Supporting Education for our Future
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
SOMERS EDUCATION FOUNDATION
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.
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.