michelle Smiarowski, Susan Lavallee, Ann Desmond, Barbara Kowalski Kindergarteners and their fourth grade learning buddies will explore the study of form and design using teaching styles from the Bauhaus art school in Germany. The students will visit the Bauhaus exhibit at the Smith College Museum of Art and subsequently create collages, weaves, block structures, mosaics, and together with a master carpenter they will build tables and benches for their classroom.

08F-3 Enchanted Circle Theater Arts Residency (2 nd year) JSS $2,000
Holly Ghazey, Paula Welchman, Kathleen Bredin, Mark Dean
An Enchanted Circle Theaterartist will spend 3-4 months working with 5 th graders, who will research, write, improvise, produce, and perform plays for local public performances. Students will identify stories on themes including local history, conflict, and community resolution. The NEF grant will be supplemented by three other grants for this project.

08F-4 Rhythms of the World (1 st year) JSS $1,700
Kim O’Connell, Leslie Farlow
Two artists from The Bamidele Dancers and Drummers will work with K-5 students on songs, dances, and instruments of West Africa. The music teacher will work with students on pieces in preparation for an all-school concert.

08F-5 Smile – Photography and Bookmaking (1 st year) JSS $2,000
Maria del Carmen Garcia, Mary Ellen Reed, Parmalee Jones
This project will integrate photography and literacy for Kindergarteners. Students will receive disposable cameras and be invited to take pictures at home and in their neighborhoods. The photographs will be turned into books which each student will write or dictate. Parents will be involved in various aspects of the project.

08F-6 Families with Power/Familias con Poder (3 rd year) JSS $1,000
Mary Cowhey, Kim Gerould, Janet Namano, Norma Cardona
This project uses basic concepts from the National Writing Project, with local family leaders modifying them for our community. A Family Writing Project will be held at the Meadowbrook Apartments Community Room over six weeks. Two-hour sessions co-facilitated by FWP parents and teachers will feature free writing, sharing published writing, and modeling particular writing styles. The project will conclude with a published bilingual anthology and community reading. The results of the project will be documented to make it replicable.

08F-7 Plena Drumming Artist Residency (1 st year) JSS $2,000
Mary Cowhey, Eneida Garcia, Lesley Farlow
Last school year an after-school plena (Puerto Rican) drumming program resulted in the formation of a student drumming group called Los Pleneritos. The current project will revive Los Pleneritos, featuring its members as “teaching assistants” to the third, fourth and fifth grades, during the artist residency classes led by professional plena group, Los Callejeros. Subsequently Los Callejeros will perform for the whole school. Finally, Los Pleneritos and Los Callejeros will offer a ten-week after-school drumming program for students and their families.

 08F-8 For Whom the “Belle” Tolls (1 st year) JSS/NHS $1,390
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 at the very place where she composed 1800 poems.

08F-9 Creating a School Garden (1 st year) JSS $2,000
Mary Bates, Mary Ellen Reed, Jen Reed, Brigitta Sebesta
The goal is to create a school garden that functions as a viable outdoor classroom. A garden educator will assist teachers and students in the design and planning of the garden, with an emphasis on spring and fall crops. Teachers will use the garden for hands-on, place-based investigations, and real-life applications of concepts and skills in the areas of science, social studies, and math. The timeline for this project necessarily extends from the spring into the fall of 2009.

08F-10 Dance! Baile! Drum! (1 st year) JFK $1,000
Julie Spencer-Robinson
Seventy-five sixth-graders will learn Latin American and West African dance from native teachers. The two weeks of intensive dance and drumming instruction complement the varied approach to teaching about Latin America and Africa, which will also include: reading and writing, researching chosen topics, cooking food from the regions, and creating Latina American and African art projects.

08F-11 Middle School Science Fair (1 st year) JFK $1,386
Joan Tabachnick, Lesley Wilson, Kate Parrott
During class, and in after-school sessions, teachers will work with students to develop projects tied to the science curriculum and well-suited for exhibition. A science exposition will then be held over two days, with students presenting their work within the school. The PTO will host an evening reception for students, parents and teachers, in which three experts from the community will examine the projects and present each student with a winner’s certificate for successful participation.

 08F-12 Monumental History of the Pioneer Valley (1 st year) FLC $2,000
Randy Gordon, Jason Scavotto
Students will research a given town in Hampshire County, visit the chamber of commerce and/or historical society, locate and identify all known statues or other monuments, photograph them, research the significance of each in terms of local and national impact, and create a web page with the findings. A print book will also be created and presented to each town that was studied.

08F-13 Theater Improv (2 nd year) FLC $2.000
Chip Kaufman, Heidi Haas A theater consultant will meet with students twice a week throughout the spring for warm-up, check-in, and theater improvisation games. Students will also read plays, watch videos, and attend one or two live performances, focusing on three African American female artists. Students will have the option to perform either their own work or their adaptation of these playwrights’ works.

08F-14 Rags to Stitches: Enriching Middle Eastern Curriculum (1 st year) NHS $1,350
Ernie Brill, Sheryl Jaffe
A unit on Islamic/Middle Eastern literature will include studying the history of bookmaking, calligraphy, and papermaking in the Islamic world. Students will create their own handmade paper, books, and calligraphy, inspired by their readings and study of Islamic culture.

08F-15 Science Olympiad (1 st year) NHS $1,434
Susan Biggs
Forty-seven AP Chemistry students will attend the local Chemistry Olympiad competition in March, with the prospect of sending individuals on to the national and international Olymiads. NHS teams have had impressive results in past years, including, in 2004, sending two students to the nationals.

Back To Top


SPRING 2008 AWARDS – $19,271 awarded! (Projects to be completed between 7/1/08 and 6/30/09)

08S-1 How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk (3rd year) RFKRR $900
Susan Lucey, Margaret Riddle, Patty Tesswill, Cindy Berry, Lynne Lovett, Pat Connors, Evelyn Gore
ESPs and teachers must work collaboratively and consistently with students yet they have almost no chance to do professional training together. Teachers and ESPs will gather to read a Responsive Classroom book that addresses both groups. The intended result is to provide clarity and consistency for students. The positive effects of this initiative are noticed every day.

08S-2 Peer Educator Participation for Summer Adventure and Leadership Inst. (1st yr) JFK, NHS $2,000
Keri Camarigg, Salem Derby, Gail Scordilis
Twelve to fifteen incoming 9th grade students will be identified for participation based on risk factors. The goal of the program is to provide these students with support and strategies for improving in the identified categories of risk, through their participation in The Summer Adventure and Leadership Institute. The Institute will take place over five weeks, starting in July, 2008, and be led by high school students who have completed a semester-long Peer Educators course. Programming will include kayaking, rock climbing, problem solving, trust building, mountain biking. The project will receive substantial in-kind contributions from the Smith College, and the Northampton Athletic Club.

08S-3 Building Bridges (1st year) NHS $2,000
Maureen Moore, Yajaira Fuentes, Kathy Goodwin-Boyd, Ellen Hirschberg

This project provides an academic support component to at-risk students involved in the Summer Adventure and Leadership Institute. It will be carried out through the students’ first semester at NHS via in-class supports, and after-school tutoring and activities to help bring them. Skills learned during the summer will be reinforced on a consistent basis throughout the fall to help in a successful transition to NHS.

08S-4 Serious Play! Theatre Ensemble Residency (1st year) NHS $2,000
Stephen Eldredge, Jane Madden
The Serious Play! Theatre Ensemble residency will introduce NHS theater arts students to the methodology and techniques of physical theater through a 3-day intensive. The methodology used will explore “the actor’s readiness and availability, dramatically speaking.”

08S-5 Literacy Through Photography (2nd year) NHS $2,000
Kate Way, Michael Jacobson-Hardy
This year-long project will serve up to twenty “underachieving” students, who will borrow the project’s cameras to document their lives, both in and outside of school. The focus will be on combining written and visual literacy as a means of expression, and on producing work of quality and depth which reflects the students’ lives. The final phase of the project will be to select and combine various photographs and writing from each student into a group show to be exhibited in the area. At each step along the way, students will be learning skills deeply embedded in both language and image-based literacy.

08S-6 Down the Hall, Across a Divide (3rd year) JFK $1,000
Julie Spencer-Robinson
Ms. Spencer-Robinson notes that the previous years of this grant provided one of the best experiences of her teaching career. Ten students with developmental disabilities spend time with a sixth grade reading class of regular and special education students. This project provides a weekly opportunity for the two classes to learn about each other and from each other, through reading and writing on themes including disability. In addition to classroom shared activities, the two classes have social events and a field trip to the Eric Carle Museum.

08S-7 Parent Math Nights (1st year) Leeds $1850
Michelle Subocz, Ruth Mackenzie, Kathleen LaJoie, Dar Cote-Houghton
The goal of this project is to increase mathematics achievement at Leeds School by providing information to parents so they can support their children in making sense of mathematics. Three evening sessions will be held.

08S-8 20th Century Irish Literature (1st year) NHS $2,000
John Selfridge
This project is the development of a multi-media course in Irish literature. The course would bring reading, writing, and research together to foster an understanding and appreciation of an important national literature, and will include an internet exchange between NHS and Irish high school students.

08S-9 The Bridge Street Chess Club and Tournament (2nd year) BSS $886
Johanna McKenna, Pamela Schwartz
This project will allow for the continuation of an after-school chess club and in-classroom chess teaching. It will include third through fifth graders, and will culminate in the second annual chess tournament.

08S-10 Geography Studies (1st year) BSS $635
Susan Carroll Hanno
There will be 10 after-school study sessions for all interested 4th and 5th grade students. They will use maps, atlases, study guides and websites. The project will culminate in voluntary participation in the National Geographic Bee, in January, 2009.

08S-11 Culinary Competition (1st year) SVAHS $2,000
Nelson Lacey
All interested students take part in eight weeks of after-school training in the areas of menu building and design, food cost %, plate presentations, garnishing, hands-on practice with different foods, equipment and cooking methods, and practicing working in competition-like conditions. Five students will be selected to take part in the state-wide Pro-Start culinary competition, with a chance at advancing to the national level.

08S-12 Veterans in the Classroom (2nd year) SVAHS, FLC, NHS $2,000
Robert Wilson, Kathy Brown, Chip Kaufmann, Ernie Brill
The project will bring volunteer veteran speakers, trained by the Veterans Education Project (VEP), into classrooms to give presentations that will complement the History, English, Health, Violence Prevention, and Substance Abuse Prevention curricula. Speakers will share compelling stories about important historical eras, drawn from wartime and civilian life experiences, from the 1940s to the present.

Back To Top


FALL 2007 AWARDS – $16,042 awarded! (Projects to be completed between 1/1/08 and 6/30/08)

07F-1 JSS- Families with Power/Familias con Poder (2nd year) $2,000.
Mary Cowhey, Kim Gerould, Luz Eneida Garcia, Maria Aguilar-Gawle.
This project intentionally cultivates family and community leadership, not just involvement, especially among low income families and people of color to collaborate in creating a model to close the achievement gap. The project strives to empower these families/leaders to actively name the problem rather than being named the problem and to develop plans of action to improve the situation rather than have other people talk about “those children in the achievement gap”. It will build upon its past successes to enhance the program further. Current plans include the expansion of cultural organizing and starting a musical group for children and parents in the Puerto Rican tradition, additional popular education workshops with PWP/FCP parents assuming a leading role in running the workshops and a six week Family Writing Project.

07F-2 Leeds – Inspiring Young American “Leed-ers” (1st year) $1000.
Karen Bryant, Denise Wood, Suzanne Scallion.
The project will help Leeds School students learn about civic values (courage, integrity, respect, responsibility, justice, perseverance, and initiative) while they learn about a variety of famous American citizens who embodied these values. Each of 17 classes will choose an extraordinary historic person to study and will examine his/her life, values, ideals and behaviors. Through performance, writing, music and art, individual classes will demonstrate their understandings to the large Leeds community during their bi-monthly school wide Community Meetings.

07F-3 NHS – Expressing Identity: Inspired by African Beaded Sculpture (1st year) $600.
Martha McCormick.
Inspired by the exhibit “African Beaded Art: Power and Adornment” at the Smith College Museum of Art, this project is a unit of study for the 3-D Design and Sculpture Class, exploring the use of glass beads in the art of three distinct areas of Africa with students creating their own works of art reflecting social and political aspects of their own experiences/lives. The exhibit focuses on the cross cultural nature of beaded art as well as the political (colonialization) and social aspects of these creations. The students would visit and view the exhibit and create their own works of beaded art that reflect the artistic, social and political elements of their own lives. The project builds collaboration with Smith College as well as contributing to the NHS goal of working toward becoming a multicultural school.

07F-4 RKF Ryan Road – Ryan Road Garden Project (2nd year) $500
Andrea Egitto.
The students at RKF Ryan Road School will continue to plant vegetable and flower gardens in the courtyards and school garden. The students will compost lunch and snack waste to create rich soil for their gardens.

07F-5 JSS- Dandelion Paper: Science Art Journals (1st year) $1500
Molly Burnham, Brigitta Sebesta, Sheryl Jaffe, Rob Adams.
In this 10 day extended event, all 3rd grade students and teachers at JSS will make paper by hand from plants collected on school grounds and will create their own books from the paper. These books will become a centerpiece of the student’s science curriculum unit: plants and environment. Each student will make the paper, sew the pages, write and illustrate their own book. Finally, students will share the books with other students at an authors’ tea where parents and the school community will be invited. The books will be displayed in the library.

07F-6 NHS – Forensics Field Trip to Traveler’s Insurance Company (2nd year) $825.
Kate Dollard.
NHS Forensics classes will visit and tour the forensics laboratory at a private company that has a large forensic work force. They will meet with the senior forensics scientist at Travelers who has worked in forensics for 25 years and serves as an expert witness in questioned documents, arson investigation and food contamination. Since most people associate forensics with police work, this field trip and tour will give students a new way to think about forensics as a career choice. The students will see techniques employed and instrumentation used that they have studied. As with the trip to Smith and Wesson in June, 06, there may very well be unexpected learning outcomes from this experiential research opportunity.

07F-7 Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School- Reading the Forested Landscape (1st year) $1470
Jonathan Parrott.
Students participating in this project will measure the age (dendrochronology) and heights (geometry) of several common tree species in different woodlots. This participatory activity will allow students through their collected data, to compare the growing conditions between forest lands. Comparisons will lead to discussions of underlying soil conditions, succession, and forest hydrology.

07F-8 ECE Dept – The Incredible Years Parent Training Project (1st year) $1956.
Cynthia Monahon, Erika Frank.
Pilot parent training for 12 Northampton parents whose young children struggle with aggression, non-compliance, and poor social competence. Parents of children ages 3 through 8 will be eligible for participation in this group-based training. This collaboration between N’ton public schools and the local Cutchins Children’s Clinic will permit the first western Massachusetts application of the “Incredible Years”, an evidence-based and award-winning parent training program developed by psychologist Carolyn Webster-Stratton in Washington State. Research on children’s readiness to learn consistently underlines the importance of individual emotional, social and behavioral capacities rather than intellectual ability. Children with significant emotional and behavioral problems experience greater difficulties meeting learning objectives throughout their school years and can interfere with the learning needs of other students. Two leaders who are trained, senior-level child clinicians) will run a twelve week program for up to 12 parents. Sessions include dinner and childcare. Participation is voluntary on the part of parents who are screened by leaders for appropriateness for the program.

07F-9 NHS – Design and Construction of Portable Display Boards and Exhibition Space for Art Dept at NHS (1st year) $1000.
Lisa Leary, Greg Kochan.
This project will increase visible display space within the school for students in the Art Dept. Both permanent and portable exhibition space will be constructed for greater visibility as well as critique exhibition. Exhibition space will be in various locations throughout the high school including the theater and auditorium to coincide with musical and theatrical productions. The art department will collaborate with the maintenance department at the High School to create these display boards and exhibition spaces. Students will be engaged in the production of the display boards as well as have the opportunity to exhibit their work.

07F-10 NHS – WWII History through Artifacts and Survivor Stories $400.
Mark Baldwin, Kate Todhunter, Scott Mahar.
The proposal requests funding to visit two museums related to WWII, one related to naval warfare, the other related to the Holocaust. This partial funding will enable students to visit the Holocaust Education Center to add to their understanding of the historical events of WWII through experiential learning. The students will complete pre- and post trip writing assignments. They will see “history come alive” through actual artifacts, exhibits and primary sources.

07F-11 Leeds – Introduction to Orienteering (1st year) $1291.
Andrew Foster, Annette Bischoff, Hannah Kristek.
Fourth and Fifth grade students at Leeds will complete a series of six orienteering courses on the school grounds. Courses will be completed in either the late winter or early spring. They will be designed by an outside consultant in conjunction with Leeds staff. The courses will focus primarily on map skills and physical education goals however students will be developing a broad range of sills related to orienteering including but not limited to : map reading and interpretation, team building an cooperation, problem solving, physical and mental exercise, and environmental studies. Students will begin traditional map skill work in the classroom. They will continue group building as preparation for the orienteering courses and will develop a repertoire of physical activities during regular PE classes for use at the orienteering checkpoints. By making connections between class work and real life encounters (map work and orienteering), students have a greater likelihood of experiencing learning that will be profound and lasting. The project will extend to 110 students in the first year and the materials generated by the program can be used for years to come in future orienteering efforts at no additional cost.

07F-12 NHS…BSS Collaboration – Teaching Chemistry (2nd year) $2000.
Susan Biggs.
In its second year, this project will again provide another chemistry option to more of the high school students than the current high school chemistry curriculum can accommodate. It allows students to continue to probe the concepts of chemistry they learned in their first year while sharing their interest in the subject with elementary students. The high school students will work in small project groups of 4 – 6 students who will be matched with two same grade-level elementary classes. In coordination with the elementary teachers, the team will develop lesson presentation complete with demonstrations and experiment material for their assigned elementary classes. Each lesson will be supported by written work appropriate to the grade level it is taught to. The students will travel to the elementary school to present their lessons, return to NHS to improve on and revise the lesson, and return to the elementary school a second time to present the same lesson to their second same grade level class. Twelve different lesions will be produced and taught during the course of the semester. It is an innovative way to provide a win, win, win for elementary and high school students alike.

07F-13 JFK – Music of Greece, the Balkans, and the Middle East (1st year) $500.
Rob Urbank, Steven Hinks, Nick Kachulis.
This project is aligned with the 7th grade music curriculum around World Music, instrument families, and meter and sub-divisions of the beat. The project is timed to coordinate with A Celebration of Ancient Greece, a multi-disciplinary learning program using storytelling, art, music, drama, computer technology, reading, writing and research projects to teach the history, mythology and culture of Ancient Greece for the 7th grade. The musical ensemble wishes to offer four hands-on workshops for 7th grade students in Music exploratory block classes and a concert for Big East 7th grade students. Approximately 80 students will attend one of the four workshops and ninety students will attend the concert.

07F-14 JFK – Focus the Nation: Sustainability, Renewable Energy and Conservation $1,000.
Douglas Andrew, Ellen Kennedy, Jim Kohrman.
This project has as its goals to use a nationwide curriculum adopted by many colleges(including Smith College), and high schools to empower students to make a change in their own and others’ daily habits regarding energy usage and global warming. It will also strive to educate the students to advocate for change in public policy. The students will use JFK as a laboratory to examine the school environment regarding sustainability issues and to brainstorm with other students about ways to make JFK more energy and cost efficient. They will participate in creating science projects regarding solar, wind and bio-diesel power. They will participate in a national Focus the Nation Day.

07F-15 Florence Learning Center – Improvisation Class (1st year) $500.
Chip Kaufman, Heidi Haas
The goal of the improvisation class is to provide another venue for kids who otherwise are not easily engaged in a traditional learning environment to rekindle their interest in school. Students will be working towards a performance, created by the students, at the end of the semester. They will be writing and performing their own material which will strengthen writing, speaking and listening skills. Additionally, theater can promote tolerance, boost confidence, improve social skills, and help create and strengthen a sense of community.

Back To Top


SPRING 2007 AWARDS – $17,258 awarded! (Projects to be completed between 7/1/07 and 6/30/08)

07S-1 Creative Moviemaking – Take 1 (JFK Middle School) $2,000
Katherine Fleming
This project will introduce the use of video technology in classrooms and teach students and staff how to produce and edit documentaries and drama. They can also use the technology to assist in and language and other class activities.

07S-2 Math Problems Across the Grades (Ryan Road Elementary School) $1,000
Margaret Riddle, Paula Drabek, Barbara Kowalski, Pat Erikson, Mary Lorenz, Beth Brady, Diana Ramsden, Cindy Berry
Ryan Road Elementary School has an excellent math curriculum and program that is based on problem-solving. This project will enhance their ability to modify problems to meet the needs of all learners and to analyze student work for understanding. Teachers will read and discuss a math journal, try out problems across the grades, and analyze children’s work for comprehension.

07S-3 Welcoming Everyone into Our Community (Ryan Road Elementary School) $1,925
Margaret Riddle, Sharon Matrishon, Barbara Dihlman
Ten percent of Ryan Road Elementary School School students live at Florence Heights, and most of them depend on public transportation, which does not come to the school. This project will provide a school bus for these children and families so that they can attend after-school events at our school.

07S-4 How to Talk So Kids Can Learn (Ryan Road Elementary School) $1,800 [second year]
Susan Lucey, Margaret Riddle, Diane Keating, Alison Gleason, Pat Erikson, Diana Ramsden, Adrea Egitto, Michelle Smiarowski-Kay, Carlene Osborn, Pat Connors, Paula Drabek, Cindy Berry, Evelyn Gore, Patty Tosswill, Lynne Lovett
ESPs and teachers must work collaboratively and consistently with students yet they have almost no chance to do professional training together. This is the second year teachers and ESPs will gather to read a Responsive Classroom book that addresses both groups. The intended result is to provide clarity and consistency for students. Last year’s grant was wildly successful, with the group of participants growing at each session. The positive effects of this initiative are noticed every day.

07S-5 Nostalgic Old Fashion Fun (Ryan Road Elementary School) $900
Susan Lavallee, Barbara Kowalski
The two teachers of Kindergarten and 4th grade, respectively, will welcome VINS volunteers into their classroom for up to six ½-hour periods to teach the children to play board games appropriate to their age level. After several months the classes will partner to practice their game skills together. Families will also be able to borrow the project’s board games for playing at home.

07S-6 The Bridge Street Chess Club and Tournament (Bridge Street Elementary School) $500
Johanna McKenna, Pamela Schwartz, Laure Sperry
This project will launch an after-school chess club. Its first year will include fourth and fifth graders, with a tournament to further engage and reward participants and to generate school-wide interest. In subsequent years the club will expand to include second and third graders.

07S-7 Salsa and Swing: Dancing with the Students! (Bridge Street Elementary School) $1,255
Johanna McKenna, Pamela Schwartz, Craig Murdoch, William Duffy
Learning salsa and swing dance provides an opportunity for students to be introduced to different cultures and styles through movement. In this project, students will learn about dance history, technique, musicality, and dance patterns. Fifty-five fourth graders will learn the two dances with a professional dance instructor and the school’s PE teacher, then perform them during a school assembly.

07S-8 The JFK Youth Radio Project (JFK Middle School) $878 [second year]
Dinah Mack
JFK Youth Radio got underway in January, 2007, and now meets once a week. There are 19 members signed up, from the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades, with more asking to join daily. Ms. Mack trained the original group in digital recording and the editing software, and the students themselves have been training the newer members. Students have created programming on local hunger and Greek philosophy, both to air on Valley Free Radio. The current grant will support the club for another year and provide more equipment and supplies.

07S-9 Literacy Through Photography: Closing the Gap for Underachieving Students (Northampton High School) $2,000
Kate Way, Michael Jabson-Hardy
Twenty to thirty students will borrow the project’s cameras to document their lives, both in and outside of school. The focus will be on combining written and visual literacy as a means of expression, and on producing work of quality and depth which reflects the students’ lives. Photographs and writing excerpts from each student will be shown at Forbes Library next spring and possibly be published in a book.

07S-10 Veterans in the Classroom (Smith Vocational School and Florence Learning Center) $2,000
Robert Wilson, Kathy Brown, Bill Brown, Arthur Apostolu
The project will bring volunteer veteran speakers, trained by the Veterans Education Project (VEP), into classrooms to give presentations that will complement the History, English, Health, Violence Prevention, and Substance Abuse Prevention curricula. Speakers will share compelling stories about important historical eras, drawn from wartime and civilian life experiences, from the 1940s to the present.

07S-11 Down the Hall, Across a Divide (JFK Middle School) $2,000 [second year]
Julie Spencer-Robinson
Ms. Spencer-Robinson notes that the first year of this grant provided one of the best experiences of her teaching career. Ten students with developmental disabilities spend time with a sixth grade reading class of regular and special education students. This project provides a weekly opportunity for the two classes to learn about each other and from each other, through reading and writing on themes including disability. In addition to classroom shared activities, the two classes have social events and a field trip to the Eric Carle Museum.

07S-12 Engineering is Elementary (Jackson Street School) $1,000 [third year]
Gwen Agna, Dan Berger
In the first two years of this project, mechanical engineering was taught in the 3rd and 5th grades, agricultural engineering was taught in the 4th grade, and some short units were introduced in grade 1. The activities, developed by the Boston Museum of Science,
have been led by a graduate of the Smith College Engineering program. Classroom teachers are on hand so that they might lead the activities in future years. The goal in the third year of the project is to introduce more units of the curriculum.

Back To Top


FALL 2006 AWARDS – $17,670.00 awarded! (Projects to be completed between 1/1/07-6/30/07)

F06-01: Transition Book for Incoming Sixth Graders $1200
John Crescitelli; JFK
Students create a book, Through our Eyes – Life at J.F.K., for incoming sixth graders, explaining the ins-and-outs of JFK. Incorporating technology and language arts by using digital photography, publishing software, expository writing and website design, students create both the book and a website. The books distributed by this project in past years have been most welcome by Northampton fifth graders, and also by secondary school schools throughout the US, who learned about it through the website. The project received rave reviews when presented at the New England League of Middle Schools Annual Conference in the spring of 2006.

F06-2: Bridge Street School Fourth Annual Science Fair $1,275
Joan Tabachnick, Johanna McKenna, Karen Hurd; BSS
Over the years, the BSS Science Fair has grown to include more than half of the student body at BSS. Teachers work with students in grades 2-5 to develop science projects tied to their educational curriculum and suitable for exhibition, helping those interested in participating in the science fair. If out-of-class time is necessary, students may participate in any one of five days of a week-long after-school clinic. The science fair will be held over the course of two days, and each student will receive a “winner’s certificate” for successful participation.

F06-3: Alternative Renewable Energy Sources $2,000
Douglas Andrew, Ellen Kennedy, Jim Kohrman, Brandon Abbott; JFK
This project entails showing and using models of many different alternative energy sources, such as hydrogen fuel cell cars, solar panels for cars and houses, wind turbines, and hydroelectricity. The equipment purchased by this grant will be available to all 8th grade students. Some will build the models and the others, together with the 6th and 7th graders, will be invited to demonstrations.

F06-4: Developing Reading Fluency Through Picture Books $1,600
Pamela Gauthier-Lynes, Ann Walasek, Joan Leonard, Patti Chandler; JFK
All JFK students in the reading program will complete an in-depth study of selected picture books, do oral presentations for their class, take part in classroom presentations by a children’s author and an illustrator, and read to pre-school children, including once at Forbes Library’s story time.

F06-5: Family Empowerment Project $1,950
Mary Cowhey, Kim Gerould, Eneida Garcia; JSS
This project will cultivate family and community leadership, especially among low-income families and people of color, to collaborate in creating a model to close the achievement gap. The project involves identifying and meeting with family member and community participants, sending two participants to attend a popular education training at Highlander Research Education Center in Tennessee, and conducting a weekend workshop in which 20-30 family and community leaders take part in community-building activities, facilitated discussions, communal meals, cultural activities, and generation of action plans.

F06-6: Bridget Street School Newspaper $910
Jane Fleishman, Johanna McKenna, Mary Tighe; BSS
With guidance from parents and teachers, students will take key leadership roles, identifying a process for submitting materials, selecting materials, notifying students of their selection, layout, printing, and distribution. Content will include artistic and written work, including interviews of students and faculty.

F06-7: World Rythms and Les Ballets Africains: West African Connections $2,000
The band World Rythms will conduct a 2-3 day intensive residency on West African culture, music, storytelling, and dance, for grades 2-4. The band leader, Tony Vacca, will be a delegation member on a trip to Senegal in February, 2007, and will communicate experiences to JSS and other schools around the country via a website. Also included are performances of Les Ballets Africains at each of the elementary schools.

F06-8: Family Writing Nights $525
Leslie Skantz-Hodgson; SVAHS
The project will improve reading and writing skills, promote parental involvement in student learning, and celebrate diversity. Students and parents will write about a randomly chosen topic, then discuss the various viewpoints, responses, and genres used, including how culture informs responses. Another session will involve creative writing prompts and letter writing activities designed to lay the foundation for longer pieces.

F06-9: The NHS Community: A Visual Celebration $1,000
Martha McCormick; NHS
Students in the Printmaking and Book Arts Class will learn from a local printmaker the techniques of monotype printing and the incorporation of these prints into collages. Students will create printed papers for collage, then reflect on their community in the high school and produce at least six collaborative works exploring this theme.

F06-10: Under One Sky, Part Two $2,000
Beth Brady, Barbara Dihlmann, Paula Drabek, Cindy Berry; RKFRRS
Second grade teachers will help students to interview family members, map their country of origin and learn about their own ethnicity and culture of origin through songs in different languages and dance. Roger Tincknell, a musician, will then be invited to conduct a 4½-day residency, facilitating the teaching of the Social Studies curriculum “E Pluribus Unum” through music and folkdances from many cultures. The residency will culminate in performances of songs and dances to an audience of kindergarten and first grade students.

F06-11: FLC Mindfulness and Stress-Reduction $2,000
NHS/FLC
This project is designed to introduce interested juniors and seniors to a variety of self-reflection/-awareness, stress-management, and coping tools, such as Yoga, meditative breathing, visualization, reiki, acupuncture, and other techniques. Studies have shown that these techniques help increase focus, self-discipline, self-awareness, and healthy behavior, while reducing stress and anxiety among teens. The project will integrate these techniques into several classes, create and run an intensive spring seminar, and educate FLC staff in restorative techniques so that they may also benefit personally and maintain the continuity of the practice beyond the scope of the grant.

F06-12 Friends of Charlotte $1,210
Susan Lavallee, Barbara Kowalski, Lynne Lovett; RKFRRS
Fourth graders will read Charlotte’s Web and, together with kindergartners, create a story board to depict each chapter. They will then take part in drawing lessons, create “Barnyard posters” to be displayed in the schools’ entry, and write. Finally, fourth grade and kindergarten students will attend a live theater production by THEATERWORKS USA.

Back To Top


SPRING 2006 AWARDS – $27,577.40 awarded! (Projects to be completed between 7/1/06 and 6/30/07)

06S-1 A Celebration of Ancient and Classical Greece $1,000
JFK Middle School: Tracy Dawson-Greene, Diana Ajjan, Nick Kachulis

During the last two years a pilot project involving a team of two teachers, Nick Kachulis, and 50+ students per year has taken place at the school. Based on this successful experience, the current program extends the project, using NEF and other grant funds, to include two additional 7th grade teams, four more core curriculum teachers, and four specials teachers. The project is an integrated learning program about Ancient Greek mythology, history, and culture, using stories, art, music, dance, dramatic play, technology, research, and classroom projects for 240+ 7th graders. Mr. Kachulis will work with teachers to plan, create and implement lesson plans and extensions for the program. A student showcase, professional development, curriculum development, and a community service learning program are included.

06S-2 Ryan Road Garden Project $1,840
Ryan Road School: Andrea Egitto, Beth Brady, Susan Lavallee, Pat Erikson, Barbara Dihlmann, Diana Ramsden

The kindergarten through second grade students at R.K. Finn Ryan Road Elementary School will design and develop landscaped flower beds and a vegetable garden in courtyards in and around the school grounds. The project will enhance the current Language Arts, math, and science curricula by creating meaningful learning experiences addressing an authentic need for planning, researching, record-keeping, measuring, and discovering the life cycle of plants. The gardens will also offer a place for children to go who are having a rough time in class to find solace and offer constructive tasks to blow off steam.

06S-3 Understanding Issues to Close the Achievement Gap $1,225
Ryan Road: Barbara Black, Mary Ellen Reed, Diane Connors

Teachers will meet to discuss readings related to closing the achievement gap. Teachers will read and discuss The Shame of the Nation, by Jonathan Kozol, and selected related articles. They will then develop an action plan to address the achievement gap, and begin implementing it. It is anticipated that the action plan will be incorporated into the school’s Improvement Plan.

06S-4 Community Members and Children Read Together $2,000
All schools: Johanna McKenna, Janet Gary

The idea of this proposal is to give volunteers training in tutoring reading so that thy are more effective and feel more confident as reading tutors. The project consists of a series of workshops offered to community volunteers in the fall of 2006, and repeat for a second group of volunteers in the spring of 2007. Dr Donna Park, a retired NPS Reading Specialist, will lead the workshops. Tutors will learn techniques for helping children read, and methods of tracking progress through record keeping, feedback, and reflection on their experiences as reading tutors. This program will provide tutors with literacy knowledge and confidence in tutoring children at any school in our city. Bringing community members into the schools will give them insight into the challenges of educating our children and the notion that they can make a difference.

06S-5 Kindergarten ABC Book $450
Ryan Road: Sue Lucey, Margaret Riddle

Students in grades 1 and 2 will write and illustrate an ABC book specific to our school, to be copied and given to incoming kindergarten students the next year. The students creating the book will be resource room students, who need to practice literacy skills in an authentic format with a real audience.

06S-6 Shakespeare & Company Performance and Workshops $2,000
JFK Middle School: Diana Ajjan, Elaine Kachavos

This project includes a performance by Shakespeare & Company for all eighth grade students, as well as three workshops supporting a Banana Split and Blue Dolphin student production of A midsummer Night’s Dream. The project is a springboard for a unit on Shakespeare, in which students will delve deeper into the life of Shakespeare, research Elizabethan culture, and read, analyze and perform the play. The participation of Shakespeare & Company will take place in one school day in April, 2007.

06S-7 Phonics Curriculum Collaboration $2,000
Bridge Street and Jackson Street Schools: Mary Bates, Patty Dubiel, Alice Mahar, Beth Monopoli, Shirley Skorupski

This is the second year of an interschool collaboration between first grade teachers from the two schools. Last summer, they designed Word Study activities and materials to support the first sequence of lessons from the Phonics Lessons program. This summer they plan to develop the materials, picture and word cards, games, and other activities needed to support the next sequence of lessons. These materials will allow teachers to implement the program from the fall into the spring in upcoming year(s).

06S-8 R.K. Finn Ryan Road School Family Literacy Project: A Home-School Partnership
$1,200

Ryan Road School: Carlene Osborn, Beth Brady, Andrea Egitto, Patricia Erikson, Diana Ramsden, Barbara Dihlmann, Paula Drubek, Mary Lorenz, Susan Lucey, Portia Keating-Heller
The school has several large boxes of unleveled single-copy books in its Literacy Resource Center. Training on leveling will be provided to school staff so that they may organize the books by independent reading levels. A brochure will be developed for parents/caregivers, providing instruction on helping emergent readers. Staff and volunteers will assemble book bags for children and families to borrow, including level-consistent books, the brochure, and a response sheet.

06S-9 Building Our Community $1,202.40
Ryan Road School: Margaret Riddle, Susan Lucey

ESPs (educational support personnel) and teachers will read selected chapters from Creating a Safe and Friendly School, and use the ideas to develop further their implementation of Responsive Classroom philosophy, particularly as they affect recess and lunch. By providing time for them to meet, the project addresses the need for these two staff groups to coordinate the Responsive Classroom philosophy.

06S-10 Engineering is Elementary $2,000
Jackson Street School: Gwen Agna, Eidan Webster

JSS plans to build on their success in the spring of 2006 in introducing a new Boston Museum of Science engineering curriculum. They piloted the unit in the 3rd grade, made the materials available to the pre-school for activities, and the 5th grade is scheduled for activities in May, 2006. JSS now proposes to expand the units in an age-appropriate way for the remaining grades, and also to provide support to teachers in the 3rd and 5th grades who try to teach this on their own in the 2006-2007 school year. Finally, the project will continue to offer books, lesson plans and experience to interested elementary school teachers from the other NPS schools.

06S-11 The JFK Youth Radio Project $1,965
JFK Middle School: Dinah Mack

The project will offer students an opportunity to write, record, edit and produce radio programming to be aired on Valley Free Radio 103.3, and to form a Radio Club. In the 2005-2006 school year, students on the Big East Team (7th grade) worked to create 10-15 minute radio programs about child labor as part an integrated Social Studies and English unit on globalization and child labor in Southwest Asia. The unit will be repeated next year with the support of this project. Another unit, called Collecting Oral Histories, will explore ageism. Students will record the stories of the elderly within our community and share their own experiences of ageism against children. The project will teach radio skills and also lead students to be more involved in their community.

06S-12 Utilizing GPS in Education $2,000
JFK Middle School: Keri Camarigg, David Driscoll, Lee Mollison, Sharon Carlson

This grant allows the Physical Education Department to reinforce and enhance students’ math and science skills through the use of a hand-held GPS device while learning the skills involved in orienteering. After teaching basic compass navigation skills, students will practice using a GPS to locate designated targets. Project leaders will try to develop a “geo-caching course.”

06S-13 Down the Hall, Across the Divide $2,000
JFK Middle School: Julie Spencer-Robinson

JFK is home to the Pre-Vocational I program of the Hampshire Educational Collaborative, under which ten students with developmental disabilities, including cereral palsy and Asperger Syndrome, are educated by Kevin Mulvaney and his staff. A few doors down the hallway, Ms. Spencer-Robinson teaches her sixth grade regular and special education students. Both of these groups of students are visible to one another and curious about each other. This project will provide an opportunity for these two groups of students to study together, and to learn about and from one another. They will read and discuss books, create art projects, interview and write about each other, hold social events, and go on a field trip together.

06S-14 A Closer Look $1,695
All Elementary Schools: Trish Duffy, Camilla Munska

During the 2005-2006 school year, NPS implemented a new science curriculum. This project creates multimedia presentations and books for the grade 1 science topic “Living Organisms.” Using photographs and media clips from a digital microscope and/or a video camera, the project will create PowerPoint presentations for guppies, bess beetles, millipedes and snails. The presentations will be posted on the Internet and burned to CDs fro classroom teachers, with accompanying books for research and reference for each classroom. The project addresses the need for more science materials, technology, and age-appropriate reading materials at the lower elementary level.

06S-15 Multi-Cultural Celebrations and Diversity Week $2,000
Northampton High School: Carolyn Gardner, Beth Dichter

The project aims to support activities hosted by SOCA (Students of Color Association) during its multi-cultural celebration and diversity week. The week’s activities will promote dialogue among SOCA’s members and the NHS community through workshops and guest speakers who will address issues such as racism, sexism, and homophobia. In addition, the project will connect NHS SOCA members with SOCA members in other school districts, or with long-distance speakers, through the use of NHS’s video conferencing equipment.

06S-16 Forensics Field Trip $1,000
Northampton High School: Kate Dollard, Susan Lincoln

Students from NHS’s Forensics class will visit the Springfield College Cadaver Lab and the Forensics Labs at Travelers Insurance in Windsor, CT. Students will see and experience instrumentation and real forensic evidence at Insurance Company. At the Cadaver Lab, students will see how an autopsy is done. About 100 students will take part, and apply what they see and learn to case study work in class.

06S-17 Project Smart $2,000
Northampton High School: Beth Singer, Lisann Giordano, Heather Teed, Sam Intrator

SMART is a partnership program between NHS and Smith College that works to close the achievement gap and to help under-privileged students pursue more rigorous high school studies and to prepare for college. The program is designed to help these students be successful and comfortable in the higher level high school courses. Activities will include: arranging visits to college fairs and colleges, providing access to the Internet and to other educational tools, developing instructional materials for students and classrooms, and arranging tutorial support in high school classes by Smith students.

Back To Top


FALL 2005 AWARDS – (Projects to be completed between 1/1/06 and 6/30/06) – applications due Octoboer 21, 2005.

05F-1 Teaching Chemistry/Community Service Learning $1,920
Susan Biggs, Northampton High School

This project works in conjunction with a course designed for students who enjoyed their 1st year in chemistry and wish to continue to probe the concepts while sharing their interest with others. Students will examine the science curriculum in the Northampton elementary grades and identify opportunities for additional chemistry to complement the content of the curriculum. Students will work in small project groups of 4 to 6 students and will be matched with two elementary classes. In co-ordination with the teachers of the elementary grades they are paired with, the team will develop lesson presentations complete with demonstration and experiment materials. HS students will travel to Bridge Street School to present their lesson. This project also provides a new chemistry course for HS students who want to pursue an interest in Chemistry but may not wish to take AP Chemistry.

05F-2 Bridge Street School Newsletter $634
Jane Fleishman, Mary Tighe, Johanna McKenna

This grant funds a newsletter at the Bridge Street School, providing opportunities for students to publish their own newsletter. This provides writing and artistic opportunities and enhances communication within the school community.

05F-3 Phonics Curriculum Collaboration Bridge and Jackson Kindergarten and Second Grade Teachers $1350
Barbara Black, Mary Ellen Reed, Diane Connors

The Kindergarten through third grade teachers from the Bridge and Jackson Street Schools are working together to design and create developmentally appropriate phonics activities and materials to support the new English Language Arts curriculum. Teachers attended professional development workshops in the spring of 2005. They will develop materials, picture and word cards, games, and other activities to support and implement the phonics and word study lessons that they plan to incorporate in our classrooms.
This project was funded as a mini-grant last year so this would be a second-year grant.

05F-4 Field Test Boston Museum of Science Elementary Engineering Curriculum $2000
Gwen Agna, Kim Gerould

Introduces the new Museum of Science Engineering Curriculum in the 3rd and 5th grades at Jackson Street School. This is an opportunity to field test new materials and to take advantage of several Smith College science and engineering faculty who are JSS parents.
Cost includes the services of a Smith College graduate who is an engineer to help develop the materials and work with teachers on using them.

05F-5 Bridge Street School Second Annual Science Fair $1313.50
Joan Tabachnick, Johanna McKenna, Karen Hurd

This grant supports the second year of a science fair at BSS. The applicants will produce a manual and build in some fundraising elements to sustain the project in the future. Teachers and parents will work with students in grades 2-5 to develop science fair projects, and there will be a week-long after school clinic to provide extra help. Supplies will be provided at no charge. There will be a fair, complete with pizza and prizes, at the end.

05F-6 JSS Presents Mad Hot Dances $1587
Kim O’Connell, Janis Totty

This project is collaboration between the PE and music teachers at JSS. Students will be introduced to one of 5 different styles of dancing (country line, salsa, Filipino Tinikling, swing, and hip-hop) during music classes, chorus, and physical education courses. There will be a performance in June. This innovative course addresses issues of respect, performance skills, self-confidence, and teaches about different cultures.

05F-7 “Original Moments in History” Joint 5th Grade Enchanted Circle Theater Residency and Curriculum Development $2000
Sue Fink, Holly Ghazey

This collaborative program involves all 5th graders (and the rest of the school as audience) in creating and performing a unified series of curricular plays on historical topics with contemporary relevance. In collaboration with Historic Northampton, students will research topics in revolutionary-era America and Northampton, create a dramatic work based on their research, and use the expertise of Enchanted Circle Theater artist Nestor Cintron to express and develop the concepts they research. There will also be a theater appreciation workshop for KG, 1st, and 2nd graders to help develop the audience for the work created.

05F-8 Northampton High School Visual and Performing Arts Gallery $606Lisa Leary, Martha McCormick, Lindsay Fogg-Willits

This grant would provide the materials needed to create and install 6 large-scale student paintings in the school’s auditorium. Thematically, the painted images will celebrate the arts, and will be created by students.

05F-9 Families Matter! $2000
Building a Partnership Between Parents and Speech and Language Pathologists
Eliza D’Agostino, Diane Forman Judd

This parent education project is designed to establish a home-school partnership with the speech and language pathologists at JSS and those serving pre-schoolers, with parents and other caretakers through monthly group meetings. This will foster deeper understanding of speech and language services that students are receiving, and teach parents how to reinforce these services at home.

05F-10 Learning Through Movement $1700
Susan McNamara, Jean Flegenheimer

Designed for the Life Skills Classroom at the Ryan Road School, this pilot program will serve eight children with significant physical, emotional, social, and mental challenges. The consultant will teach the classroom teacher and the students a range of activities such as cooperative games, partner play, yoga, healthy breathing, relaxation techniques, anatomy, and learning through movement, music, and storytelling.

05F-11 Box City, a Second Grade Adventure in Community Building $1020
Susan Scallion, Johanna McKenna, Susan Hanno, Mary Jo Nagle

The second grade teachers at the Leeds and Bridge Street Schools in collaboration with Learning by Design and the National American Institute of Architects will create models of sustainable communities that will engage children in a hands-on architecture and design project related to the City of Northampton’s initiative with the Sustainable Design Assessment Team. A local architect will participate.

05F-12 Florence Learning Center Video Production $2000
Bill Brown, Randy Gordon

Purchase of equipment for video-making will allow for hands-on learning in areas such as sociology (interviewing member of the Young at Heart Chorus as oral history, for example), interdisciplinary social justice (interviewing Vietnam Veterans), media literacy (making commercials), and job interview skills (making videos of mock interviews).

05F-13 Under One Sky: Songs, Instruments, and Dances from our Families and Around the World $2000
Barbara Dihlman, Beth Warren

The 2nd grade students at Ryan Road School (of whom over 60% have learning disabilities or mental health issues) will participate in a program using family history and oral history to learn about culture and immigration. The students will share what they have learned, the consultant will teach songs and dances from those cultures, and the project will culminate in a performance.

05F-14 Weather LEEDers $1400
Dave Wicinas, Greg White, Jan Spearance, Camilla Munska, Suzanne Scallion

This grant purchases and installs an integrated weather station on site at Leeds Elementary School. Students will obtain weather information, record data, and engage in scientific inquiry and data analysis. This connects with the science curriculum at Leeds and will be available on an ongoing basis. The information will be posted on the school website.

Back To Top


SPRING 2005 AWARDS – (Projects to be completed between 7/1/05 and 6/30/06)

05S-1: Gamelan Music
Rob Urbank; JFK, $200

This is the third year of this project for seventh-grade music classes at JFK Middle School.
Students will learn to play Javanese Gamelan music on classroom instruments then travel to Smith College to play authentic instruments under the direction of ethnomusicologist Margaret Sarkissian. This study will be integrated with the social studies curriculum. * Note that NEF program guidelines limit the amount of funding in the third year to one-half of the amount granted in the previous year ($400)
.

05S-2: Shakespeare & Company Performance and Workshops
Elaine Kachavos, Diana Ajjan; JFK, $2,000

Members of the Shakespeare & Company’s Education Program will conduct hands-on theatre workshops and dramatic coaching with two JFK teams as a springboard for their unit on Shakespeare and a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The professional troupe will also perform for all eighth-grade students to foster an appreciation of Shakespeare’s contribution to dramatic literature and language.

05S-3: A Celebration of Ancient and Classical Greece
Tracy Dawson-Greene, Diana Ajjan ; JFK, $2,000

This project will engage 7th grade students on the Banana Split team in experiencing and learning about Greek history, mythology, drama, music and dance. Nick Kachulis will be artist/scholar in residence and will work with the teachers to deliver this instruction. There will be a series of 16 workshops, at the end of which students will create and present original multi-genre projects based on their understanding of ancient Greek culture and mythology. These projects will be presented to the school and community in a “Museum of Ancient and Classical Greece” to be held at the school. Applicants have applied to the JFK PTO for $1,500 and are seeking funding from other sources so that the full cost of the residency – $6,000 – would be covered. This is the second year of funding for this project.

05S-4: Math Problem Solvers
Margie Riddle; Bridge St., $1,904

This project supports the efforts of math teachers at Bridge St. School to continue their professional development in mathematics by studying and sharing ideas from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) journal “Teaching Children Mathematics.” Funding will support a one-year membership in NCTM for up to seven teachers as well as quarterly meetings where teachers can collaborate on math problems and share information on the application of NCTM standards to the teaching of mathematics. A similar study group held a number of years ago resulted in a school-wide collaboration to present math problems and the publication of an article in a professional publication.

05S-5: Family Writing Nights
Leslie Skantz-Hodgson; SVAHS, $1,000

Smith Vocational-Agricultural High School students and their parents will gather at the school to read, discuss and write about the book Seedfolks by Jay Fleishman over two sessions. In a third session, students and parents will cull favorite family photos and write narratives to accompany them. The narratives will be printed on attractive stationery appropriate for preservation as part of the family’s written history. Journaling and discussion will be assigned for homework. The project, which includes casual pizza dinners, will help improve reading and writing skills, encourage discussion about books, encourage communication between parents and children and increase participants’ comfort level in writing.

05S-6: Flight Investigation and Demonstration
JJudith Lyons; SVAHS, $722.50

Eight students will be transported to the Northampton Airport where they will meet a qualified flight instructor, participate in a tour of the facility and take a two-hour ground school lesson on aviation. Then the students will take turns going for a ride to observe a practical demonstration of what they learned in ground school. Each student will be asked to write a summary of their expectations and observations. This project will enhance classroom learning in English, math and science by revealing its value to the physical world beyond the school walls. The trip will be videotaped for additional use in the classroom.

05S-7: Bringing the World to the Classroom: A Local/Global Connection
Beth Dichter, Tom Kress, Amy Johnson, Susan Barocas; NHS, $2,000

This grant will fund the equipment needed to create a digital video library of local, national and international speakers who participant in video conferences with students. Northampton received video conferencing equipment through a grant funded by the Department of Education, but recording these conferences requires special equipment. Creating the library provides opportunities to extend learning beyond a single classroom in Northampton. The video library resources will be made available for borrowing by community organizations and other school districts through a video conferencing network. Student and community volunteers will be recruited to participate in taping and editing the presentations.

05S-8: Lunchbox Science
Kate Parrott; JFK, $1,350

This program provides fun, experiential science experiments contained in lunchboxes that can be checked out by students in seventh-grade science classes. Each lunchbox contains all of the materials necessary to complete an experiment, a journal for student reactions and input, and explanation of the student’s results and ideas for further study. These kits are intended for home use where students and their families can participate together in fun, hands-on science experiments.

05S-9: The Jackson St. School News
Mary Cowhey, Kim Gerould; Jackson St., $1,243

The Jackson St. School News will provide students from Grades 2-5 the opportunity to work collaboratively on a bi-monthly newspaper under the guidance of teachers who are themselves published writers and of journalists from the community. Students will be involved in every aspect of newspaper writing and publishing, from story planning and development to illustration, editing and publishing. The goals are to promote student interest in expository writing, build writing confidence and skill, promote understanding of the role of editing and revision in all written work and promote a greater sense of community at Jackson St. School.

05S-10: Peacemakers’ Academy
Gwen Agna
; Jackson St., $1,750

The Peacemakers’ Academy will provide three levels of enrichment activities (beginner, intermediate, advanced) as a way for students to explore and master skills and interests through an “elective” program that enriches the educational environment. Students will also practice working collaboratively and will be taught fundamentals of conflict resolution, which will be practiced and used throughout the academy. Volunteers will provide instruction. The grant will fund the services of one theater teacher who will develop a three-step theater unit that can be viewed as a template throughout the academy, and cover the use of substitutes if necessary. Jackson St. School teachers will have the opportunity to build upon the enrichment program in class and carry the philosophy of enrichment education for all into their classrooms.

Back To Top


FALL 2004 AWARDS – (Projects to be completed between 1/1/05 and 6/30/05)

04F-1: Literacy Collaboration: Jackson St. Writers, JFK Techies
Katherine Fleming, Mary Bates, Mary Cowhey, Kim Gerould; JFK/Jackson St, $750

This is the third year of a literacy collaboration between eighth-grade students from JFK Middle School and elementary students from Jackson St. School. JFK students will design and publish Web pages that illustrate original written work by the younger students. This work will include: writings based on books and poems; interviews the children conduct in school; original poems, stories, and other compositions; highlights from the Jackson Street Language Sharing Program; and scientific observations. The middle school students will o utilize scanners, digital cameras, and Web-authoring software to create a finished product. Note that NEF program guidelines limit the amount of funding in the third year to one-half of the amount granted in the previous year (in this case $1,495.00)

04F-2: A Festival of Stories Residency with John Porcino
Beth Warren, Barbara Dihlmann, Paula Drabek; RK Finn Ryan Rd., $2,000

Local storyteller John Porcino will conduct a four-day residency in Spring 2005 with the school’s 55 second graders. This residency, “A Festival of Stories,” will expand upon the school-wide performance and hour-long workshops that Mr. Porcino conducted last year for the same students who were then in first grade. That effort was funded by the RK Finn Ryan Road Cultural Arts Committee. This residency is designed to enhance the oral language competencies of second-grade students. The work will include selecting and mapping stories, creating oral presentations and performing for K-1 classes and parents.

04F-3: The Study of World War II
Pam Gauthier-Lynes, Virginia Wooster; JFK, $1,300

This project is designed for seventh- and eighth-grade reading students. They will complete an in-depth study of WWII through reading, writing, scrap booking and attending a live performance of “Lily’s Crossing”. In this study, they will use various multidisciplinary approaches to get involved and excited about the study of the World War II time period. Through their reading of Lily’s Crossing and Boy at War, the students will develop reading, writing and thinking skill while learning about an important historical event.

04F-4: “Over the Rainbow”
Seroe Michaud and Heidi Haas; Leeds, $2,000

The project is a fifth-grade musical production of the Wizard of Oz. It will provide 65 fifth-graders an opportunity to participate in a project that will unify their class in a project that combines music, art and theater. Ms. Michaud, Department Chair for Music, Theater and Dance in Northampton Public Schools, wrote the script in 1987 and will direct the music. Ms. Haas, a local community theater educator, will direct the production. There are also plan to include the participation of kindergarten “buddies.” Daytime and evening performances are planned for the entire school and the community.

SPRING 2004 AWARDS – (Projects to be completed between 7/1/04 and 6/30/05)

04S-1: Exploring Northampton’s Water
Catherine Wanat; NHS, $1,540

This grant will allow students in the high school’s Environmental Science classes to develop an enhanced understanding of the water resources in their community. Students will explore rainfall, groundwater, runoff and surface water in relation to their own use of our water resources. A physical groundwater model will allow students to visualize and understand the complex movement of water in the subsurface. Students will choose water monitoring locations in Northampton and develop a water quality monitoring plan, which will be implemented in the fall and spring. Students will summarize their findings in a poster display for NHS and other community locations.

04S-2: Monoprints and Drawing: An Interdisciplinary Connection
Lisa Leary ; NHS, $1,525

This will introduce art students to the similarities between drawing and printmaking. Local artist Liz Chalfin will teach students and teacher alike about nontoxic printmaking techniques, which are relatively new to the field. Furthermore, students will become aware of printmaking’s place in art history and in the development of significant artists’ work. They will be exposed to contemporary printmaking through their exposure to a working print studio in their own community.

04S-3: Gamelan Music
Steven Hinks ; JFK, $400

Five of Steven Hinks’s 7th grade music classes will learn Javanese Gamelan music on classroom instruments and then go to Smith College to play authentic instruments under the direction of ethnomusicologist Margaret Sarkissian. This study will be integrated with the social studies curriculum on Asia. This is the second year NEF has funded this project.

04S-4: A Celebration of Ancient Greece
Tracy Dawson-Greene, Nancy Cheevers; JFK, $2,000

This project will engage 7th grade students on the Banana Split team in experiencing and learning about Greek history, mythology, drama, music and dance. Nick Kachulis will be artist/scholar in residence and will work with the teachers to deliver this instruction. There will be a series of 24 workshops, at the end of which students will create and present multi-genre projects, including original plays, presentations, expository and creative writing and artwork based on their understanding of ancient Greek culture and major gods or goddesses featured in Greek myths. Applicants have applied to the JFK PTO for $1,000 so that the full cost of the residency, $3,000, would be covered.

04S-5: From Plants to Pulp to Paper
Janice Battey, Laura Vachula, Mary Tighe, Janet Gary; Bridge St., $1,650

How paper is made, when it was first made and what it is made of are some of the questions 3rd grade students will have answered in this project with artist-in-residence Sheryl Jaffee. This five-day workshop will give children an opportunity to not only learn the history of making paper by hand from its origins in China to local paper mills in Massachusetts but to engage in the process of making their own paper. They will learn how books were made in Colonial America, and they will create their own books with their handmade paper, sewing the bindings by hand, and then fill the pages with drawings and writings.

04S-6: “Patchwork Stories” Literary Magazine Project
Johanna McKenna, Janet Gary, Kathleen Casale, Margaret Riddle; Bridge St., $1,999.37

The creation of Patchwork Stories magazine will provide students the opportunity to enrich their literacy education and feel part of the larger community of Bridge St. School. Every student will contribute a piece of poetry, fiction or nonfiction. Students will also provide illustrations. The goal is to promote student interest in and appreciation for written language, build student confidence in their writing skills and produce a durable product that is representative of the whole school community.

04S-7: Bridge St. School First Annual Science Fair
Karen Hurd, Johanna McKenna, Joan Tabachnik; Bridge St., $1,073.50

“Science and You,” Bridge St. School’s science fair, is designed to foster interest in the sciences among all students at all grade levels. Teachers and parents will work with students in grades 2-5 to develop science projects tied to their grade-level curriculum and suitable for exhibition (a detailed process will be provided to all participants). In addition to in-school time, a weeklong after-school clinic will be offered to all students who wish to receive additional assistance on their projects. All students will present their work to the school community during an in-school exhibit and to parents and a panel of experts in an evening reception and exhibit.

04S-8: Writing Poetry Workshop with Leslea Newman
Cynthia Berry, Barbara Kowalski; Ryan Rd., $2,000

Local author Leslea Newman will do a four-day residency at R.K.Finn Ryan Rd. School working with third through fifth graders. Poetry is an important feature of the third and fourth grade language arts curriculum and a natural form of expression for the themes explored in the fifth grade curriculum, including family, differences in cultures and friendship. Using specific writing exercises and lots of visual cues, Ms. Newman will teach students how to draw on their observation skills (using the senses), their own life experiences (using memory) and their own imagination (the sky’s the limit!) to create poetry. Teachers will learn techniques that they will be able to integrate into their classrooms.

04S-9: Jackson St. School/Coleham Primary School Exchange Program
Gwen Agna, Barbara Black; Jackson St., $2,000

The principal and teachers at Jackson St. School are in the process of creating an ongoing exchange with a primary school in Shrewsbury, England. The first phase of this project was a group teacher visitation from Jackson St. to Coleham in March 2004. This grant will fund teacher time to reflect upon, analyze and document the first stage of the exchange. Teachers will be involved in inquiry-based, data-driven research. They will look at all the materials and knowledge gained at Coleham and do a comparison study. The hope is to eventually turn this work into a journal article and, more importantly, develop ideas and plans for enhancing their work at Jackson St..

04S-10: Bridging the Gap – Native Collaborations & Perspectives in Celebration of 350 Years of Northampton
Jackie Coe, Kim O’Connell
; Jackson St., $2,000

Native American specialists Jennifer Lee and Marge Bruchac will present professional development workshops for the entire faculty in anticipation of a strong focus in the school during fall 2004 on Northampton’s heritage in conjunction with the 350-year founding celebration. All activities connected with the residency will seek to expand and bridge the areas of European-based/settler area history and present life with that of pre-existing Native peoples, through storytelling, re-enactment, explorations of Native daily life and technology, and field trips to surrounding sites of local historical interest. Activities will culminate in a Harvest Festival, composed of Native and settler food prepared by students and performances of Native music and dance, all serving as a celebration of community and partnership both past and present. Funding is being sought from other sources to cover the entire project cost of $5,400.

04S-11: The Journey of the Monarchs
Jan Spearance, Trish Duffy; Leeds, $1,800

This project involves kindergarten and grade one. To enhance the study of monarch butterflies, funding will be used to: 1) consolidate video and digital images of the monarch nesting area in El Rosario, Michoacan, Mexico and combine these with images of the beginning stages of monarch migration from Leeds School into a multimedia format; 2) transfer digital photography onto cd’s for classroom use; 3) purchase thematic picture books and video to supplement the unit; 4) buy tagging kits to be used to observe and record data about monarchs on site; and 5) bring local author/illustrator Bob Marstall into the school to give a presentation about illustrating and writing An Extraordinary Life: The Story of a Monarch Butterfly.

Back To Top


FALL 2003 AWARDS – (Projects to be completed between 1/1/04 and 6/30/04)

03F-1: “Random Acts of Kindness”: A Youth Musical
Seroe Michaud and Heidi Haas; Leeds, $2,000

Fifth grade students will write skits – one-act plays that display kindness in action – and perform them as a musical for the community. Students will look for news in their school, town, state, and global community that are examples of people performing acts of kindness for others. Classroom teachers will incorporate the writing activities into their creative writing assignments. Ms. Michaud will choose musical selections to enhance the production, and parent volunteers will help with costumes and staging. The idea behind the show is to raise awareness of the ways that we can each do something to make a positive difference in our community.

03F-2: “Taking Care of Ourselves and Others” Murals
Jan Spearance, Karen Bryant, Kathleen Lajoie; Leeds, $850

Leeds School kindergartners will create murals that are a visual representation of the components of the kindergarten health curriculum: personal safety, Second Step (non-violence), personal/mental health, nutrition/fitness, and D.A.R.E. The murals will be installed in the kindergarten bathrooms. In addition to learning about cooperation in order to complete the project, the 60 kindergartners will be challenged to use creative thinking and fine motor skills.

03F-3: The Story of Steps: The Evolution of Latino Dance
Kim Gerould and Mary Cowhey; Jackson, $1,950

Elizabeth Fernandez O’Brien will conduct a two-week residency with 2nd and 3rd graders in historical Latino dance. Students will explore how the dances evolved from their European roots and how they continue to evolve today. The residency will begin with a performance, proceed to hands-on work with students and teachers, and culminate in a multi-grade, student performance.

03F-4: Tales of India – A Festival of Folklore, Theater and Dance
Mary Cowhey, Kim Gerould, Stephen Eldredge; Jackson, $2,000

Ranjanaa Devi and members of the Nataraj Performing Arts of India Ensemble will conduct a one-week intensive residency for grades 1-3 in Indian culture, music, storytelling, and dance. The residency will be augmented by a Nataraj dance performance for the entire school and additional curriculum meetings and movement classes. The residency will culminate in a student dance-theater performance based on an Indian village festival and the “Pancha Tantra” animal tales of India. The total project budget is $4,600, and additional funding is being sought from the Northampton Arts Council, the Jackson St. School PTO, and local businesses.

03F-5: Colonial Life: Historical Reenactment of 18th Century America at Leeds School
Denise Wood, Karen Bryant, and 5 other teachers; Leeds, $2,000

In celebration of Northampton’s 350th anniversary, Leeds School will be adopting an American history theme in the spring of 2004. Anne Meyer, a consultant, will set up and spend five days in an 18th century reenactment camp on the school grounds. All students will experience hands-on demonstrations and activities in vendor trading, cooking, period heritage plants, sewing, clothing, soap making, schooling, and period songs and literature. The program is being uniquely designed to conform to the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and Northampton core curriculum. The Leeds PTO is sharing in the cost of this program.

03F-6: Literacy Collaboration: Jackson St. Writers, JFK Techies
Kathy Fleming, Mary Bates, Mary Cowhey, Kim Gerould; JFK/Jackson, $1,495

This is the second year of a literacy collaboration between eighth-grade students and students from Jackson St. School. The project is being expanded to include writers from second- and third-grade classes, in addition to first graders. JFK students will design and publish Web pages that illustrate original written work by the younger students. This work will include: writings based on books and poems; interviews the children conduct in school; original poems, stories, and other compositions; and scientific observations. The middle school students will learn to utilize scanners, digital cameras, and Web-authoring software to create a finished product.

03F-7: The Study of Dr. Seuss
Pam Gauthier-Lynes; JFK, $550

This project is designed for seventh- and eighth-grade reading students who are reading below grade level. Dr. Seuss books, already familiar to many, will be used to promote a renewed love of reading. Activities to be undertaken include: studying 8-10 Dr. Seuss books – their meanings and use of rhyming; reading books to younger students on Dr. Seuss day; creating a video; creating a poster project on a favorite book; and designing and making a quilt square to be part of a larger quilt, which will be donated to a children’s hospital.

03F-8: Pequot Museum Project/Trip
Nancy Cheevers and Tracy Dawson-Greene; JFK, $1,725

After studying Native American culture, history, and literary traditions in the classroom, students will visit the Pequot Museum and attend the “Pequots in History” program, which includes a strong oral tradition and language component, as well as a viewing of the “Pequots in War” film. As students participate in the experience, they will take notes to add to their research on Native American languages. Each student will then complete a written project, which will be published in a class anthology of writings about language development and culture.

03F-9: A Concrete Experience
Martha McCormick and Harriet Diamond; NHS, $2,000

This project will involve the 25 students (grades 10-12) in the spring semester 3D Design and Sculpture class. Working with guest artist Harriet Diamond, they will create five sculptures that will be placed in the courtyard located around the NHS guidance area. The sculptures will be made of weatherproof concrete and be permanently installed. Students will learn about designing sculpture for a public space and making it site specific, e.g., interesting from all angles because it will be viewed from upper floors as well as ground level. Modules will be constructed in the classroom and then assembled in the courtyard.

03F-10: Environmental Awareness
Cheryl Eckert and Mary Belge; Smith Vocational, $2,000

Participants in this project plan to implement programs and activities during the school year that would educate the student body about various ecological issues. Activities include: inviting a guest speaker, attending a theatrical performance, touring a local watershed, and developing an after-school group to help implement ecological practices within the school (including a water awareness week program).

03F-11: First Annual NHS Student Video Festival
Robin Barber, Jane Madden, Tom Kress; NHS, $1,330

This grant will provide the seed to provide an ongoing forum for the juried selection, display, and celebration of NHS students’ exploration of creative uses of video. The festival, to be held in June 2004, will be open to all students and will invite work in the following genres: drama, documentary, sports, comedy, animation/experimental, and music video. Prizes will be awarded to top-scoring works as evaluated by a panel of judges and an audience poll.

03F-12: Peacemaker’s Summit
Kathy Goodwin-Boyd; NHS, $500

This grant will allow students in the revived high school peer mediation program to participate in an annual conference at Hampshire College in May 2004. The benefits to the students include: training beyond what they initially received; an opportunity to network and brainstorm with other students; and exposure to different ideas about how to successfully implement and support a mediation program within a school setting. Participation in the conference will enhance Ms. Goodwin-Boyd’s skills to provide the training and support that the NHS mediators need as they work to develop and maintain a successful program.

03F-13: Transition to Grade Six – A Book and Web Site
John Crescitelli; JFK, $1,210

In 1999 NEF funded a project to create the book, Through the Eyes of Sixth Graders – Life at J.F.K., which proved to be an invaluable resource to incoming and prospective students. This grant will support a rewrite and publication of an updated book and its accompanying Web site. The need for this stems from many changes that have occurred at the middle school, including changes in building leadership, schedules, courses, and teams. The project integrates literacy, computer technology, and community service, and through it students hone their writing and revision skills and learn to understand the needs of their audience.

Back To Top


SPRING 2003 AWARDS – (Projects to be completed between 7/1/03 and 6/30/04)

03S-1: NHS Website/Community Service Grant
Bill Brown and Ellen Nigrosh; NHS, $1,250

This is a second-year grant to continue the work begun on the NHS Web site (www.hamphigh.org) during the 2002-2003 school year. The Web site continues to have enormous potential to enhance the educational resources of NHS, improve communication, and build community among its students, teachers, parents, and the wider Northampton community. The grant will fund a stipend for Bill Brown to continue managing the site and advise and coordinate the activities of the NHS Web and Graphic Design Club, an extracurricular activity for students interested in learning more about Web design and offering community service to the school.   The grant will also fund training for and the purchase of Web design software.

03S-2: Synapse: NHS Writing Group & Literary Magazine
Michele Turner-Bernhard; NHS, $1,000

This project will resurrect Synapse, the NHS Literary Magazine, which has been dormant for several years. The grant will fund a stipend for Michele Turner-Bernhard to facilitate weekly meetings with the NHS Writing Group, and to oversee the publication of Synapse in Fall 2003 and Spring 2004. This project will have the effect of bringing student voices to the whole school and community of Northampton by publishing student work.

03S-3: Books Touch Lives
Rich Winnick and Sally Wylde; NHS, $470

This is a proposal to stimulate students’ interest in reading and increase the use of the NHS library through the display of books that have had a significant impact on the lives of NHS faculty and staff. The books, along with descriptions and brief statements from the faculty and staff about how particular books changed the way they see the world, will be displayed on a rotating basis on easels in the NHS library.

03S-4: SOCA: Student of Color Association.
Aneesah L. Akbar-Ugdah and Ernie Brill; NHS, $1,500

This grant will provide the seed money to establish a Student of Color Association at NHS. The group began meeting during the 2002-2003 school year but needs funds to get organized and become fully functional. The goal of the group is to create an antiracist and multiculturally aware community at NHS. Planned activities include a Diversity Week in the Fall of 2003; culture nights throughout the school year introducing students to a variety of foods, dances, and music; guest speakers for schoolwide assemblies; attending lectures and workshops in the Five College area; and sponsoring a year-end public celebration of performances, skits, and cultural dances.

03S-5: Northampton History is U.S. History.
Michael Sullivan; JFK, $856

This grant will allow Michael Sullivan to compile 30 binders of primary source material on Northampton’s history to be used in conjunction with the eighth grade social studies curriculum. Northampton’s rich history will bring alive the broader stories and themes of our nation’s past. The primary source material, including old maps, pictures, and articles, has been gathered over the years from local sources and will now be laminated and preserved in binders, which can be used by the 8th grade students throughout the year and shared with other JFK teachers.

03S-6: Gamelan Music
Candy Carlisle; JFK, $675

This grant will fund the introduction of Javanese Gamelan music to 7th graders at JFK. Students will learn techniques to play a nine-part instrumental ensemble. Onemusic class during each of the five exploratory block sessions will travel to Smith College to play authentic Gamelan instruments under the direction of ethnomusicologist Margaret Sarkissian.

03S-7: Literacy, Technology and Real World Connections
Trish Duffy; Bridge St., $2,000

The aim of this project is to increase student literacy through technology, specifically the use of digital cameras to create appropriate reading materials at the emergent reader level. It includes components for the entire Bridge St. elementary school, incorporating professional development for all staff and direct instruction for the grade 4-5 students (and teachers), with the K-3 students and the community program Even Start being the beneficiaries of the creation of 100 emergent reading books by the 4th and 5th graders.

03S-8: Reading Between the Lions.
Donna Park and Trish Duffy; Bridge St., $1,020

“Reading Between the Lions,” a public television (PBS) program series, will be introduced into the kindergarten and first grades at Bridge St. elementary school.The program is set in an extraordinary library that is run by a family of lion puppets and uses stories, music, and lively word play to help young children enjoy and learn about reading. The NEA-recommended program has won many awards for its reading instruction in the areas of phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension.The program will be shared with interested teachers throughout the school system at a Professional Development Day during the 2003-2004 school year.

03S-9: Language Sharing Program Curriculum Group
Gwen Agna, Kim Gerould, Maria Garcia; Jackson St., $2,000

This second-year grant continues the work of the Dual Language Study Group begun last year by developing a well-articulated curriculum for the Language Sharing Program at Jackson St. The curriculum will address both language and content-based objectives for each grade, create a logical progression from grade to grade, address the needs of both native Spanish, “heritage” Spanish, and English speakers, develop model lessons in science, social studies, and math that demonstrate best practices in language teaching through content areas, and develop methods of assessment. NEF will fund the teacher time necessary to meet these objectives, and also provide for professional development opportunities in the areas of second language/world language pedagogy, curriculum development and program design.

03S-10 Teaching Through Simulations
Ann Walaszek, Carol Smith, Pixie Holbrook; Ryan Rd. $1,609

This grant will bring history to life in 5th grade classrooms at Ryan Rd. School, through the implementation of historical simulations. Students will become active learners of history by assuming new identities and working cooperatively with their classmates. There will be opportunities for decision-making, and for students to employ their learning strengths. The enactment of the historical simulations will also include artwork, music, acting, advanced mathematical reasoning, lots of reading and writing, record keeping, scientific studies, and lots of hard work and fun. NEF will fund the purchase of the historical simulation kits, as well as materials and teacher planning time to organize and implement the projects.

03S-11: Academic Support Room
Gwenn Dzierzamowski, Pixie Holbrook, Mary Lorenz; R.K. Finn/Ryan Rd., $1,090

Project leaders seek to bridge the gap between special education and regular education students needing a little bit of help by piloting an Academic Support Room at Ryan Rd. School. The room will be open daily from 2:30-3:00 p.m. and will serve the needs of 4th and 5th grade students who require minimal special education support or who need support but do not qualify for special education. The focus will be on helping students to build study skills and organizational skills, but will include specific skills reinforcement. Students will be referred to the room for two-week rotations, where they will be assigned a study carrel, given a set of study tools, and will work on their individual goal/contract.

Back To Top


FALL 2002 AWARDS – (Projects completed between 1/1/03 and 6/30/03)

02F-1: Northampton High School A Capella Group
Beau Flahive; NHS, $1,500

This grant supports the ongoing work of the Northampton High School A Capella Group. The group consists of 16 students who rehearse once or twice a week and perform at various functions in and out of school throughout the year.

02F-2: Northampton High School Art Gallery
Martha McCormick; NHS, $1,500

In creating a space for the display of student artwork in the school library, students will learn to select, prepare, and hang the work to be displayed.

02F-3: Blood Pressure Clinic for Elders
Donna Canuel-Brown; NHS, $450

This project is designed to allow students to apply classroom knowledge in a community service setting. Students will study the anatomy and physiology of the cardiovascular system and research and write blood pressure brochures, culminating in implementation of blood pressure clinics for senior citizens.

02F-4: Book Collection for Comprehension Strategies
Nancy Allen and Jan Battey; Bridge St.; $250

Granted to teachers at Bridge Street School to continue and enhance their exploration of teaching methods that focus on new reading comprehension strategies.

02F-5: Grade Five Musical at Leeds School
Michelle Subocz, Seroe Michaud, Cynthia Larareo, Ms. Gordon and Ms. Pearson; Leeds, $1,500

This funding will help fifth graders produce, rehearse, design scenery and present a musical for family, friends and community.

02F-6: Economic, Social, and Technological Change in the Industrial Revolution
Michael Sullivan for The Blue Dolphins team; JFK; $1,500

This is the second year of funding for a trip to the Tsongas Industrial History Center at Lowell National Historic Park. This is an integral part of the interdisciplinary (English, history, social studies, science and math) unit studying the Industrial Revolution at JFK Middle School.

02F-7: Wonder of Nature Project: A Tissue Collage
Denise Wood; Leeds, $1,335

This project will use the literacy activities of reading and writing, interpreting different art forms depicted in the storybooks of Eric Carle. Students in grades two through four will design and create a collage representation of seasonal changes to be installed in a hallway at Leeds. The students will add to the collage as they study plant life, animal habitats and local insects in science units throughout the year. The project is interdisciplinary and will provide a visual presentation of the curriculum at these grade levels.

02F-8: A Celebration of Ancient Greece
Ruth Mackenzie and Linda Wayne; Leeds, $2,000

This program is an interdisciplinary exploration of Ancient Greek culture, history and mythology for the 4th grade students. Resident artist Nick Kachoulis will work with the teachers and students on values common to the Greek experience through story telling, drama, music, art and dance. The legacy of Greece to American culture is stressed. Upon completion, the school will host a Festival Celebration of Ancient Greece open to all members of the Leeds School community.

02F-9: Literacy Collaboration: First Grade Writers -Middle School Techies
Katherine Fleming and Mary Bates; JFK and Jackson, $438

Eighth grade computer students will design and publish Web pages that illustrate original written work by first grade students.

02F-10: The Fish Project
Ellen Coss for The Big East team; JFK, $1,560

This is an interdisciplinary unit using fish as a common theme across the curriculum. The fish become a tool to learn about art and economy in fishing dependent cultures. Fish are used as a theme in science, literature, art, and the study of cultures.

02F-11: From Puppet to Performance – Character and Story Building with Inez Zeller-Bass
Kathy Kozaczek and Stephen Eldredge; Jackson, $2,000

Irene Zeller-Bass of the Sandglass Theater will conduct a series of workshops, rehearsals and performances, including her play, “Isidor’s Cheek”, to educate teachers and students in grades K – 2 in the creation of their own puppets and scenery and to inspire them to develop public performances of their own original stories from their lives, their imaginations and their curriculum.

02F-12: Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art Residency at Jackson Street School
Charlene Zgrodnik, Patti Emerson, Megan Lambert, Linda Tiley; Jackson St., $2,000

In this project, Megan Lambert, Educational Outreach Coordinator with the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, will be in residency at JSS for two months. She will be working with teachers and students to build literacy skills using picture book art and focusing on the interdependence of art and text. Students will then use their new insight to explore the art of the picture book and publish some of their own picture books.

Back To Top


SPRING 2002 AWARDS – (Projects completed between 7/1/02 and 6/30/03)

02S-1: African Drumming
Scott Harrington, Suzanne Strauss; NHS, $1,940

An after-school program, meeting once a week, geared for students and faculty who are interested in world percussion. A typical meeting would entail: overview of the day’s lesson, warm-up activities/stretching, listening to recorded percussionists as examples, group lesson, equipment repair/maintenance and a group performance. The focus of the project is to provide a comfortable and inspiring environment where students can come together and learn about African music, culture, and heritage through the use of various percussion instruments.

02S-2: Art From Hot Glass
Lynn Goldman, Sally Prasch; NHS, $2,000

This grant will allow Lynn Goldman to incorporate handmade glass into her jewelry class at the high school. Students will gain an understanding of glass and glassmaking through exploration of the history, background and properties of glass.  Students will make their own moretti (glass rods), creating and annealing their glasswork. They will be assessing the coefficient of the glasses to assure compatibility. They will develop a deeper understanding of how the materials work and why it will break if the wrong glasses are joined.

02S-3: NHS Web Site/Community Service Grant
William Brown, Fran O’Donnell, Ellen Nigrosh; NHS, $2,000

The NHS Web site has enormous potential to enhance the educational resources of NHS, and to improve communication and build community among its students, teachers, parents and the wider Northampton community. A local web development company, eclecTechs, is hosting the new Web site, donating the use of the maintenance software. The Web site will include: daily announcements, general information, calendar, faculty and department pages, athletics, clubs and activities, library information, parent and community links, alumni links, and online publications.

02S-4: Enchanted Circle Theater/Student Performance Residency
Susan Fink, Linda Tiley, Priscilla Hellweg; Jackson St., $1,000

Enchanted Circle Theater will work with all students and teachers at the Jackson St. School in the third year of a theater arts residency program. Teachers will learn how to use theater as an educational tool to advance a chosen area of the curriculum. K-5 students will be included in the project, with the fifth graders developing and presenting their work in a public performance. Teachers will learn how to implement theater in their classrooms with ECT staff acting as coaches and mentors.

02S-5: Adapted Early Childhood Books
Louise Homstead, Marion VanArsdell, MaryEllen Reed, Richard Caiander;
Early Childhood Center at Jackson St. School, $2,000

The purpose of this grant is to increase the accessibility of books and concurrent activities to the diverse group of children enrolled in the Early Childhood Center through the creation of adapted books, a selection of related activities, and props contained in a large resealable bag.  In addition, classroom activities will be added to assist in expanding the meaning and enjoyment of each book, including the use of technology tools such as Intellitools, an enhanced keyboard overlay that can be custom-made using pictures and symbols related to specific books.

02S-6: Dual Language Study Group
Kim Gerould, Gwen Agna; Jackson St., $2,000

The Dual Language Study Group will engage Jackson St. staff and parents in reading and discussing current research and best practices in dual language, or “two-way” bilingual, programs in the U.S. and Canada, with the purpose of examining the elements of such programs that could be implemented at Jackson St. School. The Dual Language Study Group will meet for 10 sessions between Sept. 2002 and March 2003, and will present their findings to other staff and the wider community in the spring of 2003.

02S-7: Travelogue Back in Time
Anne Cernak, Barbara Thompson, Judy Gerlip; R.K.Finn/Ryan Rd., $2,000

Enchanted Circle Theater will offer an all-school artist-in-residence program at Ryan Rd. School focusing on the study of ancient cultures and language arts through creative drama. The residency will include a professional development workshop for teachers, an all-school performance by ECT, and a series of classroom workshops for students in grades K-5. The culminating event will be a performance by the fourth grade students for the school and community. The NEF will contribute $2000 towards the total cost of $12,615.

Back To Top


FALL 2001 AWARDS – (Projects to be completed between 1/1/02 and 6/30/02)

Visual Literacy Mural Project
Martha McCormick, Jan Spearance, Cynthia Larareo; NHS/Leeds, $500

Students from Ms.McCormick’s graphic arts classes at NHS and the kindergartners from Leeds will work together to create a mural based on the kindergarten curriculum frameworks, including art, music, science, social studies, reading, language arts, and math.  A long bulletin board of masonite will be affixed to the wall opposite the kindergarten classrooms at Leeds School, which will serve as the display for the artwork created by the students.  Kindergarten students will collect samples of their work in all curriculum areas throughout the school year and will meet with the NHS graphic design students at Leeds School to share and discuss their work.  The high school art students will take this representational material and incorporate it into their requirements for their art class.  The end result will be a representational mural. NEF funding will pay for transportation of the NHS students to Leeds and art supplies.

Northampton Junior Marching Band
Kerstin Becker, Kim O’Connell-Ryan; Jackson St., $1,400

This second-time grant continues funding for the junior marching band for 4th-8th graders.  The proposal seeks to build a firm foundation for the marching band at the high school by encouraging participation of the younger children.  Approximately 80 children participated last spring, and a new group of 86 4th graders have just begun their instrumental music careers.  The program takes place once a week after school at Jackson Street.  It utilizes high school students as Music Mentors who volunteer to help out at rehearsals.  NEF funding pays for the music teachers’ time, sheet music, and field paint.

SVAHS Robotics Project
Bonnie Schuman; Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School, $2,000

This will be the second year of funding for the robotics project at Smith Vocational H.S.  The team will build a robot from a kit, then travel to the Kennedy Space Center for the robot competition.  NEF will provide $2,000 towards the total project cost of $12,600.  The costs are for the robot kit, entrance fee, supplies, shipping costs, transportation, and accommodations.  Teacher and engineer are volunteers.  Other funding sources include local businesses, Wal-Mart, Kollmorgen, and student fundraising activities.  Jeff Knox, an engineer at Kollmorgen Electro Optical in Northampton, will assist the team this year.

The Fish Project
Irene Sylvain, Julie Spencer-Robinson, John Yagodzinski, Ellen Coss; JFK Middle School, $1,990

This is a brand-new interdisciplinary unit developed by core academic teachers on the Big East team at JFK Middle School.  The 7th grade students will use the fish as a tool for learning about: art and economy in fishing-dependent cultures of Asia; fish as they relate to local and global ecosystems; the purpose of gills versus lungs in understanding ecosystems; data collection and statistical analysis; the use of imagery and metaphor in literature; and the development, investigation, and support of a hypothesis.  The nature of the project lends itself to team building not just among students but among teachers as well.  NEF funding will pay for stipends to each of the four Big East teachers for planning and coordination, supplies for creating t-shirts and ink prints, and a bus trip to a local fish ladder.

Enchanted Circle Theatre Residency
Holly Ghazey, Kathy Kozaczek, Sue Fink, Linda Tiley; Jackson St., $2,000

This second-time funding of the Enchanted Circle Theatre residency at Jackson Street will build upon students’ and teachers’ existing theater skills developed last year to explore new curriculum directly linked to specific Health Curriculum Learning Standards in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.  The focus of this year’s residency will be exploring and expressing the plethora of emotions around terrorism and the events of September 11th.  It will consist of professional performances, an extended theater production residency for students and teachers, and in-depth professional development workshops in using theater arts across the curriculum. The 5th graders will develop and perform their own monologues, while the 2nd-4th graders will participate in Theatre Arts and Creative Conflict Resolution Techniques (Fun Ways to Deal with Serious Issues). NEF will fund $2,000 towards this $16,450 project.  Additional funding sources include MCC Creative Schools Grant Program, Jackson St. PTO, Jackson St. cultural arts fundraiser, Wal-Mart, and a Northampton Arts Council Grant.

A Visit to a Maple Sugar Farm
Susan Lavallee; R.K.Finn/Ryan Rd., $404

This project incorporates a trip to the Krug Maple Sugar Farm in Chesterfield into the kindergarten curriculum including literacy, mathematics, and science.  Activities involved include literacy opportunities through the sharing of factual and fictional stories related to maple sugaring, and several cooking activities involving the process of following a recipe, identifying ingredients, and hands-on measurement practice.  Following the field trip, the kindergartners will hold a bake sale and donate the proceeds to a local charity.  The NEF grant will pay for books about maple sugaring, supplies to make maple sugar products, and bus transportation to the maple sugar house.

Magic Wings
Paula Drabek, Nancy Murphy, Barbara Dihlman; R.K.Finn/Ryan Rd., $1,200

This grant will enable all R.K. Finn Ryan Rd. 2nd graders to visit the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory & Gardens in South Deerfield, where they will actively participate and learn more about butterfly life cycles, migration, food sources.  The project organizers and their students will collaborate with volunteers from the school community to design, plant and maintain a Monarch butterfly garden and habitat at R.K. Finn Ryan Rd. School.  As a culminating activity, the students will publish Monarch Butterfly books complete with milkweed seeds to be distributed throughout the school community.  NEF funding will pay for teacher planning, transportation and admission to the Butterfly Conservatory, books about butterflies, and supplies to design and build the butterfly garden.

Back To Top


SPRING 2001 AWARDS – (Projects to be completed between 7/1/01 and 6/30/02)

Bridge Street School Literary Magazine
Margie Riddle, Kathleen Casale; Bridge Street, $950

A five-teacher collaboration to create a student literary magazine published twice during the 2001-2002 school year featuring a variety of written work from students in every grade at Bridge Street School.  The project’s goal is to promote student interest in writing, build student confidence about their writing skills and produce a durable product that is representative of the whole school community.

Historical Process Photography
Lisa Leary, Sheryl Jaffe; NHS, $2,000

Visiting artist Sheryl Jaffe will help bring historical process photography, the methods of Cyanotyte and Van Dyke photography invented in the 1800’s,   to two high school art classes.  Students will create a narrative book featuring photographic images and text on handmade paper.  The techniques learned will be incorporated into the art curriculum, addressing the department’s lack of a photographic darkroom.  NEF funding for consultant fees and supplies is part of a $4,026 budget, which includes grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Northampton Arts Council.

Nature’s Classroom
Holly Ghazey, Kathy Kozaczek, Pat Russell; Jackson St., $1,100

This grant will enable all Jackson Street School 5th graders to attend a four-day residential program integrating environmental educational with motivational learning and community awareness at Nature’s Classroom in Lakeside, CT. NEF funding for transportation and two scholarships will supplement ongoing student fundraising activities for the project.

Por Muchos Caminos/By Many Paths
Marta Mangan-Lev, Kathy Kozaczek; Jackson St., $1,120

A speaker series for 5th graders featuring Latina and Latino professionals from the Northampton community talking to students about their work, training, education, and live experiences. Students will also explore the professions presented through reading, discussion, written reports, and a class book compiling the project.

Strings in the Schools
Johanna McKenna, Karen Hurd, Lucia Miller; Bridge St., $1,000

In its third and final year of NEF grant funding eligibility, this project offers the study of violin and cello to all second grade students and third grade students who elected to continue last year’s studies, and will expand next fall to allow their studies to continue in the fourth grade.  Working with instructors from the Northampton Community Music Center, more than 100 children at Bridge Street School will be studying a stringed instrument during the 2001-2002 school year.

High School A Capella Group
Beau Flahive; NHS, $2,000

This project will allow for the continuation next year of an after-school A Capella Group established for NHS students in January 2001.  The 12-16 member group will meet once a week to study and rehearse a capella music and will perform at various school and community events.

Economic, Social and Technological Change in the Industrial Revolution
Michael Sullivan, Elaine Kachavos, Steve Woodruff; JFK, $2,000

One hundred ten 8th grade students will visit the Tsongas Industrial History Center at Lowell National Historic Park as part of an interdisciplinary unit on the Industrial Revolution combining history, social science, English, science, and math.

Songs, Stories, Movement and Art
Barbara Thompson, Anne Cernak, Nicholas Kachulis; Ryan Road, $2,000

Visiting artist Nick Kachulis will work with classroom and music teachers to offer all students (K-5) an interactive program in African American music together with an integrated arts program focusing on math and art, Mozart and Beethoven.

Multi Media Fun
Trish Duffy; Leeds, $1,420

This project continues and expands a program funded by NEF in 2000-2001 in which students and their teachers learned the multimedia software program “Kid Pix” together. For the 2001-2002 school year, the program will expand to reach more classrooms and include more multimedia technology (Internet, digital cameras, etc.).  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 multimedia presentation.

NHS Poetry Slam
Heather Drucker, Suzanne Strauss; NHS, $1,000

In its third and final year of NEF grant funding eligibility, this highly successful program 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.

Back To Top


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.

Back To Top


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.