The Foundation's mission is to provide financial support for educational projects, programs, and initiatives that will enhance and enliven the classroom experience and promote excellence in West Hartford Public Schools.
The Foundation raises funds from individuals, businesses, and civic groups in the community as well as alumni nationwide. Gifts of $1,000 or more entitle the donor to honor an individual, business or civic group by having the Foundation name a grant. Once a year, certified teachers throughout the school district are invited to apply for grants ranging from $200 to $3,000 for a project that will enhance student experience, complement the curriculum and demonstrate educational merit. A Foundation committee reviews the applications with the teacher's name and school removed. After approval by the Foundation board, awards are presented in late spring of each year.
For more information or to apply for a grant, visit The Foundation's webpage HERE.
Click here to purchase notecards created by West Hartford Public School Students to support the Teacher Grant Program.
Grants Awarded to Charter Oak this year:
Birds of Prey Adrianne Giammatteo, Lead Teacher & Nora Brown, Michelle Florence
This grant funds a program at Charter Oak International Academy presented by Wingmasters - a partnership dedicated to increasing public understanding and appreciation of birds of prey. Julie Ann Collier will share her knowledge in a demonstration, for all third graders at Charter Oak International Academy, using at least five live, rehabilitated raptors including eagles, hawks, falcons and owls. As a result of this experience, students will write about their opinions in order to share their new learning and encourage others to save the habitat of these birds.
B.R.A.G. Creative Marketing Grant: Writing and Illustrating as Inquiry Kirsten Sanderson, Lead Teacher
This grant will help third grade students see the connection between visual arts and writing with the guidance and instruction of Rick Labadia. 285 students in grades K-3 at Charter Oak International Academy will create a variety of writings and illustrations focused on one genre of writing related to the English language arts curriculum. The students will publish their work in both traditional and digital format and share their publications with teachers, peers and families at the school’s annual Inquiry Gallery.
Dr. Scott & Cyndi Brown Family Grant: A Trip to the United Nations Montse Rich, Lead Teacher
In this unique experience, 70 students in the 5th grade from Charter Oak International Academy will be able to visit the United Nations in New York City. The students will learn how the United Nations deals with issues such as promotion of human rights, disarmament, peacekeeping and sustainable development. The students will see remnants of the nuclear explosions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and will also have an opportunity to view a briefing by a UN representative on a specific topic. These students will also participate in a human rights forum with high school students to extend their learning.
Experiencing Science Kirsten Sanderson, Lead Teacher
This in-residence grant supports bringing Mike Caouette to provide 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students at Charter Oak International Academy with an enhanced science experience related to their International Baccalaureate science units. Grade 3 students will be provided with six one-hour sessions where they will perform experiments exploring their unit on forces and motion as well as states of matter. In this grade, Mike will aid exploration of Newton’s three laws of motion as well as the four common states of matter. Fourth grade students will experience nine one-hour sessions with Mike's enhancing their units on rocks and minerals as well as light and sound. Specifically, Mike will aid in experiments illustrating the properties of 16 minerals and ore samples and learn about light and sound as forms of energy. Finally, the 5th grade will experience six 90-minute sessions enhancing their units on electricity and magnetism and optics. Mike will help students conduct experiments related to circuits, batteries and bulbs as well as learn about the optics of the human eye and create a “Camera Obscura”, a model human eye they can bring home and share with their families.
Goldbeck Family Grant: Red, Clear to Brown... What's on the Ground? or in the Bucket? Randi Leopold, Lead Teacher & Martina Cravedi (Smith), Elizabeth Cannone (Charter Oak), Nichola Dustin (Charter Oak), Cindy Barron (Charter Oak)
The Red, Clear and Brown grant will take a large number of pre-kindergarten children to the 4-H Auer farm twice during the school year. 112 Pre-K children at Webster Hill, Smith, and Charter Oak Elementary Schools will travel once in the fall and once in the spring. The fall “Apples & Apple Trees” will show students the fall time in the environmental cycle and what happens to trees and leaves. In the spring the “Maple Sugaring” trip to the farm will give students hands-on learning of the sugaring process.
Macca Plumbing & Heating Grant: Playful Learning with the Playhouse Kirsten Sanderson, Lead Teacher
Kindergarten students at Charter Oak International Academy will have the opportunity to hone their presentation skills while learning about basic acting, narrative structure and puppet making, all culminating in a visit to Playhouse on Park. In this residency, students will work with Playhouse on Park staff for four one-hour sessions, leaning basic acting and performing their original puppet shows for classmates and guests. In anticipation of a visit to Playhouse on Park, students will also participate in a 30- minute pre-show workshop at their school allowing them to learn about theater and participate in basic acting activities. Finally, they will travel to Playhouse on Park to see the play “Elephant and Piggie’s We Are in a Play!” based on Mo Willems’s award-winning book. This program will help students find creative ways to talk about themselves, a kindergarten unit and part of the IB theme “How we express ourselves.”
Pauluk Family Grant: Passport to World Music Melissa Zych, Lead Teacher
This musical journey will offer a wide variety of authentic, cultural and hands-on musical hands-on experiences. 365 Charter Oak International Academy students from all grades will meet Colleen CaseyNelson and will work in collaboration with this music instructor who will integrate music into the classroom themes and learning through language arts, math, social studies and science. For example, students will experience the lost music of Afghanistan by exploring the lost themes of human rights, social justice and government.
Roots of Government Gina Navarra, Lead Teacher & Rebecca Behlman
To align with the 4th grade social studies unit of study on Connecticut government, and to expand background knowledge, students from Charter Oak International Academy will participate in hands-on discovery activities and role-playing at the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford as well as a visit to the State Capitol to meet with local government representatives and to tour the building. As a result of this project students will be able to investigate, reason, critique and communicate about the role of government in our state. They will understand their rights and responsibilities as citizens.