The Concord Education Fund, (CEF), an independent organization committed to empowering teachers and administrators at Concord Public Schools (CPS) and Concord-Carlisle High School (CCHS) has announced its 2018 grant recipients.
Among this year’s slate, is funding for a System-Wide Mindfulness Initiative put forward by the new superintendent of schools, Dr. Laurie Hunter. According to Dr. Hunter, “The CPS/CCHS Mindfulness Strategic Planning Committee has developed a shared vision and plan for Mindfulness in the school and community to better address the social, emotional and academic needs of our students.”
Building upon prior mindfulness work in the district, the CEF grant makes possible the incorporation of mindfulness materials and practices into the curriculum at every grade level, extends professional development to middle school teachers, and supports the establishment of mindfulness celebrations that are unique and significant to each school.
2018 award highlights also include:
• Final outfitting of the STEAM Innovation Lab, a specially designed maker space at Ripley loaded with hands-on design challenges to engage and inspire elementary students in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM).
• Integrated Social Studies & ELA materials that let 5th graders read multiple accounts of the Revolutionary War, examining bias, tone, propaganda and objectivity in an author’s work.
• New stands for iPAD minis used in Stop-Motion Animation that allow Alcott animators to focus on visual creativity rather than camera stability.
• Middle School Chess sets, clocks, and ChessKid gold memberships that support the expansion of extracurricular chess participation and the organization of ladders and tournaments.
• Kits to enable coding of physical components with Scratch, a learning tool that middle school students use to program their own interactive stories, games, and animations shared online in Scratch Ed Meet-Ups.
• ZESTFEST, a two-day music clinic culminating with a celebration of community through song featuring the CCHS Combined Chorus, Men’s Chorus, Melodies, and Select Choir, as well guest choirs from Concord Middle School and the Carlisle School.
• Threatened Marbled Salamanders raised by students in the CCHS Diversity of Life course then reintroduced to areas where they once thrived.
• Poetry Workshop and Symposium with award-winning Hispanic poet, essayist, and professor Martín Espada as part of the integrated CCHS history & literature course: Twice Told Tales.
• A range of rigorous and meaningful professional development opportunities for all CPS/CCHS staff to learn more about diversity and cultural competency, and thereby help to shape an ever more inclusive school culture.
• Support for Q5, the re-envisioned last two weeks of the CCHS school year – a ‘5th Quarter’ directly following the completion of final exams – when students will have the opportunity to select from 75 new electives that leverage the curiosity, knowledge, and passions of CCHS faculty.
CEF co-president Suzanne Jachinowski expressed her gratitude to the Concord Carlisle community, “We’re very grateful for the donations we receive from families and businesses that allow us to fund so many interesting and diverse grants.”
This winter, the Concord Education Fund was especially fortunate to receive a $50,000 gift from Middlesex Savings Bank (MSB), part of a $1.2 million donation in support of education in MSB branch towns. “Middlesex Savings Bank has great respect for the education foundations in our community,” said Michael McAuliffe, President and CEO of Middlesex Savings Bank. “They work hard to support projects and programs that foster learning and creativity. We hope that our donations will make their jobs easier this year, and are excited to see their existing academic programs flourish or new ones come to life.”
CEF co-president Rick Hedeman pointed out the connection between CEF sponsorship and support for public-school education, “By supporting the Ed Fund, I think our donors know that they are supporting the incredible commitment and creativity of our teachers and our administrators who are tireless in support of our community and our kids.”
About Concord Education Fund (CEF)
Since its inception in 1994, CEF has raised and distributed more than $2 million to the Concord Public Schools and Concord-Carlisle Regional High School. CEF has funded a variety of educational technologies and related programs that have initially fallen beyond the scope of the public-school budget but have later been adopted by the school district. CEF-funded curricula, programs and initiatives, spanning all academic disciplines and levels, continue to offer students an extraordinary educational experience. For more information please visit www.concordedfund.org.