1) Hands-On, Minds-On

River Science in Action
Grantee: Amherst Regional Middle School
Partner: Rushing Rivers Institute
Granted: $12,000

What is it?
ARMS science teachers and Rushing Rivers river science experts collaborate to create a hands-on curriculum for seventh and eighth graders to study the ecology and hydrology of the Fort River.

What does the grant fund?
Curriculum development and a multi-day, on-site project at the Fort River.

The Take Away:
Students will be introduced to macro- and micro-invertebrate life in the river, adaptation and natural selection in the river environment, how to sample and assess water quality, and the physical-science properties of the river.

2) Teaching Teachers

Crocker Farm Literacy Initiative
Grantee: Crocker Farm Elementary School
Partner: Teachers College Reading and Writing Project
Granted: $11,000

What is it?
Teachers of grades 3-6 participate in a professional development program to strengthen their instructional capacity in reading, writing, and content-area literacy.

What does the grant fund?
Five day-long intensive training sessions for teachers; training of a district Literacy Curriculum Leader, including attendance at the Teachers' College Literacy Coaching Institute; and site visits from Teachers' College staff.

The Take Away:
Crocker Farm teachers and literacy and technology teachers from all elementary schools are trained in cutting-edge methods of teaching literacy, including technology integration, mini-lessons, 1:1 teaching, assessments, and co-teaching with ELL and Special Education teachers.

3) Cutting-Edge Science Resources

Science/Technology Resources
Grantee: Elementary School Libraries
Granted: $10,000

What is it?
Elementary School libraries expand their collections to include science, technology, and engineering resources to engage students at all reading levels.

What does the grant fund?
The purchase of materials that focus on the disciplines of physical, life, Earth, and space science, as well as the disciplines of engineering and technology; and library staff professional development.

The Take Away:
The six elementary school libraries will offer students the most up-to-date materials in key science disciplines and will be aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards.

4) Supporting Students All Year Round

Vela Scholars Summer Program
Grantee: Amherst Regional Middle School
Partner: Center for Community Engagement, Amherst College
Granted: $11,000

What is it?
The Vela Scholars Program provides free summer enrichment to middle school students to reduce summer learning loss and prepare students for honors-level course work.

What does the grant fund?
Teacher stipends that enable teachers to provide a curriculum that includes in-class work as well as field trips and group games.

The Take Away:
For the second year, eighty disadvantaged middle schoolers return to school in the fall better prepared to achieve academic success.