New Rochelle — From a historical tour of New Rochelle on land and sea, to a five-foot tall robot, the New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence is spreading almost $20,000 in grants to 15 projects across New Rochelle public schools.
The awards come from a NR Fund grantmaking pilot program that aims to offer unique experiences and enhancements to the academic curriculum. As part of the Fund’s 20th Anniversary Initiatives, administrators, teachers, parents and students were invited to submit grant requests for innovative projects that promote active student learning.
“The response to our call for applications was amazing. We received 40 applications for various grants from every school in the district,” said Matthew Costa, Board Co-Chair. “Given the high number of strong proposals we received, it was difficult to make funding decisions. We actually decided to go over our initial grants budget and approve 15 grants totaling almost $20,000.”
The New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence supports the New Rochelle school system and its extraordinary, diverse student body through advancing equity, excellence and inspiring all public-school students.
“I am thrilled with the number and the variety of these programs, as well as the innovation shown by those who designed and proposed them,” said Schools Superintendent Brian Osborne. “Coming from throughout the District, these projects demonstrate the devotion that our educators, and our partners in the community, show to providing an unparalleled education to all of our students. I would also like to thank the leaders of the New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence for initiating this grant program and for delivering it so well that they wound up expanding the initial budget to fund more great ideas.”
Among the programs are “Exploring New Rochelle by Land and Sea,” which will impact almost 150 Isaac E. Young Middle School students. Mary Monteleone and Jeremy Vivolo and Team 3 submitted the proposal and are looking forward to the spring!
“Our students are excited for the springtime exploration of our beautiful city,” said Monteleone. “The walking tour with New Rochelle historian Barbara Davis, and the exploration of the Long Island Sound aboard the Shamrock with Captain Pat Barrett will bring the city’s history to life. Students will incorporate the newly acquired information into their New Rochelle research project.”
Stephen May, a teacher at Albert Leonard Middle School, will use the grant money he received on parts to build a five-foot tall Lego Mindstorm robot that can move and speak. Students will spend almost two months using the robot to learn about engineering and programming.
“I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am,” said May. “I am thrilled to notify my students that we received the grant. They were so excited just upon learning about the possibility of Mr. Robot, now they will be completely ecstatic. What a great hook this project will be for getting students totally engaged in STEM learning”.
Other grants include funding for Trinity Elementary School to collaborate with the Hudson Park Children’s Greenhouse and build garden beds on campus, for New Rochelle High School students to participate in a Latino Youth Leadership Conference, and for a teacher training program at George M. Davis Jr. Elementary School for yoga and mindfulness.
New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence 2018 Grants are as follows:
- Kathleen Connolly at Henry Barnard Early Childhood Center for Amy’s Greenhouse will establish a pollinator garden to supplement the existing nature programming.
- Anthony DiCarlo and Steven Nakashima for Trinity Elementary School to work with Hudson Park Children’s Greenhouse to construct raised garden beds on school grounds.
- Camille Edwards-Thomas at New Rochelle High School for My Brother’s Keeper/New Rochelle’s Take A Student Ambassador to Work Day and College Visiting Program.
- Linda Fosina at NR FOCUS for a poster campaign at New Rochelle High School.
- Barbara Gillingham at New Rochelle High School for the Latino Youth Leadership Conference.
- Calvin Heyward at Isaac E. Young Middle School for its chess program.
- Audrey Hill at Albert Leonard Middle School for Shibori Day.
- Stephen May at Albert Leonard Middle School for Mr. Robot, a humanoid robot.
- Mary Monteleone and Jeremy Vivolo at Isaac E. Young Middle School for “Exploring New Rochelle by Land and Sea: Students as Historians”.
- Shelli Owens at Columbus Elementary School for its PBIS initiative to reconstruct indoor recess.
- Ryan Paulson at New Rochelle High School for the Robotics Club.
- Candace Pinn for the Westchester Alliance of Black School Educators (WABSE) Black History Month Event at New Rochelle High School.
- Brittnee Sabatino at Davis Elementary School for a teacher training program on yoga and mindfulness.
- Laurette Shrage for headsets to use the Fast Forward reading and language program at Barnard Early Childhood Center, Columbus Elementary School, George M. Davis Jr. Elementary School, Isaac E. Young Middle School, Jefferson Elementary School, Trinity Elementary School, and William B. Ward Elementary School.
- Omer Uzun, Kisha Skipper, and Aina Lakis at the Albert Leonard Middle School PTA for a Family Math Night.
About The New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence: The New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence partners with the City School District of New Rochelle and engages the broader New Rochelle community to develop, fund and implement high-quality educational and enrichment programming that enhances the school experience and helps students thrive and succeed along their educational journey. For more information about the NR Fund, please visit www.nredfund.org