Grants by Year
NEW GRANTS AWARDED FOR THE 2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR
The Mamaroneck Schools Foundation is pleased to announce funding of the following slate of 18 grants for the 2020-2021 school year. The grants, which total $244,613, will have an impact on all six district schools, as well as on the entire community.
LITERACY AND LANGUAGE ARTS
Feeding Our Future through Community Partnerships; All MUFSD Schools
Ensuring Book Access for All Families
Grantees: Kelsey Cohen, Olivia Bridges
Research indicates that access to books at home is a predictor of reaching achievement, specifically in terms of the development of children’s vocabulary, background knowledge, and reading comprehension. This grant aims to build home libraries in low-income households and support families to establish healthy reading habits in partnership with the Hunger Task Force Food Pantry and the Community Resource Center. Specifically, a Little Free Library will be curated at the Community Resource Center for families to draw from to build home libraries in English and Spanish; the library collection will range from bilingual cloth and board books to SAT study guides. Student Literacy Ambassadors from Mamaroneck High School will organize, monitor, and refresh the library on a monthly basis. In addition, book bundles tied to specific literacy objectives will be handed out by the Student Literacy Ambassadors during food pantry distributions every other month. Through both of these activities, Student Literacy Ambassadors will be able to reach, get to know, and support these families in our community – many of whom have or will have students in our District schools.
ART, MUSIC AND THE PERFORMING ARTS
PACE Guest Artists and Master Classes Mamaroneck High School
Grantees: Allison Parsley, Zachary Moore
This project will bring in two different companies, StageDoor Productions and the New York Neo-Futurists, to run a series of workshops and performance opportunities for all students involved in the PACE curriculum. With StageDoor Productions, the students will participate in three different workshops run by actual cast members and production crew from the same current Broadway show, one each in dance, music and theater. This experience will culminate with a trip to see the show live on Broadway. The New York Neo-Futurists will run a series of 2 workshops, where students will act as playwrights, writing in the style of the company- personal and close to the heart. The Neo-Futurists company will then perform a play for the students on the evening of the second day, an original work that attempts to shift the conventions of live performance and speak to audiences unreached or unmoved by traditional theater.
State-of-the-Art Kiln for Modern Ceramics Mamaroneck High School
Grantees: Michael Dollar, Adam Rizzuti
This grant will provide a state-of-the-art, computer/WiFi-controlled kiln to enhance the continued development of the Ceramics Curriculum. This kiln uses the latest technology designed to economically and efficiently fire the necessary temperature while using less power. It will provide significantly better heat retention, require less energy, reduce electricity costs and extend the life of the elements. The advanced technology allows the kiln to cool more slowly which yields better glaze results. It is a fully programmable kiln which can be monitored from an app with both preset and customizable programs, allowing students to experiment with new firing techniques and different glaze effects.
Bringing the Music Outdoors Chatsworth School
Grantees: Erica Zimmerman, Denise Meltzer
This grant provides for the purchase and installation of three extra-large, outdoor, weather safe musical instruments on the grounds of Chatsworth Elementary School: a full set of Vibra Chimes, a Vivo Metallophone and a set of Grandioso Chimes. These instruments will continue to inspire the love of music while making creation effortless and fun. In addition, they will reinforce elements of the music curriculum and provide opportunities for outdoor general music classes. Outdoor instruments will also provide opportunities for the Band curriculum by offering new percussion lessons and percussion ensemble performances on the playground. Most of all, the instruments will be available to all students as well as the greater community and public.
A Global and Modern Expansion of Percussion at HMX Hommocks
Grantees: Jeremy Franze, Dina Madden, Amanda Gundling, Andrew Sussman, James Mullen, Kate Stocker, Leon Whyte, Matthew Hilgenberg, Sean Gillen
The Hommocks Music Department is implementing a new curriculum across the entire department to provide students with improved, innovative and new authentic learning experiences that focus on cultural understanding, a deeper understanding of multicultural traditions and composition through drumming. The World Music Drumming curriculum creates learning opportunities in which students gain a better understanding of rhythm, music and ensemble playing while they learn about other cultures, places and societies. This grant will provide the new percussion equipment and instruments needed for the World Music Drumming curriculum to be used across the entire Hommocks music department.
STUDENT, TEACHER AND COMMUNITY ENRICHMENT
Planting SEEDs for Social Justice Mamaroneck High School
Grantee: Sarah Silverman, Annie Ward
The National SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) Project is based on the implementation of monthly peer-facilitated seminars to help teachers, families, administrators, counselors and other members of the school community engage in structured conversations about equity and diversity. This grant will provide funding for MHS teacher Sarah Silverman to attend the SEED New Leaders Week during Summer 2020 and then to implement the SEED program in Mamaroneck during the 2020-21 school year. The goal will be to engage participants in exploring our community’s diversity critically to understand privileges and disadvantages, with the goal of creating more inclusive, welcoming spaces for our diverse students and staff.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT/STAFF ENVIRONMENT
Distress Tolerance and Emotional Problem Solving Hommocks
at the Secondary Level
Grantees: Nora Mazzone, Daneen Payne
Stress, anxiety and associated dysregulated behavior are rising across the nation’s schools, and Mamaroneck is no exception. The District has taken great efforts to address this by introducing Social-Emotional Learning in all six schools and providing support to students through weekly behavior dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) groups. This grant will further these efforts by training general education teachers in the non-clinical application of DBT skills, helping our District to maintain, expand, and increase the effectiveness of DBT interventions. The grant will provide for a one-day training for 25 people in implementation of DBT skills within the general education setting, as well as the curricular materials that can be shared widely through the District.
Image, Sound & Story Professional Development All Elementary Schools
Grantees: Jennifer Wiesner and Jesse Dancy
The Jacob Burns Film Center developed Image, Sound and Story, a curriculum of 10 projects based on literacy concepts, to help prepare teachers to integrate viewing and creating media into their literacy instruction and classroom culture. These projects help students develop communication and collaboration skills by expanding their reading, writing, speaking and listening practices. Building on an existing relationship between the Jacob Burns Film Center and Mamaroneck Avenue School, this grant will extend this relationship across all four elementary schools. Thirty educators – including third grade classroom teachers, computer teaching assistants, the literacy coach and the elementary technology coach -- will attend two-day professional development programs. They will receive online access to all of the JBFC curricular materials and support throughout the school year for successful integration of the curriculum. All third grades will also have access to a one-day field trip at JBFC, including a film screening and session with a JBFC educator. Finally, the grant will support MUFSD becoming a school partner with Jacob Burns, giving all District educators access to a range of training and curricular support materials.
Feature Films for Education Mamaroneck High School
Grantees: Juliana Zalon, Linda Sherwood
This grant provides a one-year subscription to two movie streaming services in support of the Art of Film elective class, as well as other courses that show films as part of their literature curriculum. The “Feature Films for Education” film streaming collection offers students access to hundreds of full-length modern and classic films – the best Hollywood has to offer. The collection significantly expands the curriculum by providing access to a far greater range of films than the classroom DVD libraries currently provide. This service also eases the process of viewing film clips, allowing students and teachers more time to engage with the films during class. The grant also provides the “World Film” service, giving students access to the films from home and making it easier to complete homework. This grant fully supports the district’s vision to be on the forefront of creating impactful and innovative learning by more easily harnessing the storytelling power of film as a tool to engage and inspire students.
Chatsworth Media Arts Studio Chatworth Elementary School
Grantees: Laura Brune, Michelle Arango
The Chatsworth Media Arts Studio is a shared “breakout” space between the Chatsworth library and art room that physically connects these two spaces. Designed as a collaborative learning space that combines media arts, fine arts and literacy, the Media Arts Studio is a place where students will learn by doing, enabling and encouraging team work, problem solving and critical thinking while improving students’ understanding of knowledge, connecting them to literature and helping them create personal meaning. The Chatsworth Media Arts Studio grant helps outfit the studio with unique arts media and tools, Ipad accessories and mobile and flexible furniture that directly support this creative effort. Some examples of Media Arts Studio projects that will be undertaken using the items provided by this grant include making puppets that reenact stories; a variety of videography work from recording and editing videos, digital drawing and animation to recorded book trailers and book talks; creating claymation versions of stories; sewing props and costumes to use in dramatizations; book and button making; constructing 3D sculptures; initiating graphic design projects and more. As students explore, make literacy connections and conceive of projects in different and exciting media, they have an opportunity to take chances and express their ideas and knowledge in innovative ways.
LifeTown Experience Mamaroneck High School and Hommocks
Grantees: Alyssa Kazakevich, Grayson O’Reilly
The Transition Academy at Hommocks and Mamaroneck High School teaches life skills to students with disabilities to allow them to be more independent people. This grant will fund an inaugural trip for the Transition Academy students to LifeTown, an innovative new facility that facilitates real-world practice of life skills in a safe and structured environment. During their visit to the LifeTown Shoppes – which include a simulated bank, salon, grocery store, and clothing store, among others – students will have the opportunity to work on their money, time management, social and communication skills. Before the trip, students will prepare using the LifeTown curriculum, and the skills they learn will continue to be reinforced in experiences in our local community.
Zero Waste Classrooms Mamaroneck Avenue School
Grantees: Nicole Bautista, Neill Alleva
Addressing the growing concern about the negative environmental impact of single use plastics and the importance of sustainability, the Mamaroneck School District has embraced a sustainability mission and is steadily working to create greener schools. Building on the District’s successful Zero Waste initiative, the Zero Waste Classrooms grant provides each classroom at Mamaroneck Avenue School with a lightweight, yet sturdy reusable Party/Special Event kit complete with utensils, plates, cups (made of 100% recycled materials) and a large capacity, stylish, reusable shoulder tote. These reusable and dishwasher safe products may be used during all in-class celebrations and pooled for use at grade-wide events, PTA events and faculty meetings. Reusables drastically cut down the amount of single use plastics and trash produced in the school and highlight the importance of environmental responsibility to all students, families, staff and administration, while also saving money by no longer having to purchase paper products. Teaching MAS students about the importance of waste reduction through the Zero Waste Classrooms grant helps cultivate civic responsibility and student awareness that their actions matter – their good habits will help their families, friends and community advocate for the betterment of the environment and become ambassadors for the change they want to see in the world.
21ST CENTURY LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS
Classroom Redesign – Learn, Focus, Share, Adjust Hommocks
Grantees: Rebecca Streeter and Christine Kenny
This grant provides for the replacement of outdated classroom desks and chairs in the ICT classroom with updated flexible seating to allow for varied teaching situations and a more comfortable reading environment. The more flexible classroom furniture provided by this grant will facilitate station teaching, parallel teaching, and group work to help address the learning needs and styles of all students in this classroom.
Collaboration & Community in the Round Central School
Grantees: Karen Ruzzo, Joanne Hindley
As part of the ongoing process to provide 21st century learning and interactive environments for students, this grant provides for 8 movable, folding tables with attached benches for the “small gym” lunch and gathering space. The circular design promotes eye contact, discussion, inclusion and interaction, fostering new relationships and resulting in calmer lunch periods. This collaborative learning environment will also provide new learning opportunities for students during non-lunch times as this space is utilized by teachers for cross class collaborations and projects.
Central Library Enhancement Central School
Grantees: Karen Ruzzo, Joanne Hindley
The Central School Library is the physical center of the school and the hub for student activity. This grant seeks to transform the library from an outdated space into a vital collaborative learning area that supports student interaction and learning while also providing flexibility for different learning modalities and for adult professional development. The grant will provide for tables and chairs that are flexible, adjustable and inviting, immediately transforming both the appearance and functionality of the library.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION, HEALTH & WELLNESS
Elementary School Sensory Hallway Murray Avenue School
Grantees: Matthew Porricelli, Audrey Goldenberg
This grant will fund the installation of three sensory paths in highly trafficked areas of Murray Avenue School. Sensory paths feature permanently placed stickers that engage children in a series of physical activities in a school hallway with the goal of giving proprioceptive — or movement of the body — sensory input to help kids stay calm and regulate their bodies. While the paths have clear benefits for students with sensory-processing needs, all students can be positively impacted by movement breaks and sensory stimulation that help them re-focus and have a playful walk in the halls.
The Sensory Room Mamaroneck Avenue School
Grantees: Lori Dressler, Mary Conroy
This grant provides for the development of The Sensory Room. The Sensory Room is a private setting with the versatility to be used as a de-escalation room for students experiencing high intensity behaviors as well as a place for students to use when in need of a less stimulating environment. It will also serve as a place where students and staff can work together to identify behavioral triggers and learn strategies to manage emotions and sensory responses. The room will be a safe environment equipped with sensory tools improving efficacy in meeting the diverse needs of students.
Strengthening the Hommocks Fitness Room Hommocks
Grantees: Danielle Jaycox and John Dale
This grant will support the enhancement of the Hommocks Fitness Room, funding the purchase of two rowing machines and TRX bands and ropes. Three new whiteboards will help provide visual guides and allow exercise videos to be accessed. The walls of the fitness room will be given a fresh look with a new coat of paint. These updates will help increase student enthusiasm for and use of the space, helping students develop their own health and fitness practices and helping the Physical Education Department meet common core state standards and NYS Physical Education standards.
Read more about Foundation grants awarded in previous years: