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The Foundation for West Hartford Public Schools at Sedgwick Middle School
Posted 10/09/2018 08:30AM

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.

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Grants Awarded to Sedgwick Middle School this year:

Cigna Foundation Matching Gifts Program Grant: Mind Body Connections During Learning Labs
Bob Lorenzo, Lead Teacher

In this pilot program 45 8th grade students from Sedgwick Middle School will receive instruction during learning labs from professionals in the disciplines of yoga, mindfulness and dance/fitness. The 3 activities will engage students during the school year from November through April. Participants will be selected based on a student needs assessment from the school counseling department. The goals of these weekly 30-minute sessions is to incorporate additional reflection time, movement and exercise into the daily lives of our students who will most benefit from these activities. Participation will help students gain a greater awareness of themselves, a greater sense of community with others and help gain a calmer more focused and thoughtful approach to their days.

Dougie and Tom Trumble Grant: Everyone has a Story to Tell -- Creatively Writing Personal Narratives
Sara Tamborello, Lead Teacher

This in-residence program brings professional storyteller and author, Mark Binder, to seventh graders at Sedgwick Middle School. Mr. Binder will demonstrate storytelling techniques to students to help them bring their writing of personal narratives to a new level as they develop confidence and  their voice as writers.  Elements of the short story, as well as the revision process, will be applied to their own stories.

Dowd Family Grant: Ginny Lowe Connors, Poet-in-Residence
Shannon McNeice, Lead Teacher & Kyra Blair, Melody Moore

Ginny Lowe Connors will be poet in residence for five days at Sedgwick Middle School during National Poetry Month. Sixth, seventh and eighth grade students will interact with Mrs. Connors, a former middle-school teacher and published poet who also runs a small poetry press, as she conducts workshops with students during the month of April. The culminating project will either be a Poetry Slam with students reading their poems or an anthology of poems, printed for all participants, with a copy given to the library.

J. P. Carroll Construction Grant: Wishes for A Stronger Community
Teacher of the Year, Sonya Stemmer

In an effort to bring students together to talk about community, students will read the novel Wishtree, by Katherine Applegate as a read aloud during the advisory period.  Each set of chapters will be accompanied by discussion questions that will engage students in conversations about culture, inclusion, compassion and citizenship. The project will include smaller opportunities for community outreach, particularly in the areas of supporting marginalized members of the community, with a culminating project of building neighborhood “wish trees” that invite communities in West Hartford to share their wishes.  The project will begin on the team level and then move to the grade level as more funds become available. The hope is to access enough financial support to make this a whole school read for the 2019 -2020 school year.

Optometric Specialty Group Grant: "Amplify"'d 7th grade Science!
Leslie Bruenn, Lead Teacher & Areej Nitowski, Tim Kessler, Susan Chasen

Seventh grade students at Sedgwick Middle School will use Amplify Science to learn about metabolism and how body systems work together to maintain life. This robust, multimodal and hands-on program will fulfill 100% of the NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) as well as cover a substantial number of Core ELA and math standards. Using Chromebooks or computer labs, the students will use the Amplify program to learn how to think, read, compute and create like actual modern scientists. They will navigate complex problems, manipulate and analyze data, take part in engaging discussions and activities and practice SBAC-like computer-based experiences. Rather than just reading about metabolism in a textbook and viewing  videos, students will actually experience metabolism from the point of view of a health professional thanks to the high level of engagement of the Amplify program.

West Hartford Chamber of Commerce and Westfarms Grant: 3D Printer
Nicholas Adler, Lead Teacher

This grant provides partial funding for a 3D printer at Sedgwick Middle School.  Every student in 8th grade Technology & Engineering (T&E) participates in an architectural design unit.  Having a dual extruding 3D printer will enable students to complete the cycle of design, modeling, and manufacturing. With this technology students will be able to reproduce their 3D models into physical recreations that are structurally accurate.  The 3D printer will also allow students to participate in advanced unit projects beyond the standard curriculum.  Reverse engineering and problem solving are just two such avenues a 3D printer will provide students within the T&E classroom.  Students will learn to further their understanding of CAD design software and 3D printing technologies. Students will print their structures to scale in order to expand their knowledge on 3D manufacturing technologies and procedures.

West Hartford Chamber of Commerce and Westfarms Grant: Robotics Playing Field & Robotic Parts
Rachel Kane, Lead Teacher

This grant mostly funds the purchase of a robotics playing field for the robotics club for 60 6th through 8th graders at Sedgwick Middle School. The robotics club has acquired robots over the years, but they do not have the playing field necessary to practice for competitions. Students in this club spend their after-school time learning how to design, build, and program robots that perform various tasks (moving a ball, climbing stairs, ladders, etc.). Through this process students also learn teamwork skills that they may not otherwise acquire through their participation in a group activity. The materials purchased with the grant will go on to affect more students than just in this year, as the playing field will be able to be used for years to come.

West Hartford Public Schools

50 South Main St, West Hartford, CT  06107

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