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HomeArtsMamaroneck Schools Foundation Announces New Grants

Mamaroneck Schools Foundation Announces New Grants

MHS design, MSF
MHS Design Studio


from The Mamaroneck Schools Foundation

25 grants are announced for the 2016-2017 school year.  The grants, which total $229,940, will have an impact on all six district schools, as well as on the entire community.  Grant funds will be available on April 1, 2016.



Going Digital with English Core Tests    MHS

This grant allows for the purchase of six ebook titles used in 9th and 10th grade English classes. Using the ebook delivery system OverDrive, students would be able to download an ebook version of the text and read on their school-issued iPad or any other preferred device. Titles selected for this grant, including 100 copies of Life of Pi, George Orwell’s 1984, and Narrative of a Slave to be used for whole-class reads and 25 copies of Frankenstein, A Monster Calls, and The Testing used for literature circles. Each of these are books that the District can own in perpetuity, thus there will be future metered payments will be necessary. Using ebooks, students will be able to search for key words, use audiobooks, and text to speech features.


eReading at Central      Central

This grant provides 24 Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 multi-functional tablets as well as 32 new book titles to the Central School library. These tablets would be available for library research and for 4th and 5th grade students to check out as ereaders. Multi-functional tablets can be loaded with e-book content selected by classroom, reading and library teachers, enabling struggling readers to read appropriately-leveled books without fear of any social stigma. As a library tool, the built-in cameras may be used to capture both audio and video. With this tool, students could create video tutorials, book trailers, guided tours, public service announcements and audio book reviews to be added to the library catalogue. The tablets can also be used to access a wide range of online applications to which the District already subscribes, including the ebooks presently available in Central School’s library collection.  The new ebook titles would become part of the library’s collection, and would therefore be available to all Central School students and teachers.


Bilingual Traditional Literature Using Art & Puppetry, Music & Dance      Mamaroneck Avenue

This grant will provide each of the 2nd and 3rd graders at MAS – approximately 250 students – the opportunity to work with Teatro Sea, the only theater and museum in New York City dedicated to the performance of Latin American and Spanish puppetry.  This grant will also fund both the purchase of bilingual and multicultural books and materials to support the culminating production that will be staged for the entire MAS community, as well as a field trip to Teatro Sea’s Little Puppet Museum.  The program will be a critical tool in providing a culturally enriching experience for MAS students through theater arts, music, dance and drama to the traditional literature curriculum. *This grant is partially funded by the Barbara Bennett-Rones Memorial Endowment.


Chatsworth Reads for Recreation and Empowerment    Chatsworth

This grant awards funds for the purchase of high-interest books to increase the students’ options for recreational reading. The books, many of which support the STEAM/Maker movement, encourage reading as a free time activity, motivating students to read in general and increasing their positive feelings about books. Many of the books teach students to do and make new things further promoting positive and productive use of their free time. Increased recreational reading can impact student’s motivation to read in general and increase their positive feelings about books.



MHS-Sheldrake-Iona (MSI) Environmental Research Consortium    MHS

This grant provides funding to initiate a research partnership between Mamaroneck High School, Sheldrake Nature Center, and Iona College Department of Environmental Science.  Specifically, this grant will fund the purchase of specialized research equipment, including microscopes, digital cameras and data loggers and the hiring of Dr. Peter LeTourneau, a professor from Iona College, as a consultant to design the program.  Dr. LeTourneau will work with Mr. Guido Garbarino and students in the Original Science Research (OSR) program interested in ecological and environmental science, to develop projects that are scientifically meaningful and feasible to be carried out locally, at Sheldrake.  At present, there are no local research facilities for students interested in these sciences.  This grant will benefit the OSR program, as well as the students in AP Environmental Science classes, who will have access to the newly purchased equipment.


Augmented Reality Sandbox for Earth Science    Hommocks

Earth Science students at Hommocks will experience topographical map and surface process units in 3-D with the ability to customize and experiment with the effects of changing landforms.  This hands-on digital sandbox, made possible by combining computer imaging with a physical sand-box, will allow students to manipulate sand and easily visualize how landforms are created and altered over time due to many factors, including environmental and climate change.   This grant will foster a multitude of teacher and student directed learning opportunities for thousands of students which will enhance students’ understanding and ability to analyze and predict the impacts of changing landforms.


Enrichment PD in Math for Early Elementary Teachers     Central (primary)/All Elementary

This grant will allow up to 20 teachers in grades K-2 to attend a two-day intensive math workshop designed around the development of number sense and developing routines in early grades. A math consultant from Math in the City will customize each session to support the teachers, curriculum and model-specific teaching strategies used in the Mamaroneck school district, to enrich the teaching of mathematics. Up to ten teachers from Central School, as well as ten additional teachers from the other elementary schools, will participate.



STEAM Experiences for Murray    Murray Avenue

This grant will provide K-5 students with Lego Design Engineering Projects (Lego WeDo Kits, Lego EV3 Core Sets with software) and KEVA Planks with accompanying curriculum. This grant also provides Lego Face-to-Face Training for the computer science and classroom teachers. Building on the district’s new Elementary Computer Science Curriculum, the materials and training provided by this grant will allow for authentic experiences that challenge students in all grades to solve problems using their science, technology, engineering, art, and math skills. The items in this grant will enhance instruction by extending student understanding, requiring them to integrate and apply what they have learned to solve a real life problem. Some examples of how these materials can be used are that Kindergarten and 1st grade students can work 2:1 using Lego WeDo kits; students in 2nd and 3rd grade will study models, designs and machines, 4th grade students will use KEVA Planks to enhance their studies of famous landmarks, as students design, plan and build their own structures, and 5th grade students will extend the lessons taught during the Buehler Challenger Mission to the Moon by building a moon rover using the Lego Design Engineering materials.


STEAM Professional Development for District Art Teachers    All Elementary/Hommocks

This professional development grant awards six art teachers, across all four elementary schools and Hommocks, training by the Adaptive Design Association (ADA).  ADA workshops teach K-8 art teachers innovative ways to use common recyclables and develop curriculum that uses inexpensive and repurposed media.  Circuitry can also be incorporated.  The intent is to broaden the art curriculum in line with the district’s increased focus on STEAM.  This grant also provides the planning time and supplies for teachers to experiment together as well as the supplies to implement their new ideas with students.



eMusic Lab at Hommocks    Hommocks

This grant provides funds for the implementation of an Electronic Music (eMusic) Lab to replace the existing keyboard lab at the Hommocks Middle School.  This grant will expand the current 6th and 7th grade Exploring Music curriculum, as well as serve as a lab for the choir, band and orchestra. In addition, should an 8th grade section of Exploring Music be added, students who would typically not be enrolled in an 8th grade music would have access to this lab.  The eMusic Lab will consist of one iMac and one MIDI keyboard per student, fostering creativity and group learning. Music is played on a synthesizer keyboard and is automatically entered into the computer where students can manipulate it and create their own pieces. Projects will include individual and group compositions, musical arranging, film scoring, commercial/jingle writing, and recording of music, music performance and many others.  The grant also provides for the purchase of Makey Makey devices, which will allow students to design, code, create and perform on their own instruments through electronic coding and composition.  Ultimately, the eMusic Lab allows teachers to tap into what students are doing outside of music class and to increase student engagement.


Lighting System Update for the PACE Program    MHS

PACE puts on nine productions each year, with five of those having extended runs in the evening. This grant will fund the purchase and installation of a new strip lighting system for the MHS PACE Theater. These virtually maintenance-free LED lights project washes of color on the back cyclorama, allowing students to change the look and feel of a piece on stage. Through the use of this higher output/lower power consumption system, the students will have a wide range of colors for use in their theater productions. Training for MHS PACE faculty is also included.


The Art of Exhibiting Art at Chatsworth     Chatsworth

This grant will provide Chatsworth with new, updated art displays.  Specifically, this grant will fund the purchase of new display panels, updated bulletin boards, and art pedestals for 3-dimensional work. Portable walls will allow for more artwork to be featured by student artists around the school building, and some of the bulletin boards, display cases and display strips will be used to replace similar items that are no longer in good working condition. These displays, boards and pedestals will create a gallery setting around the school, and enable the students’ art to be admired and displayed by fellow students and the community. This equipment will be used throughout the year, but in particular, it will enhance the Chatsworth school-wide Art Show, at which over 600 pieces are displayed at one time.


Creating the Moveable Museum at Central    Central

This grant funds the purchase of moveable walls that will allow a gallery-like setting to showcase student artwork throughout the Central School building, in essence creating a “moveable student art museum.”  All members of the Central School community, including parents and administrators, will have access to incredible work that is being created by Central students in the art room. The gallery-like setting will offer reflective opportunities for student viewing and will increase pride and confidence the students undertake in their work. The moveable walls can also be used by all teachers at Central School to exhibit grade level curriculum throughout the school year.


Art Appreciation at Central School    Central

This grant will provide a 2nd grade classroom at Central books and supplies to enable the teacher to implement a holistic art appreciation curriculum.  Students would be exposed to a number of important and historic artists, learn about their works and lives, and then have an opportunity to try creating their own artwork using the techniques employed by the artists they study.  Further connections will be drawn to their science unit on organisms (Georgia O’Keefe) and their geometry work (Picasso).



Irrigation for Central School’s Learning Garden     Central

This grant funds an irrigation system for the Central School garden.  The garden provides a hands-on educational experience for the entire school. Students are provided with a hands-on educational experience that supplements classroom learning, as classes learn about plant life cycle, the benefits of a garden, caring for the environment and the importance of eating a healthy, balanced diet.  Currently, the garden requires a lot of student and parent participation to maintain it and keep the plants watered and healthy. The irrigation system will reduce the amount of time required to maintain the garden, will allow it to be able to be operated year round, and will reduce water usage and consumption.


Native Woodland Project at Central School    Central

This grant supports the transformation of currently unused outdoor space at Central School into a natural woodland habitat featuring native plants and a nature trail.  The ecologically sustainable native woodlands will serve as a vibrant educational resource for students and teachers for natural science, environmental and ecological studies, as well as for writing, art and math-related activities.  Volunteers will provide invaluable assistance in creating this transformative natural habitat. In addition, community members will have opportunities to learn about the importance and benefits of replacing invasive species with more native vegetation that supports the return of native wildlife, such as butterflies and birds.  This project compliments the District’s interest in linking STEAM studies with local ecological resources and will serve the entire Central School population as well as the community.


Murray Meadow:  A Center for Learning and Exploration    Murray Avenue                 Murray Avenue

This grant contributes funding towards the building of an outdoor learning space at Murray Avenue.   The Murray Meadow will have several components, including a pollinator garden, migratory bird habitat, theater-like seating, compost area, and greenhouse extension. The Murray Meadow will provide a cross-curricular learning experience for students in all grades, and will be used for science exploration (life cycles, bird studies, etc.), geography, writing and music presentations, and health and wellness initiatives.  This garden will benefit all teachers, students, and administrators at Murray Avenue, as well as the surrounding community.



Functional Fitness, Movement Screening & Corrective Strategies Training    District

This grant will provide funding for five Physical Education teachers-one elementary, one from Hommocks and three from MHS-to attend a Functional Fitness Training course at the Cooper Institute in Dallas, TX in June 2016. With passage of the bond, the Physical Education staff is preparing for a transformation of the PE space at MHS into a functional fitness space and a re-design of the District’s physical education curriculum away from the traditional sports centric model and towards individual fitness skills and assessment. The training course will help the attending teachers to develop the new curriculum and provide the opportunity to use equipment that may be considered for inclusion in the new PE space at MHS. Upon return from the training, teachers will be able to share what they have learned with the remaining District PE teachers at all schools. The Cooper Institute is highly regarded and, through a previous Foundation grant, District PE and Health staff attended a wellness coaching course there that was very well received.


Standing Desks for MHS’s APPLE Program     MHS

This grant provides 16 standing desks for use across two APPLE Program classrooms. Research touts the benefits for students to stand and move while learning. Benefits include increased focus, retention and engagement while allowing for the release of excess kinesthetic energy. This grant will allow different classroom configurations to accommodate the space availability in various classrooms. The desk are movable and can reconfigured for individual or group learning, as needed. This grant can serve as a pilot initiative for high school learners.


Expanding MHS Robotics     MHS

Last year, a number of MHS students participated in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) and launched the Robotics Club at MHS. This grant will help to expand MHS’s robotics initiative and improve the students’ ability to compete in the FTC by providing the equipment and tools needed to build better, more advanced robots for FTC and other competitions as well as for use in special projects in the engineering, robotics and computer sciences courses at MHS. Items to be provided by this grant include a robot kit, laptop computer, tools to build the robots, as well as workbenches, stools and a storage cabinet.


Podcast/Radio Equipment for MAP Class    MHS

The MAP class at MHS develops an online “newspaper” and blog for news in real-time, called The MAP: The Mamaroneck Associated Press. As part of this class, students tackle different roles of the 21st century journalist: blogger, online reporter, videographer, radio broadcaster, “tweeter”, etc.  The MAP is published through an online site, it also allows students to explore/study and develop the many skills of traditional journalism, both reporting and broadcast. This grant provides funding to purchase equipment to be used to create a radio studio.  Once in place, students will be able to produce radio broadcasts that will be posted on the school website for everyone in the school community to listen to.


The Art of Public Speaking:  Finding One’s Confident Voice    Chatsworth

This grant will provide all 5th grade teachers and students at Chatsworth with professional “public speaking” training. The funding includes a professional development day for all 5th grade teachers, led by a communications specialist and acting teacher, who will educate the teachers in her methods, and will enable the teachers to educate the consultant regarding the specific needs, abilities and experiences of the students. Next, the consultant will provide custom workshops in each 5th grade classroom, teaching voice and diction, as well as eye contact and relaxation. Although public speaking will be a life-long skill, the timing of the consultant’s visits will specifically be designed to work with the children to help them organize, prepare, and practice for their capstone presentations.


Around the World – Interactive Maps at MAS    Mamaroneck Avenue

This grant enables Mamaroneck Avenue School to participate in National Geographic’s Giant Traveling Map Program, as well as to purchase equipment to enhance and engage the students in the Geography curriculum at MAS.  The Giant Traveling maps are oversized vinyl floor maps modeled after maps that appear in the National Geographic: Atlas of the World.  This grant allows for the interactive maps, along with a binder of activities and materials to engage in these activities, to be rented for a 2-week period.  These maps help increase the children’s’ curiosity about world geography and teach map reading skills by incorporating different learning styles in a fun and unique learning experience.  Additionally the grant will also fund the purchase of globes and Atlases for every classroom in the school.



Updating The Globe’s New Home    MHS

Until now, The Globe, MHS’s student-run newspaper, has not had a space of its own. Recently, however, a former classroom was designated for use as its full-time office. This grant helps the students transform this space into a fully functioning newsroom by providing three desktop computers, nine laptop computers and a printer, as well as computer tables and chairs. This equipment will be used by The Globe staff during all phases of producing the newspaper, from writing and editing through designing the layout, and will allow The Globe staff to work in a comfortable, professional environment. This grant will serve the 75 staff members and writers of The Globe, as well as all MHS students, faculty, staff and parents who read and enjoy the newspaper.


Larchmont/Mamaroneck Community Reading Initiative    District/Community

This grant will fund four Little Free Library Kits, hardware and supplies to install these kits, and an initial stock of highly engaging books to create four “libraries” to be set up in various locations throughout the community in places where children spend time. The goal of this grant is to get books into children’s hands in places they spend time in the community so that they engage more often with reading.  Not only will all students in the District have the potential to be served by this grant, but this grant will touch the lives of younger children who will be coming to our schools in future years. An MHS student club will also be formed, and student volunteers will keep this initiative thriving.  After the initial set-up, book drives can be held to restock and add new community libraries. Finally, these libraries will build awareness and a sense of shared responsibility in our community around the importance of independent reading.  *This grant is partially funded by the Diane G. Millstein endowment.

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