Your Grant Dollars in Action
Thanks to your support, we regularly hear from teachers about how Foundation grants are a powerful tool for educating students and inspiring teachers. We recently received an email from Kim Talbot, Director of Global Languages, ELL, and Visual & Performing Arts at Melrose High School, who wrote:

“You know, the world is an uncertain place, but I wanted you to know with certainty that the organization of MEF and the innovation it inspires — and its willingness to fund pilots — has implications far beyond the initial allocation of funds. Your support has not only made a difference for seniors in the Global Language program in Melrose and our program offerings, but has impacted the lives of countless others and helped to spread equity and empowerment beyond our own community.”

During the 2016 -2017 school year, the Melrose Education Foundation awarded grants totaling more than $27,000 to Melrose Public School educators.

The Melrose Education Foundation has been awarding grants since 2013.

Spring 2017 Grants

The Melrose Education Foundation awarded grants totaling more than $5,200 to Melrose Public School educators during its 2017 spring mini-grant cycle.

Note: This year, the Foundation was proud to partner with the MVMMS and MHS PTOs to support two ELA grants (Tools for Note taking in ELA and Reading Study for ELA Educators). These mini-grant applications were submitted to the Foundation but were funded by the PTOs. We appreciate their partnership and support.

Melrose High School

Tools for Note taking in ELA

Lindsey Dobbins, ELA teacher, Grades 9-12

This grant supports supplies, such as reusable “sticky-note” wall pads, to expand the note-taking capacity of students and for the charting and sharing of information and feedback in ELA classrooms at Melrose High School. At the conclusion of this grant, each ELA teacher at MHS will have compiled permanent student notes usable in the future for re-teaching materials, permanent gallery walk notes for student presentations that can be used as models in the future, and teacher and student note-taking and analysis charts. This grant has been funded in partnership with the MHS PTO. 

Advanced Circuit Design

Betsy Giovanardi, Technology, Advanced CAD, Robotics, Engineering, Grades 9-12

This grant provides supplements for existing electronics kits that will expand electrical engineering lessons allowing students to pursue more challenging designs as well as potentially expand the curriculum of multiple technology classes. The supplies provided by the grant will also allow for project-based learning as well as Universal Design for Learning (UDL).

Edible Garden

Shawna Carr and Patrick Dayton, Developmental Learning Classroom and Access Program

This grant provides funding to purchase supplies to create and maintain an edible garden. Students will be responsible to plan a budget, purchase supplies and create a growing environment to start and maintain an edible garden. Through this exercise, students will also learn about nutrition and healthy eating. This hands-on project is expected to support multi-level learning in math/money skills, life skills, and science skills. Upon completion of the project, the garden will be open to all teachers and staff who are interested in learning about the project in order to share information throughout the school.

AP Capstone Training Materials

Jason Merrill (MHS Principal), Tom Scudder (AP Capstone Teacher, MHS LMS)

This grant provides funding for materials to be used in the continued development and execution of the AP Research program at Melrose High School. AP Research is the second half of the AP Capstone program, an innovative AP program designed to develop skills in research and argumentation needed for success in college and careers. Training materials purchased with this funding will provide support for the first cohort completing the AP Capstone program in the 2017-2018 school year.

Time management tools for Developmental Learning Classroom and Post Graduate Students

Jennifer Papasodoro, OTR/L, Grades 9-12

This grant provides funding for the purchase of tools that would support the training of MHS special education students and post graduate students.  By utilizing these tools, students will develop improved time management for learning and life skills. This grant would support school goals by teaching students to more independently initiate, plan and execute tasks. Knowledge will be shared via collaboration and consults that naturally occur, as well as via potential informal in-servicing as necessary.

Compact Video Camera, Melrose High School
Anna Maria Melito, M. Ed, Visual Art, Grades 9-12

This grant provides funding for the purchase of a compact video camera for use in the filming of art tutorials. and instructional videos for the classroom.

Classroom Map

Hannah Edsall, Social Studies, Grades 9-12

This grant provides funding to replace the existing classroom maps in Room 222. The updated classroom maps will not only provide a more useful visual cue to combine history with geographic knowledge, but will also be instrumental in helping students with language based processing issues or vision issues to access the important geographic components of the history lesson.

Geometry 3D Printing Materials

Scott Thornton,Geometry, Grade 9; Tom Scudder, LMS, Grades 9-12,

This grant provides funding for advanced 3D computer aided design software.  Through the use of this software, students will be challenged to apply principles of basic and advanced geometry and create original architectural designs in a project-based learning environment.  This grant will also support existing 9th grade geometry curriculum to enable students to work toward mastering geometric principles, multiple technology standards and benchmarks from the grade 9-12 MPS Technology Plan.

Gamifying Geopolitics for Current Events

Alex Pennachio, Current Events/History, Grades 10-12

This grant provides funding for the purchase of an online fantasy platform to gamify and grown student engagement with domestic and international current events. Students will build their news literacy and research skills while allowing teachers to create a variety of assignments aligned with the game that can be used to match the skills of different learners.  An online platform will allow students to draft countries or states which they follow over the course of the class.

Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School

Reading Study for ELA Educators 

Angela Singer, Humanities Department Head, MHS and MVMMS

This grant will fund a book study for all ELA educators at the MVMMS during the 2017-18 school year, which will supplement their professional development efforts on the topic of “close reading.” Teachers will meet to discuss their books study at regular intervals. They will read and discuss the text, implement recommendations in their classrooms, and create lesson plans working individually and in groups. By the end of the 2017-18 school year, educators will implement the close reading strategies included in the text. This grant has been funded in partnership with the MVMMS PTO. 

Social-Emotional Fidgets for Students

Molly Magee, Laura Dubiel, Chessie Shaw; MVMMS Guidance Counselors

This grant will provide students with access to a variety of portable tools (fidgets, stress balls, etc.) for stress management in their classes. It will enable the purchase of a large quantity of these tools, which will be distributed to the appropriate students as needed.

Volleyball Supplies

Steven Mirasolo, Lauren Doherty, Anthony Palmeri; Physical Education

This grant will enable MVMMS Physical Education teachers to successfully implement a volleyball unit for all MVMMS Phys. Ed students through the purchase of volleyballs and pinnies. These supplies will enable teachers to hold multiple differentiated, small-sided games that focus on specific skills and support individual students as they grow and learn volleyball basics at their own pace.

Melrose High School and Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School

Virtual Reality STEM

Jon Morris, STEM Director, Grades 6-12

This grant provides funding for the purchase of a Virtual Reality camera and headset as a means to explore the addition of Virtual Reality to classes and the Makerspace. Students and staff can utilize current, innovative technology to enhance virtual lab experiments, student tours, and user interfaces with the structures that Virtual Reality provides.

Horace Mann

Calm Down Corner

Whitney Simpson, 5th Grade Teacher

This grant will provide funding to be used to purchase materials to create a calm down corner in a 5th grade classroom. Students will be able to access this space when feeling stressed, upset, or irritated and access the grant-funded tools to effectively regain focus in a developmentally-appropriate manner.

Hoover Elementary School

Supporting an Active Classroom 

Sophia Stamos and Velika Majka, 2nd Grade Educators

This grant will expand efforts underway in the Hoover School’s 2nd grade classrooms to encourage more movement and engagement during the school day. After piloting several ideas for flexible seating options and new writing instruments, the teachers realized that students would benefit from these active classroom initiatives. Teachers expect an increase in student engagement, and will share the knowledge gained through this grant with others throughout the Hoover School and other Melrose Public Schools districtwide.

Hoover and Roosevelt Elementary Schools

Social Problem Solving Curriculum

Amy Cesar, Hoover/Roosevelt K-5, Speech Language Pathologist

This grant provides funding to enhance social thinking and problem solving for early elementary school students experiencing communication impairments. Through the Social Problem Solving program, students will be given the opportunity to strengthen their social communication and problem solving skills. The curriculum includes materials that will be available for students’ use at home and in the classroom.

Lincoln Elementary School

Social Communication Disorders and Executive Function Continuing Education

Jessica Patti, Integrated Kindergarten Teacher

This grant provides funding for continuing education to obtain knowledge and tools to teach children necessary social communication skills. Teachers will attend a two-day training course offered by the Landmark School Outreach program and share their findings and materials in classes throughout the Lincoln School.

Winthrop Elementary School

Magnets and Stem Project/ Maglev Car & Track Race

Sue Herook, Kim Dulong, Kelly Constantine, Suzanne Rabinovitz; 3rd Grade Teachers

This grant will provide funding for a 3rd grade project answering the question: How Can Magnets Be Used to Levitate an Object and Cause Motion? This project supports district goals, including STEM objectives, and will focus on developmentally appropriate reading, writing, and physical science skills regarding magnets. This project will culminate in the Science Inquiry Presentations in late Spring.

All Melrose Public Schools

Earth Science Big Books, 1st Grade

Melanie Acevedo; Science

This grant provides funding for two Earth Science Big Books to support, explain, and elaborate on the stages of a science inquiry model for 1st grade students in all Melrose elementary schools. Funds will allow for the purchase of the textbooks The Solar System and The Four Seasons for each school.

Reducing Anxiety in the Classroom, K-5

Laurel Neubauer, 4th Grade Teacher at Horace Mann; Jillian Duzz, 3rd Grade Teacher at Horace Mann; and Paula Jones, K-5 District Instructional Coach

This grant will provide funding for SEEM Collaborative-sponsored professional development training for three MPS elementary educators. This training will provide insight on supporting students’ social and emotional behavior in the classroom, with a focus on effective coping mechanisms for anxiety. These new strategies will be shared with other elementary grade level colleagues throughout the district.

Mindfulness Continuing Education, K-12

Sheila A. Kelley, PT, District Physical Therapist, K-12

This grant will provide funding for an online Mindfulness course offered through Salem State University. Mindfulness will benefit students at all grade levels, especially students with disabilities who experience anxiety and/or difficulty with executive functions. Mindfulness techniques can be taught to students to positively impact their academic learning and increase capacity for empathy which supports social emotional development. After completion of the course, a summary presentation will be made to the occupational and physical therapy staff to share the information with colleagues.