Awarded Grants

Program: Fostering Literacy Development between home and school

School: VDV

Students: 120

Taught historical fiction and non-fiction with social studies and language arts. Students read work by a published author, and then wrote their own works which parallel the professional's. Unit culminated with the students spending a day with the author.

Program: Math for the Real World / Reading Across the Curriculum

School: VDV

Students: 80

In today's "wired" world, students need excellent technical and communication skills. Rather than teach Math and Reading in isolation, this project purchased course materials that combined the two. Instead of the dreaded "word problems", students studied practical situations, presented in a rich context. They used math skills to solve the problems, but reading and writing was also required to communicate and validate their solutions.

Program: Roller Coaster grant

School: SMS

Students: 100

The 8th grade science program already included a project where students constructed a roller coaster using priciples of physics and engineering. Grant funded a purchase of specialized kits and instructional materials, which significantly enhanced the quality and depth of the experience. Now, rather than struggling with office supply store materials, students and teachers use high-quality components to focus on the principles of roller coaster design.

Program: FIRST Robotics*

School: SHS

Students: 50

The SHS FIRST Robotics program is one of the most successful and energizing programs in the school. It literally changes the lives of students -- inspiring those who wouldn't otherwise go to college. Students who excel in this program often go on to prestigious universities, who recognize the quality and multi-disciplinary aspect of this experience. This grant enabled an entire year of study and preparation, culminating with an exciting Robotics competition between SHS and high schools from across the state.

Program: Theatre District Broadway Classroom*

School: SHS

Students: 82

Two interactive workshops:Broadway 101 and Stage Combat taught creativity, collaboration, and confidence. Training process of an actor, including physical and vocal warmups. Experience featured an in-depth meeting with Broadway and television star John Bolton, who sang and described his life and work as a professional actor.

Program: Project Graduation*

School: SHS

Students: 200

Project Graduation 2006 was dedicated to the graduating class of Somerville High School. Graduates enjoy a high-spirited, all-night celebration and party immediately following the commencement exercises in June. This popular local effort is part of a nationally recognized program whose goal is to provide a drug and alcohol free celebration of life while giving graduates a positive sendoff. Activities include music, food, and athletic events such as a climbing wall.

* Note: grant co-funded by the SEF and the Branchburg Educational Foundation.