The GEF Community Grant Program provides fiscal support for innovative and creative projects that will increase knowledge and skills, expand perspectives, and enrich understanding.
Our goal is to encourage educators, within our schools and throughout the community, to find new ways to make learning dynamic and challenging, both for themselves and for their students.
Grants may be used for educational initiatives that fall outside existing budgets, such as:
- Visiting authors and guest speakers
- Seed money to help launch innovative new programs
- Educational materials and equipment which support innovative programming
While we accept proposals for any amount, previous awards have ranged from $150 to $12,000.
For more information about our Grants Program, click here to view our brochure.
The GEF funds programs that:
- Illustrate innovation and creativity,
- Enrich educational offerings; and
- Offer unique learning opportunities.
In addition, grant proposals should:
- Have a clearly defined action plan,
- Provide appropriate evaluation criteria; and
- Demonstrate breadth of impact.
Grants are not intended to replace or relieve the existing responsibility for public funding of school programs, nor are they intended to replace regular budget growth and maintenance. Grants do not cover field trips OR salaries, stipends, or professional development costs for non-profit employees and volunteers.
Grants are made to nonprofit organizations. If you have an idea for an innovative program but are not affiliated with a nonprofit organization, please contact the GEF for assistance in finding an appropriate partner. Some examples of past partners for grants are our public schools, town departments such as Granby Youth Services and the Granby Senior Center, and nonprofit organizations such as Holcomb Farm, Granby Artists Association, and the Salmon Brook Historical Society.
All proposals are reviewed by a committee of the GEF's board of directors and voted on by the board. Awards are based on the merits of each proposal and the ability of the GEF to fund them. Partial funding may be awarded.
If your organization has been awarded a grant, please view our press packet which has guidelines for crediting the GEF as grant sponsor as well as our logo for use in your publicity.
The Farmington Valley YMCA (FVYMCA), which partners with numerous community organizations to provide specialty programs for children received a GEF grant of $2630.00 to purchase an inflatable Gaga Pit. Gaga, a game like dodgeball, is played in a fenced-in octagon called a pit with a group of individual players, with teams, or one-on-one. The FVYMCA has set up the Gaga Pit (at no cost) at school functions, community events, and local fundraisers, such as Celebrate Granby, the PTO Jog-a-Thon, and the Safe Grad Party. According to Brian Liss, District Executive Director of the FVYMCA, “I have seen firsthand what a positive effect the Gaga Pit can have on a community event. The game of Gaga allows children or young adults to play together without the label of being in a specific group. It allows a common opportunity to enjoy a simple game.”
(Application submitted by: Brian Liss, District Executive Director of the Farmington Valley YMCA/YMCA of Greater Hartford)
INVESTIGATING SCIENCE: With a $750 grant, the GEF funded a new Interest Development Center at GMMS focused on chemistry, earth science, ecology, coral reefs, and general science including the human body, cells, genetics, weather, heat and energy. Interest Development Centers provide students with the opportunity to enrich and extend their thinking and learning in a variety of different directions. Students will have access to a variety print materials, games, puzzles, kits, maps, and hands-on artifacts. The center will also be used to supplement science classes with additional materials that students may more easily connect with.(Submitted by Shirley Cowles, Granby Memorial Middle School)
FIRST ROBOTICS GRANT: The GEF awarded $1,200 to Granby Memorial High School for the Granby Grunts Robotics team to purchase supplies and tools that will help them to solve, build, and create the robots used in robotics competitions. These supplies will be able to be used year after year to help support teams in the building process. The Granby Grunts Robotics Team serves as a hub for STEAM education in the Granby Area. They innovatively solve challenges with science, technology, engineering and math and consistently qualify for the regional and world competition. (Submitted by Sherry Collen, Granby Memorial High School)
ONE BOOK: ONE SCHOOL: The GEF awarded $2,467 to Kelly Lane Primary School for the One School, One Book school-wide reading program. All Kelly Lane students, families, teachers, and staff read Zoey and Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows by Asia Citro. Program participants read along at the same pace while school and community activities reinforced the content of the book. Thanks to the GEF grant, everyone received a copy of the book to take home and keep. The One School, One Book program gives families an opportunity to read with their kids which helps foster a desire to read, increases vocabulary, and gives students a reading role model. (Submitted by Amber Wyzik, Kelly Lane media specialist)
MICHELLE BARRY: AUTHOR VISIT: A grant of $1000, funded an author visit. Local author Michelle Barry taught Wells Road Students about the many stages of her writing and publishing process over the course of two days. She focused on the unique process of writing a science fiction book and how an author writing in this genre develops characters and ideas based on the future. Students will write using this process in their study units. (Submitted by Kristin Lecco, Wells Road Intermediate School)
DIVERSE PICTURE BOOKS CLUB: Kelly Lane School was awarded a grant of $709 towards copies of three books to expand students' perspectives and enrich understanding of different cultures. Twenty classroom teachers will read the picture books in their “book club” and together they will plan interactive read aloud lessons to implement into their classrooms. 400 students in grades K-2 will benefit from this grant. (Submitted by Lis Diemer, Kelly Lane School)
BIG HISTORY: PALEOLITHIC PEOPLES AND TOOLS: Granby Memorial High School was awarded a grant of $1,927 to purchase replica Paleolithic era stone tools for use in Big History, the freshmen history course at GMHS. These replica artifacts will help students gain insight into Paleolithic life by learning how to use these tools effectively. (Submitted by Amanda Ligas, teacher, Granby Memorial High School)
INCLUSION LIBRARY: A grant of $400 was awarded to Wells Road Intermediate School to purchase 25 new books to establish an inclusion library. This collection of books introduces the concepts of acceptance and inclusion to third and fourth graders. These age-appropriate books help students better understand their classmates’ differences and show them to how to communicate better with them. (Submitted by Heidi MacDonald, school psychologist, Wells Road Intermediate School)
VALLEY PRESCHOOL: BOOMERANG PROGRAM: Valley Preschool was awarded a grant of $2000, from GEF's Nanny Brown Fund, to boomerang back seasoned teachers that taught for decades at Valley. Each month the students experience special lessons which dive deeper than the traditional curriculum into natural science, music, and language and literacy. (Submitted by Heather Tokarz, Valley Preschool Board)
A GALAXY OF SEA STARS: A grant of $1000, funded an author visit. Local author Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo spoke to fourth and fifth graders at Wells Road Intermediate School explaining the process of how she turned the story of her life into the novel "A Galaxy of Sea Stars". (Submitted by Joy Cloukey, Wells Road Intermediate School)
GRANBY NATURE PRESCHOOL: The preschool was awarded a grant of $727, from GEF's Nanny Brown Fund, towards equipment for outdoor exploration and gardening. The equipment, such as butterfly nets, gardening tools, and insect observation boxes, are made from natural materials so that children are immersed in tools from the earth and sustainability. Granby Nature Preschool supports all aspects of learning with exploration and experimental learning within the meadows, streams, and gardens of Holcomb Farm. (Submitted by Kristine Vincent, Granby Recreation)
AMERICANS, IMMIGRANTS and REFORMERS: Students in Mr. Butler’s 8th grade history class at GMMS will have a new Interest Development Center (IDC) thanks to a $750 mini-grant. This IDC focuses on advanced historical research around the causes and effects of Westward Expansion, including lives of Americans and immigrants who moved into the West. Students will also be learning about major reform movements of the 1800’s and early 1900’s. Students will use the new materials to produce a creative product to share with an audience. (Submitted by Shirley Cowles, Granby Memorial Middle School)
Economic Empowerment for Granby Students: This $1250 grant provides programs to 550 middle school and high school students focusing on financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. Junior Achievement (JA) programs are taught through traditional in-person classroom programming and through digital platforms. For the Middle School, JA volunteers will teach JA Economics for Success and JA Personal Finance curricula and provide all students practical information about personal finance and the importance of identifying education and career goals based on a personal skills, interests, and values. Students in high school will participate at an individual level based on interest and recommendations from counselors/teachers. (Submitted by Amanda Teti, Junior Achievement of New England)
Educational Kiosk Signage: A grant of $300 was awarded to Friends of Holcomb Farm, to enhance the tree trail experience for the public by providing insightful and engaging information about local arboretum fauna and flora. This will be done through educational kiosk panels about various subjects that can be seen on trails. Local features of our West Granby ecosystem will be highlighted. There is an estimated 1,000 visitors per year to the Holcomb Farm Tree Trail that will benefit from these kiosks. (Submitted by Eric Lukingbeal and Catherine Kadrle of Friends of Holcomb Farm)
Wildflower Meadow Educational Enrichment: The GEF awarded $1,000 to the Granby Wildflower Meadow Project to provide educational activities for children and adults during their inaugural planting day on June 4th, 2022. Granby Wildflower Meadow Project is converting a Town-owned field on Salmon Brook Street into a sustainable native wildflower meadow to attract pollinators to help our community farms. (Submitted by Marcie Braden, Friends of Granby Wildflower Meadow)
Kelly Lane Poster Printer: A grant of $3,750 was awarded to Kelly Lane school to purchase a poster printer to be used by staff and students. This poster printer will enable teachers to create and print large format visual aids for use in the classrooms. Students will also be able to create large format posters for use in projects and presentations. (Submitted by Amber Wyzik/School Media Specialist, Kelly Lane School)
Granby Nature Preschool: A grant of $727, from the Nanny Brown Fund, was awarded to Granby Nature Preschool/Granby Parks and Recreation, towards equipment for outdoor exploration and gardening. The equipment is made from natural materials so that children are immersed in tools from the earth and sustainability. Equipment includes butterfly nets, magnifying glasses, watering cans, gardening tools, insect observation boxes to name a few. Granby Nature Preschool supports all aspects of learning with daily walks, playing and exploration and experimental learning within the trails, meadows, woods, streams, and gardens of Holcomb Farm. (Submitted by Kristine Vincent, Director Granby Parks and Recreation)
GMHS Summer Reading 2022: The GEF again funded a grant for $2,000 to Granby Memorial High School to fund their Summer Reading Program. EVERY student that will be attending GMHS next year was allowed to choose one book from a wonderfully curated, diverse list of fiction and nonfiction books to take home and keep. This program is very popular with the students as it encourages reading for pleasure. There are no assignments attached to these books, simply the hope that students will engage in reading on their own terms. (Submitted by Casey LaPlante, Library Media Specialist, GMHS)
Hidden Figures Movie Screening and Discussion: The Granby Racial Reconciliation (GRR) received $1,375 to host a drive-in style community viewing of the movie Hidden Figures, followed by a facilitated discussion on how to bring racial healing and racial justice to our town. GRR is a new organization, established by Granby clergy and community leaders, to help raise awareness and continue conversations about racial justice in Granby. (Submitted by: Reverend Dr. Todd Grant Yokeman, pastor, First Congregational Church of Granby)
To Ancient Civilizations and Beyond!: Imagine walking along the streets of ancient Pompeii or the Great Wall of China or marveling at the Egyptian pyramids or Red Fort in India all without leaving your classroom. Thanks to a $750 grant for virtual reality goggles, sixth grade social studies students were immersed in the curriculum with this new visual learning experience. (Submitted by: Shirley Cowles, enrichment teacher; Stephanie Stupienski, sixth grade teacher, GMMS)
Imagination Playground: Kelly Lane received a grant for $4,325 to purchase over 100 big blue blocks which encourage a variety of interactive play including building structures, pretend play, and improvised games. Playing with blocks promotes unstructured and cooperative play and hands-on problem solving. (Submitted by: Elisabeth Diemer and Jenna Stone, second grade teachers, Kelly Lane Primary School)
School Event Livestreaming: The GEF was proud to partner with the Granby Booster Club to support the newly formed GMHS Bears Broadcast Club. Each organization gave $2,648.50 to purchase equipment for quality livestreaming of GMHS events not open to the public due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions. The club was started by seniors Nick Boyd and Owen Danke who not only learned how to do livestreaming on their own, but also wrote the grant, and trained other club members. The club livestreamed fall and winter sporting events as well as the winter and spring Coffeehouse concerts and uploaded them for viewing on YouTube, bringing a service to Granby that will be enjoyed by friends and family, near and far, long after the pandemic. Livestreaming continues this year. View using the links below:
(Submitted by: Brian Maltese, Athletic Director; Nick Boyd and Owen Danke, students, GMHS)
Summer 2021 Reading Program: GMHS received a grant of $2,000 for a summer reading program. This reading program offered all students a free high-quality book to read and enjoy over the summer. The intent was that students would be surprised that they were offered a free book that they could choose and keep, and that there would be no “assignment” or “quiz” attached to it. This supported the social-emotional needs of the students at that time, while also promoting literacy over the summer. The book offerings consisted of 25 diverse choices, in all genres, at all levels, both fiction and nonfiction. The books were specifically chosen to reflect a wide variety of interests and a diverse range of characters and authors. An Instagram campaign with the hashtag #gmhsreads encouraged students and staff to share what they read over the summer. The Media Center plans to secure a few of the authors for virtual visits and discussions for the classrooms in Fall of 2021. (Submitted by: Casey LaPlant, Media Specialist, GMHS)
From Images to Interaction: An equitable approach to Virtual Learning: $700.00 grant
(Submitted by: Shirley Cowles, enrichment teacher, GMMS)
Four Perfect Pebbles a Holocaust Story: $500.00 grant
(Submitted by: Shirley Cowles, enrichment teacher, GMMS)
Kelly Lane 24/7 Digital Library: $2,500.00 grant
(Submitted by: Amber Wyzik, Media Specialist, Kelly Lane School)
Students Under the Stars: $320.00 grant
(Submitted by: Timothy Cote, science teacher, GMMS)
Diverse Books Reading Club: GMMS $750.00
(Submitted by: MaryBeth Lipman, Tteacher, GMMS)
OWLs Sexual Health Program (Stage 2):This grant for $300 is a continuation of the Granby Youth Service Bureau’s OWLs grant that supports a middle school peer education program addressing comprehensive sex education that covers the life span. This program, OWLs (Our Whole Lives) provides accurate, age-appropriate information, putting sexuality in the context of values and personal responsibility, supporting healthy decision making, and strengthening social skills. The second portion of this grant allowed for the purchase of educational supplies and models that will be used throughout the class. (Application submitted by: Sandra Yost, Director of Human Services, Granby Youth Services)
Granby Gear: A grant of $750 was awarded to the GMHS marketing program for seed money to fund the first order of Granby Gear. The purpose of this program is to improve school climate, school spirit, and enhance the business and marketing curriculum. This project was overseen by the marketing classes and DECA club. Students were responsible for marketing goods, handling money, pricing products, tracking sales and profits, designing future apparel, and analyzing supply and demand. (Application submitted by: Jeff Stanwood, Business Education Teacher and DECA faculty advisor, Granby Memorial High School)
Granby Grunts FTC Robotics: A grant of $4000 was awarded to help fund the middle school robotics team. This grant funded the purchase of two competition robot sets for the middle school team to compete in the FIRST Robotics competitions. FIRST Robotics is a unique melding of science, technology, engineering, and math principles and the excitement of competition makes this program the ultimate sport for the mind. Competitions showcase the results of weeks of intense preparation by students as they compete in robot matches and share their learning and ideas through cooperative and collaborative interaction. The GMMS team continues to grow with 30 student members. Many of these students will continue on with Robotics when they get to Granby High School by joining the highly successful Granby Grunts High School Robotics Team. (Application submitted by: Jennifer Matson and Caron Kemp, Granby Memorial Middle School)
GMHS custom graduation signs: Traditional graduation ceremonies for the class of 2020 were cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Custom signs were provided by GEF to welcome the seniors as they came to the school to pick up their caps and gowns for a graduation parade through town and a drive-through graduation at GMHS the following day. The signs were given to each graduate after a few weeks of displaying them on the Granby Library lawn for all to see! SEE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS
Granby Gear: A grant of $750 was awarded to the GMHS marketing program for seed money to fund the first order of Granby Gear. The intent of this program is to improve school climate, school spirit, and enhance the business and marketing curriculum. This project will be overseen by the marketing classes and DECA club. The students will be responsible for marketing goods, handling money, pricing products, tracking sales and profits, designing future apparel, and analyzing supply and demand. (Application submitted by: Jeffrey Stanwood – GMHS Business Education Teacher)
OWLs Sexual Health Program (Stage 1): A grant of $135 was awarded to Granby Youth Services to provide materials for a newly launched middle school peer education program addressing comprehensive sex education that covers the life span. The program, OWLs (Our Wholes Lives), provides accurate, age-appropriate information, puts sexuality in the context of values and personal responsibility, supports healthy decision making, and strengthens social skills. The OWLs program meets or exceeds the National Standards for Sexual Education Core for grades K-12. (Application submitted by: Sandra Yost, Director of Human Services, Granby Senior Center)
Please view our 2018 Annual Report for grant summaries and photos!
Please view our 2017 Annual Report for grant summaries and photos!
Please view our 2016 Annual Report for grant summaries and photos!
One School, One Book:
Wells Road School was awarded $1,725 in grant monies to pilot this family literacy program that allows a school to create a school-wide book club. Students will have a shared reading experience with their peers, teachers, and family that aims at improving their attitude toward reading and their depth of understanding of the material. (Application submitted by: Anna Forlenza-Bailey – Wells Road School Principal)
Summer Reading Program:
A grant of $1,660 was provided to Kearns Primary School to develop and pilot a summer reading platform for the reading intervention/support program which will address the issue of “summer slide” in which students experience a decrease of abilities over the summer months. (Application submitted by: Sarah Schrandt – Kearns School Reading Specialist)
GMMS was awarded $1,600 to establish a formal club which will participate in the national History Day Program which encourages exploration of local, state, national, and world history. This enrichment opportunity allows students to conduct extensive research while completing an in-depth project related to an annual theme. Students will then compete at regional and national competitions. This grant was made possible by the Cal Heminway Tribute Fund. (Application submitted by: Jodi Okenquist – GMMS History Teacher)
GoPro Video Cameras:
$2,500 was granted to GMHS to fund the purchase of ten GoPro video cameras to be used by the school population. Video projects are currently used in all disciplines across the curriculum and, as more colleges and universities introduce the concept of e-portfolios to demonstrate and archive student work, the need for up to date technology that is available to all students grows. (Application submitted by: Casey LaPlante – GMHS Media Specialist)
GMHS was awarded $2,630 for the purchase of accurately recreated skulls from some of the most important hominids and primates in history. These supplies will make it possible for history students to perform experiments that previously required a trip to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and will allow them a more in depth experience in the classroom. (Application submitted by: Joseph Jarvis – GMHS Social Studies Teacher)
Writing expert Barry Lane spent a hands-on day at Wells Road School working with the fifth grade students on writing strategies including; content, elaboration and revision. He then conducted an after-school workshop for teachers from both Wells Road and Kelly Lane schools. A grant for $2,700 was awarded to fund this motivational and educational program. (Application submitted by: Cynthia Garrey – Wells Road Language Arts Teacher)
Ride to Read Program:
$1,200 in seed money was granted to the Granby Public School District to pilot this program which is designed to increase reading proficiency, brain function, and the ability to focus while incorporating physical activity. (Application submitted by: Patricia Law – GPS Head of Curriculum)
School Climate Book Club: Granby Memorial Middle School was awarded $4,000 to establish a school-wide book club to explore the themes of dignity, respect, ethical leadership, empathy, character, and the idea that everyone contributes to a positive school environment. All students and staff members at GMMS will read the book Wonder by R. J. Palacio which will then serve as a point of common ground throughout the school year for discussion groups, supplemental activities, and a culminating project. A book club for GMMS parents will be offered as well, extending the program into the students’ homes.
Snowshoeing Fitness Unit:
Kearns Primary School was awarded $1,440 to create a snowshoeing unit that would teach outdoor fitness techniques and encourage a positive attitude for healthy living through winter based activities. This grant was made possible by the Nannie Brown Tribute Fund. (Application submitted by: Karl Gates – Kearns Physical Education Teacher)
The Amazing Nano Brothers Juggling Show:
This program is an entertaining presentation of difficult science concepts in a unique format. Through the use of extraordinary visuals created through juggling and lighting, the students at Wells Road and Kelly Lane Schools were able to explore nanoscale science and technology. A grant for $1,630 covered presentations at each school. (Application submitted by: Judy LaRocque – Wells Road School Science Teacher)
Valley Pre-School was awarded $700 as seed money for the development of a puppetry unit as part of their after school Catapult Program. Students will be able to create puppets and backdrops as well as learn the intricacies of manipulating their creations during performances. (Application submitted by: Maureen Williams – VPS Board Member)
GMMS was awarded $1,500 in seed money to cover the start-up costs of the Sharing to Learn program. Through global education and service-based learning experiences, students will work collaboratively to solve real world problems on a global scale.
Wells Road Intermediate School was awarded $2,490 for the purchase of Google Chrome Books to prepare and provide the experience necessary for fifth and sixth graders to succeed in one to one computing as employed in the secondary schools.
GMHS’s Japanese Exchange Program has been granted $750 in support of cross-cultural programs and experiences.
The Music Department of Kelly and Wells Road Schools was awarded $654 for the purchase of an iPad that will give the staff, which travel between the schools and use a variety of spaces, the ability to enhance their curriculum. Using a variety of applications, it will be possible to: compose, edit, and share original compositions; practice reading and writing music; record performances for assessment; function as a music library and provide accompaniment for students during rehearsals; and even act as an instrument for students who are physically challenged.
The Granby Public School system was granted $3,000 to purchase two weather stations which have been installed at the Salmon Brook Ecology Center (located on the GMMS/GMHS campus) and at Granby’s partner school in Hartland. These web-based stations will expand the use of the Ecology Center into all classrooms throughout the district, providing real-time data for use in a variety of curriculums including science, broadcast, and world language.
The stations include:
Thermometers, barometers, anemometers, hygrometers, and wind vanes. The data collected will support many areas of curriculum, including science, morning broadcasts, and world language. It will also expand the use of the ecology center as the data will be available to all of the schools in the district via the internet and will be on-going throughout the entire year. Click here for a live link to the Granby site.
Holcomb Farm’s Fresh Access Program, in partnership with the Granby Senior Center and Granby Memorial High School’s Culinary Arts Program, was awarded $1,500 as seed money to establish a program of intergenerational culinary programming. These will include cooking demonstrations, nutrition education, and events that bring students and seniors together to improve the health, knowledge, and vitality of the community.
The following grant was made possible by the Nannie Brown Tribute Fund.Read More
Valley Pre-School was awarded $400 to sponsor a percussion program which allows children to have a direct and hands on experience with a variety of cultures through music and a diversity of instruments.
Wells Road Intermediate School was granted $1,475 as seed money to establish a FLL Robotics team for fifth and sixth grade students. This activity will tap the critical thinking skills through fun “game-like” challenges and will provide the students with an opportunity to work collaboratively while creating solutions to real world problems.
Two grants were awarded to Granby school teachers to pilot the use of iPad technology in the district.
– Kristin LaFlamme & Susan Gleason received $960 to explore the daily use of iPads in both large and small group instruction using math, language arts, and logic applications.
– Diana Gascon, a remedial reading teacher at Kearns School, received $1,234 for the use of iPads during routine intervention services to improve students’ fluency, phonemic awareness, and phonics.
– Mark Acquaotta was awarded $4,500 for the purchase and installation of a traverse wall at Wells Road School. This addition will greatly enhance the physical education curriculum by not only building students’ upper body and core strength but also by emphasizing teamwork, communication, trust, and confidence. It will also align the physical education offerings with those of Kelly and Kearns Schools which already use traverse walls.
– Rob Faber of Wells Road School was awarded $3,000 as seed money to establish the Well-Fit Kids Club. This after school program will be available to all 3rd-6th graders and will promote healthy lifelong habits such as: fitness and athleticism, nutrition, focus, perseverance, and goal setting and achievement.
Dr. Patricia Law, GMHS Principal, was granted $3500 to fund a series of Calvin Terrell workshops for students and parents, centering on building a safe and accepting school climate. The topics of bullying, prejudices, diversity, self-image, and choice-making were addressed.
Amy Lupoli, the Math & Science Consulting Teacher for Kearns School, was awarded $1158 of seed money to establish a Rekenereks Math System program which uses manipulatives to develop essential math skills.
–The first grant of the Spring 2011 cycle, in the amount of $1,800, was awarded to Citizens for a Better Granby, at the request of Rosemarie Weber, to aid in the presentation of the documentary film “Race to Nowhere”. This documentary addresses the challenges and stresses facing children in the current educational and community systems, with the hope of opening dialogue among families, community agencies, and the variety of educators who touch the lives of children. A panel discussion will follow the screening.
–The GEF is pleased to present $1,300 to Granby Memorial High School, at the request of Susan Clark, to facilitate a student collaborative project in the development and distribution of student produced merchandise. Students in fine arts, business, technology, and family and consumer sciences will create, market, and distribute products, developing leadership skills and learning the steps of entrepreneurial business ventures. See items.
–The Granby Parks and Recreation Department, in conjunction with Valorie Hollister, has received $1,900 for materials to offer “Risas y Sonrisas” (Laughter and Smiles), an introductory course in Spanish language and culture. This afterschool program will offer third through sixth grade students at both Kelly Lane and Wells Road Intermediate Schools a multi-sensory approach to learning and retaining vocabulary and pronunciation with the introduction of practical conversation. Developed in consultation with Superintendent of Schools Alan Addley, this program will provide a basis for continued language development once students reach the formal language program in seventh grade.
–The Social Studies Department of GMHS has received $7,118 for the purchase of 30 7” Android Tablet PCs to facilitate learning and the move to a paperless environment. Teacher Joe Jarvis indicates that the continued challenge of providing new textbooks would be virtually eliminated as current textbook databases allow educators eBooks customized for their classrooms. The PC based tablets would also circumvent the shortage of computer availability at the high school level, while allowing collaboration on projects and immediate interaction and assessment between students and educators.
–In the same vein, Kelly Lane has requested and received $2,140 for the purchase of five Kineo Android Tablets. These tablets are specifically designed for use by a younger student population and are loaded with interactive lessons correlated to Connecticut standards and Common Core curriculum. This pilot will be facilitated by Laurie Smith, Technical Specialist, and special education teacher Lindsay Madsen.
– F.M. Kearns Primary School has received $2,300 toward the purchase and installation of a traverse wall to supplement the physical education program. Physical Education teacher Karl Gates explains that traverse walls not only enhance the upper body strength necessary to build a strong body and sound core for movement, but also increase confidence, balance, coordination, trust, teamwork, cooperation, problem solving, appropriate risk taking, communication, courage, patience, endurance, and leadership. All K-2 students will utilize the wall as part of the PE curriculum.
– The Town of Granby Senior Center has received $750 to help facilitate “Senior Voices
– Expressing Yourself Through Poetry”, an interactive program geared toward seniors with no prior experience with poetry. Utilizing memories, current experiences, photographs, and even general class conversations, local poet Andrew Weil will encourage participants to explore and express through the written word. According to Sandra Yost, Senior Center Program Coordinator, adding a written word component to the existing Center’s programming will “round out opportunities to participate and engage in meaningful interaction” and creative expression.
– The GEF is pleased to announce its grant of $2,000 to Valley Preschool to aid in the purchase of a performance platform for the playground. This open play space will “encourage children to use their imaginations, foster social interactions, and allow teamwork” while further incorporating the Connecticut Preschool Assessment Framework benchmarks into the VPS curriculum. Expected to last ten years or longer, this platform will allow an estimated 700 children and families to imagine and create and perform in a natural, outdoor environment that will extend the school’s learning space. This request was presented by Director Kathy Jackson and Board Chair Kim Becker.
– The GEF is pleased to have provided a grant of $1,500 to benefit Granby fifth grade students who will integrate Language Arts and Social studies during a week-long in-school theater and literacy residency with a teaching artist from Hartford Stage. The Newbury Award winning novel My Brother Sam Is Dead is a story of personal and political conflict in the American Revolution as witnessed by a young man who places freedom before his family. Prior to reading the book, the students explore the central themes of the story through techniques such as improvisation, role-play, tableau, pantomime, and text analysis. The workshop engages students and taps all types of intelligence as the students work as an ensemble to consider character motivations, behavior and consequence. Upon completion of the residency, students read the novel and complete response journals. A past fifth grade teacher stated that “journal entries were detailed, thoughtful, and showed evidence of critical thinking and reasoning at a far more sophisticated level than previous classes.” Teacher Meghan Bavol presented this grant request.
– Granby Memorial High School has received $1,000 toward “Teen Battle Chef”, a leadership, teamwork, and culinary skill building program which teaches nutrition and an appreciation for diverse, healthy, and sustainably produced foods. Two teams of up to six youth collaboratively prepare a recipe from a designated culture, competing with students from area high schools. Students involved in this program present to their peers and members of the Senior Center, and have volunteered time at the Harvest Dinner at Holcomb Farm, utilizing their past program experience and skills to raise money for the Fresh Access program that supplies fresh produce to area social service organizations. This grant was presented by teachers Deborah Jacques, Baokhanh Paton, and Gina Magennis.
– GMHS has also received an additional $950 toward the continued publication of The Paw Print, the student-centered newspaper revived last school year. Per teacher Kelly Price, this publication provides an avenue for authentic learning through the brainstorming, research, writing, and layout collaboration required to publish a periodical. The Paw Print reaches a conservative estimate of 800 people between students, families, faculty, and local businesses.
From Farm To Table
Holcomb Farm Learning Center has received $5,026.40 to build a greenhouse to support farm-based education programs. Through a combination of formal school programs which include Granby, Hartland, and Hartford schools, preschool programs, farm camps, and community events, Holcomb Farm reaches approximately 1900 Granby students, 1350 Hartford students, and 800 local community members. Programs will take students from the planning and planting of gardens, through maintenance, composting, harvest, and preparation of healthy snacks from the produce grown. (Application submitted by Lucy Eyre Lindeyer)
And Then There Were Two…Robotics Clubs
The GEF has awarded Granby Memorial Middle School $1500 to fund Team #3146 Granby Grunts, registered with FIRST, a national program with over 90,000 student participants worldwide. Students work together, along with parent and community mentors, to build a robot in a six week timeframe. Culminating in a competition, this process essentially teaches students to create and run a small business. The “LEGO LEAGUE” program is designed specifically for middle school students, to increase interest in math, science and technology, and “to emphasize the idea of gracious professionalism as a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizing the value of others and respect for individuals.” (Application submitted by teachers Caron Kempf and Ann Buckley)
The GEF awarded $2420 to Wells Road Intermediate School for the supplemental purchase of eInstruction’s hardware and software package “Classroom Performance System” (CPS). The software allows teachers to create curriculum relevant questions, while the radio frequency response pads and receiver unit allow students anonymity as they answer questions; results can be quickly compiled and addressed within the remainder of the lesson, ensuring that no student “leaves the class with an unsettling feeling of the chance of failure or uncertainty or with an inaccurate sense of comprehension.” (Application submitted by Math teacher Rob Faber)
The Art of Welding
The GEF awarded $250 to the AP Art program at Granby Memorial High School for the materials and machine costs associated with a mig welding program. “We are providing the ambitious future artist an opportunity to experience a real working sculpture studio while learning about both welding and plasma cutting.” This program would not have been possible but for the collaborative effort between a dedicated teacher and Mr. Brad McDougall’s donation of time, labor and studio. (Application submitted by AP Art teacher Holly Hecht)
– Statistics indicate that youth between the ages of fifteen and twenty-four watch two hours of television daily, yet read only seven minutes per day for pleasure. Less than one third of thirteen year olds read for pleasure at all. In an effort to enhance the school library environment and encourage pleasure reading, the GEF is pleased to grant $675 toward Wells Road Intermediate School librarian Kathy Waddington’s request for an iPad eReader and its associated capabilities.
– The GEF is pleased to once again support Kelly Lane Intermediate School and Principal Bob Gilbert’s request for funding toward the after school “Destination Imagination” program. Two student teams, with minimal assistance from a teacher coordinator and parent facilitators, work together for months to develop theatrical, structural, improvisational, scientific, or technical responses to challenge questions, problems, and situations. This process fosters creativity, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. A $1,500 grant will assist in volunteer training for team facilitators, materials, and registration for competitions.
– The Art Department and Media Center at Kelly Lane Intermediate School teamed up to turn in a request for $300 to fund materials for a mural in the Media Center. Local artist Kristen Cormier has volunteered her time to create a three panel mural entitled “Wonder of Reading”; students, under the volunteer supervision of Art teacher Katie Ransom, will create panels for each letter of the alphabet which will wind their way around the media center. “Artistic talent will be nurtured and rewarded with public display, and the rest of the student community will forever remember the process of adding art to the beautiful library space.”
The Music program at Kelly Lane received $606.43 for the purchase of a Listening Center for the music room at the request of music teacher Nicole Lucas. Students in grades 3-6 will have the ability to record and self-evaluate musical performances beginning with recorder instruction in third grade and throughout all levels of musical instruction. The listening center will also provide the ability to connect to existing computer equipment allowing interaction with various media and projects.
– The GEF is also plea