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2009 – 2010 Grants Announced

June 12, 2009

The Board of Directors of the Tantasqua Education Foundation is pleased to announce that Ted. has approved funding its second annual round of awards to local teachers for six grants totaling $11,612. Teachers from the Brimfield, Brookfield, Holland, Sturbridge and Wales elementary schools as well as the Tantasqua Junior and Senior High Schools are eligible, and final awards were made through a competitive grant application process. These grants are for teacher-initiated projects designed to encourage students to pursue interests and to excel through innovative educational activities that go beyond those that would typically be funded by the district. The Ted. Grants Review Committee consisted of members of the Ted. Board of Directors, educators not affiliated with the Tantasqua or Union 61 school districts, and community members. In order to ensure impartiality, the Review Committee read the applications with the teachers names and schools removed.

Front row – Kate Alexander, Southbridge Savings Bank; Tammy Howe, Janet Downing, Amy Polito, Katherine Troy, Robert Jefferson.  Back row – Superintendent Dan Durgin, Ted. Treasurer Jeff Tasse, Joe Earls, Sean Cusick, Carol Willard, Finance Chair Brian Galonek.

The recipients for 2009-2010 include Janet Downing and Tammy Howe from Burgess Elementary School in Sturbridge for “Sharing the Reading/Writing Connection” in which students will explore a genre of writing through the assistance of a nationally known author who will help them understand what authors do.

From Tantasqua Junior High School, the grant recipients are Amy Polito, Katherine Troy, Robert Jefferson and Carol Willard for “Lights, Camera, Literacy,” an interdisciplinary project that will result in video podcasts to be made available to the community through the Tantasqua News Network website; Julie Guerin and Carol Willard, Art, for “Compassion Cards,” a project which involves student creation of cards and calendars to raise money for local non-profit organizations; Toni Bethiauame and Robert Jefferson, Science, for “21st Century Mapping” using hand-held GPS units for student explorations in geology, topography, and astronomical calculations; and to Robert Jefferson for “Forensic Science Investigations,” in which students use evidence kits to understand crime analysis in a scientifically accurate way and requires their use of physics, math, and life sciences to demonstrate how C.S.I.-style investigations actually work.

Grant recipients from Tantasqua High School are Joe Earls and Sean Cusick for “The Shakespeare Experience,” in which newly purchased period costumes will be used to engage students in the acting of dramatic scenes to allow them to better understand Shakespeare’s plays through direct involvement.

The Tantasqua Education Foundation is a community-sponsored, independent, non-profit organization dedicated to providing financial resources to support projects and programs that encourage students to develop their talents, become lifelong learners, and pursue excellence. In the last two years, it has given over $35,000 in direct grants.