Each year, AEF raises money from the Amherst community to support strategic initiatives in our schools. The 2018-2019 Excellence Grants are listed below. Details regarding the Foundation's past grants can be found by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.
2018-2019 Excellence Grants
Heading into its 25th year, the Amherst Education Foundation announces its Excellence Grants for the 2018-19 academic year. Totaling $29,000.00, the grants are spread across the Amherst Elementary Schools, the Amherst Regional Middle School, and the Amherst Regional High School.
ELEMENTARY GARDEN-BASED LEARNING
Grantee: Jennifer Reese, Elementary Science and Garden Coordinator
Grant Amount: $5,000.00
Schools: Wildwood, Fort River, and Crocker Farm
Description: Garden educator Leila Tunnell will lead all second grade students in year-round garden-based learning at school and on field trips to Brookfield Farm. Each elementary school will create universally accessible raised beds. The curriculum will build on lessons individual teachers have used in kindergarten and first grade and will provide second graders with the opportunity to learn about our local ecosystem, food sources, collaboration, and problem solving.
Grantee: Norm Price, ARMS Science Teacher
Grant Amount: $8,000.00
School: Amherst Regional Middle School
Description: Every 8th grader at ARMS will develop computer science skills by completing a coding course and applying their new skills to a set of challenges using educational robots. The coding/robotics curriculum will fill a gap at ARMS, which currently offers no computer science courses, and will prepare middle schoolers to take advantage of computer science at the high school.
Grantee: DW McCraven, ARHS Student Support and Intervention Specialist
Grant Amount: $10,000.00
School: Amherst Regional High School
Description: The implementation of a Restorative Justice program is widely viewed as a critical component in undoing institutionalized racism. This Restorative Justice initiative will develop a team of adult and student leaders who will work to empower all individuals at the high school to become active participants in improving student, teacher, and community relationships and in striving for honesty, equity, and fairness within the school.
ARHS LIGHT BOARD
Grantee: John Bechtold, Chair of ARPS Department of Performing Arts
Grant Amount: $6,695.00
Description: Performing Arts is part of the core educational mission of our schools, with more than thirty shows performed annually at the high school alone. The current obsolete and slowly failing light board is used by students nearly every day that the school is open. The new light board, which is also designed to be more universally accessible, will be usable by all students and will benefit students and audience members for years to come.
“We are supporting the fundamental restructuring of a disciplinary model with the Restorative Justice program as well as a singular purchase that will enhance ARHS performances on stage and behind the scenes. From engineering to gardening, AEF’s grants are bringing new ways of thinking and learning to our students,” said AEF co-President Becky Michaels. “For a quarter century, AEF has been supporting teachers and staff to bring to life their innovative visions for our students. This year’s grants reflect AEF’s mission to its core: supporting our schools in providing a challenging and enriching educational experience that maximizes the learning potential of every student and prepares them to succeed in the 21st century.”