Byram Hills Education Foundation Funds Ten Grants Totaling $324,604
March 16, 2016
The Byram Hills Education Foundation is pleased to announce that it has awarded ten grants totaling $324,604 in 2015-16. The grants, which provide state-of-the-art programs and technologies at all of the District’s four schools, include four (4) Signature Grants and six (6) Insta-Grants, including:
2015-16 SIGNATURE GRANTS:
· Full STEAM Ahead! (District-wide: $90,495). This grant enables the schools to expand and accelerate implementation of the District’s STEAM Initiative. STEAM integrates science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, and this initiative gives students of all academic levels in all four buildings additional exposure to coding, robotics, engineering, electronics and 3D modeling. A portion of this grant includes an investment in professional development to ensure seamless integration with the curriculum. This grant is generously supported by the Debra Leipman Yale Memorial Fund.
· The 21st Century Classroom Pilot Project (H.C. Crittenden: $16,730). This grant converts one sixth grade classroom into a “learning studio” that better supports 21st Century learning by increasing the number of learning modalities that can be accomplished. The space will convert easily from full group instruction to small group work stations and individual learning spaces, allowing students to become personally and actively engaged in learning. The redesigned classroom will include adjustable height tables and chairs on casters, three (3) LED monitors and white boards to facilitate multi-sensory and flexible learning. This grant will serve as a model for future classroom redesign projects that promote the District goal of creating leaders of the next generation. This grant is generously funded by the Debra Leipman Yale Memorial Fund.
· The 21st Century Classroom Pilot Project (BHHS: $52,480). The implementation of Chromebooks and the wireless network has changed the way students learn in the 21st Century. This grant enables a group of teachers from the English, Social Studies, Math and World Languages departments to change their classroom spaces in order to transition to an innovative instructional model to support this shift in learning. Seven (7) classrooms will pilot various new designs based on 21st Century learning needs. The classrooms will include at least one of the following: new tables, desks and chairs of various sizes to provide flexible learning groups; student presentation areas that include LED monitors that can display student and teacher Chromebooks; listening stations for language learning; increased whiteboard space; soft furniture seating areas; and minor painting to soften the environment. Through this transformed learning space, students will access the curriculum through multi-sensory techniques and develop the 5C’s of 21st Century learning - Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Creativity and Community.
· STEAM Labs – Rethinking Learning Labs (H.C. Crittenden and BHHS: $156,000). This grant funds the renovation of four (4) technology labs – two at HCC and two at BHHS – that have been made obsolete by the rapidly changing technology. By providing a 21st Century STEAM Lab that can easily be reconfigured to meet the needs of the class, this grant allows teachers to group students in a manner that best suits the instructional modality and application of learning. Each STEAM Lab will have height adjustable tables, ergonomic chairs, four (4) 48” LED TVs mounted around the room for small group work, a projector for large group presentations, shelving for storage and a comfortable soft seating area. The room will be controlled by a central control panel, providing specialized lighting and sound to promote an optimal learning environment. This environment will stimulate the 5C’s – Collaboration, Creativity, Communication, Critical Thinking and Community – by maximizing the use of space, furniture, decor and technology to promote 21st Century learning.
· Noise Canceling Headphones (BHHS: $275). This grant funds five (5) Earmuff/Noise Cancelling headphones and ten (10) Hygiene Kits for the headphones for students in the Flexible Support Program (FSP). The noise cancelling headphones will assist students by reducing distractions, allowing better focus on educational activities.
· Bobcat Buddies (Coman Hill: $1,847). This grant funds imaginative play and sensory integration materials, board games, and craft supplies to be used throughout the Bobcat Buddy program at Coman Hill which helps develop social, communication and interpersonal skills among students within and outside the classroom setting. This grant is generously funded by the Debra Leipman Yale Memorial Fund.
· Everyone Matters Book Bank! (Coman Hill: $2,348). This grant funds a set of grade-level library books to support the Everyone Matters campaign which advocates for every person’s right to dignity and respect, without judgment or shame. The books will be utilized for read aloud and small group lessons in support of the Everyone Matters initiative at Coman Hill when students have the opportunity to share something unique and special about themselves. This grant is generously funded by the Debra Leipman Yale Memorial Fund.
· Fun with Phonics (Coman Hill: $1,371). This grant provides Kindergarten students in the Academic Support program with additional learning opportunities through play with collaborative games and activities, fostering skills such as critical thinking, problem solving and mastery of basic early literacy.
· Discovery through Performance with The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Co. (HCC: $1,925). This grant funds a performance and workshop of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream by The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Company for all eighth grade students. Students and actors will work in small groups to study accents, staging, costumes, swordplay, and modern screenwriting techniques. Following the workshop the students will create their own modernized performance for the HCC community.
· Logitech HD Pro Webcam (Wampus: $1,133). This grant funds fifteen webcams and related technology for students at Wampus to connect with other students in the community and throughout the globe through programs such as the Global Read Aloud initiative or other platforms to discuss common books or activities.
"We thank everyone in our community who has generously supported the Byram Hills Education Foundation this year and in years past. The Foundation remains committed to helping the Byram Hills School District deliver an outstanding educational experience, and the parents and businesses who have contributed to the Foundation are instrumental partners in this continued effort to enhance our local schools. This year's grants exemplify our mission of funding innovative initiatives that will ensure our local schools continue to be in a position to create 21st Century leaders,” said Jason Berland, BHEF Chairman.
“The grants provided by the Byram Hills Education Foundation will have a significant impact on our ability to advance STEAM and 21st Century learning initiatives for every student in Byram Hills. The immediate impact on our students' classroom experiences will provide advantages that prepare them for college and careers in relevant new ways. Our students are very fortunate to be supported by the BHEF when most school districts are unable to pursue valuable new initiatives at a time when the state is minimizing school aid and limiting school income,” said Dr. William M. Donohue, Superintendent, Byram Hills Central School District.
The Byram Hills Education Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation that provides financial support to the teachers and school administrators to introduce innovative programs, equipment and technologies beyond what is covered by the school district’s annual operating budget. Since its inception in 1994, the Foundation has awarded 338 grants totaling more than $4 million. More information about the Foundation is available at www.byramhillsfoundation.org.
The Debra Leipman Yale Memorial Fund (DLYMF) – a special fund within the BHEF – honors the life and memory of Debra Leipman Yale (1956-2011). For more than five years (2004 – 09), Debra served on the board of the Byram Hills Education Foundation, including two years as its Chairman. To date, more than $200,000 has been donated in memory of Debra, and the Yale Family has selected twenty-one grants totaling more than $130,000 to be named in her honor.
More information is available at www.byramhillsfoundation.org/DLYMF.html.