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Needham Education Foundation awards $29,000 in grants

Posted by Your Town  April 30, 2009 07:45 PM

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The Needham Education Foundation on Thursday announced the winners of its latest grants, awarding eight grants that total just over $29,000.

In all, the the foundation has given 20 grants worth $83,459.60 this year. The NEF also urged
Needham residents to contribute to the NEF by giving $1.00 when they check out groceries at Roche Bros. and Sudbury Farms until Sunday, May 3, 2009. More information can be found at the foundation website.

According to the NEF press release, here are the Spring recipients:

1. Dancing Wheels. Eliot & Hillside. $2,300.

”Dancing Wheels” is an interactive dance and awareness program that integrates professional stand-up and sit-down (wheelchair) dancers. This grant will fund performances for all students at both Hillside and Eliot introducing them to integrated dance and teaching them about accessibility issues and the challenges faced by people with disabilities in the arts and in everyday life.

2. Food For Thought Collaboration. Mitchell. $4,525.

To connect with NPS District Goal #3, Mitchell School has developed a Student Learning Task Force to look at service learning opportunities for students. Mitchell School will partner with the Trustees of the Reservation to develop and maintain a Community Garden. The produce will be donated to local food banks. Lessons will also be developed to make connections between this garden project and the existing curriculum for Grades 2-4.

3. Room to Read: A School & Community Commitment to Educate the World's Children. Eliot. $2,450.

This grant will help launch the development of a service learning project using the “Room to Read” foundation as a catalyst to help students explore and understand world issues and offer them an opportunity to take action. In addition to students learning about other countries, they will complete reading challenges to raise money to purchase books for libraries in “Room to Read” nations.

4. Learning Programming Using Robotics. NHS. $4,479.

The “Introduction to Computer Programming” course at NHS will be upgraded to incorporate the Lego Mindstorm NXT robots and software which will provide students the opportunity to learn innovative programming while manipulating a robot. This upgrade will help students connect computer programming to the types of programming that they use in their own lives.

5. STRIVE for Success: Making Connections from the Classroom to the Community. NHS. $2,500.

Grant funds will provide for the development of individualized curricula for students who require a broad range of personal, social, cognitive and environmental skills to transition from school to independent living.

6. Moving Melodies Educational Theatre: "Feel the Music Inside You. Let it Out." NECC (at Newman). $4,641.60

This grant funds a partnership between Creative Movement of Needham and the Early Childhood Center (the preschool located at Newman) to enhance the learning of our youngest students through movement and music.

7. Getting Science Materials in Children's Hands: Science Center Inventory & Data Project Phase 2. Science Center. $4,995.

This grant represents Phase II of a Science Center Project to inventory and catalog the vast collection of materials housed at the Science Center. In this Phase, the contents of the Science Center will be bar-coded and logged in an online database to allow teachers to “check out” the Science Center materials. With this new system, teachers will be able to find the specific resources needed to enrich the science curriculum

8. High Rock Inaugural Class of 2016 Creating A New School Community. High Rock. $3,300.

Three activities planned by the High Rock Transition Steering Committee will be supported by this grant. They include an art installation; an inaugural class photograph; and the beginnings of an annual banner project, all activities are geared towards the development of a class identity.

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