HVEF grants support social/emotional well-being, music, and other innovation in HVRSD schools

The Hopewell Valley Education Foundation (HVEF) is pleased to announce more than $10,000 in grants to support teachers and staff in delivering innovation and excellence to students across the Hopewell Valley Regional School District (HVRSD). The Fall 2022 funding round enables teachers to expand offerings in music, physical and social-emotional literacy, and environmental sustainability.

The newest set of HVEF grant recipients includes:

  • Paulette DiNardo, HVRSD director of pupil services, and Christopher Turnbull, principal at Bear Tavern Elementary School, will apply a $6,385 grant toward bringing facilitator Phil Beans to all four district elementary schools to introduce the “Phil’s Drills” interactive physical literacy and social-emotional learning program. The program offers a variety of games that encourage students to use their eye-hand coordination, practice cross-body movements shown to help the brain connect and coordinate, and boost learning and retention. Students from Central High School will help at each station with time keeping and encouraging the grade schoolers as they try each activity. Phil’s Drills is not sport-specific, supporting the inclusion of all students in fun, vigorous activity regardless of ability and encouraging the practice of physical activity for life.

  • William Emhof, music teacher at Stony Brook Elementary School, who was awarded a $1,575 grant to add a set of choirchime instruments to the music instruction program. Choirchimes are played like handbells with a flick of the wrist, enabling all students to contribute to the making of music. They are especially valuable for differently abled students who may find other instruments challenging to use, building important social and emotional skills. The new instruments can be used for ongoing music classes and to enhance choral performances for years to come.

  • Scott Schlenker, science and special education teacher at Central High School, received a $2,100 grant to rehabilitate and maintain the high school’s garden. With initial planting and building work completed, Schlenker and a team of teachers and students will construct more planting beds, create a self-contained composting system, plant a variety of annual and perennial plants and trees, and repair and repaint the garden gazebo. The aim is to offer a space for Biology and Environmental Science classes to conduct teaching and observation, create a learning environment for students interested in food cultivation and harvesting, and engage students who may wish to work in the garden as part of their service requirements.

“These latest grants showcase the innovation and creativity of HVRSD teachers and staff and the unique learning and engagement activities that students throughout the district will be able to enjoy,” said Sara Alyea, HVEF board president. “We’re thrilled to be able to support and advance the efforts of these extraordinarily dedicated educators and are excited to see how students benefit from these programs.”

“We are very excited to hear about these recent grant awards in the areas of Visual Performing Arts, Wellness, and land stewardship,” said HVRSD Superintendent Dr. Rosetta Treece. “The Hopewell Valley Education Foundation continues to be an essential supporter of our students and programs. We are so fortunate to have such a phenomenal community partnership with HVEF and are so grateful for their generosity.”

The Hopewell Valley Education Foundation operates a Spring and Fall funding cycle each year.  Proposals for the Spring 2023 cycle will be accepted beginning in mid-January with a late spring deadline.

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