Editor's Note: Below is user-generated content written by Marlene Gold, VP of Marketing for the Mamaroneck Schools Foundation.
As teachers and students settle into their school year routine, many are taking advantage of the new equipment and programs granted by the Mamaroneck Schools Foundation last March. Since it was founded in 1996, the Foundation has awarded more than $2.7 million, equaling about 300 grants throughout the Mamaroneck school district.
Several of the grants in the areas of technology, science and math; literacy, music and cultural enrichment; athletics; and special education, awarded for the 2011-12 school year, are already enhancing the educational experience of students in all six district schools. Here are some highlights from those grants that are up and running.
A new e-book collection, featuring digital editions of the top fiction titles for the elementary school libraries, and the reference books for the high school library, is now available via school or home computers; e-books can be accessed online or downloaded onto any computer, e-reader or electronic device. “The new e-book option gives our teachers additional resources for sending kids looking for a book from school or home,” says Pam Tanenbaum, Murray elementary librarian. “We’re looking to expend this pilot program to broaden the titles to include non-fiction, reference and additional fiction titles.” This program was funded with a $6,035 grant.
Building Inner Strength is a pilot program which introduces the Chatsworth elementary school community to the practices of mindfulness, stress reduction and self-awareness through training provided by the highly regarded Inner Resilience Program. This program was first introduced in New York City in the wake of 9/11 and has enjoyed great success. The primary goals are to strengthen the social and emotional resilience of the students and of the adults interacting with them, as well as to improve student attention and learning. It has been well received and is gaining more momentum. This was funded with a $5,200 grant.
The transition from middle school to high school can be overwhelming for some students, but 44 incoming freshman got an early orientation which helped them ease that transition as part of a newly funded program called Project Jump Start. “Our goal was to give them some additional assistance before they start high school,” said Mary Cronin, history teacher at Mamaroneck High School. This pilot program, implemented this past August, equipped 44 students with organizational and planning skills in addition to high school awareness that demystifies the high school experience. The intent was to nurture and develop empowered students and provide them with a foundation for high school success. Emily Dombroff, the high school info teacher, held her sessions in the computer lab, where she taught the group how to use the school network, log on to their e-mail and read their schedules which “definitely takes a little bit of getting used to,” said Dombroff. This was funded with a $7,500 grant.
In addition to funding new and exciting grants to the school district, the Foundation welcomed all new Kindergarteners in the district with the gift of a picture book to take home this week. The Biggest Apple Ever by Steven Kroll was this year’s pick and now being enjoyed by the over 470 new kindergartners and their families.
The Mamaroneck Schools Foundation fundraises throughout the year and awards funds to teachers and administrators for innovative programs and state-of-the-art equipment that fall outside the district budget. Donations to the Foundation will help strengthen and enrich curriculum, support faculty, and enhance resources to ensure the best education possible for all district students, keeping our district competitive with the surrounding areas, and attracting new, vital families to our community. For additional information about the Mamaroneck Schools Foundation, please visit the website, www.mamaroneckschoolsfoundation.org