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The Bedford Education Foundation announces 2014 grant recipients

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Bedford Education Foundation announced it has awarded its 2014 Program and Summer Fellowship grants.

Over the last several years, BEF has awarded more than $98,000 to schools and educators to advance its goal of improving education in Bedford. Grants have been given to all Bedford schools and all grade levels. Some notable awards include the multi-disciplinary Legos project, the BHS BASE Camp, the aquarium in the entrance to Memorial School (integrated into multiple curricula), the musical playground at Peter Woodbury, the Bedford High School Personal Finance curriculum, the Galapagos project, writing seminars, the BHS Challenge Day program, anti-bullying workshops, several programs focused on the improved use of technology in education, and more.

Paul Brock, BEF chairman, said “BEF raises money from Bedford parents who care about improving the quality of education in Bedford, and we distribute these funds in a very targeted and thoughtful way to schools and teachers. We look for maximum leverage – where can the largest number of students gain the most, and we also look for innovative and cutting-edge programs. “

This year, BEF reviewed 15 applications from 25 teachers at five of Bedford’s schools. Through the planning efforts of BEF Board member Brit Munsterteiger, the applications were submitted electronically this year, which made the process easier. The applications were reviewed by the board, as well as by three community volunteers.

Two of this year’s awards went to support the foreign language department at BHS. One was to support Laura Chennette’s efforts in the Modern Language Study Abroad program.

Related to this award is a second foreign language award to support the establishment of a Spanish sister school for BHS, which will allow Spanish students to attend BHS and BHS students to study abroad in Spain.

Heather Brunelle received an award to attend a Flipped Learning conference.

Flipped Learning embraces the concept of “flipping” work done at home and work done in school, to make the teacher more available when the students need help most.

Tristen Bowen received a grant to attend the Confratute University of Connecticut NEAG Center for Gifted and Talented. Rachel Ramsey and Hilary Woods received grants to attend the IMSW Orton-Gillingham Advanced Continuum Training.

This training is focused on decoding, encoding, vocabulary, grammar, writing, spelling rules, along with Greek and Latin roots.

Dawn Pons, Julia Fine, Erin Milem and Kate Schoendinger received a grant to support a new program at the Ross A. Lurgio School called “A Long Walk to Water.”

This multi-disciplinary program addresses the physical, social and geographic issues surrounding water availability in the Sudan.

Eric O’Brien, BEF treasurer, said, “This year’s decisions were extra hard. We had a number of very high-quality applications and we wish we could have supported more.

“Unfortunately, we are bound by not only our funding level but by our mission – to support innovation, pilot programs, and ‘outside the box’ programs. Our job will be much easier, and we will support more innovation, when we increase … support from the community and local businesses.”

For more information about BEF, or to contribute either time, talent or treasure, go to www.befnh.org.

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