Congratulations to the teachers below whose grants were recently approved (March 2019-February 2020 )
FIRST LADY OF THE FOUNDATION GRANTS
These grants recognize Amy Fisher, a cofounder and past honoree of the Foundation. Amy has been instrumental in the Foundation’s successful growth.
Central Elementary School - Teaching Special Thinkers the Language for Thinking and Learning
Ariella Fekete, Kathleen Vargas, Kristy Sheridan, Andrew Scala
This grant allows for the purchase of The Language for Thinking and Language for Learning programs to be used in all of the self-contained Autism classes at Central. Language for Learning provides the building blocks for listening and reading comprehension by teaching the language of instruction. Language for Thinking is an expansion of the skills and concepts taught in Language for Learning, focusing largely on the generalization of language skills.
Central Elementary School - Stem-It! Stem-It! Stem-It Good!
Michele Sperduto, Katie Fabiano, Allie Pimentel
This grant will provide funding for teachers to create learning/play centers for kindergarten students that encourage imagination through STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) learning. The materials in the centers will guide students to discover more about their world through everyday experiences. Through building and sensory experiences, students will be encouraged to ask questions, observe, and explain their ideas in order to enhance the development of discovery.
Memorial Elementary School - Memorial Halls Make Sense
Julie Brain, Christian Semple, Nicole Blazejewski, April Koveleski
Research shows that sensory play builds nerve connections in the brain’s pathways, which lead to a child’s ability to complete more complex learning tasks. Sensory play supports language development, cognitive growth, fine and gross motor skills, problem solving abilities, and social interactions. This grant allows for the creation of a hallway that will be full of sensory activities. This sensory wall will be accessible to the entire school population. It will be introduced as a new tool for all teachers and therapists to use throughout the year.
Warnsdorfer Elementary School - Get Up and Dance
This project will enrich the dance instruction that all fifth graders in the district receive annually. While this current instruction is specific to modern dance, Get Up and Dance will make it possible for students to also experience hip hop, jazz, musical production numbers, etc. They will revisit and explore the various dance methods over the course of the school year and participate in a culminating project combining all of what they have learned.
FIRST LADY OF THE FOUNDATION/NORTHFIELD BANK FOUNDATION GRANT
Funding of this grant in honor of Amy Fisher has been made possible by the generosity of the Northfield Bank Foundation.
Warnsdorfer Elementary School – Rooted in Learning
JoAnn Yonchiuk, Lisa Ruggiero, Marsha Schneider, Kelly Stalling, Amanda Lorfing
The goal of this grant is to introduce fifth-grade students to aeroponics, sustainable farming, gardening and conservation methods that will spearhead a lifetime of globally beneficial and responsible habits. Through the use of a Tower Garden, a vertical, hydroponic growing system, students will grow vegetables, herbs and flowers indoors. This project will directly enhance the fifth-grade science ecosystems and trash power units, as well as meet the New Jersey and Next Generation Science Standards. In addition, it will encompass all areas of the curriculum.
DAVID LLOYD KABUS FOUNDATION MEMORIAL GRANT
On an annual basis, the Kabus Foundation provides a significant donation that will be matched by the East Brunswick Education Foundation. To highlight Dr. Kabus’ love of the sciences, especially in his high schoolyears, this grant is directed to the East Brunswick High School’s Science Department for programs, equipment and materials that advance learning, research and progress in the sciences. Dr. David Lloyd Kabus graduated from East Brunswick High School in 1981. He was valedictorian and won the Bausch and Lomb Science Award. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Summa Cum Laude and graduated from SUNY Buffalo Medical School with honors. After his residency at NYU and fellowship at Sloan Kettering, he joined the Ridgewood Pathology Group where he became a full partner in five years.
East Brunswick High School - Packing for the Next Generation of Science: Reading Packing for Mars in the Honors Physics Classroom
Dianna Eastep, Jonathan Kosinski
The goal of this project is to help students see the connections between all branches of science. By taking a seemingly physics centered project, such as putting a human on Mars and illustrating how all branches of science are involved in making this a reality, this concept will be demonstrated. Funding will allow for the purchase of 100 copies of the book Packing for Mars by Mary Roach. Fridays will be devoted to book club during which time students will discuss the reading assigned for the week and reflect on it in open class discussions. During the week, students will also participate in an online forum with more focused questions to respond to and comment on others’ responses. Initially, this relatively new strategy of using a non-fiction science book (not textbook) to promote science reading in the classroom is to integrate this work into the honors physics classroom, but teachers plan to extend this project into all levels of physics instruction in the future.
VENU MADHAV BANDARU MEMORIAL GRANT
The family of Venu Madhav Bandaru, East Brunswick High School Class of 1989, has generously funded this grant, matched by the East Brunswick Education Foundation. This grant is directed to the Science or Math Departments at East Brunswick High, Churchill Junior High or Hammarskjold Middle Schools.
Hammarskjold Middle School - Let’s Have a Ball with Sphero: Building Physical Science, Engineering, and Computer Science Skills to Help Students Become Well Rounded, 21st Century Prepared Citizens
Grant funds will allow for the purchase of twelve Sphero SPRK+s. Sphero is a versatile robot with a simple interface and a variety of sensors that make it a very useful tool for physical science lessons addressing the MS-P2 Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions standards from the Next Generation Science Standards, as well as the MS-ETS1 Engineering Design standards. Using Sphero through the Spheroedu app, students will be able to create their own code to control the robot’s movements, collect data on the robot’s motion, and apply their computational skills to create a working code to solve a problem. This will dramatically enrich the current paper-based curriculum by increasing engagement and establishing more tangible connections to otherwise abstract concepts.
EAST BRUNSWICK HIGH SCHOOL CLASS OF 1989 MEMORIAL GRANT
The East Brunswick High School Class of 1989 has generously funded this grant, matched by the East Brunswick Education Foundation, on the occasion of their 25 year reunion, in memory of classmates that have passed away.
East Brunswick High School - Teaching & Coaching in the 21st Century: Using Mobile Virtual Player (MVP) Robots to Educate & Increase Safety for EBHS Students and Athletes
The goals of this grant are threefold. The MVP Robot Dummies will become tools that will be utilized by teachers, coaches, students, and athletes to 1.) prioritize proper techniques and safety on the sports field and during physical education classes, 2.) increase and improve the overall ability and skill level of EBHS football student-athletes, and 3.) enhance physical education classes and curriculum.
BLUE RIBBON GRANTS
Central Elementary School – Don’t Walk in the Hallways!
Kim Deacon, Kristy Cognata
Lawrence Brook Elementary School - Sensory Pathway to Success: Incorporating Movement to Improve Focus and Well-Being
Elizabeth Dunn, Erica Magley
These grants will make possible the creation of a sensory pathway in the hallways of both Central and Lawrence Brook Schools. While all students will benefit from the incorporation of these passageways, noteworthy is how truly valuable they will be for children on the autism spectrum who store a lot of their anxiety and energy in their muscles. Sensory pathways are designed to help children use their bodies and environment to calm themselves. Moving around is a way for them to release this energy and stress. Children use their muscles, their breathing, and their spatial awareness as they completely absorb themselves in the pathway. They walk away from it feeling reset and refreshed. Sensory pathways permit students to take a break from the daily routines of a classroom thus allowing them to refocus and reenergize. Teachers will incorporate the trails into their daily routines using them as brain breaks, a way to stimulate students, and/or an incentive for a job well done. These pathways will also promote literacy and math fluency as students are exposed to letters, numbers and patterns along the way. Likewise, these paths will help to develop coordination and reinforce students’ ability to follow directions as they interact with the path.
Irwin Elementary School - Little Readers, BIG Books
Grant funds, will allow for the purchase of big books, accompanying small books, audio recordings, and a storage system. The books will be centrally stored for all primary grades to access and utilize in their classrooms. The big books will be utilized during shared reading, while the smaller versions will be used during small group guided instruction and independent reading. The accompanying small books and audio recordings will also accommodate continuous access to students as they will be able to take them home to further practice their reading.
Chittick Elementary School - Purposeful Outdoor Play
Kimberly Dombrowski, Samantha Meyer, Heather Targonski, Kelly Rosa, Kim Ballack
This grant supports the district’s kindergarten initiative to develop happy, well-rounded children through play-based learning. This grant will help bring this goal of purposeful play out of the classroom and onto the playground. Funding will allow for the purchase of Imagination Playground Blocks which will allow students to engage in constructive, creative, collaborative play.
Bowne-Munro, Central, Chittick, Frost, Irwin, Lawrence Brook, Memorial, Warnsdorfer – Railyard Obstacle Course
Abby Salgado, Eric Myer, Anthony Alexander, Matthew Randall, Alan Grosholz
The vision of East Brunswick’s elementary physical education program is to help children build strength, agility, balance, coordination, endurance, speed, power, flexibility, joint stability and improve posture in a playful, non-competitive program. The Railyard Obstacle Course fully supports this vision, is sure to give children a positive attitude towards exercise, and prepare them for a lifetime of health. The Railyard’s modular design makes it easy to set up and take down, store in a small space, and transport easily from location to location. Funding from this grant will allow for the purchase of two complete systems. Each system will be shared between four elementary schools on a rotating basis.
Warnsdorfer Elementary School - Shine a Light on Little Learners
Jamie Grant, Lise Noppenberger, Sherrie Scott, Michele Reisbord
The goal of this grant is to enhance the kindergarten curriculum through hands-on, multi-sensory activities via the purchase of light tables and a variety of light table manipulatives. Light tables can be used to enhance literacy, math, science, and writing skills in fun and playful ways. Children are naturally drawn to the gentle glow of the light table and will stay there for long periods of time, which is great for stretching those developing attention spans.
Lawrence Brook Elementary School - Not to be Dramatic, but Kindergartners Need to Play
Hetika Shah, Erin Tschopp, Nicole Basile, Cristina Trigillies, Christine Chinchar
Funds from this grant will allow for the purchase of a variety of materials that will support the district wide goal for kindergarten to incorporate more purposeful play into the academic curriculum. Puppets and a puppet theater, blocks and little people, games and toys to encourage collaborative and pretend play are among the many items that will be assimilated throughout the day into all areas of the curriculum. The materials will be stored on a portable cart, making it possible for them to be moved and shared between the kindergarten classrooms.
Central Elementary School – Meeting the Wide Range of Social, Emotional, Educational, and Language Needs of Students
Thanks to a generous donation, materials that will improve students’ daily educational experience will be purchased. These materials were chosen to specifically meet each student’s wide range of social, emotional, educational, and language needs.
Bowne-Munro, Central, Chittick, Irwin, Memorial, Warnsdorfer – Patricia Polacco’s Retirement Tour in East Brunswick (in partnership with Bowne-Munro, Central, Chittick, Irwin, Memorial and Warnsdorfer PTAs)
Stefani Poedubicky, Laurie Lachs
In partnership with the PTAs of these six elementary schools, students will enjoy presentations by renowned children’s author, Patricia Polacco. Polacco’s picture books are frequently used as mentor texts during Readers’ and Writers’ Workshop in grades K-5. Thus students are very familiar with her stories and excited about meeting and hearing from her in person as she brings her stories to life. Funds from the EBEF will pay for twelve presentations, while the PTAs will cover the costs for Ms. Polacco’s travel, overnight stays, and meals.
Central Elementary School – One School One Team: Gooseberry Park (in partnership with the Central PTA)
Funding from this grant will allow for the purchase of 554 copies of the book Gooseberry Park by Cynthia Rylant, one for every student at Central. The school community will read this book together to support the school theme, One School One Team. Other activities associated with the reading of the book include: an assembly put on by the Jersey Shore Animal Center to learn what it means to be a good pet parent and how to care for animals, working together as a school to raise money for a pet shelter and show students what it feels like to help others outside of school, and outdoor team building activities. To wrap up the year of kindness and working together, an arborist will come to speak to the students about the importance of helping to keep their community clean and preserving our natural environment.
East Brunswick High School – Dr. Dish and Swish (in partnership with the EBHS Basketball Booster Club)
This grant will allow for the purchase of a Dr. Dish CT Smart 1 Shooting Machine to be used in a number of ways to help support the student athletes on the basketball teams to improve their shooting skills. This machine will be used almost daily during the season and in the months of preparation leading up to the basketball season. The Dr. Dish machine will also be utilized to help enhance instruction during physical education classes. It will be a great tool with which to differentiate instruction during basketball classes.
Warnsdorfer Elementary School - Creation Station, Furniture Pilot Partnership, Making the Maker Space (three grants, in partnership with the district and an anonymous donor)
Thanks to a large donation, what was at one time Warnsdorfer’s technology lab will be transformed into a maker space. A group of teachers representing each grade level and special curricular area, in consultation with the Engineering/Business/Computer Science Supervisor, will choose selected items for the Creation Station. The layout of the Creation Station, the furniture, and the materials will be selected to provide opportunities for students and teachers to redefine their experience with our curriculum by infusing STEAM activities into their instruction. At the outset, grade-level teacher teams will find at least one area in the curriculum, per semester, to formally use the Creation Station with each class in the school. While the activities will adhere to New Jersey State Learning Standards and the curriculum, these new activities will redefine the way that the standards are taught. For example, second-grade students can create maps showing rural, suburban, and urban communities. Third-grade students will enrich their exploration of circuits. Fourth-grade students will create videos comparing the structures and behaviors of three organisms and their distinct habitats. Fifth-grade students will construct and use simple machines in innovative ways. The space will also include a video production studio that will greatly enhance students’ experience in producing daily, morning announcements through Warnsdorfer’s Video Newsmakers club. The video and sound equipment will also be used by students in music classes and productions. In addition to the sound and video equipment and furniture, items for purchase include a 3-D printer, engineering and STEAM materials, functional storage spaces, and interactive maker-learning walls.
Churchill Junior High School - RU 2 EB: A Day with Todd Nichols, Associate Director of University Bands and Director of Athletic Bands, Rutgers University (in partnership with the Churchill PTA)
Todd Nichols currently serves as the Associate Director of University Bands and Director of Athletic Bands at Rutgers University, the result of a career filled with multiple accolades throughout New Jersey and the United States. This grant will serve as a stipend to have Mr. Nichols visit Churchill Junior High School as a guest clinician to share his expertise with the student musicians in the Freshman Band during the spring semester.
Frost Elementary School - Mathematics+Literature+Technology=Learning (in partnership with Frost PTA)
Theresa Vetricin, Sharon Price, Vickie Albert
When you combine math, literature, and technology children will get a powerful and authentic learning experience. The program, Math Reads, will be purchased with grant funds with the goal being to enhance Frost’s kindergarten, first, second, and third-grade math curriculum. Literature is the ideal vehicle to help students see how math is used in the real world and in their daily lives. Reading books that integrate mathematical ideas into engaging stories helps eliminate the myth that math is unimaginative and inaccessible. Learning through technology is also at the forefront of education today. This program, with its eBook component, provides an opportunity for students to read, think, and process information via technology. Students will be able to listen, view, create, problem-solve, communicate and act out stories.
Bowne-Munro, Central, Chittick, Frost, Irwin, Lawrence Brook, Memorial, Warnsdorfer, Hammarskjold Middle, Churchill Junior High, East Brunswick High Schools - Taking Diversity off the Shelf (in partnership with all eleven PTAs)
Kelli Velez, Jessica Loux
The East Brunswick Public School community includes families from countries across the globe. This diversity is evident at every school in every grade level. “Opportunities that give our students mirrors to see themselves in books and windows to offer students a perspective on other peoples’ experiences, especially communities who have historically been marginalized or oppressed in fiction and non-fiction texts must be provided,” (Rudine Sims Bishop). The goal of this grant is to expand teacher read aloud options and book club selections for students in grades K-12 to include more culturally diverse, contemporary titles from authors of various cultural backgrounds.
Frost Elementary School – Learning From the Past, Looking to the Future
Lisa Barry, Emma Rackmil, Jeff Bravman, Samantha Ferreira
This grant will provide an opportunity for students to specifically study the important events in the Civil Rights movement in New Jersey in the 1960s. A Time for Change, an interactive museum program curated by the African American Heritage Museum and created in conjunction with professors and students at Stockton University, will be brought to Frost School with funding from this grant. A group of upper elementary students will learn the content and then they will engage in leadership roles as they teach the content out to third, fourth and fifth-grade students.
Bowne-Munro Elementary School - Uke Can Make Music
Funds from this grant will allow for the purchase of one class set of ukuleles, along with a storage rack. The Ukulele is one of the most ideal instruments for teaching and learning music. One class set will allow every student to have an instrument during music class to play. Students will learn important musical concepts and skills using this hands-on tool.
Warnsdorfer Elementary School - Strum One, Strum All
Dr. Renee Soccodato
Through group ukulele instruction, students will learn a variety of music education terms and music theory concepts, such as pitch, rhythm, harmony, counting, expression, ensemble work, and reading music. In addition to a class set of ukuleles, funds are included to provide for a visiting instructor for all fourth graders once a month.
Churchill Junior High School – The Butterfly Effect
Kathy Merton, Edith Weinstein
The Butterfly Effect is a kindness initiative that embodies the spirit of giving back to the community and the world, one person at a time. The goal of this project is to make a positive mark by spreading kindness and affecting change locally or globally. Each student who volunteers for this opportunity will research a cause, present it to both advisors, and set his/her project in motion. Once a project is approved, students will be given a $50 dollar butterfly grant to make their idea become reality. Participants will have to keep track of where the money was spent, the outcome, and produce a reflective piece at the end about a butterfly. A specific area in the school will be designated for students to hang all their butterflies to show the rippling effect that kindness has on themselves and others.
Irwin Elementary School – Experimenting with Literacy in the Science Classroom
The goal of this grant is to pair science with literacy. This special donation will allow for the purchase of expository non-fiction science books. Books with a focus on science written more like a story will motivate students to learn about, engage in, and understand science in new and exciting ways.