2021 NEF Fall Newsletter

Recipients of the  Fall 2020 Small Grants (Round 2)

The Board of the Northampton Education Foundation approved funding for the following 2 grants, for a total of $3575 for the Fall 2020-2 cycle.

After cancelling the Small Grants to Teachers spring cycle in response to the abrupt move to online learning, NEF approached the fall 2020 cycle with a desire to make it easier for teachers to ask for what they need to make the 2020-21 school year creative and engaging. We moved to two rounds of fall grant applications, one in September and one in October. In addition to our usual grant criteria, we encouraged proposals that responded to our current moment, addressing equity in educational content and access, and racial and social justice, or responding to the current learning situation, whether online or social distance learning in the classroom, or a hybrid of the two.

Even during this period of remote learning, the Northampton Public School teachers and staff have created innovative programs to enhance learning and strengthen community connections. We reported the first round of grants last month and are proud to announce the second round today:

Critical Support to Preschool Remote Learning
All preschool students
Laura Frogameni, Rachel Matteis
This project will create weekly packets of materials for each preschooler household in NPS Virtual Preschool. Packets of art supplies, blocks, play figures, and paper dolls will give concrete materials essential to sensory based learning and ensure that all families have the materials their children need to learn and grow.

Walking Trail                                                                                               
Ryan Road School
Vanessa Keillor, Rebecca Minton
This project encourages and rewards walking by students, staff, and community members.  Building on the existing recess walking program, the current walking trail will be clearly marked for distance and include information on animal speeds, what’s seen from various points on the trail, and math equivalent lengths.

Grants approved in September 2020, announced last month

Empowering Youth: How to Be an Anti-Racist
Jackson Street School

Lindy Hop Classes
Northampton High School

Remote Concert Series
Northampton High School

The Viking Runestone
Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School

NEF Statement to our Community on Racial Justice and Equality

Dear Northampton Community,

In the wake of George Floyd’s horrific murder at the hands of Minneapolis police officers and the ensuing upheaval, we at the Northampton Education Foundation want to reach out to you, our beloved community, and make it abundantly clear that our support for racial justice and equality—and our condemnation of those who oppose them—has not and will not ever waver. 

George Floyd is only the most current and visible victim of the racism that stalks our country on a daily basis. Under the pressure of such knowledge, it’s difficult not to feel despair and helplessness. But education is one of the most effective ways to make a sustained and lasting difference in attitudes toward race in our community and in our nation. The content and quality of that education matters, as does the effort to make it accessible to students regardless of race or socioeconomic status. Our mission is to fund projects and programs that expand educational opportunities, foster creativity, and enhance academic experiences in Northampton’s public schools. This is why we have funded—and will continue to fund—teacher-led initiatives that help build a society that values all members. These have included projects promoting racial literacy at the elementary school level; outreach programs at Section 8 housing that include Lego robotics, math, art, and literacy; a program placing books addressing race and diversity in the district’s elementary school libraries; and curriculum for elementary and high school students designed around the history of Sojourner Truth and the Underground Railroad in Northampton. 

We are more committed than ever to partnering with the city and community of Northampton to provide a quality education to every child in our schools. We are also committed to furthering our own education and pledge to continue to listen and learn both as individuals and as an organization. Let 2020 be the year that we all commit—really commit—to a future in which everyone in the United States, of every color, can finally breathe free.

Small Grants Deadline for Spring 2018

The deadline to apply for a Small Grant is Tuesday October 16th 2018.

View the Small Grant Application here.

The Northampton Education Foundation awards grants twice a year to encourage the development of creative and innovative teaching and learning initiatives for the Northampton Public Schools consistent with the district’s goals. Through the grant program, we support the preparation of new instructional materials, methods, and innovative teaching programs that are introduced into a classroom. We also fund extracurricular initiatives that are intended to enhance student learning. Since the grant program was initiated in 1991, dozens of projects have received funding. These projects have been proposed by teachers and administrators, often in collaboration with parents, community members, and local organizations. For summaries of projects undertaken since June, 2000, see NEF-Funded Projects.

We’re all abuzz about the Bee – and the Endowment!

NEF Spelling Bee

It was wonderful to see so many of you last night at NEF’s 18th annual Adult Spelling Bee.  What a night – hundreds of people of all ages, thirty-eight creative teams of spellers, a range of challenging words from booboisie to vivisepulture – all to raise important funds so that NEF can say YES to more teachers.
What made last night even more exciting?  It was also the public launch of our campaign to raise $1 million for the NEF Endowment.  Thanks to the generosity of many lead donors, we are already halfway there!

And with the support of our incredible community, we know we will reach our goal: to provide guaranteed, multi-year grants at all Northampton public schools, forever.

We are so excited about the innovation and collaboration the Endowment can provide for our teachers and students – a resource that will be there for them, regardless of the economic or political situation, for all the years to come.

Please visit our website for more information:  northamptoneducation.org
Or visit us on Facebook at facebook.com/northamptoneducationfoundation/
And stay tuned for more exciting updates!

Mark your calendars for a vibrant Spring at NEF!
April 4, 6:30 pm:         Rachel Simmons event at Northampton High School to benefit NEF
April 16:                         NEF Small Grants to Teachers deadline
May 1:                            Valley Gives Day
May 12:                          SOS Plant Sale
May 23:                         Citywide NEF/PTO biannual meeting
June 8:                          NEF Showcase

For more information about any of these events, please visit