The Education Foundation Board of Trustees was pleased to receive three applications with requests totaling $2,436 in its Spring 2020 grant cycle.
After discussion, the Board of Trustees voted to approve all three of these grants. The grants were then approved by the BH-BL Board of Education in June 2020. The grants are as follows:
1. Kelly Farnum & Theresa Moran: Proposal to create and equip two motor/calming spaces at Stevens Elementary School
The school wants to set up a room on the first floor specifically designed as a motor/calming space and an additional similar though smaller room on the second floor. The rooms will be available for use by all students. This grant will be used to purchase a number of sensory, calming and motor tools, such as weighed lap pads, bean bag chairs, gel floor tiles, weighted balls, a peanut-shaped ball, tumbling mat, resistance tunnel, small trampoline, color-changing light cube, stress balls, and filters to attach to ceiling fixtures to create a soothing blue light.
These calming areas can help students take a break and learn to regulate and calm their overactive bodies and minds, and are ideal for all individuals with visible as well as hidden or undiagnosed disabilities.
2. Kate Jones, Danielle Manning & Sarah Weed: Equipment to support the High School Prom Boutique
Since its start in 2017, the High School’s Prom Boutique has helped over 150 girls from BH-BL and from the Charlton School for Girls shop for either the Prom or the Senior Banquet. Girls can shop for free from a selection of over 300 new or gently used dresses, plus shoes and accessories, that have all been donated by community members. The challenge for teachers is to find a way to store and display the dresses for student shopping since it takes hours to unpack and display them now. This grant will pay for plastic coverings for the dresses and a rolling rack for the shoes and accessories.
Teachers expect that the number of dresses donated and the need for dresses will grow, especially in response to the economic crisis brought on by Covid-19. Better storage tools will help preserve the dresses and shoes from year to year so that more girls can enjoy these rites of passage.
3. Sara Verga: Proposal to purchase a motion-activated Wildlife Camera for Pashley Elementary
This grant will purchase a wildlife camera to be used on the grounds of Pashley to take photos and videos of animals during either the day or night. Digital images captured by the camera can be easily shared with students via their chromebook computers. Earlier this year Ms. Verga was able to use a borrowed camera and her 3rd grade class enjoyed viewing images of a skunk, deer, wild turkey, gray fox in addition to typical local birds.
This camera is a powerful enrichment tool to excite and connect pupils visually with local wildlife. They can track wildlife data, compare different seasons of the year, and use this tool to increase their research, math, writing, and science skills.