FEF Awards More Than $110,000 for Upcoming School Year
Falmouth Education Foundation recently announced its grantees for the 2018-2019 school year, totaling more than $110,000 to fund innovative opportunities for more than 2,000 students in Falmouth Public Schools.
The awardees include 13 continuing grants and 22 new projects, which will be implemented district-wide, from elementary school to high school. With awards ranging from $850 to $8,700, initiatives include the establishment of a student art gallery at North Falmouth Elementary School, expansion of an FEF-funded vernal pool at Lawrence School, and transportation and admission for the Falmouth High School freshman class to attend a performance of “Romeo and Juliet,” a 9th grade required text, at the Huntington Theater in Boston.
According to FEF Board President Ellen Barol, FEF has now contributed more than $900,000 to Falmouth schools and teachers throughout its 13-year granting history.
“FEF is proud to exist in partnership with such dedicated educators and a community that so generously supports excellent public education,” Ms. Barol said. “Next year’s projects will be implemented at all schools and in all content areas, and we can’t wait to see them in action.”
One funded project, a farm-to-table initiative modeled on a similar program on Martha’s Vineyard, is already getting underway at Falmouth High School. Raised beds were recently planted in the FHS greenhouse, which is overseen by Scott Crocker of the Science Department, and his students will participate in landscaping and soil testing, while their young counterparts in the pre-school and learning center will monitor the plants over the summer. The grant was awarded to life skills teacher Nancy Fitzgerald, a member of the school’s Wellness Committee, in collaboration with her science, culinary, and garden club colleagues.
“The long-term goal is to promote access to healthy food for all children by growing produce for the FHS culinary program, while educating them about where their food comes from, and empowering them to make healthy choices,” Mrs. Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald believes the project will also serve as a hands-on way to educate students about Falmouth’s history as a farming town, while potentially introducing some students to a new hobby or career path.
Students will also have the opportunity to learn about bee-keeping and counter the effects of colony collapse in their own tangible way by participating in an after-school program overseen by science teacher Miguel Zamora, who is also a professional beekeeper. Mr. Zamora purchased a hive for the school with additional funds from the grant.
Mrs. Fitzgerald, who has received past FEF grants, expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to provide another outside-the-box and multi-faceted learning experience to her students.
“Without the generous support of Falmouth Education Foundation, these programs couldn't get off the ground, and it would take us so much longer to try to accomplish our goals,” she said. “There are so many things that happen at all of the Falmouth schools that simply would not take place without FEF. They make our lives easier as teachers.”
The full list of 2018-19 grantees are:
Falmouth High School: Lauren Kenny for Ekphrasis 2018; Heather Goodwin for Exploring Evolution at the Harvard Natural History Museum; Jane Baker for Card Sharks; Nancy Fitzgerald for Farm to Table; Corine Adams for Clay Tech; Bill Mock for Spanish Exchange; Daria Kasparian for Dionysia; Jane Baker for Inspired by Agassiz; Kayla Peard for Improvisation; Sarah Cox for Romeo and Juliet in Boston; Christine Brothers for Vernal Pools and Pollinator Gardens.
Lawrence School: Barbara Blumberg for Can You Hear Me Now?; Sarah Hines for Lawrence Makerspace; Liz Liles for 8th Grade Shakespeare; Tom Bushy for Bridge Program; Bob Porto for Building Blitz; Liz Liles for Companion Texts; Sarah Hines for TLC Library.
Morse Pond School: Christine Nicholson for Empowering English Learners through Civics.
East Falmouth Elementary School: Jill Meserve for 21st Century Classroom; Tara Draper for Making It Up: Expanding Our Makerspace; Lisa Willcox for Bringing Technology into the Speech Room; Tara Draper for Surround Yourself with the Classics; Korey Charles for Baroque to Folk: Recorders; Tracy Chorches for STEAM'n Through Second Grade; Tracey Crago (VIPS) for Supporting Student Development Through Girls' Circle and Work It Out! for Boys.
Mullen-Hall School: Ann Marie Iandoli for Disability Awareness Lending Library; Meghan Andersen for Taking a Bite Out of the Makerspace.
North Falmouth Elementary School: Kristin Bergeron for Makerspace Expansion; Kathryn Sodaitis for Student Art Gallery; Nancy McGee for Vulnerabilities.
Teaticket Elementary School: Jody Kirincich for Story Exploration with Second Graders; Carrie Shanahan for Renewal of Elementary Curling.
Founded in 2005, the Falmouth Education Foundation offers competitive grants to teachers across the school district so they can provide students enriching educational experiences not funded within the school budget. The Foundation’s work is made possible by generous donors and community events, such as the annual Winter Gala and Falmouth Flag Day 5K Walk/Run (coming up on June 10, 2018). For more information, visit falmoutheducationfnd.org.