The Foundation's mission is to provide financial support for educational projects, programs, and initiatives that will enhance and enliven the classroom experience and promote excellence in West Hartford Public Schools.
The Foundation raises funds from individuals, businesses, and civic groups in the community as well as alumni nationwide. Gifts of $1,000 or more entitle the donor to honor an individual, business or civic group by having the Foundation name a grant. Once a year, certified teachers throughout the school district are invited to apply for grants ranging from $200 to $3,000 for a project that will enhance student experience, complement the curriculum and demonstrate educational merit. A Foundation committee reviews the applications with the teacher's name and school removed. After approval by the Foundation board, awards are presented in late spring of each year.
For more information or to apply for a grant, visit The Foundation's webpage HERE.
Click here to purchase notecards created by West Hartford Public School Students to support the Teacher Grant Program.
Grants Awarded to Hall this year:
Are you a College and Career Ready Reader? Theresa Giannitti, Lead Teacher
This grant supports the purchase of a software license directed at students in grades 9, 10 and 11 at Hall High School who read below reading levels to receive appropriate directed reading instruction. These students will be able to take a "Reading Seminar" I, II or III in lieu of an elective. During this seminar, the students will use this on-line literacy program called LANGUAGE! LIVE with the goal to accelerate their reading comprehension, close the reading gap for these students and position them to transition to postsecondary education arenas with more learning options. Specifically, students taking this Seminar will be able to explore careers and the corresponding reading levels associated with these careers while actually reading and writing and through in-class presentations. The reading instruction will occur daily and the digital component at least twice a week. At the termination of the Seminar, students will present a final "career exploration project" to class members with an emphasis on knowing how well they will need to read to pursue their career choice.
Dougie & Tom Trumble Grant: An Inside Look at the U.S. Prison System:Visiting the Women of York Correctional Institute Jessica Palliardi, Lead Teacher
This trip allows students to gain an inside look at the U.S. prison system by visiting and touring the York Correctional Institute in Niantic, CT as part of an Introduction to sociology. Forty-five 10th, 11th and 12th grade students from Hall High School will travel to the York Prison where they will tour the facility and meet with women who are imprisoned there. These women will share their life stories, and after returning to the classroom students will complete research projects on the U.S. prison system. Dr. James J. Moore Memorial Grant: Cultural Connections Ryan Cronin, Lead Teacher & Maria Genca (Hall) This grant supports students in grades 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 at Whiting Lane Elementary School and grades in 9, 10, 11, and 12 at Hall High School. This grant will fund the continued work of the Cultural Connections program, which for the past 6 years has paired 15-20 elementary English language learners (ELLs) with 15-20 high school ELLs in a cross-district "buddy" learning partnership. In the past few years the program has focused on promoting access to local cultural attractions, taking students on field trips to places they many not normally go with their families.
Dr. Scott & Cyndi Brown Family Grant: Conflict, Crisis, and Creativity: Mohamad Hafez Brigid Kennedy, Lead Teacher & Robert Loebell (Hall), Rachael Martinelli (Hall), Elise Dunphe (Hall)
Artist and architect, Mohamad Hafez will present his personal experiences, as a Syrian immigrant to the United States with refugee relatives in Sweden, with high school students at both Conard and Hall High Schools. Hafez began making art when the war started six years ago and his powerful pieces communicate the human cost of war and his personal anguish regarding the destruction of his native land. His presentation will address the differences and commonalities between world cultures while revealing the consequences of war. The artist will conduct a lecture and hands-on workshop at each high school and then return to discuss original work created by the students through the workshop process. Students will be encouraged to discover and develop creative connections between conflict in their own experience on both a personal and community level.
Poetry CSI Anna Capabianoc & Sheila Levanti (Duffy)
This grant funds Poetry CSI, a program for ninth grade students at Hall High School that involves students blacking out text to uncover poems within larger works of fiction or nonfiction that express central themes. In the second week of the grant, ninth graders will be paired with fourth graders at Duffy Elementary School. The ninth graders will introduce themselves via Skype, explain what a blackout poem is, and read or show several examples. In the third week, the ninth graders will visit the fourth graders and work in small groups to find hidden poems within the texts the fourth graders are reading. This grant will help students analyze text, determine central themes and ideas, and determine the meanings of specific words or phrases, all using strong text-based evidence for support.
State Farm Insurance Agent Mario Russo Grant: eNABLE Prosthetic 3D Printed Hand Challenge Michael Wilkosz, Lead Teacher & Anthony Truss (Conard), Charles McDermott (Conard)
The eNABLE Community is an amazing group of individuals from all over the world who are using 3-D printers to create free 3-D printed hands and arms for those in need of an upper limb assistive device. The eNABLE Prosthetic 3-D Printed Hand Challenge will provide 100 Hall High School students the opportunity to help contribute to this growing base of volunteers by working to evaluate, print and assemble 3-D modeled hands to donate. The intent of this grant is to establish a lasting partnership between West Hartford Public Schools and the eNABLE Community. It will also encourage students to explore the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subject areas and discover all that these learning concepts have to offer. Beyond classroom exploration, students will have the opportunity to put their own ideas into practice in order to solve real-world problems. Finally, this project will also provide opportunities for students to experience the value of volunteer work first hand and to instill the values of volunteerism.
Teacher of the Year Finalist Grant ~ Enhancing Student Learning with Coral Reef Aquariums Anthony Wasley, Lead Teacher
This grant will provide additional of fish and corals to the existing aquarium created with Anthony's grant during the 2016-2017 school year.
Tom Lee: Storytelling and the Homeric Tradition Carol Blejwas, Lead Teacher
This in-residence grant will bring Tom Lee, a professional storyteller and educator, to 100 Hall grade 9 students for hands-on storytelling workshops and performances. This project supports The Odyssey, which was first told orally, and is the key foundational text studied in ninth grade. Tom will explore the power of oral storytelling and will provide a live Homeric experience that will connect ancient literature to the students' daily lives. Students will write reflectively about their experience with the art of storytelling.
West Hartford Administrators Association Grant: Chem 4 Kids Johanna Foley, Lead Teacher
Chem 4 Kids is an after school club at the high school level. Hall High School students will meet to plan hands-on chemistry lessons to elementary students. The teacher will encourage students to research a topic of their interest and develop an age-appropriate lesson with hands-on demonstrations and experiments. The teacher will instruct students about safety precautions and teaching strategies. The students will meet about 8 times before going on a visit to a local elementary school. There will be a minimum of two school visits. The Chem 4 Kids Club also takes part in community building activities at their high school. At the school visits, the high school sets up about 12 stations where the elementary students rotate through and spend about ten minutes learning each topic. We have been able to teach about 100 elementary students. We visit local West Hartford elementary schools and will work with students from grades K through 5.
West Hartford Chamber of Commerce and Westfarms Grant: Introducing Micro-Businesses Anna Elfenbaum, Lead Teacher
This grant will allow Hall High School students to create several micro-businesses during the Vocational Skills and Activities of Daily Living classes. Students will be able to develop additional skills and behaviors that are integral for real-world job opportunities and community involvement. Two of the proposed micro-businesses are: cultivating, packaging, and selling microgreens and herbs; and creating, marketing, and packaging personalized embossed greeting cards. The projects supported by this grant go above and beyond the current vocational offerings by providing multi-level tasks for students that can be implemented at different levels, such as development of ideas, creation of products, and sales and marketing. Students will be assigned to different micro-business projects based on abilities and interest level and will be able to cycle through during the year. Once implemented, the aim is to have these microbusinesses be self-sustaining so that money collected by these businesses will purchase additional supplies to keep these microbusinesses going well into the future.
West Hartford SEPTO Grant: Microbusiness Pilot Program Gayle Levine
This pilot program will partner students with and without disabilities to work together to create microbusinesses that could potentially follow students with disabilities into adulthood. 15 Hall High School students will participate in this project and will work on vocational skills and develop marketing and business capabilities and experience. Freshman through seniors will interview students with special needs, research product trends, develop product and service ideas and build the story of each micro business.