The Bedford Education Foundation (BEF) has announced $5,900 in grants for its fall cycle, benefiting scores of students in all four schools.
As noted on its website, “the BEF is dedicated to enhancing classroom curricular creativity and innovation” in the schools.
Noelle Ellen, a grade four teacher at Lane School, received the largest fall grant: $3,500 for a narrative writing workshop by children’s author Jack Gantos. The program will involve all fourth graders.
According to the foundation’s announcement, “The goals of the visit are to inspire students to tell their stories, to teach them that the ideas they seek are living within and around them.” The workshop also will highlight the connection that writing has to reading.
Gantos’s website reports that he has made more than 1,000 presentations all over the world, “teaching students how to tell their own stories.” His book Writing Radar is replete with tips for young people on writing stories.
“His first book of ‘Jack Henry’ stories was inspired by his own childhood journals,” according to the tongue-in-cheek biography on the website, which also explains, “The seeds for Jack’s writing career were planted in sixth grade, when he read his sister’s diary and decided he could write better than she could.”
The foundation is underwriting another author’s visit: Massachusetts resident Laura Hatosy. The librarian at Bedford High School, Christy Walker Magoon, received a $500 grant for the program aimed at 10th grade English and social studies classrooms.
Hatosy’s appearance is timed for Jan. 27, which the United Nations General Assembly has designated International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Hatosy’s young-adult work of historical fiction, Drawn from Memory, is set in Denmark during World War II.
Other BEF grant recipients were:
- Laura Albonesi – on behalf of the special education team at Davis School – $1,100 to procure classroom decodable readers. “These will assist with the reading process by providing more access to books that match students’ specialized instruction, and allow them to feel successful in their general-education settings,” according to the foundation’s announcement.
- Kim Limoli, skill center teacher at John Glenn Middle School, $610 to purchase play materials that help students engage in learning. The items – mini-basketballs, beanbags, toss games – are used in games that “allow students to better access the curriculum through kinesthetic, visual, and auditory learning modalities,” according to the BEF.
- Julie Sutton, literacy specialist at Davis School, $225 to acquire a game library designed to help students practice reading and writing skills. The multi-sensory games, designed to be low stress and highly engaging, will be shared among all of the literacy specialists at Davis.
The BEF grant announcement said that since the foundation was organized in September 2008, it has funded more than $312,000 in projects.
More information about the BEF and opportunities to get involved as a volunteer are available by writing [email protected].