- $16,042 awarded! (Projects to be completed between 1/1/08 and 6/30/08)
JSS- Families with Power/Familias con Poder (2nd year) $2,000.
Cowhey, Kim Gerould, Luz Eneida Garcia, Maria Aguilar-Gawle.
This project intentionally cultivates family and community leadership,
not just involvement, especially among low income families and people
of color to collaborate in creating a model to close the achievement gap.
The project strives to empower these families/leaders to actively name
the problem rather than being named the problem and to develop plans of
action to improve the situation rather than have other people talk about
“those children in the achievement gap”. It will build upon
its past successes to enhance the program further. Current plans include
the expansion of cultural organizing and starting a musical group for
children and parents in the Puerto Rican tradition, additional popular
education workshops with PWP/FCP parents assuming a leading role in running
the workshops and a six week Family Writing Project.
– Inspiring Young American “Leed-ers” (1st year) $1000.
Karen Bryant, Denise Wood, Suzanne Scallion.
The project will help Leeds School students learn about civic values (courage,
integrity, respect, responsibility, justice, perseverance, and initiative)
while they learn about a variety of famous American citizens who embodied
these values. Each of 17 classes will choose an extraordinary historic
person to study and will examine his/her life, values, ideals and behaviors.
Through performance, writing, music and art, individual classes will demonstrate
their understandings to the large Leeds community during their bi-monthly
school wide Community Meetings.
– Expressing Identity: Inspired by African Beaded Sculpture (1st
Inspired by the exhibit “African Beaded Art: Power and Adornment”
at the Smith College Museum of Art, this project is a unit of study for
the 3-D Design and Sculpture Class, exploring the use of glass beads in
the art of three distinct areas of Africa with students creating their
own works of art reflecting social and political aspects of their own
experiences/lives. The exhibit focuses on the cross cultural nature of
beaded art as well as the political (colonialization) and social aspects
of these creations. The students would visit and view the exhibit and
create their own works of beaded art that reflect the artistic, social
and political elements of their own lives. The project builds collaboration
with Smith College as well as contributing to the NHS goal of working
toward becoming a multicultural school.
Ryan Road - Ryan Road Garden Project (2nd year) $500
The students at RKF Ryan Road School will continue to plant vegetable
and flower gardens in the courtyards and school garden. The students will
compost lunch and snack waste to create rich soil for their gardens.
Dandelion Paper: Science Art Journals (1st year) $1500
Molly Burnham, Brigitta Sebesta, Sheryl Jaffe, Rob Adams.
In this 10 day extended event, all 3rd grade students and teachers at
JSS will make paper by hand from plants collected on school grounds and
will create their own books from the paper. These books will become a
centerpiece of the student’s science curriculum unit: plants and
environment. Each student will make the paper, sew the pages, write and
illustrate their own book. Finally, students will share the books with
other students at an authors’ tea where parents and the school community
will be invited. The books will be displayed in the library.
– Forensics Field Trip to Traveler’s Insurance Company (2nd
NHS Forensics classes will visit and tour the forensics laboratory at
a private company that has a large forensic work force. They will meet
with the senior forensics scientist at Travelers who has worked in forensics
for 25 years and serves as an expert witness in questioned documents,
arson investigation and food contamination. Since most people associate
forensics with police work, this field trip and tour will give students
a new way to think about forensics as a career choice. The students will
see techniques employed and instrumentation used that they have studied.
As with the trip to Smith and Wesson in June, 06, there may very well
be unexpected learning outcomes from this experiential research opportunity.
Vocational and Agricultural High School- Reading the Forested Landscape
(1st year) $1470
Students participating in this project will measure the age (dendrochronology)
and heights (geometry) of several common tree species in different woodlots.
This participatory activity will allow students through their collected
data, to compare the growing conditions between forest lands. Comparisons
will lead to discussions of underlying soil conditions, succession, and
Dept – The Incredible Years Parent Training Project (1st year) $1956.
Cynthia Monahon, Erika Frank.
Pilot parent training for 12 Northampton parents whose young children
struggle with aggression, non-compliance, and poor social competence.
Parents of children ages 3 through 8 will be eligible for participation
in this group-based training. This collaboration between N’ton public
schools and the local Cutchins Children’s Clinic will permit the
first western Massachusetts application of the “Incredible Years”,
an evidence-based and award-winning parent training program developed
by psychologist Carolyn Webster-Stratton in Washington State. Research
on children’s readiness to learn consistently underlines the importance
of individual emotional, social and behavioral capacities rather than
intellectual ability. Children with significant emotional and behavioral
problems experience greater difficulties meeting learning objectives throughout
their school years and can interfere with the learning needs of other
students. Two leaders who are trained, senior-level child clinicians)
will run a twelve week program for up to 12 parents. Sessions include
dinner and childcare. Participation is voluntary on the part of parents
who are screened by leaders for appropriateness for the program.
– Design and Construction of Portable Display Boards and Exhibition
Space for Art Dept at NHS (1st year) $1000.
Lisa Leary, Greg Kochan.
This project will increase visible display space within the school for
students in the Art Dept. Both permanent and portable exhibition space
will be constructed for greater visibility as well as critique exhibition.
Exhibition space will be in various locations throughout the high school
including the theater and auditorium to coincide with musical and theatrical
productions. The art department will collaborate with the maintenance
department at the High School to create these display boards and exhibition
spaces. Students will be engaged in the production of the display boards
as well as have the opportunity to exhibit their work.
– WWII History through Artifacts and Survivor Stories $400.
Mark Baldwin, Kate Todhunter, Scott Mahar.
The proposal requests funding to visit two museums related to WWII, one
related to naval warfare, the other related to the Holocaust. This partial
funding will enable students to visit the Holocaust Education Center to
add to their understanding of the historical events of WWII through experiential
learning. The students will complete pre- and post trip writing assignments.
They will see “history come alive” through actual artifacts,
exhibits and primary sources.
– Introduction to Orienteering (1st year) $1291.
Andrew Foster, Annette Bischoff, Hannah Kristek.
Fourth and Fifth grade students at Leeds will complete a series of six
orienteering courses on the school grounds. Courses will be completed
in either the late winter or early spring. They will be designed by an
outside consultant in conjunction with Leeds staff. The courses will focus
primarily on map skills and physical education goals however students
will be developing a broad range of sills related to orienteering including
but not limited to : map reading and interpretation, team building an
cooperation, problem solving, physical and mental exercise, and environmental
studies. Students will begin traditional map skill work in the classroom.
They will continue group building as preparation for the orienteering
courses and will develop a repertoire of physical activities during regular
PE classes for use at the orienteering checkpoints. By making connections
between class work and real life encounters (map work and orienteering),
students have a greater likelihood of experiencing learning that will
be profound and lasting. The project will extend to 110 students in the
first year and the materials generated by the program can be used for
years to come in future orienteering efforts at no additional cost.
Collaboration - Teaching Chemistry (2nd year) $2000.
In its second year, this project will again provide another chemistry
option to more of the high school students than the current high school
chemistry curriculum can accommodate. It allows students to continue to
probe the concepts of chemistry they learned in their first year while
sharing their interest in the subject with elementary students. The high
school students will work in small project groups of 4 – 6 students
who will be matched with two same grade-level elementary classes. In coordination
with the elementary teachers, the team will develop lesson presentation
complete with demonstrations and experiment material for their assigned
elementary classes. Each lesson will be supported by written work appropriate
to the grade level it is taught to. The students will travel to the elementary
school to present their lessons, return to NHS to improve on and revise
the lesson, and return to the elementary school a second time to present
the same lesson to their second same grade level class. Twelve different
lesions will be produced and taught during the course of the semester.
It is an innovative way to provide a win, win, win for elementary and
high school students alike.
– Music of Greece, the Balkans, and the Middle East (1st year) $500.
Rob Urbank, Steven Hinks, Nick Kachulis.
This project is aligned with the 7th grade music curriculum around World
Music, instrument families, and meter and sub-divisions of the beat. The
project is timed to coordinate with A Celebration of Ancient Greece, a
multi-disciplinary learning program using storytelling, art, music, drama,
computer technology, reading, writing and research projects to teach the
history, mythology and culture of Ancient Greece for the 7th grade. The
musical ensemble wishes to offer four hands-on workshops for 7th grade
students in Music exploratory block classes and a concert for Big East
7th grade students. Approximately 80 students will attend one of the four
workshops and ninety students will attend the concert.
– Focus the Nation: Sustainability, Renewable Energy and Conservation
Douglas Andrew, Ellen Kennedy, Jim Kohrman.
This project has as its goals to use a nationwide curriculum adopted by
many colleges(including Smith College), and high schools to empower students
to make a change in their own and others’ daily habits regarding
energy usage and global warming. It will also strive to educate the students
to advocate for change in public policy. The students will use JFK as
a laboratory to examine the school environment regarding sustainability
issues and to brainstorm with other students about ways to make JFK more
energy and cost efficient. They will participate in creating science projects
regarding solar, wind and bio-diesel power. They will participate in a
national Focus the Nation Day.
Learning Center – Improvisation Class (1st year) $500.
Chip Kaufman, Heidi Haas
The goal of
the improvisation class is to provide another venue for kids who otherwise
are not easily engaged in a traditional learning environment to rekindle
their interest in school. Students will be working towards a performance,
created by the students, at the end of the semester. They will be writing
and performing their own material which will strengthen writing, speaking
and listening skills. Additionally, theater can promote tolerance, boost
confidence, improve social skills, and help create and strengthen a sense
- $17,258 awarded! (Projects to be completed between 7/1/07 and 6/30/08)
Moviemaking – Take 1 (JFK Middle School) $2,000
This project will introduce the use of video technology in classrooms
and teach students and staff how to produce and edit documentaries and
drama. They can also use the technology to assist in and language and
other class activities.
Problems Across the Grades (Ryan Road Elementary School) $1,000
Margaret Riddle, Paula Drabek, Barbara Kowalski, Pat Erikson, Mary Lorenz,
Beth Brady, Diana Ramsden, Cindy Berry
Ryan Road Elementary School has an excellent math curriculum and program
that is based on problem-solving. This project will enhance their ability
to modify problems to meet the needs of all learners and to analyze student
work for understanding. Teachers will read and discuss a math journal,
try out problems across the grades, and analyze children’s work
Everyone into Our Community (Ryan Road Elementary School) $1,925
Margaret Riddle, Sharon Matrishon, Barbara Dihlman
Ten percent of Ryan Road Elementary School School students live at Florence
Heights, and most of them depend on public transportation, which does
not come to the school. This project will provide a school bus for these
children and families so that they can attend after-school events at our
to Talk So Kids Can Learn (Ryan Road Elementary School) $1,800 [second
Susan Lucey, Margaret Riddle, Diane Keating, Alison Gleason, Pat Erikson,
Diana Ramsden, Adrea Egitto, Michelle Smiarowski-Kay, Carlene Osborn,
Pat Connors, Paula Drabek, Cindy Berry, Evelyn Gore, Patty Tosswill, Lynne
ESPs and teachers must work collaboratively and consistently with students
yet they have almost no chance to do professional training together. This
is the second year teachers and ESPs will gather to read a Responsive
Classroom book that addresses both groups. The intended result is to provide
clarity and consistency for students. Last year’s grant was wildly
successful, with the group of participants growing at each session. The
positive effects of this initiative are noticed every day.
Old Fashion Fun (Ryan Road Elementary School) $900
Susan Lavallee, Barbara Kowalski
The two teachers of Kindergarten and 4th grade, respectively, will welcome
VINS volunteers into their classroom for up to six ½-hour periods
to teach the children to play board games appropriate to their age level.
After several months the classes will partner to practice their game skills
together. Families will also be able to borrow the project’s board
games for playing at home.
Bridge Street Chess Club and Tournament (Bridge Street Elementary School)
Johanna McKenna, Pamela Schwartz, Laure Sperry
This project will launch an after-school chess club. Its first year will
include fourth and fifth graders, with a tournament to further engage
and reward participants and to generate school-wide interest. In subsequent
years the club will expand to include second and third graders.
and Swing: Dancing with the Students! (Bridge Street Elementary School)
Johanna McKenna, Pamela Schwartz, Craig Murdoch, William Duffy
Learning salsa and swing dance provides an opportunity for students to
be introduced to different cultures and styles through movement. In this
project, students will learn about dance history, technique, musicality,
and dance patterns. Fifty-five fourth graders will learn the two dances
with a professional dance instructor and the school’s PE teacher,
then perform them during a school assembly.
JFK Youth Radio Project (JFK Middle School) $878 [second year]
JFK Youth Radio got underway in January, 2007, and now meets once a week.
There are 19 members signed up, from the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades, with
more asking to join daily. Ms. Mack trained the original group in digital
recording and the editing software, and the students themselves have been
training the newer members. Students have created programming on local
hunger and Greek philosophy, both to air on Valley Free Radio. The current
grant will support the club for another year and provide more equipment
Through Photography: Closing the Gap for Underachieving Students (Northampton
High School) $2,000
Kate Way, Michael Jabson-Hardy
Twenty to thirty students will borrow the project’s cameras to document
their lives, both in and outside of school. The focus will be on combining
written and visual literacy as a means of expression, and on producing
work of quality and depth which reflects the students’ lives. Photographs
and writing excerpts from each student will be shown at Forbes Library
next spring and possibly be published in a book.
in the Classroom (Smith Vocational School and Florence Learning Center)
Robert Wilson, Kathy Brown, Bill Brown, Arthur Apostolu
The project will bring volunteer veteran speakers, trained by the Veterans
Education Project (VEP), into classrooms to give presentations that will
complement the History, English, Health, Violence Prevention, and Substance
Abuse Prevention curricula. Speakers will share compelling stories about
important historical eras, drawn from wartime and civilian life experiences,
from the 1940s to the present.
the Hall, Across a Divide (JFK Middle School) $2,000 [second year]
Ms. Spencer-Robinson notes that the first year of this grant provided
one of the best experiences of her teaching career. Ten students with
developmental disabilities spend time with a sixth grade reading class
of regular and special education students. This project provides a weekly
opportunity for the two classes to learn about each other and from each
other, through reading and writing on themes including disability. In
addition to classroom shared activities, the two classes have social events
and a field trip to the Eric Carle Museum.
is Elementary (Jackson Street School) $1,000 [third year]
Gwen Agna, Dan Berger
In the first two years of this project, mechanical engineering was taught
in the 3rd and 5th grades, agricultural engineering was taught in the
4th grade, and some short units were introduced in grade 1. The activities,
developed by the Boston Museum of Science,
have been led by a graduate of the Smith College Engineering program.
Classroom teachers are on hand so that they might lead the activities
in future years. The goal in the third year of the project is to introduce
more units of the curriculum.
September 15, 2009