Northampton Education Foundation Awards Announced for Fall 2020

Northampton Education Foundation Awards Announced for Fall 2020

Northampton Education Foundation (NEF), has announced their fall 2020 grants to the Northampton educational community recently. Historically the NEF generosity has provided wonderful learning opportunities for the Northampton students from engaging in garden projects, robotics, and launching a boat to study ocean currents among many other fascinating experiences.

The Board of the Northampton Education Foundation approved funding the following four grants, for a total of $10,320, for the first round of the Fall 2020 cycle.
Even during this period of remote learning, the Northampton Public School teachers and staff have created innovative programs to enhance learning and strengthen community connections. NEF is proud to fund the following programs. 
Jackson Street School
Students and educators in all grades will work with Tiffany Jewell, a Black biracial writer and anti-racist educator and consultant, to engage in 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.
Lindy Hop Classes
Northampton High School
Brandon Barker will teach the dance technique Lindy Hop through the Phys. Ed. department. This dance form, created in the 1920s during the Harlem Renaissance, emphasized solo jazz and partner dancing. Students will explore its roots and social context, learn to dance the Lindy Hop, and examine its connection to current hip hop culture. 
Remote Concert Series
Northampton High School
Local musicians from diverse musical genres will perform five live concerts over Zoom on Thursday evenings during the fall and spring semesters. These concerts will bring together our students for a shared experience where, while listening and watching, students can use the Zoom chat and other virtual classroom apps to socialize with each other outside of the classroom and interact with the artists. Performers will include musicians who speak to the current questioning of racism and racial justice.
The Viking Runestone
Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School
This grant will support the printing of The Viking Runestone, a book of artwork and writing produced by the students, faculty, and staff at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School. The Viking Runestone is a platform for work coming out of the new art program at SVAHS and is distributed free to all contributors. Additional copies will be sold to the community.

In efforts to continue these experiences, the NEF offered a second round of small grants this fall and awarded the following:

Critical Support to Preschool Remote Learning
All preschool students
Laura Frogameni, Rachel Matteis
This project will create weekly packets of materials for each preschooler household in NPS Virtual Preschool. Packets of art supplies, blocks, play figures, and paper dolls will give concrete materials essential to sensory based learning and ensure that all families have the materials their children need to learn and grow.
Walking Trail                                                                                               
Ryan Road School
Vanessa Keillor, Rebecca Minton
This project encourages and rewards walking by students, staff, and community members.  Building on the existing recess walking program, the current walking trail will be clearly marked for distance and include information on animal speeds, what’s seen from various points on the trail, and math equivalent lengths.

To read more about the NEF or donate, please visit their webpage HERE.