Each year, AEF raises money from the Amherst community to support strategic initiatives in our schools.

2019-2020 Excellence Grants

We are pleased to announce the Request for Proposals for AEF's 2019-2020 Excellence Grants Program. Teams of teachers, schools, staff, administrators and organizations affiliated with the Amherst Regional Public Schools are invited to submit applications for activities that support AEF's funding criteria and align with the work of the District and/or School.

Submissions for 2019-2020 closed on February 1, 2019.

2018-2019 Excellence Grant Awards


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.  


Grantee: John Bechtold, Chair of ARPS Department of Performing Arts
Grant Amount: $6,695.00
School: ARHS

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.”