Melrose Education Foundation Announces 2013 – 2014 Grant Recipients

By on January 7, 2014

25 Grants Awarded; Public Ceremony January 28, 2014

MELROSE (January 6, 2014) – The Melrose Education Foundation has awarded grants totaling nearly $18,000 to Melrose Public School educators during its inaugural grant cycle. Recipients were notified on December 20, 2013.

The Foundation received 25 grant applications from educators who work with students in every school in the district, from the Franklin Early Childhood Center (ECC) to Melrose High School. Some grants were funded in full, and all applicants received at least partial funding of their grant request, including several pilot programs. Awarded grants ranged in size from $80 to $3,000.

“The vision and energy of the applications was impressive said Kim LaFontana, Chair of the Foundation’s Grants Committee. “The initiatives for which educators requested funding cut across all academic subjects and grades. They included providing teachers with tools and resources to advance their teaching practices, enabling the district to pilot new technology, and putting new learning materials directly into the hands of students to enable them to develop the skills they need to creatively tackle the challenges ahead,” she said.

A complete list of all grant recipients is available on the Foundation’s website at:

Awarded grants include:

  • Funding an intensive summer professional development workshop focused on best practices in teaching 21st century skills, available to all educators teaching grades 6-12 English, global languages, social studies, science, and math
  • Providing hands-on, reusable architectural model kits for project-based learning for high school students in computer-aided design classes
  • Providing middle and high school history students with historical texts and curriculum that strengthen close reading, critical thinking, and analysis skills
  • Engaging middle school and high school students in civics and government by tackling real-world issues in their community while strengthening research, writing, and presentation skills
  • Providing technology to music students that enables them to compose and record music as well as strengthen their knowledge of music theory and appreciation
  • Providing video equipment to enable district-wide access to professional development and parent workshops
  • Enabling occupational therapy and academic special education professionals to develop an integrated approach to treating students with math disabilities
  • Providing the materials that teach diversity, complex thinking, and a more-inclusive learning community

“For our first round of grants to be this far-reaching is incredible and demonstrates the commitment of our educators to their profession,” said Lisa Lewis, the Foundation’s president. “The Foundation’s ability to provide nearly $18,000 in grants just six months after our launch points to the generosity of our city and its residents.”

This grant round was made possible by donations from community members; the strong partnership and generous financial support of the City of Melrose, which made available $10,000 in grant funding; local business partners; and corporate donors.

The recipients will be honored during a public ceremony at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, January 28, at Memorial Hall in Melrose, and the public is invited to attend.

“The successful launch of the Melrose Education Foundation is the natural progression that began with last year’s innovation grants fostering a collaborative effort of city, school, citizen, and educators partnering to support student achievement in new and exciting ways,” said Mayor Rob Dolan. “Melrose is a city committed to the education of every student in our district, and I am proud that through these 25 grants we will be touching each school and grade level across the district. I want to thank the Melrose Education Foundation, and especially the Grants Committee that scored each application. I am truly impressed with the quality and thoroughness of each application put forth by our teachers during this grant cycle,” he said.

“The Foundation’s inaugural set of grants have the potential to positively impact every public school student in Melrose,” said Jen McAndrew, vice president of the Foundation. “The ability to make a difference in not just one school, but for all students across the district is what we envisioned when we started the Foundation.”

The Foundation plans to make available mini-grants in the spring. These grants will generally fund professional development and other opportunities under $300, enabling educators to attend summer workshops and prepare for the next academic year.

The Melrose Education Foundation launched in June 2013 and began its fundraising activities in the fall. The public can continue to support the Foundation by volunteering or making a donation via its website at