Hopewell Valley Education Foundation Fall Grants Support Eight Innovative Projects Across District Schools

Timberlane Middle School students Bailey Williams, Franny Stroop and Anthony McFarland assemble materials to build an eventual wind turbine that will help sixth-grade students collect and analyze weather data and make predictions. The Hopewell Valley Education Foundation awarded Timberlane science teacher Kimberly Renick a $3,609 grant to purchase a wireless weather station and wind turbine building and experiment kits.

The Hopewell Valley Education Foundation (HVEF) recently awarded eight grants through its 2018 fall grants cycle to support excellence and innovation across the Hopewell Valley Regional School District (HVRSD). Funded projects support priorities at schools throughout the district, including HVRSD’s efforts to advance cutting-edge STEM efforts, expand arts and music offerings, and enhance students’ social-emotional learning and well-being. A total of $16,549 in grants was approved in this most recent round of funding.

“We were thrilled to receive such a strong and diverse set of grant proposals and to support these innovative teaching and learning opportunities at the elementary, middle school and high school levels,” said HVEF Board President Kevin Kuchinski. “The Hopewell Valley Education Foundation is excited to see the creativity and vision of these projects come to life for the teachers and students throughout our public schools.”

Grants awarded in the fall 2018 round are as follows:

  • Kathleen Neggia, Timberlane Middle School– A $4,585 grant will add a Glowforge laser cutter/engraver to Timberlane Middle School’s STEM resources, enabling students to design and build 3-D models using industry-relevant laser technology. This tool, which exposes students to the technical design, engineering and teamwork processes needed to cut and engrave models, will be featured in classes spanning engineering, design, space and flight, computers in business, and family consumer science. Products created using the laser cutter/engraver, which may take the form of puzzles, keychains, signs and other items, may be marketed and sold by students through fundraisers.
  • Kimberly Renick, Timberlane Middle School– The purchase of a wireless weather station and wind turbine building and experiment kits, made possible with a $3,609 grant, will enable every sixth-grade science student to collect and analyze weather data and make predictions. They also will use these instruments in the Weather & Human Impact unit, which features a hands-on, renewable energy engineering design challenge that will involve researching, designing, building and testing a wind turbine.
  • Erik Tornegard, Central High School– This project will deploy the use of a handheld computer control-led (CNC) router for use in the practical arts and engineering classes, as well as in extra-curricular activities such as robotics. The primary use of the router, purchased with a $2,500 grant award, is intended for Central High School’s Home Survival and Woods/Furniture Making classes. Students will have the capacity to design rapid prototypes on their Chromebooks that can be engraved and cut into plastic or wood, and export that file to the handheld router to create an exact replica of their design in their selected material. It is anticipated that the use of the CNC router will expand to other classes and extracurricular activities such as the robotics club as the year progresses.
  • Bryanna MacAdams,Bear Tavern Elementary School– Following last year’s challenge, when eight adult members of the Bear Tavern community learned how to play the ukulele in under a month, significant enthusiasm grew among students and faculty to take up the instrument. With a $2,000 HVEF grant, Bryanna MacAdams will purchase instruments and accessories to launch a student ukulele club. Participating students will perform at the Spring Concert in June and at other points throughout the year.
  • Lora Durr and Carolyn McGrath, Central High School– The Central High School renovations have left a blank canvas in some hallways that students and teachers in the Art 2 course will have an opportunity to fill with culture and color. Students will research the work of culturally diverse artists, present learnings and recommendations to the school community, and create large-scale reproductions of their paintings in the hallways. A $1,512 grant covers supplies needed to help bring these spaces to life artistically and connect students, staff, teachers and visitors at the high school to a more vibrant, diverse cultural experience.
  • Maryann Babice, Meaghan McGowan and Michelle Brennan, Central High School – This $829 grant will enable the purchase of an upgraded point-of-salesystem for the student-run school store. The school store and register training—which encompasses sales, inventory control, cash handling and financial analysis – gives special education students a valuable first work experience in a retail environment, facility in using current technologies, and the opportunity to build social and vocational skills that can help them succeed in future workplace environments.
  • Beth Hoffman et al., Bear Tavern Elementary School– HVEF funding in the amount of $777 will enable the purchase of resources to enhance mindfulness and social-emotional health among pre-K through fifth-grade students at Bear Tavern Elementary School. Throughout the year, books and games to promote students’ mindfulness and wellbeing will be shared among teachers and parents, and 30 new yoga mats will be used in classrooms and in the outdoor learning space as counseling staff and teachers instruct the students on how yoga poses can help them achieve balance and calm. These resources also will be a centerpiece of the school’s Annual Wellness Day.
  • Angela Drake and Kelly Hall, Central High School– A grant of $736 will support the development of a relaxation and coping room within Central High School’s newly renovated school health office. Students will be able to access a space where they can relax and refocus, as well as hold private consultations with a counselor, to better navigate and address personal struggles. HVEF funding will help purchase therapeutic and environmental tools such as a mini waterfall fountain, sound machine and noise-canceling headphones to help students forge strong coping strategies, manage stress and refocus.

“We are proud of the innovative and creative instruction that our schools’ staff is providing our children. Thanks to the continued support of the Hopewell Valley Education Foundation, we are able to meet our commitment to developing the whole child through STEM education, social-emotional development, and rigorous academic programs,” noted Dr. Rosetta Treece, director of curriculum and instruction for HVRSD. “We are grateful to have such a strong community partnership with HVEF.”

HVEF awards two cycles of grants per year; the Spring 2019 funding cycle is underway and proposals are due April 12, 2019. 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 (http://hvef.org/powerof100)

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