Aspire to Inspire
The Pelham Education Foundation funds diversity grant in support of District’s strategic plan and goals of the Diversity Strategic Taskforce
The PEF recently approved a grant to fund the “Aspire to Inspire” Diversity Oversight Committee Speaker Series, which will kick off with workshop events for the middle school and high school students on February 5th with Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant, who is a wildlife specialist with an interest in bears and the only African-American woman scientist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Additionally, she will conduct an evening presentation, on February 5th, open to all members of our community. Dr. Wynn-Grant’s story is compelling as an African-American woman who discovered her love of science after overcoming barriers in her career and earlier academic years.
A second workshop as part of the “Aspire to Inspire” Series, featuring Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, targeting all four elementary schools’ older grades will take place in late Spring. Mulholland is a recipient of the 2015 National Civil Rights Museum’s Freedom Award and was a participant in over 50 sit-ins and demonstrations by the time she was 23-years-old. She was a Freedom Rider, a participant in the Jackson Woolworth’s Sit-in, and helped plan and organize the March on Washington. As a white southern woman, her courage and fortitude in the Movement is well regarded. Joan has appeared in several books including Coming of Age in Mississippi, Breach of Peace, We Shall Not Be Moved, and a new illustrated children’s book about her life, titled, She Stood for Freedom. Joan has previously spoken at Colonial School engaging her audience with her story. Principal Jeannine Clark and Dr. Maria Thompson director of humanities, applied for the grant on behalf of the Diversity Oversight Committee.
Our already exceptional science research program is growing thanks to a sizable grant approved by the Pelham Education Foundation. Through this grant, we will be able to fund a science research consultant who will provide professional development for teachers and students, who will then act as mentors to other students. This consultant will also offer guidance to the students as they prepare for the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium and the Westchester Science and Engineering Fair by reviewing their presentations and providing constructive criticism. The consultant, David Keith, most recently led the Authentic Science Research Program at Byram Hills High School to great success. He has identified our greatest need to be in the area of scientific writing and believes with his training, our students will be more successful. Finally, he will work with elementary school teachers for two full days to develop programs to prepare their students for the fourth grade STEAM-oriented science research fair and showcase.
Another grant from the Pelham Education Foundation will bring a professional poet and former elementary teacher to work with K and First grade students. Last year, Ted Scheu visited students in grades K-5 at all four elementary schools and conducted writers’ workshops with grade 5. The response to his visits was overwhelmingly positive. This year, with the help of PEF, Mr. Scheu will spend a full day at each school and conduct separate Poetry Workshops with Kindergartners and First Graders. Mr. Scheu—otherwise known as “That Poetry Guy”—will share his writing process, work with student poets to discuss rhyming, rhythm, similes and metaphors, and help the groups craft their own poetry. Research shows that introducing poetry at an early age builds vocabulary, fluency and writing skills just to name a few of the benefits. Workshops will be interactive, engaging, and developmentally appropriate. You can find Ted Scheu's bio and work at PoetryGuy.com.
New percusion instruments for middle school and high school
The Middle and High School Bands have a new sound. Thanks to a major grant from the Pelham Education Foundation, the students in the percussion section have new instruments! Purchased in the 1970s, the old instruments had served our students well. New band director, Andrew Van Bochove, felt that the sound of the over 40-year old drums, bells, and cymbals was compromised due to their condition. The items being replaced include a new drum kit, set of timpani, marimba, vibraphone, orchestra bells, congas, bongos, concert bass drum, chimes, cymbals, as well as new hardware to ensure all the new equipment is properly supported and stored for greater longevity. The students will have the opportunity to perform using crisp, high-quality percussive instruments while also learning about proper storage and care going forward. We can’t wait for the winter concerts!
Live performance celebrating classic French comedy
In January, the high school will enjoy a performance of “Molière Than Thou,” a one-man show performed in English by Timothy Mooney. Mr. Mooney performs a “greatest hits” of Molière’s works This engaging and participatory opportunity, made possible through a grant from the Pelham Education Foundation, will enhance student studies of 17th century society and French culture in a historical context. The performance will be for students in French III, French IV/V, SUPA French, Theatre Arts and AP English classes, and AP European History class.
Helping launch the PMHS’s A Cappella group
As a result of student demand, the high school is forming an A Cappella singing group. The group will be student run, with Mrs. Abeshouse serving as its teacher advisor. To help get the group established, the Pelham Education Foundation has provided funding for a consultant to assist at the outset with conducting auditions, arranging songs, running rehearsals, and transitioning into a self-directed ensemble.
Maker Spaces at all Six Schools
A coordinated team of teachers, parents, students, and administrators, led by Assistant Superintendent Dr. Steven Garcia, Director of Technology Mr. Michael Tromblee, and Director of Math & Science Dr. Thomas Callahan, have been working over the past year on one of the biggest grants the PEF has ever considered. After careful consideration and much discussion, the PEF has awarded a grant of almost $200,000 to create MakerSpaces in each of the six Pelham schools. The Maker Movement is about innovation, collaboration, experimenting, tinkering; using materials to create products and solve problems, individually and within teams. Because students are “making”, the traditional silos of different subjects break down and the experience is interdisciplinary. Each school will have a dedicated space, and the Grant involves everything from furnishings to supplies and equipment. All spaces will have low to high tech resources. Legos, craft and art supplies, computers, green screens, and 3D printers will be dedicated at each MakerSpace.
The Pelham Education Foundation (PEF) recently approved a sizable grant to replace basses and cellos for use by Pelham Middle School students as part of its ongoing mission to enrich curriculum and provide funding for special equipment. Typically larger instruments, such as a basses or cellos, remain at the school while students have their own instrument for at-home practice. The grant to replace the Middle School's instruments complements PEF's recent grant to replace the High School's larger, full-sized basses and cellos. Middle schoolers require instruments typically at 1/2 size and had been practicing with instruments that had lost their best sound quality and function and which were, in many cases, too large. The instruments had holes, cracks and battered bodies producing poor sound quality and were in use for nearly 30 years.
The inferior instruments understandably affected student moral as well as performance quality. To protect the new instruments, a storage room was arranged in the High School by Mrs. Clark and ongoing maintenance of the basses and cellos will be provided as well. For instruction purposes, educators at the Middle and High schools could not be more pleased to eliminate the distraction of instruments of lesser quality and poor sound and the Pelham Eduction Foundation could not be more pleased to enhance the thriving orchestral programs in Pelham schools.
To help integrate Mindfulness into Pelham schools, the Pelham Education Foundation recently approved a large grant to bring the School Yoga Project—a company with experience in a school setting—to the district. Similar programs have been implemented in neighboring schools such as Bronxville, Larchmont and White Plains. Studies show that mindfulness increases students’ self-awareness and respect for self and others, teaches emotional behavioral regulation, and helps students achieve balance and reduce anxiety. The program is meant to help students learn to cope with distress, emotion regulation and stress management.
The plan includes a three-year timeline with a gradual introduction of Mindfulness training across the district, starting with grades 1, 3 and 7 in the first year, along with K-8 staff training. There will also be parent workshops where School Yoga Project professionals can educate parents about the initiative, as well as present strategies that can be used at home.
World-Renowed Choral Conductors
The Pelham Education Foundation is pleased to sponsor two world-renowned choral conductors as artists-in-residence for the 2016-2017 school year. Harold Rosenbaum and Brian O'Connell will hold a series of choral conducting workshops with Maria Abeshouse, the PMHS Choir Director, and the roughly 100-member PMHS Choir, focusing on advanced choral techniques and phrasing. Micro grant amount: $1,749.
"Human Painting" Art Project
The Art Department was the recipient of a grant for a large-sized "human picture frame" which was used to teach eighth grade students about the elements and principles of art and design.
Scores of parents and elementary students thronged the Pelham Middle School and Pelham Memorial High School to participate in the Pelham Education Foundation's fun and educational Exploratorium.
The Exploratorium was jointly presented by Pelham Public Schools and The Pelham Education Foundation and was sponsored by Meridian Risk Management and Joan Solimine Real Estate.
Through a Pelham Education Foundation funded residency program with The Picture House, eighth grade students worked with facilitators to create “Election Documentaries.” The students developed scripts, discussed guidelines for what was to be said, and learned how effective scenes are shot.
Apple IPads for Elementary Students
Pelham’s elementary school students will have the opportunity to use Apple iPad tablet computers to enhance their learning in the classroom next year, thanks to a grant from the Pelham Education Foundation.
The iPad, selected after reviewing best practices because it takes multiple technology tools and integrates them into one platform, can be used as an e-reader, internet browser, research tool, word processor, camera, video recorder and presentation tool affording teachers and students increased flexibility.
Teachers have been trained to use a multitude of “apps” in all subject areas to differentiate instruction, providing enrichment as well as help for students with special needs. The iPad is also a tool that teachers can use to implement and monitor assessments. Second grade teacher Beth Finkelstein noted, “The iPads are a great accessible tool to use when working with a small group of students on skills specific to address their needs. There are apps to focus on reading fluency and comprehension, handwriting, spelling, counting money and practicing math facts and tons more! There are also great writing apps, such as Toontastic, that is a motivating and easy to use writing program that allows students to create stories, including scenes, characters, audio and animation. I am excited to have the iPads available as a great technology tool that allows us to target skills and motivate and reach students in a new way.”
The Netbook computers donated to the Middle School were chosen for their durability and will allow teachers to bring the educational benefits of a computer lab into the classroom. The hand held Smart Response clickers quickly engage students while allowing teachers to easily assess student understanding and instruction knowledge during instruction.
"Clicker" Student Response System Devices
The devices, which resemble television remote controls, allow a teacher to poll a class to find out how many students respond correctly to a question. “As a result of this assessment,” says teacher, Alissa Schaps, “I can differentiate my instruction to meet the needs of all of my students.
During a Spring 2012 PMHS faculty meeting, an admissions officer from Barnard College instructed teachers in the act of writing college recommendations for students. Another consultant from Barnard worked with English teachers to help students write better essays for their college applications.
The Foundation provided the guidance department a SMART Board so that visiting college officers can easily present to groups of students. The department is also updating the college research software, Naviance, used by counselors and students.
Finally, the Foundation sent a counselor and group of students to Camp College to promote access to higher education to students traditionally underrepresented on college campuses.
The Pelham Education Foundation
P.O. Box 8302
Pelham, NY 10803
If making a donation please note "Fundraising Committee" on the envelope
© 2015 Pelham Education Foundation Site design by Made by the Girl Studio, LLC.