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For Immediate Release

June 23, 2022

Contact: Megan Rubiner Zinn, Northampton Education Foundation




Northampton Education Foundation Announces Recipients of 

Spring 2022 Small Grants


The Board of the Northampton Education Foundation approved funding for seven Spring 2022 grants, for a total of $16,325. Grantees will undertake these projects through the 2022-23 academic year. 


Empowering Youth: How to be Anti-Racist


Leeds School

Jessica Schreiber

Students and educators in all grades at Leeds will work with Tiffany Jewell, a Black biracial writer and anti-racist educator and consultant, to engage in grade-level-appropriate anti-racist dialogue, learning, and practice. Topics explored include: Waking Up: Understanding and Growing into Our Identities; Going Beyond the Dictionary: Understanding Racism; The History We Carry with Us; Choosing Your Path: Taking Action, Responding to Racism; What We’re Fighting For. This will fund the first few months of this project.

Funds consultant, books, and photocopies


Empowering Youth: How to Be Anti-Racist


Jackson Street School

Sarah King, Katharine Walmsey

In year three of this grant students and educators in all grades at Jackson St. School will continue to engage in grade-level-appropriate anti-racist dialogue, learning, and practice with the support and coaching of an experienced local anti-racist educator and author, Tiffany Jewell. Work this year will prioritize small group learning opportunities, including opportunities for affinity groups as well as neurodiverse groups, to support special education and English-learner students in particular.

Funds consultant and materials


Empowering Youth: How to be Anti-Racist                                                      


Ryan Road School  

Rachel Ellis Dworkin         

Students and educators in all grades at Ryan Road will work with Tiffany Jewell, a Black biracial writer and anti-racist educator and consultant, to engage in grade-level-appropriate anti-racist dialogue, learning, and practice. Topics explored include: Waking Up: Understanding and Growing into Our Identities; Going Beyond the Dictionary: Understanding Racism; The History We Carry With Us; Choosing Your Path: Taking Action, Responding to Racism; What We’re Fighting For.

Funds consultant, books, and photocopies


Theater Tech Club Monday Mentors


Northampton High School 

Paul Kinsman

Building on an NEF Endowment Grant, this small grant will be used to hire local sound and lighting professionals, Andrew Zucchino and Ezekiel Baskin, to continue training NHS ‘Techie” students on how to run events in the auditorium at their after-school club. They will learn how to run live sound, how to set up and run lighting, and how to manage the space, including set up and take down of different stage sets.

Funds consultants


Bringing Sensory World to Classroom


Leeds/Ryan Road/Northampton High School   

Kristin Zottoli

Ms. Zottoli will construct program-relevant teaching tools designed to facilitate instruction with Special Education (SPED) students with unique learning challenges that require the use of a multisensory approach. The kits and games developed will enhance the learning experiences of all students with a focus on those with sensory, cognitive, and motor challenges. “Story boxes” will be developed for the (pre-K/K) group to accelerate their reading skills and “task boxes” will be developed for the high-school level to facilitate the learning of life skills to support the transition from a school environment to the outside world.

Funds staff time and materials


Building Resilience: Mindfulness


JFK Middle School/Northampton High School

Michelle Eastman

Year two of this project will continue to develop and pilot the mindful moments curriculum for educators and students. Educators will participate in mindfulness workshops (yoga, share circles, movement, reflective writing), the expansion of some Onward Book group activities, and gentle yoga twice per month.

Funds staff time


STEM Exposure and Outreach



Meshia Begin

This is year two of a student-designed, student-coordinated peer mentoring initiative that helps to establish connections between high school students and elementary/middle school students. High school students will lead activities and give presentations on their personal journeys of how they got into STEM and what careers they are looking for in the future, while encouraging exploration of STEM. Presentations will also include invitations to explore the Innovation Pathway program at the high school.

Funds staff time, materials and printing


For Immediate Release

June 23, 2022

Contact: Martin Wohl, NEF Vice-President for Endowment



The Northampton Education Foundation Announces

the 16th Annual Endowment Awards
for the 2022-23 School Year


The Northampton Education Foundation (NEF) is pleased to announce that the NEF Endowment Fund, together with its named funds (the bankESB Fund, the Eli Daniel Nemetz Todd Memorial Fund, the Florence Bank Fund for Public Education, the Marie Hershkowitz Memorial Fund, the Northampton Area Pediatrics Fund, and the Principal Gwen Agna Fund for Northampton Public Education, all under the NEF Endowment umbrella), has awarded a total of $86,411 to eight projects for the 2022-23 school year. 


This year’s total award is the most ever awarded in a single Endowment distribution cycle. NEF’s plans to restructure our Endowment grants will give us the opportunity to provide even greater annual funding exclusively from the dividends of the Endowment Fund as it continues to appreciate and continues to grow, thanks to community contributions and bequests.


NEF stands committed to utilizing the dividends of the Endowment’s generously contributed resources to positively impact the education of every child in the Northampton School District.


Awards were made to the following programs in the spring of 2022 to begin in the fall of 2022:


Affinity Groups 

District wide


Project Leads: Ed Stone, Andrew Samuelson, Allyson Spencer-Bunch, Laura Frogameni


This project seeks to create and support a more inclusive, diverse, and stable workforce in our schools by providing designated safe spaces for staff members who share a particular identity to come together to feel less isolated and more connected. Building on a small grant that supported the organizational development and piloting of affinity groups, this grant will support a full school year of affinity groups for BIPOC, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, and race-conscious white educators. The ultimate goal is to support student achievement, reduce staff turnover in the district, and attract a more diverse workforce. The funding will go towards CES facilitators and teacher stipends.


All Out Adventures

JFK Middle School and Northampton High School


Project Leads: Karen Foster, Sarah Hougen, Elodie Chicoine


This program will partner with the JFK GOALS program and the middle and high school adaptive PE classes to make cycling accessible to students of all abilities. All Out Adventures will visit both JFK Middle School and Northampton High School with their fleet of adaptive cycles, giving students with disabilities an opportunity to learn to cycle on equipment that works for them. In addition to the direct benefit to the participants, this initiative will help to raise awareness among the larger school communities of what is possible for students with disabilities. The funding covers All Out Adventures’ costs including staff time, travel, and cycle maintenance.



Music and Poetry Synchronized

Northampton High School


Project Leads: Tom Willits, Paul Kinsman


The MAPS program will provide Northampton High School music students the opportunity to creatively collaborate and work together with poetry and art students from Bulkeley High School in Hartford, Connecticut, and to learn about different cultural, racial, gender, and socio-economic backgrounds and geographical experiences. Through the creation of poetry, music, and art, the language, culture, and lived experiences of each student group is enhanced by the other. Through artistic expression and the sharing of their lives, they forge bonds that are long lasting, educational, and deeply moving for all involved. This program takes place during the entire school year and works to continue to connect the students after the program ends. There will be roughly fifty students total participating in the program. The MAPS Program Review captures the poetry, music lead sheets, and art created throughout the year in a published book. Along with flash drives with the final concert embedded, and T-shirts, it will be given to each student free of charge at the end of the program.



Plant Science and Food Justice Course

Northampton High School


Project Lead: Megan Murphy


This project will support the development and implementation of a new course offering at NHS. Plant science is a field of biology that focuses on the study of plant growth, reproduction, evolution, and adaptation, as well as the use of plants for food, fiber, and ornamental purposes. The food justice movement works to ensure universal access to nutritious, affordable, and culturally appropriate food for all, while advocating for the wellbeing and safety of those involved in the food production process. Combining these elements into a single course, students will learn about sustainable and more just alternatives to current local and global agricultural and horticultural models, including community and home gardening. The course will provide hands-on experiences in the NHS Plant Room, as well as collaboration with Grow Food Northampton and Crimson and Clover farm. The funding will cover greenhouse supplies and a teacher stipend for course development.



JFK Health and Wellness

JFK Middle School


Project Leads: Kathy Casale, Janice Soucy


This ambitious project seeks to bring together four components focused on health and wellness for JFK students. The available funding will go towards the RULER program, a Yale-developed approach to social and emotional learning, as well as library resources focused on mental health, which have been in higher demand since students returned to school. JFK plans to tie these in with a Health & Wellness Day, and additional physical education tools and equipment to support student wellbeing. 



Early Childhood Professional Development



Project Lead: Laura Frogameni


This professional development project focuses on both NPS preschool teachers as well as community preschool teachers who primarily work with future NPS students. The partnership between NPS and community preschools builds on prior work funded by the state. This grant funds professional development related to social-emotional learning, especially pertaining to students with special needs. Components include a workshop series by the Asperger/Autism Network (AANE), a series focused on legal aspects of special education law, and a workshop offered to both teachers and caregivers to help deepen partnerships and improve student outcomes. The funding covers the AANE costs and consultants.



Visual Thinking Strategies

District wide


Project Leads: Sara Lasser Yau


VTS is an innovative, discussion-based art-looking practice that fosters collaborative, community-building dialogue. This grant builds on a prior Endowment grant that brought VTS to Leeds. After a successful first year of direct classroom teaching at Leeds, Sara Lasser Yau will broaden the reach of VTS by offering professional development to a self-selected group of teachers from across the district at the Smith College Museum of Art. The funding will cover curriculum costs, Sara’s time, and stipends for participating teachers.



Hitchcock Center Take It Outside!

All Elementary


Project Lead: Colleen Kelley


This program will build on the successful partnership between the Hitchcock Center and NPS. The overarching goal of the program is to build teacher confidence in utilizing outdoor areas around the elementary schools to enhance student engagement and learning. Year one provided backpacks full of teaching tools to all K-3 classrooms in the district, along with direct instructional support from Hitchcock Center staff. Year two will continue that work, focusing on outdoor classroom management techniques to deepen, reinforce, and sustain the learning of new approaches and practices. Year two also includes funding for professional development outside of classroom hours so teachers can work together to develop and hone skills related to outdoor teaching.

photo of grants awarded by NEF


Grant awards from NEF

REAL (Racial Equity And Learning) is a new project funded by the Northampton Education Foundation. We are gathering stories from a wide range of community members about their experiences of race in the district. The overall mission of REAL is to support and strengthen our school community by developing an intentionally anti-racist culture. Our core group is comprised of teachers, staff, students, and family members across the district.

We believe that we can create a school district that is anti-racist, not only in theory but in practice, and has genuine acceptance, respect, and love for all people as a recognizable part of its identity. Talking together and sharing life stories and experiences is one step toward this.

Stories will be developed into a report and/or multimedia exhibits that will be shared and used to help create an anti-racist school district.

Stay tuned for an event in January!

Have questions or ideas? Want to join the working group? Have a story to share?

Please contact these school parents:
· Bridge Street: Benita Jackson (
· Jackson Street: Jenny Bender (
· Leeds: Bill Brown (
· Ryan Rd: Suna Turgay (
· JFK: Noel Raley (
· NHS: Jen Berneche (


Northampton Education Foundation Pequeño Grants

Small grants list 1

Page 2 of the list of small grants


Large grant announcements

Page two of announcements

Northampton Education Fondo de dotación Grants