Foundation lists grants for creative school projects

   The Princeton Education Foundation recently announced the recipients for nine grants totaling $4,990 for Princeton public school projects.
   The grants are awarded by the foundation twice a year to teachers demonstrating creative delivery of a topic or experience.
   In awarding the grants, PEF board co-chair Diane Colasanto said, "Each year we see more and more innovative ideas being proposed by our teachers. Projects are focused on enrichment for curious minds as well as intervention for struggling students. And we continue to see many more worthy projects than we can fund."
   Over the past seven years, the PEF has granted more than $250,000 to nearly 70 projects in music, math, science, athletics and fitness, art, social sciences, language arts and teacher training.
   Martha Kirby of Littlebrook School received a grant for Science Backpacks. Nine backpacks, each focusing on a science topic appropriate for kindergarten, first or second grade, will be assembled. Each backpack contains a book, an activity, the necessary materials to complete the activity and a journal to record predictions, results and observations. The backpacks will be available from the school library for the children to check out. The grant money will supply the backpack, books and supplies for the activities.
   Joanne Ryan and Ellen Wadyka of Littlebrook School were awarded funds for Bag of Books. The project is designed as an intervention for struggling readers. Nine children identified through the Littlebrook Pupil Assistance Committee as exhibiting gaps in language development and fluency will receive a collection of reading materials, suggestions for reading and writing activities, a high frequency word list, a writing journal with writing tools and a list of instructions in a canvas book bag. Funds from the grant will buy book bags, reading materials, activity materials and incentive coupons.
   Jane Murphy, PTO co-president at Riverside School, developed a Native Plant Project that will be carried out to instruct students in the benefits of native plants — practices of conservation, ecosystem consideration and New Jersey habitat. The grant money will buy books needed to research the plants for selection to be planted in the courtyard at Riverside School.
   Joanne Ryan and Marilyn Jardin of Littlebrook School received a grant for Pre-School Family Math. This grant provides funds to host four preschool family math nights. The money will be used for materials to introduce mathematical concepts to preschool children and their parents.
   Kathleen SanFillippo and Roberta Hunter of Johnson Park School received a grant for Project RENEW (Replanting Native Elements Wisely). Fourth- and fifth-grade students will study native and alien species of plants to learn about ecosystems, biodiversity and land stewardship. The Johnson Park School site, which includes a small, second-growth, mixed-hardwood forest with alien plant species, will be the students’ laboratory. The money from this grant will buy the necessary books for the students to use to identify the plants.
   Jo Szabaga of John Witherspoon Middle School received funding to conduct the Middle School Math Portfolio Project. Students will be able to create a portfolio of geometric shapes used to study complex mathematical concepts. The grant money will be used to purchase an Ellison Letter Machine and some dies for it.
   Andrea Dinan, Patricia Marino, Arlene Sinding and Betsy Stokes of Princeton High School designed the project, American Snapshots. The project will enable English as Second Language students at Princeton High School to explore an American landmark. The grant money will help defray the cost of one or more field trips to such landmarks as the Liberty Science Center, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, various sites in and around Philadelphia, the Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, the Tuckerton Seaport and Island Beach State Park.
   Carolyn Bailey, Renee Carter and Arlene Sinding of John Witherspoon Middle School and Princeton High School received a grant to fund an author visit by Paul Zindel, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his play, "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds." The project is a cooperative venture among Princeton High School, John Witherspoon Middle School and the Princeton Public Library. Johnson Park students from the Breakfast Book Discussion Club also will be invited to attend Mr. Zindel’s presentation. Mr. Zindel will spend a half-day in the high school, a half-day at John Witherspoon and give an evening presentation at the public library. The money for this grant will help the library fund this project.
   Linda Carey, Katherine Murtaugh and Lyn Nosker of Community Park School have been awarded funds for Drama in the Second Grade. The project is designed to allow students the experience of performing on stage, dramatizing fairy tales. The grant money will buy the necessary fairy tale scripts.
   Donna Goodwin of Community Park School received a grant for Magic Math Bags. The project will create literature-based math activities for the entire family. After a shared reading of a book, students will engage in an activity with their families based on the book. The grant money will buy 15 different math literature books and the materials needed for the activities associated with each book.
   Grant recipients for the academic year 2001-2002 will be honored at a reception at the MacLean House on Sunday. Teachers who wish to apply for grants in Fall 2002 may download the grant application form from the PEF Web site