AMHERST EDUCATION FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES 2020-2021 EXCELLENCE GRANT RECIPIENTS

Photo: Amherst Education Foundation

Source: Amherst Education Foundation

The Amherst Education Foundation (AEF) announced its Excellence Grants for the 2020-21 academic year on June 9.  Five awards were made totaling $26,845.  AEF’s 2020-2021 Excellence Grants are spread throughout the Amherst Elementary Schools, the Amherst Regional Middle School, and the Amherst Regional High School. 

Awards were granted to the following projects:

CLIMATE CHANGE CARNIVAL: THE DATA IS REAL, BUT SO ARE THE SOLUTIONS! 

Lead Grantee: Kerrita K. Mayfield, PhD 
Grant Amount: $4,050 
School: Amherst Regional Middle School 
Description: A Climate Change Carnival where 8th and 7th grade students present the problems of Global Climate Disruption, create and demonstrate possible solutions to the crisis of Global Climate Change, participate in hands-on workshops, and hear from a local and national keynote who is doing climate change work.
 

ELEMENTARY GARDEN PROGRAM: SUSTAINABLE EXPANSION 
Lead Grantee: Jennifer Reese 
Grant Amount: $8,450 
Schools: Crocker Farm, Fort River, and Wildwood 
Description: Enhance sustainability of the current Elementary Garden Program by providing professional development and scaffolded support to K-2nd grade teachers as they assume shared responsibility of teaching the garden curriculum, piloting of a summer intern program, and enabling expansion into the 4th grade. 

LOGIC PRO X FOR MUSIC PRODUCTION 
Lead Grantee: Todd Fruth 
Grant Amount: $3,500 
School: Amherst Regional High School 
Description: Providing real-life experience and skill sets to students considering music production as a career path through the use of Logic Pro X software and a daylong workshop at a recording studio.

MAKING HISTORY – DEVELOPING STUDENTS’ CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS AND ENGAGEMENT IN SOCIAL STUDIES, AND ENRICHING THE CURRICULUM 
Lead Grantee: Ruth Killough-Hill 
Grant Amount: $5,100 
Schools: Fort River, Crocker Farm, and Wildwood 
Description: Will expand the number of K-5th grade teachers who can attend undoing racism trainings and use what they learn to enrich social studies lessons using alternative histories of marginalized voices and project-based learning activities. 

RAISE THE CURTAIN – CROCKER FARM READER’S THEATER CURRICULUM LIBRARY 
Lead Grantee: Brenda Crowley 
Grant Amount: $5,745 
Schools: Crocker Farm 
Description: Strengthen equal access to grade level concepts and materials by creating a curriculum library of differentiated multi-level plays and supporting instructional materials that will enable grades 1-6 students to work together in small groups to present short theater performances to their peers while increasing their ability to read.

About The Amherst Education Foundation 
The Amherst Education Foundation Inc. (AEF) is an independent, non-profit organization committed to promoting students’ educational equity, supporting diversity, stimulating excellence and mobilizing broad community support for the public schools of Amherst, Leverett, Pelham, and Shutesbury. Our supporters include businesses, parents and other concerned citizens who share the belief that strong public schools are essential for a thriving community.

AEF’s mission is to support public schools in Amherst, Leverett, Pelham, and Shutesbury in providing an enriching and challenging educational experience for all students. Public schools are the building blocks of a community, and now more than ever they need the community’s support,” said co-president, Youssef Fadel. “AEF is extremely grateful to the individuals and businesses who donated so that we could provide grants to educators for research on climate-change solutions, hands-on garden-based learning, state-of-the-art equipment and instruction for music production, enhancing critical-thinking skills on history and culture, and creatively fostering a love of reading through theater. We are excited to see what our talented educators do with these innovative programs and initiatives.” 

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