The Chatham Education Foundation (CEF) said Friday the total amount of funds the organization distributed to over the last 12 months was $60,000, a similar amount to how much they gave over the 2009-2010 academic year.
The funds are distributed in grants and donations for special school and educational programs in Chatham schools that the district is not able to fund. President Colleen Markley said CEF funds "enable [teachers and principals] to continue to be innovative and creative educators in the face of budget cuts."
CEF offers grants at various levels to improve the classroom and school experience. Teachers can apply for grants of up to $1,500 for materials to enhance and improve curriculum in ways that the school district budget cannot address. Principals and the Superintendent's Office can apply for grants of $10,000 and $50,000, respectively. Any school staff can apply for mini-grants of $500.
Whereas in past years grants were awarded on a September deadline, now deadlines for all three grant levels are fluid. Funds are collected via donations from local residents and businesses. CEF's main fundraiser event is the annual Taste of Chatham, which this year takes place on Monday, Oct. 24 at the Brooklake Country Club in Florham Park. Tickets are available for $70 in advance, $75 at the door.
This year 27 grants were approved by CEF and the Board of Education.
Holly Izsa submitted a grant application called "It's Cool to Be Kind." Funds went to bring in a , to work with students, parents, and teachers in the Chatham school district. Coloroso gave "solid, practical advice ... to teachers and parents, along with tips on how to prevent bullying in the schools," according to a statement from CEF.
Katrina Keeshen submitted an application called "Chatham Art Department 2011–2012 Calendars" on behalf of the district’s Art Educators. With the funds from this grant, district art teachers were able to create 2011–12 school calendars "that incorporate student artwork from all grades."
Chatham High School
Principal Darren Groh submitted a grant for computers in the Chatham High media center. The grant money funded the purchase of 18 netbooks for the media center and classrooms, "to help with the increased student enrollment," according to a statement from CEF. Chatham High recently made all its computer labs mobile, so the netbooks can travel from classroom to classroom as needed.
Lynn Polan submitted a grant for theatre set design for in spring 2011. This grant helped Chatham High students learn about the set design process from a professional set designer. The designer taught students how to design, create and strike a set. Elements of the set will be reused in future productions.
Brian Conti submitted a grant called "Building Musical Partnerships with Guest Musicians." The grant gave band students the chance to work with Darryl Bott, a conductor and director of the Wind Ensemble from Rutgers University. Bott held "several clinics and workshops ... to introduce various rehearsal techniques," according to the CEF statement.
Dagmar Cordano and Doug Chambers submitted a grant called "Geometry Benches." Funds from the grant allowed students from the Honors Geometry class to "design and build full-scale benches [which will be] donated to schools within the district and will be enjoyed for years to come," according to the CEF statement.
Chatham Midle School
§ Stage Lighting Upgrade
Principal Robert Accardi and Gina Priano-Keyser applied for a grant to replace and upgrade the middle school auditorium’s lighting equipment. Using funds from the grant, the auditorium's ld lights will be replaced with energy-efficient LED moving lights. The change, the CEF statement said, "will enhance the middle school performances and other programs open to the entire Chatham community." Also, an element of lighting design will be incorporated into the syllabus of the middle school's Theater Arts cycle.
Virginia Connolly submitted a grant application called "The Times They Are A’ Changin’ …. E-Books and E-Readers at the CMS Library" which allowed the school to purchase five Nooks for the library. Connolly was also able to purchase covers and 23 novels. The grant, according to a CEF statement, "further supports our commitment to developing lifelong readers by making literature through technology more accessible and fun."
Jill Gihorski and Kathleen Riva applied for a grant for materials that allows students in 6th grade French and Spanish students "to complete thematic units based on real-world storytelling," according to the CEF statement.
Lafayette Avenue School
Sue Keating applied for a grant called "Fluency Phones" that helped purchase 24 fluency phones to increase fluency, comprehension, and writing skills in classrooms at
Submitted by Vicky McCullough and Beth Adams applied for a grant called 'Got a Minute for Fluency?" Funds were used to purchase timers (used in conjunction with fluency phones, mostly) which help monitor and time fluency and reading rates during practice and centers work.
Jennifer Bane, Laura Schaefer, Carly Nacer, and LeMoyne Robinson applied for a grant tu purchase 25 Minute Math Electronic Flash Cards called "Math Facts in a Flash." This handheld technology helps students "practice their multiplication and division facts in an interactive and familiar way," according to a CEF statement.
Ann Worden and Erik Yates applied for a grant called "School Scrabble" that was used to purchase Hasbro’s School Scrabble® program. According to a statement from CEF, the game "promote[s] cooperative learning while reinforcing fifth-grade curriculum objectives in spelling, vocabulary, math, and social skills."
Milton Avenue School
Principal Marion McCarthy applied for a grant to purchase six SMART document cameras to interface documents with existing SmartBoards in classrooms.
Jennifer Manger applied for a grant to provide and with certain books and games that have been found to enhance social skills instruction.
Diane Shulman and Dawn Kurlak applied for a grant to purchase chapter books for reading workshops for on-level and below-level grade 2.
Southern Boulevard School
Principal Ralph Pesapane applied for a grant to purchase 16 Dell netbooks and 2 netbook lockers for students to use to research assignments, under the direction of the media specialist.
Marybeth Kopacz applied for a grant to purchase an ANY Book Reader device which allows students and teachers to touch, record and play the words on the page.
Diane Conti, Katie Mulford and first grade teachers from Southern Boulevard applied for a grant called "'Egg-Citing' Changes" that allowed for the purchase of brooder cages and egg incubators. With the purchase, first grade students can witness the live hatching of chicks and ducklings, and learn about the developmental stages of the eggs.
Washington Avenue School
Principal Mary Quigley applied for a grant to purchase 13 SMART document cameras to interface with the SmartBoards in classrooms.
Shannon Moran submitted a grant called "Exercise Your Ears with Earobics." Through the grant she purchased "a multi-sensory reading intervention program [which] delivers explicit instruction ... customized to each student with a unique adaptive technology that automatically adjusts the instructional level to ensure mastery before moving on to the next level," according to a CEF statement.
Donna Monica, Eileen Turrisi and Nancy Volker applied for a grant to purchase books that enhance the Superflex Character Education Program, which, according to a CEF statement, "focuses on social behavior and increasing student knowledge of social expectations."
Jennifer Friedrich applied for a grant to purchase 70 digital books which have sensory supports that help "make reading fun for emergent and struggling readers," according to a CEF statement. The books can be used both at home and in the classroom.
Jennifer Friedrich also applied for a grant to purchase four iPod Touches for special needs students with autism. The iPod Touches help enhance and motivate students' communication and social functioning.
Katherine Grusenski, Kenji Hasegawa and Joyce Luongo applied for a grant called "Turn Me Off" which helped promote energy awareness and conservation. The trio purchased light switch covers which were "painted by students to remind everyone to turn off lights in the classrooms, offices, and multipurpose spaces," according to the CEF statement.
Sarah Gutierrez and Katherine Grusenski applied for a grant called "I Changed America." The two purchased several Leveled Easy Readers, Scholastic Easy Reader Biographies, and Rookie Reader Biographies for second graders. The readers contained stories of famous Americans who helped shape the country. which allowed them to read about famous Americans whose contributions changed the shape of American history.