From left to right: WPS superintendent Dr. Craig Cooke, Windsor Board of Education member Nuchette Black-Burke, Windsor Board of Education president Leonard Lockhart, WEF board members Cristina Santos, Heidi Sirota (president), Genevieve Lattimer and Mae Maloney.
Windsor Education Foundation (WEF) has awarded a total of $15,989 in grants to fund 14 projects proposed by teachers in Windsor Public Schools, including a $1,000 science grant from The Christine Gasparino Memorial Fund. All Windsor Public Schools certified staff members were eligible to apply for the grants.
Since 2007, WEF has awarded $147,000 to local, public school educators. The programs funded for 2018 will directly benefit more than 2,900 students across all grades:
- Clover Street School will begin a mindfulness program. The awarded funds will be used to train seven educators, who will, in turn, train others in the practices to fulfill on the schoolwide mission of mindfulness in the classroom.
- John F. Kennedy School received two grants. The first, Investing in My Future, is an investor’s club where students will work in teams and learn the basics of money management. JFK will also begin a garden tower program which will give students and their families an opportunity to grow and enjoy fresh vegetables throughout the school year.
- Oliver Ellsworth also received two grants. They’ll start a butterfly garden and pollinator project in conjunction with the Windsor Monarch Project. The second grant is to create a mini makerspace filled with STEM learning tools.
Sage Park Middle School
- Just Journaling is one of two grants awarded. Students will be engaged in journaling to develop their writing voice and practice handwriting as a way to connect to right-brain thinking.
- Participants in the school’s Gay Straight Alliance will attend the True Colors Conference to learn coping and advocacy techniques with the goal of fostering acceptance for people in the LGBTQ community.
Windsor High School
High school students will benefit from four new programs funded by WEF grants:
- Membership as a Connecticut Youth Forum Champion School will join students from member districts for meaningful discussions and monthly meetings, and to attend Connecticut Forum programs at The Bushnell theater.
- Three college tour days will be held for seniors to explore nearby campuses to help them make important choices about post-secondary education.
- An awareness program about sexual assault on college campuses and how to protect yourself will be offered to students, families and the community.
- With the Christine Gasparino Memorial Fund science grant, the high school will build a garden and outdoor classroom that will encourage students and teachers to plan, build, care for, visit and harvest from the garden.
Other district programs
- With their grants, the Specialized Programming Alternatives for Reaching Kids (SPARK) program at L.P. Wilson Center will grow a butterfly garden and breeding ground, as well as create a cooking program to teach life skills to special needs students who will soon be living on their own.
- The Community Based Transition Academy (CBTA) was awarded a grant to purchase physically interactive games, like Wii, and host book clubs with students from similar programs to help build and reinforce their interpersonal skills.
“Our one and only focus is to raise funds so we can award grants to teachers to implement hands-on, creative learning programs,” said Heidi Sirota, president. “We’ve given close to $150,000 since we started and have sparked the interests of kids across the grades and schools. This year’s funded programs are some of our most exciting! We thank the generous business and individual donors and those who participated in our fundraising programs for making these grants possible.”
“We are honored to receive this continued support from the Windsor Education Foundation,” said Dr. Craig Cooke, Superintendent of Schools. “These grants allow us to implement innovative learning programs that enhance the quality of education for our students and increase student achievement. This is one of the most exciting lists of grants to date.”
About Windsor Public Schools:
Windsor Public Schools serves nearly 4,000 students in the community of Windsor, Connecticut, a town located in north central Connecticut between Hartford and Springfield, Massachusetts. Windsor Public Schools is comprised of six schools: Oliver Ellsworth School, Poquonock School, Clover Street School, John F. Kennedy School, Sage Park Middle School, and Windsor High School. The mission of Windsor Public Schools is to develop the genius in every child and to create lifelong learners. For more information about the Windsor Board of Education and any of its schools, please visit www.windsorct.org.