Your Donation Dollars at Work
Each year, the BHEF offers teachers and administrators the opportunity to apply for grants that support innovative and creative educational programs as well as technology and equipment in the Berkeley Heights Public Schools. Grant applications are distributed to all teachers and administrators in the spring, and the BHEF meets with school staff to review the grant process. Applications are due in October and the BHEF awards grants in November. The BHEF funded about $25,000 in grants for the 2017-2018 school year, as described on the In The Schools page.
In the 2017-2018 school year, the Berkeley Heights Education Foundation awarded the following grants:
- Economic Decision Program: Third grade students will learn about budgeting through the use of spending, sharing, saving, and investing, allocation jars. Grant awarded to Gina Holzmann.
- Interactive Weather Station Assemblies: Meteorologist, John Marshall, will bring an interactive weather station which will teach students in grades 3-5 about weather instruments and allow them to become forecasters for the day. https://johnmarshallweather.com/weather-tour-info/. Grant awarded to Carla Pastore.
- Full STEAM Ahead: Books and materials for the application of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math concepts in 4th grade library classes through exploration of construction and function of kites, robots, and roller coasters. Grant awarded to Marilyn Merrill.
- Explore learning Gizmos: A subscription for all students to Gizmos, web based interactive science simulations provided by ExploreLearning. https://www.explorelearning.com/. Grant awarded to Christina Froehlich.
- Audio Distribution Sound Systems: 4 Redcat Access classroom audio systems (one per grade) to improve instructional effectiveness by delivering highly intelligible speech throughout the entire classroom. https://www.lightspeed-tek.com/product/redcat/. Grant awarded to Michele Gierriero and Marie Pellegrini.
- STEAM Museum: This interactive program includes a minimum of 10 hands-on exhibits set up around the all purpose room for the day (eg. Build an Arch, 3D Printer, Friction Raceway, Humanoid Robot, Bike Generator, Programmable Robots). http://www.mobileedproductions.com/steam-museum. Grant awarded to Kelly Murray.
- Pet Therapy: Pet Therapists will visit ABA classrooms twice per month during regular class time as well as during students’ reverse inclusion times to help decrease stress and anxiety levels as well as help with development of social skills http://www.ccpettherapy.org/. Grant awarded to Nicole Sacci and Cherie Verzi.
- Video Scalers: 4 video scaler/cross converter units for use in the GLTV Studio and remote trailer to enable utilization of HD computerized graphics, conversion of existing cameras to a digital signal, and addition of inputs to existing video switchers (such as the ability to use computers and other HD sources) that cannot currently be utilized. http://www.fullcompass.com/prod/276196-Decimator-Design-MD-HX. Grant awarded to Joe Voorhees.
- Hydroponic Systems: QUEST students will explore and develop hydroponic systems for growing plants. Grant awarded to Andrea Masri.
- Don’t Press Send: Assembly program for all fourth and fifth graders, and an evening parent presentation, to help teach strategies for engaging in careful and kind online communication. https://www.dontpresssend.org. Grant awarded to Jessica Nardi.
- Fitness Equipment: An elliptical trainer, an upright bicycle, and a recumbent bicycle to expand inclusion of ABA students, students with disabilities, students with injuries, as well as general students in physical education curriculum. Grant awarded to Vin Gulbin.
- Magnetic Boards for Tumble Trax: 4 magnetic whiteboards to enable the use of existing Tumble Trax Magnetic Marble Run sets by 3rd grade students to explore force and motion science concepts. Grant awarded to Karen Calabrese.
- Only One You: Books, paints and materials to support the project: After reading and discussing the book, each student will paint a rock to look like a fish, and these “fish” will then be displayed together in a “stream” on school grounds. https://www.amazon.com/Only-One-You-Linda-Kranz/dp/1589797485 http://www.tristatehomepage.com/news/local-news/unique-rocks-help-students-stand-out/715162510. Grant awarded to Diana Bjorge, Christine Ekert, Sharon Lovit, Caryn Panarese, and Carol Scales.
- Wireless Audio System: Wireless audio system for the multi-purpose room including microphone and cable systems, amplifier, and mixer board, to enhance school and community programs and presentations that are held in the space Frank Geiger (with student Aidan English).
- Wonderbuilding: 50 Wonderboard Junior Architect tile kits and a set of children’s architecture books for students to explore and create designs for tree houses, haunted houses, private homes, cityscapes and foreign dwellings. https://store.schoolspecialty.com. Grant awarded to Jennifer Hanselman.
- Mobile Robotics Lab: Lego Mindstorm expansion kits for the growing Robotics club to build more complex robots. https://education.lego.com/
To highlight some grants from previous years, please note this small subset of the items and programs Berkeley Heights Education Foundation has sponsored:
- AlphaBetter desks and stools– The AlphaBetter Desk allows students to stand or sit while working, enabling the student who naturally fidgets to release energy and better focus on classroom activities. (awarded to Marie Pelligrini of Mountain Park School)
- Ukuleles – A classroom set of ukuleles, cases, and musical tools to implement teaching the instrument to all 5th grade students across the 3 elementary schools. (awarded to Stephanie Spano of Hughes, Mountain Park, and Woodruff schools)
- Lifecycles teaching tools – Third grade students experience the life cycles of ladybugs, frogs, and butterflies right before their eyes! (awarded to Gina Holzman of Mountain Park school)
- Digital microscope – Boom mounted digital microscope that will link to the Promethean Board, along with set of 100 biological specimen slides including plants, insects, and animal tissues. (awarded to Carla Pastore of Mountain Park School)
- iPad magnifier lenses – Two full classroom sets of clip-on microscope lenses for iPads to be used in Biology and Science Elective coursework. (awarded to Lisa Dhaibar, Greg Dunkerton, Matt Dailey, Lara Mendenhall, and Jim Rutzler of GL High School)
- Audio / Video conferencing equipment – Video conferencing and audio/video presentation equipment for the Stieffl Theater (awarded to Joe Voorhees of GL High School)
- Precision iPad stylus pens – Making extraordinary contour line drawings on the iPad will now be possible with this classroom set of precision iPad stylus pens. (awarded to Neal Korn of GL High School)
- Frog Dissection and Cell Structure iPad applications – With a classroom set of application licenses, 7th grade science students will be able to use hands-on iPad applications to analyze and identify organs associated with different body systems and the structure of different types of cells (awarded to Marcie McLaughlin and Pamela Wilczynski of Columbia Middle School)