Supported Projects

2013 – 2014 School Year

Understanding Change in the Piscataqua Region

This grant was awarded to York Middle School teacher Elaine Booth in the amount of $2,000 to provide sixth grade Jaguar team students with the opportunity to investigate historical changes in the Piscataqua Region through interdisciplinary and hands-on learning. Students will expand their knowledge of Maine history through classroom work and visits to Historic New England and the South Berwick Historic Society.

CRES Garden to Table

This grant was awarded to Coastal Ridge Elementary School teacher Michele Freitag in the amount of $2,320 to provide students with a variety of gardening opportunities that have curriculum connections in life science, environmental science, mathematics, engineering and design, social studies and nutrition. A committee of teachers, school nutrition workers, parents and custodians will help the students build gardens, cold frames, window boxes, and irrigation systems.

3D Printing at York High School

3D printers are a new, exciting technology being used in a variety of areas, from design and art to biomedical engineering. YHS teachers Beth Nowers and Stephanie Cleary were awarded $4,631.46 to introduce this technology to their CAD1, CAD2, Jewelry and Metalsmithing, and Digital Imaging students. They hope to be able to share this technology with other teachers for other applications in the future.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Field Trip

YHS teacher Bill True was awarded a grant of up to $3,000 to bring 20th Century United States History students to the JFK Presidential Library. This trip, in combination with classroom study and discussion, will allow students to explore topics including the Early Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Space Race by viewing and using primary historical sources.

Americans Who Tell the Truth

Melissa Fenelon and Beth Knight were awarded a grant of $1000 to provide seventhgrade YMS students with an interdisciplinary art, social studies, and language arts experience that challenges them to investigate inspirational Americans. Artist Robert Shetterly will visit the students to discuss his body of work, Americans Who Tell the Truth, and students will create portraits, prose, and poetry featuring people they find inspirational.

Our Edible Schoolyard: Agriculture, Nutrition, Community

YMS teachers Jess Baxter and Kate Barteaux were awarded $7,376.96 to begin an Our Edible Schoolyard project featuring a large greenhouse. This project was particularly exciting because it grew from student interest in the earth following a unit on Tracking Trash. Students in a targeted-learning-time group did much of the research and planning for this project.

Whiteboard Walls for Teaching and Learning

This grant was awarded to Andy Geranis in the amount of $860 to create more interactive fifth grade classrooms in a low tech manner. Classroom walls and desks will be painted with whiteboard paint. This will allow teachers to post learning targets, assess achievement of learning targets, give writing prompts, and lead brainstorm sessions. The walls can also be used in a variety of interactive, creative ways.

Science Discovery Kits

Village Elementary School teacher, Beth McKenna, was awarded $510.30 to purchase science discovery kits to be used in the second grade classrooms at both elementary schools. These kits cover topics from rocks and soil to the human body and they will help teachers support the Next Generation Science Standards while giving students hands-on learning.

Leveled Books Project

Carolyn Dupre, VES kindergarten teacher, was awarded $1200 to launch a leveled books project. It is difficult for parents to find books leveled to the same standards that the school district uses. Ms. Dupre will be purchasing sets of leveled books that can be borrowed from the York Public Library. This will give emerging readers a greater variety of literature choices and will encourage them to explore the public library on their path to becoming life-long readers.


Librarian Michele Adams, was awarded $400 to support the Teachers as Educational Advisors and Mentors (TEAM) program at YHS. Ms. Adams will purchase games for students and faculty to use during TEAM time. Playing games together will help build community, encourage higher order thinking, promote clear communication, and foster creative problem solving.

2012 – 2013 School Year

Picture This!

$1,450 granted to Phyllis Giordano/April Noble, Village Elementary School

Ogunquit Museum of Art LogoThis grant will fund the introduction of “Picture This!”, an art appreciation program that utilizes the permanent collection of the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, and supports specific units of Kindergarten study. Classroom discussions of two works each will take place during three monthly sessions, culminating in a field trip to the Museum. Each session will be tied directly to a current academic unit, giving students the opportunity to explore these topics using different skills and perspectives. The program will be offered to all Kindergarten students.

OverDrive Advantage Program

$4,490 granted to Flo Larson, YMS Library Ed. Tech. and Liz Reisz, Director, Library/Media Services

This grant will fund the initial purchase of a school-district specific library of downloadable eBooks geared toward readers in grades 3-12, as well as six eReaders for the YMS library. This program will enable York to start a collection of high interest titles that are only accessible to York students, which is a significant improvement over what is currently available. Studies have shown that eReaders increase motivation and assignment completion in reluctant readers, and free choice in reading selection and format increase students’ motivation to read. This grant will offer students access to a wider variety of electronic titles than has ever been available, thereby providing more students a greater chance of success and enjoyment in reading.

Activating Learners with Student Response Remotes

$1,134 granted to Michael Cleary, Social Studies Teacher, York High School

This grant will fund the purchase of student response remotes for use in high school Social Studies classes, to enhance student classroom engagement and provide immediate feedback on student comprehension. Students are kept engaged and on task, as the system requires their participation by “clicking in” to answer questions. Further, it enables the teacher to instantly modify lessons based on assessment of student learning. The ultimate goal of this pilot is to introduce this emerging technology in other subject areas and classrooms.

Puppet Making

$2,500 granted to Suzi Young, Grade 5 Teacher, YMS

YEF Funding: Puppet MakingThis grant funds the purchase of materials to create puppets, and the hiring of a professional puppeteer to teach all 5th grade students how to make puppets and perform with them. Work with puppets frequently has a beneficial influence on learning and social development, and provides an alternative for tactile learners or more introverted students. The project will be implemented across the subject areas of the 5th grade curriculum, and performances will be developed for the lower grades as well, creating a connection between the lower schools and middle school.

Responsive Classroom Professional Development – Effective Classroom Management

$4,130 granted to Julie Crafts, Grade 1 Teacher, VES and Kathy Welch, School Counselor, CRES

This grant funds five evening elementary teacher training sessions to explore effective classroom management, learn strategies for teaching positive behavior and discuss responses to misbehavior. Participants can then provide consistency for students by the use of common language and common classroom climate, and will share strategies with their colleagues. The sessions will be facilitated by the grant recipients, who will attend training, work with a Responsive Classroom trainer/consultant, and prepare the course over the summer.

English as a Second Language Summer Session

$750 granted to Mary Reinhardt, ESL Teacher, Ed. Tech III

This grants funds the continuation of language and educational services, throughout the summer, to students who do not speak English as their primary language and who are at risk of losing whatever proficiency and knowledge of the language they have gained during the school year. The teacher will work in collaboration with the classroom teacher to ensure appropriate individual student objectives are set, and a detailed evaluation will take place at the end of the program.

Total: $14,454