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 Sedgwick Middle School this year:
BUILDING A BETTER MOUSETRAP: RUBE GOLDBERG CHALLENGE Shannon McNeice, Lead Teacher & Ted Goerner, Trevor Coon, Chris Bombara
Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist who drew wacky inventions reminiscent of the board game “Mousetrap.” With this grant Sedgwick Middle School will be able to purchase 3 copies of each Goldberg Kit for 300 8th grade students. The kits purchased will be The Trick Shot Challenge; The Castle Escape Challenge; The Speeding Car Challenge; The Garden Challenge; The Acrobat Challenge; and the Fly Trap Challenge. These kits and challenges will be especially helpful for students with special needs and English language learners.
Listening to Learn Melody Moore, Lead Teacher & Meghan Gaignard, MaryAnn Swain, Shannon McNeice
With funding from this grant, Sedgwick Middle School with collaborate with the library media specialist to purchase audiobooks to support the 6th grade curriculum. Each English teacher will create a listening center with these audiobooks to be used during reading groups, literature circles and both advisory and learning lab. Each center will allow eight students at a time to listen to a single copy simultaneously. From a range of extracurricular activities, to the unbelievable variety of screen time options, student reading outside of school has been declined over the last several years. The listening stations will provide an alternative approach to help students develop lifelong habits of reading and writing in addition to improving literacy.
State Farm Insurance Agent Mario Russo Grant: STEM in the Makerspace Shannon McNeice, Lead Teacher
This grant will fund the purchase of eight ultimate STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning tool kits called LittleBits to be used as a resource material for all students at Sedgwick Middle School. LittleBIts are small electronic building blocks that can be snapped together to create unlimited circuits allowing students to invent and create almost anything, from a remote controlled car to a smart home device. These kits will be housed in the library media center within the existing space called “Makerspace.” Students will have access to the LittleBits for use before school, during learning labs, and during after school clubs such as the “Makers Club,” as well as be available as a resource for science, math and technology education teachers to use in their classroom to support their curriculum objectives.
Teacher of the Year Finalist Grant ~ Breakout Pamela Matway, Lead Teacher
Breakout EDU is a puzzle system where students use inquiry, thinking and teamwork in order to solve puzzles and open a locked box. Sixth grade students at Sedgwick Middle School will have access to 4 Breakout EDU kits. These student-inspired puzzle kits require students to answer clues based on school subjects in order to obtain a code that provides the key to the next puzzle. Breakout EDU is an opensource website, so there are countless puzzles to challenge students.