SOMERS EDUCATION FOUNDATION
Supporting Education for our Future
2013 - 2014 Grants Awarded:
- Tech Robotics MBA. Lego Mindstorm NXT 2.0 robotics program at MBA teaches students about robotic concepts, how to design and build a robot, and how to program it using the ROBOTC 3.0 programming language. Aligns with the VEX Robotics program at SHS and exposes students to the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
- Luna Interactive Cameras MBA. Portable document cameras, webcams and video cameras allowing Math teachers to display student work, teach new concepts, and create video clips which can be linked to their web pages.
- The Spartan School Store SHS. A school store run by SHS Business and Special Education students providing students the opportunity to learn marketing, finance, business management, and customer relations. It also allows students to use their math and leadership skills, develop self-confidence and learn peer modeling.
- Mimio Teach Technology SES. State of the art technology magnetically attaches to a white board turning it into an interactive learning device. Used in conjunction with ceiling mounted projectors, these devices create an engaging environment that motivates our youngest learners.
- NCTM Conference MBA. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) provided workshops and seminars focusing on current issues in mathematics such as the new Common Core Curriculum, use of iPads in the math classroom, the best iPad apps for math students, algebraic thinking and mathematical reasoning.
- Read Strong MBA. The pilot reading program through the SEA Reading Laboratory provides individualized reading instruction to readers of various levels, in addition to offering lessons in areas such as fluency, phonics, comprehension and literature.
The grant program is available to teachers and administrators in the Somers elementary, middle and high schools. Each grant application is coordinated by the school administration and is forwarded to the Foundation. A Grant Review Committee thoroughly examines each application and makes recommendations to the Board of Directors for a final decision.
During the 2014 - 2015 school year, the Somers Education Foundation, after review and recommendation by the grant review committee, awarded creative and innovative grants totaling $45,083.
During the 2016 - 2017 school year, the Somers Education Foundation, after review and recommendation by the grant review committee, awarded creative and innovative grants totaling $59,778.
During the 2013 - 2014 school year, the Somers Education Foundation, after review and recommendation by the grant review committee, awarded creative and innovative grants totaling $37,089.
During the 2017 - 2018 school year, the Somers Education Foundation, after review and recommendation by the grant review committee, awarded creative and innovative grants totaling $42,114.
During the 2015 - 2016 school year, the Somers Education Foundation, after review and recommendation by the grant review committee, awarded creative and innovative grants totaling $44,357.
2014 - 2015 Grants Awarded:
- AT&T Technology Grant. SEF was the liaison for an AT&T $15,000 grant supplied to SHS technology to promote science, technology, engineering and math for the alternative education, non-college bound student.
- A Double Dose of Reading Intervention with Leveled Literacy Intervention. A supplementary literacy intervention system designed to assist teachers in providing powerful, daily, small-group instruction for the lowest achieving students at their grade level.
- Preschool Dramatic Pretend-Play Materials. A thematic literacy approach teaching through dramatic pretend-play for preschoolers.
- Ukuleles for the 5th Grade Music Classroom. The ukulele is a sweet sounding, kid friendly, inexpensive musical instrument used in the music classroom to foster music literacy.
- SES Primary Learning and Positive Play. Engages individual kindergarten students experiencing school adjustment challenges through play therapy.
- Sensory Tools Help with Learning. These sensory tools help students with attention difficulties to focus so they are able to alleviate challenges and enhance learning.
- Adaptive Equipment for Fitness Program. Allows transition students to participate in a fitness program with recreational opportunities and to assist in creating life- long connections in their community.
- SUBTEXT Application Licenses. A reading application for grades 9-12 that allows teachers to create differentiated reading groups for students of all abilities and levels. This application helps teachers accelerate learning, keeps students moving forward, and monitors progress electronically.
- Second Step for Middle School. A collection of scripted lessons, which help to build students' social and emotional skills which is focused on reducing risk and increasing protection from a range of problems.
2015 - 2016 Grants Awarded:
- eBooks & Audio Books (MBA) This grant will greatly enhance the eBook offerings for all students and improve the learning experience for our special education students by providing audio books of classroom novels for listening on their iPads.
- Improving Students Keyboarding Skills (SES) The purpose of this grant is to provide a keyboarding program that is accessible from any technology device, and provides individually paced instruction for students starting in grade 1. The ability of students to be able to competently keyboard will impact their ability to perform successfully both in daily work and on assessments.
- Standing Desks for Math Students (MBA) It is reported students are more engaged with the teacher and with their work when they are standing. Standing desks are a fabulous tool for students that tend to be more active, fidgety, or even more tired.
- Presentation System Plan for SHS Music and SHS TIDE Program (SHS) This collaborative effort involves purchasing a new flat screen television for the Graphics Lab to assist in presentations the entire group can participate in while using smart board technology for teaching in the Music Room. This grant was awarded from the Helen and S. Prestley Fund.
- Kids Kore Wobble Chairs for Students with Special Needs (SES) Wobble Chairs help students who have sensory or attention needs that greatly impact their ability to focus throughout the school day. The goal of the chairs is to help the students with sensory processing and improve their ability to learn.
- ergoERGO Seat (SES) The ergoERGO Seat is an ergonomic seat that rocks in any direction and provides an active way for children to sit. It compresses slightly to allow small movements in any direction strengthening both muscles and the attention span of students.
- Making Music (Preschool) Making Music is a program that helps children (young and old!) build upon skills across all areas of development including speech/language, cognitive, fine/gross motor, social/emotional functioning, and creative expression.
- High Interest-Low Level Reading for Students with Disabilities (SES) The purpose of this project is to provide students with disabilities access to high interest books at a lower reading level. These are books that are “high interest low level” so that older students are able to access content and vocabulary that are age appropriate, but that have text written at their individual reading level. This grant was awarded from the Dan and Jane Roulier Fund.
- State Personal Development Grant (PBIS) for SHS (Phase 2 – SHS) Assist in the roll out of the PBIS grant, also known at Somers High School as the “Spartan Code,” which rewards students who go above and beyond to promote respect, responsibility, integrity and kindness.
- NewsELA Pro ( SHS) NewsELA is an innovative way to build reading comprehension with nonfiction that's always relevant. The articles are categorized by subject, reading standard, grade level, and language. It will help students to strengthen their ability to read non-fiction critically and improve their ability to respond to text dependent questions.
- WISE (MBA) The goal of Women Inspired by STEM Education (“WISE”) Project, mirrors the goals of the Federal STEM Education Plan. The intention is to motivate young women in Somers, grades 7 through 10, to engage in STEM activities with the ultimate goal of considering STEM careers.
- Auto Detailing Project (SHS) Supporting a start up program developed for non college bound students to learn the skills of Automotive Detailing.
- Lego Story Starter (SES) LEGO® Education StoryStarter is an innovative and creative hands-on, minds-on literacy activity designed to create confident writers and readers in elementary schools. StoryStarter consists of a unique LEGO set combined with curriculum and software designed to engage and teach students within Language Arts and also focusing on developing 21st Century skills.
- School Store (MBA) A grant was awarded to open a School Store created in conjunction with the Student Climate Task Force.. The store will offer items like pencils that might be left at home and school spirit items.
- Drama Club (MBA) This grant supports a second school play at MBA which will be there Jerry Spinelli production of STARGIRL.
- Music Department (MBA and SHS) Various musical instruments purchased for the Music Department's use at both the high school and the middle school: digital piano, baritone saxophone, bass clarinet and a sousaphone.
- Sensory Tool Kits for Classroom Teachers (SES) With this grant, the classroom teachers have sensory tool kits available in the classrooms allowing them to quickly intervene when students are over stimulated and provide sensory breaks as needed.
- Sensory Calming Classroom (SES) This grants allows the special education teachers to create a special room where students can go to when they become over stimulated allowing them to calm down and focus.
- LEGO Program (SES) With this grant Grade 2 teachers will use LEGO sets to help students solve math problems.
- Pear Deck (SHS) Purchase of interactive software that allows teachers to create presentations right from their computers.
2016 - 2017 Grants Awarded:
- Movement Seats and Desks (SHS) Standing desks and exercise balls with stands requested to achieve the goal of helping students to concentrate and help them to focus. This will help enhance student learning.
- Camera for Art Department (SHS) This grant was for a high quality camera and tripod for the art students to use when recording their work for college entrance portfolios as well as all art programs.
- Motorized Lego’s and Gears (MBA) MBA already has an extensive inventory of Lego building components and gears, so this grant would allow the addition of motors and controllers which will enable students to have more experience with powered vehicles in a lab setting.
- Tuba Request (MBA & SHS) This convertible Tuba allows the music department to use this instrument for either marching band or for concert settings.
- STEM Robotics Programming with NAO Robot (SHS) This Humanoid Robot called NAO is a fully functioning programmable computer that allows students to better their understanding of programming, computer sciences and experience a humanoid robot.
- Leveled Literacy of Students with Disabilities (SES) This kit provides students with disabilities access to authentic texts at their individual reading level.
- Boardmaker software for Preschool (SES) This software will be used by the preschool teachers as well as the Speech Language department to make articulation cards, vocabulary cards, language activities and visuals for correct behavior, plus more.
- Reading Room Make-over (SES) Standing desks and beanbag chairs requested to achieve the goal of motivating students and help them to focus. This will both boost productivity and moods.
- STEM Learning Center (SES) The creation of a STEM station in the preschool classroom allows students to share group experiences in a developmentally appropriate manner to enhance their problem solving skills and overall learning experiences.
- Flexible Alternative Seating in 5th Grade (SES) This grant is for 10 alternative seats allowing students in the 5th grade to use alternative seating to help focus and enhance student learning.
- Naviance College Application Tools (MBA) This software allows the counseling offices to send transcripts and teacher recommendations to colleges electronically.
- Adaptive Seating (MBA Special Education) These alternative seating options allow the middle school students to focus more and increase productivity.
- Chromebooks for math students (MBA) Additional chromebooks for math students to use if their iPads are out for repairs or forgot their iPads at home.
- OSMO: Interactive program for iPads (SES) This set of apps and accessories allows students to use real manipulatives to spell words, solve math problems and create drawings that are read by the iPad camera and displayed on the screen. These apps encourage problem solving as a group.
- TouchMath RTI Kit for Primary Grades (SES) TouchMath is program that is used to supplement the regular math curriculum with a multisensory approach to teaching basic math skills that is fun and engaging to students.
- Discrete Trials Program (SES) This is an assessment tool that measures students progress and assesses their current levels through developmental benchmarks for the preschool students. It allows the teachers to pinpoint specific target areas of instruction which can use to create goals and objectives.
- 6 Month Newsela License (MBA) This database of current event stories allows teachers to customize articles for different reading levels , enabling them to differentiate nonfiction reading.
- Science Vernier Probes (SHS) Vernier sensors are hardware/software used in the science department in the effort to keep up with the new science standards implemented through the curriculum. They are used for various area, but not limited to pH and temperature for Integrated Science, Biology, and Chemistry, Dissolved oxygen and turbidity probes for Marine Science, motion force sensors for Physics and Integrated Science.
- Virtual Reality Classroom Fieldtrips (SHS) The virtual reality holders allow virtual field trips within the classroom, via the Goodle Expeditions app. This breaks the traditional classroom environment , and allows the students to use their phones for educational purposes, and provide an exciting experience that cannot be accomplished using conventional teaching styles.
- Have Them Read: Building an English Intervention Student Library (SHS) This small library of non-fiction texts provides students with some differentiated choice in their reading experience and also provides opportunities to practice reading and interpreting nonfiction texts.
- Printer for SHS Art Department (SHS) The art department will use the printer to print out written student work as well as source photography and media manipulations for art projects.
2017 - 2018 Grants Awarded:
- Digital Piano for High School (SHS) – The digital piano will be used in the chorus, theory and jazz band classrooms as well as for drama performances and concerts.
- Mellophone (MBA and SHS) – This mellophone will be used for marching band functions at the middle school and high school level.
- Digital Microscope (SHS) – The digital microscopes allow the students to view microscopic details as a whole class projected onto the screen in order to explore and discuss topics in class. The digital microscopes will be used in the Biology, Honors Biology, Botany, Microbiology, Anatomy & Physiology, Zoology, Marine Science, Forensic Science and AP/UCONN Biology classes.
- Inspirational Guest Speaker Wendelin Van Draanen (MBA/SES) – We funded this guest speaker with the Somers PTO. Her talk included embracing uniqueness, inclusion, friendship, anti-bullying, overcoming barriers, hard work, and perseverance, along with what it takes to be a successful writer.
- Classroom Redesign (MBA) – Mrs. Scholes pre-algebra purple class worked on this project to make the classroom into a more efficient learning environment for the students. They drew out the plans to scale, measured, calculated cost, used data analysis and calculated the dimensions of the furniture. This pilot will see if a change in chairs will help students to be more focused on the lessons.
- Chill Zone (MBA) – This “Chill Zone” area within the current classroom will provide a “softer” space for calming down, relaxing, overcoming stressful situations and a quiet place to work.
- Sonday Systems Let’s Play Learn (SES) – This system offers structured, systematic multi-sensory practice for preschool through kindergarten students. It is used as a tool to develop foundational reading skills and prevent reading difficulties, or as an intervention for those who need to strengthen pre-reading skills.
- Anonymous Alerts anti-bullying app and safety reporting system and Smart Button silent panic button (SHS) – This system is a simple to use app and reporting system that enables students to quickly report incidents related to bullying, family problems, self-harm, drugs, sexual harassment, campus threats, sensitive student concerns or unusual student behavior.
- Flexible Seating for Struggling Readers (SES) - These alternative seats offer students who find it difficult to sit quietly and remain attentive, an alternative. This allows them to burn focus during class, increasing learning and attention.
- Printer for SHS Art Department (SHS) - This printer will be used in the Art Department to print out artist statements, reflections and critique work as well as source photography and media manipulations for art projects.
- School Messenger (All District) – The School Messenger System allows all teachers, administrations and the Superintendent to maintain essential communications about significant school events, individual child updates, and transportation events. Additionally, it becomes a critical component of the emergency plan allowing the district to effectively and efficiently communicate with parents in the event of an emergency in the schools and/or town.
- Second Step Program (SES) – The Second Step Program is a research-based collection of scripted skill lessons which help to build student’s social and emotional skills. This program provides teachers and staff a program that directly teaches students skills for learning empathy, emotion management, and problem solving skills.
- Technology Grant (SHS) – The Dash robot will be used as part of the Health curriculum to encourage teamwork and community building while encouraging students to use fun activities and make healthy choices.
- Executive Functioning Training (SHS) – BrainHQ is a website and app that trains executive functioning skills with engaging activities, lessons and games.
- Kiln and Vent replacement (SHS) – The Skutt Kiln is an electric Kiln designed specifically for volume production and fast turnaround of high mass loads. This kiln is built to withstand many years of constant use.
- Quizlet Pro (SHS) – The Quizlet Pro system allows teachers to provide all students with an interactive, independent method of vocabulary practice that is also an enriching activity that increases student collaboration.
- Fundations for Tier 2 Instruction (SES) - Fundations is a multi-sensory, systematic, cumulative, and explicit program that focuses on student development by differentiating instruction, and actively engaging students in their learning.
- Spartan News Network Equipment for High School (SHS) – This grant allows the purchase of a Digital Video Mixer, Video Camcorder and Broadcast Video Camera for the High School so that they can provide the students an amazing opportunity to create innovative projects.
- Historical Archive Project (SHS) – This mobile historical library will house tangible, authentic artifacts from various time periods in American history. The goal is to teach history through the use of tangible artifacts and primary sources that the students can see and touch.
- Wobble Stools (MBA) – These seats are ergonomic seats that rocks in any direction and provides an active way for children to sit. This helps improve focus, attention and muscle movements, and enhancing student learning.
- Video Production in Language Arts (MBA) – The Padcaster Kits are portable recording studios that enhance student learning through various video creation projects within the 7th grade Language Arts curriculum.