Apr 042014
 

When your kid comes home from school today and mentions that there was a sub for the regular science teacher, thank the Groton Dunstable Education Foundation. The teachers were off learning new skills.

“I am proud to say there are about 16-18 science teachers from our district in Boston today and tomorrow for a National Science Teachers convention, and GDEF funded their admission and sub coverage in last year’s spring cycle,” according to spokeswoman Janet Sheffield.

The foundation also announced, in a news release, the current round of grant. It ” … is celebrating its tenth anniversary of providing private funding for enrichment grants to all five district schools, it is pleased to announce it has awarded seven new grants totaling $41,459 in its spring cycle (#21), bringing the total grants funded this school year to $48,190. The grants cover a range of subject areas across various grade levels.

GDEF President Kerri Figueroa thanked GDEF donors, “We’re extremely grateful to community members and businesses who have donated nearly $26,000 this year to our Annual Giving Campaign, just shy of our $30,000 goal. As we review grant applications from teachers and staff, we’re excited to support innovative ideas and pilots for new programs. However, as the district budget has tightened drastically over the past several years, we’re also seeing more requests for items that traditionally would have been included in the budget in years past, from classroom and library books to ongoing grade-level programs and basic classroom technology. GDEF was founded on the principle that private funds are intended to supplement, not supplant public responsibility for funding education. With support from our donors, we’ll continue striving to provide funds that enhance the success of our schools while remaining true to that mission.”

The latest round of school grants include:

  • Safari Montage — a digital media management/distribution system providing all district teachers access to a multitude of digital and visual resources for classroom lessons and home use by students
  • Implementation of Biotechnology — gel electrophoresis equipment allowing all high school Biology students to learn this essential lab technique, increasing rigor and the application of technology
  • Strengthening the Reading Workshop Model — continuing professional development for a core team of elementary teachers /reading coaches, assisting them to more effectively implement the MA Frameworks for ELA & Literacy
  • AP Training in Science and Foreign Language — training for two high school Science teachers and a Spanish teacher to sharpen skills and strengthen the curriculum

The remaining grants provide Florence Roche with iPad technology to create interactive, engaging lessons, and provide high school classrooms with Genetics Teaching Tools.

GDEF has also been awarding mini-grants for up to $500 on a rolling basis this school year, funding 15 mini-grants to date totaling $6731. The latest mini-grants provide Swallow Union third grade classrooms with sets of higher level books to support the district’s restructured reading model, and give high school students the opportunity to collaborate with classrooms around the globe on curriculum projects through membership in iEarn-USA. A complete listing of this year’s grants can be found on GDEF’s newly redesigned website, www.gdefinc.org.

Sheffield also wrote, “GDEF asks community members to consider donating to its Annual Giving Campaign before the fiscal year ends in June, to help reach the fundraising goal of $30,000 and fund as many classroom grants as possible. To make a gift, please visit GDEF’s website and click on the “Donate Now” icon. GDEF also needs new volunteers to help carry on its critical role supporting district schools and to develop future plans for the organization. For more information on volunteer opportunities, please email info@gdefinc.org.”

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