The Hopewell Valley Education Foundation (HVEF) announced this month that it awarded more than $26,000 grants in spring 2019 to support innovation and excellence in Hopewell Valley public schools. Four projects were funded to strengthen STEM, cultural diversity, and teaching efforts across the Hopewell Valley Regional School District (HVRSD).
“We’re glad to support these important projects that will help our teachers deliver a more dynamic and culturally relevant experience for students,” said HVEF Board President Kevin Kuchinski. “The Hopewell Valley Education Foundation looks forward to seeing tde impact that these projects have on the outstanding teaching and learning that happens inside and outside classrooms across our district.”
Grants awarded in the Spring 2019 round are as follows:
- Kymberli Harjes, Courtney Underwood, Johanna Claps and Lisa Sandstrand, All District Schools – A $8,000 grant will enable all HVRSD schools to purchase culturally diverse book titles for classroom libraries, book rooms, and literature circles. Central High School and Timberlane Middle School will each receive $3,000 to significantly expand their holdings of culturally responsive titles to expand students’ choice of reading content. Each of the four elementary schools will receive $500 to add books with more diverse characters, settings and experiences to support students’ needs, interests and curiosities.
- Helen Corveleyn and David Friedrich, Hopewell Elementary School – This $1,500 grant adds a build-your-own earth oven to Hopewell Elementary School’s outdoor garden. In this setting – where students already learn about sustainability and the benefits of local, healthy, organic foods – staff and students will be able to bake bread, cook pizza, design recipes and share meals outdoors as a community.
- Kimberly McCarty and Christopher Turnbull, Bear Tavern Elementary School – With the addition of the Swivl system, teachers can record audio and video in a classroom or small group setting for professional development and self-assessment. Swivl enables a smart device to follow the instructor as he/she moves through the classroom and provides clear recording in real time, while being unobtrusive enough to maintain a comfortable learning environment for students and teachers. This technology, supported with a $1,039 grant, will allow teachers and staff to build a video archive to help spread best practices and techniques. Bear Tavern will pilot Swivl in its second grade reading and writing instruction and, if successful, spread it to all grade levels.
- David Angwenyi, Raquel Riveral, Kathryn Henderson and Rob Siris, Central High School – An HVEF grant of $500 allowed former Rutgers University football player Eric LeGrand to speak to and meet with students at the May 19 Global Diversity Day (GDD). LeGrand, who was paralyzed in a 2010 game, highlighted the importance of including disability within an expanded focus on diversity. GDD, held annually at Central High School to promote cultural diversity for dialogue and development, is a multi-disciplinary program to foster a stronger and better-integrated school community.
HVEF also supports two additional K-12 STEM education initiatives through generous funding it received from Bristol-Myers Squibb this spring. With a $10,000 grant, HVEF will fund the purchase of four Glowforge 3D printers, one for each District elementary school. The printers will be installed in the Learning and Design Lab at each school to provide students with opportunities to engage in engineering challenges and activities, aligning to K-5 science standards. As part of the engineering design process, the 3D printers will allow students to create prototypes of their designs.
HVEF will also award $5,000 in Bristol-Myers Squibb grant funding toward the creation of a rain garden and green roof at Toll Gate Elementary School. The two projects are components of a broader plan to weave sustainability, sound water management practices and outdoor learning into STEM offerings throughout the school property.
“We are proud to partner with the Hopewell Valley Education Foundation in meeting District goals such as sustainability, culturally responsive teaching and STEM education,” said Dr. Rosetta Treece, HVRSD Director of Curriculum & Instruction. “The HVEF has helped our teachers facilitate learning activities that promote innovation, problem-solving, and creativity by providing valuable resources and equipment. As a result of these grants over the years, our teachers have been able to truly elevate the level of teaching and learning with their students.”
HVEF awards two cycles of grants per year; the Fall 2019 funding cycle will open in September. For information on funding opportunities and other HVEF programming, visit www.hvef.org. Those who wish to support the excellence of Hopewell Valley schools are encouraged to support the work of the Foundation through its Power of 100 campaign www.hvef.org/powerof100.