The following is from the Arlington Education Foundation.
The Arlington Education Foundation (AEF) has awarded $29,000 in “Innovations in Education” and “Development and Expansion” grants benefiting all levels of the Arlington Public Schools.
“Innovations in Education” Grants
AEF’s “Innovations in Education” grants support innovative teaching and learning projects in classrooms and schools. In May, AEF awarded five grants for stimulating new math and arts projects across the Arlington Public Schools. According to Rebecca Steinitz, AEF’s president, “We were thrilled to receive so many strong arts proposals. The arts provide an invaluable way for students to learn and it is so exciting to be funding programs across the arts, including theater, textiles, music and film.”
This spring’s grants include:
- Weaving Understanding - Past and Present, – The purchase of a Japanese SAORI handloom will support the social studies curriculum for Thompson second, third and fourth graders and their host schools.
- Film Festival – Fourth graders will inaugurate the Hardy School Film Festival by making short movies based on Hardy's core values.
- Integrated Theater Initiative – A year-long intensive program of curriculum-based drama workshops will bring theater to every classroom.
- Music Therapy in Preschool Classrooms, – Music therapy classes and collaboration with a music therapist will help teachers meet the social and educational needs of all their general and special education students.
- Mining Think Tank as a Resource for Math RTI, – Teachers will be trained in using Think Tank (a math enrichment resource funded by AEF) to support the math curriculum for all students.
“AEF’s grant gives us an exciting opportunity to use music therapy as an innovative and creative way to deliver differentiated instruction to our students,” said Kerrianne Simoneau, director of Menotomy Preschool.
“Development and Expansion” Grants
AEF’s “Development and Expansion” grants support the development of new educational strategies at the school or district level. In March, AEF awarded the a grant to purchase five class sets of electronic student response systems and provide pedagogical training on using them. These systems allow students to respond anonymously to teacher questions so that teachers can stay abreast of student understanding, build on that understanding and address misconceptions in a timely fashion.
“Student response systems are an ideal tool for implementing data driven best practices in instruction. They promote immediate feedback, capitalize on peer interaction and engage all students in active learning. We’re extremely grateful to AEF for supporting the district’s roll-out of this innovative technology,” said Stacy Kitsis, Arlington High School’s library media specialist.
In addition, AEF awarded a STEM curriculum grant that will continue the roll-out of the Museum of Science’s “Engineering is Elementary” curriculum in Arlington’s elementary schools by expanding the program to the third grade. This grant will also support Arlington’s adoption of the new Common Core Standards in science, which will be finalized and released later this year.
AEF works to support and advance public education in Arlington, Mass. AEF funds system-wide initiatives and creative new projects to enhance the educational experiences of Arlington’s teachers and students. In fiscal year 2012, AEF awarded nearly $100,000 in grants to the Arlington Public Schools. AEF’s next “Innovations in Education” grant cycle closes Nov. 15. For more information on AEF’s current and past grants, visit www.arlingtoneducationfoundationma.org.