top of page
2016-17 Major Grants

Platforms and Steps

Boutwell | Hoyt

The goal of this project is to increase student safety and independence. The project is important to students as it will allow them to access the bathroom facilities as independently as possible and safely. These steps and platforms will allow students to have success in the area of Physical Development.

"I like the new steps" and "We won't slip!" were quotes heard from students when they saw them. The students can now reach the sinks and toilets safely.



Heat Transfer Science Experiment Kits

Middle School | Richardson

The 7th grade science teachers will then share this set of cameras, so each 7th grade student will have access to this technology.  The IR cameras will help us more effectively communicate the new Heat Transfer standards to all 7th grade students at GDRMS. 



In Our Family Diversity Photography Exhibit

Middle School | Blydenburgh

The 'In Our Family' photo exhibit presented by the GDRSD Club was a great success! We had so many guests from the community and other school clubs. Thank you for supporting us and diversity!  



Be Somebody

Middle School | Hoag/Jones/Boettcher

Friday, October 6th, "Be Somebody" Performances:

7th & 8th grade - 9:45AM - 10:45AM

5th & 6th grade - 1:10PM - 2:10PM

Rob Surette offers schools a 60 minute award-winning performance titled, "Be Somebody". "This show gets kids excited about being alive and tries to inspire them to be their 'best self'."  This performance aligns with GDEF's mission as it provides  all middle school students an opportunity to be inspired and motivated through the arts.  



Leveled Literacy Intervention Book Sets

Middle School | McHugh

GDEF, thank you so much for awarding the GDRMS a major grant! Thanks to your generosity, we now have Fountas and Pinnell's Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI), Teal System to use at the middle school!

The nine boxes just arrived today--full of 144 leveled, high-interest titles (60% nonfiction / 40% fiction), Lesson Guides, Word Study and Literacy Notebooks, and so much more!

Both the students and I are thrilled the books have arrived! As a Reading Specialist here at GDRMS, I am so happy to start using these books with students across all grade levels! Thank you, GDEF, for making such a positive impact in our reading community!



Holocaust Survivor Speaker (partially funded)

Middle School | McHugh

Marion Blumenthal Lazan’s first hand account about how she lived through and survived the Holocaust will help students more deeply appreciate and empathize with the human and inhuman dimensions of genocide, through important moments in history captured by eyewitnesses. Even more, as this population of eyewitnesses grows older and fewer in number rapidly, this is also a fleeting opportunity for students to learn first hand from someone of this generation.  Mrs. Lazan spoke to the all of the 7th students and those 8th grade students not attending the Washington DC trip in the morning. She spoke to approximated 650-700 GDRHS students, faculty, and staff in the same afternoon.



Short Reads for Small Groups Book Sets

Swallow Union | Marino

Short Reads for Small Groups is a project that will support the 3rd and 4th grade students of Swallow Union for many years. As we are always looking to maximize student performance in the area of reading, we are also always looking for materials to engage our students to think critically and apply the strategies that are taught during the focus lessons in our Reader’s Workshop model. 



MIT Edgerton Center DNA/RNA Science Sets

Middle School | Dwyer

These models will help with student learning by modeling the abstract concepts of DNA structure, mutations, and genetics to meet the State Standards for what students should be able to know and do in STE by the end of 8th grade. 



Breakout EDU

MS/FR/SU | Spang

This grant is for 3 Break-out edu Kits and a collection of creative diversion safes each for the Middle School, Swallow Union and Florence Roche.  At its simplest, Breakout EDU takes the appeal of the “escape room,” a recreational team sport in which a group of people use their wits to break out of a locked room, and turns it inside out. Instead of a locked room, teams must figure out how to get inside a tightly locked box. Breakout EDU contains boxes along with an assortment of hasps, locks, invisible-ink pens and guidelines. The additional diversion safes might include a Dictionary Diversion Book Safe with Key Lock, a Surge Protector Hidden Can Diversion Safe and/or Aquafina Water Bottle Diversion Safe Stash Bottle Hidden Security.  Teachers build lessons around students' nearly insatiable need to get into that box.



Trail Camera

High School | McHugh

Trail cameras will be set up in various ecological "hot spots" on the GDRHS campus to introduce students to the type of wildlife that can be found in our forest, and help bring home the concepts in the ecology curriculum. We would use these cameras to identify the presence of threatened or endangered species, track invasive species, or modify changes in species behavior from season to season. The data gathered from trail cameras could easily be shared among all science teachers, as well as teachers in any other subject area that are interested.  



Elementary Maker Space

Swallow Union | Spang/Ackerman

A MakerSpace is a creative DIY space where students can explore, invent and learn. The primary educational needs addressed in a MakerSpace is hands-on building and STEM exploration. 



Please reload

2016-17 Mini Grants

Rock Fish Garden

Florence Roche | Goddard, Swallow Union | Stoddard (15-16 grant)

"Only One You" inspired Rock Fish display. Both grants were implemented this year, although the grant awards were made in different years.



Student Build Personal Computer

Middle School | Palakkal/Spang

Middle School students wrote their own mini-grant this year after approaching teacher Julie Spang asking her if they could fix her “broken” computers.  The students asked GDEF if they could attend the GDEF Board Meeting to present their case.  After a successful presentation, the GDEF Board unanimously voted to award these innovative students! The students investigated the parts they would need, learned how to assemble their own PC and then went to work rebuilding a broken machine into a working computer. It was such a success, they took their project on the road for others to see.

Giant Whiteboards

High School | Smyth

“Students love working problems on the giant whiteboards. I love that I can see what they are doing. It also promotes group interaction. Based on our positive experience, the math department has purchased sets for all math classrooms!"  - Jocelyn Smyth

Document Camera

Middle School | Coronis

As a writing teacher of four 6th grade classes I will us the Elmo everyday twice per class. To start the period I plan to call on volunteers to share their homework. This will have a great effect as each student’s piece is projected in the front of the classroom. The class will get to see the progress of their peers. Then later in the period after the students have in class writing time, again, it will be extremely beneficial to use the actual paper that the student’s used. This will allow for quicker experimenting with new writing strategies.

Sensory Classroom

Florence Roche| Smith

“My students are using the equipment I received through the grant every minute of every school day! They understand that these supplies came from a grant and they are very appreciative of it. Whenever I mention we need something, my students say, "Write a grant for it!“ I am very appreciative of all the support we get from GDEF. Without it many of the wonderful things we are able to offer our students would not be possible!” Angela Smith

Virtual Reality

Middle School | Spang

Where in the world are these 7th grade students? Climbing Mt. Everest using Virtual Reality technology and Google viewers.

3D Printer

Middle School | Spang

Sewing Machine

Middle School | Spang

Hometown History

High School | Richardson

Mid-19th Century Life in Groton/ Local Involvement and Experience of the Civil War and Reconstruction. GDRHS Sophomores enrolled in US History I attended this field trip. Expert speakers Nick Langhart and Brian Bixby spoke to the students at the Groton Center for History.

Audio Library

Florence Roche| Potter

“To some an audio library may sound like cheating, not having to read, but rather be read to. But for my diverse classroom, it allows students who are significantly challenged in reading, to access the same complex stories as students who read at or above grade level. They hear and comprehend the story and can discuss it, make inferences, analyze characters, and share opinions about an author, but most importantly, they feel great about themselves. They feel great because they have the capacity to understand what any typical fourth grader can understand - the act of reading just does not come as easily. My new audio library allows kids the opportunity to grow their confidence -- and love the process of learning -- this is important, no, critical, to children with learning disabilities.” Ellen Potter

Janet Singer Applefield Holocaust Speaker

Middle School| Blydenburgh

Janet Applefield spoke to our eighth grade students last year about her experiences surviving the Holocaust; they got the chance to listen to hear story and ask questions.  As a result this time period that they were studying came to life for them in front of their eyes. We'd like to do this again. This tremendous opportunity aligns with the GDEF mission to provide an "inspiring… excellent educational experience for every child."

Lucy Calkins Reading & Writing Units of Study- Professional Development

Swallow Union| Keegan

Multicultural Library

Florence Roche| Harper

This request is to purchase multicultural texts that reflect the background of all my students. The books would be used with ELL students and in their classrooms. This would directly impact 24 ELL students and many others in their content classes. Book would be purchased in May 2017.

Discover Museum: Force & Motion Project

Swallow Union| Dinneen

Struggling Readers

Middle School| McHugh

Our goal is to enable struggling readers to reach, or to at least approach, grade level standards. By providing high-interest texts that are appropriately leveled, we hope to turn reluctant readers into engaged readers. This will serve a minimum of 70 students in grades 5-8.

Cozy Nook

Florence Roche | McEvoy

This reading nook would be used by 2nd graders throughout the year in my classroom. Reading is such an important element throughout the school day, & many children seek a quiet, comfortable spot to help them sustain attention. This could also be used for a quiet, alternative work space for students, as well as a gathering spot for students working in small groups. 

Please reload

Multi-Sensor Learning

Swallow Union | Gaffney

Through research we have structured our room to include flexible seating. Physical activity is linked to higher academic performance and improved academic behavior. We anticipate students using these chairs will perform cognitively better, have a better ability to concentrate, increase memory, stay on task, be less disruptive and become higher academic achievers.



Informational Writing and Science

FR/SU | Volpe/Lemont

The project will enhance our Shared Literature Collections so that teachers will have additional resources for students to explore in the area of physical science. Although specific to a unit of study in the teaching of writing for second grade, all teachers will have access to these resources. The second grade unit in informational writing aims to teach students more about informational writing specific to that of scientists. They will begin by hypothesizing, experimenting, collecting data, and analyzing, and then synthesize information to develop theories. They will be exposed to how data is reported through charts and graphs. They will study how authors “teach” about a particular topic. Enhancing our resources in the science topic of forces and motion will provide students with multiple texts to use as models for their own writing.

Technology in the Library

Middle School | Maio

This project would bring an iPad into our classroom library to serve in a few different roles for the entire school year. First, the iPad would serve as the book-checkout and check-in system by downloading the Booksource App. Also, the iPad could access sites and apps like Goodreads and What Should I Read Next to help students choose a new book. Finally, students can write reviews or film trailers for books they loved. The links to these will be turned into a QR code and attached to the book. When another student wants to know more about a book, she/he can scan the QR code on the iPad and learn more.  This project would enrich the reading lives of each child by giving them access to websites and information that life-long readers use.

Mystery Books

Swallow Union | Murphy

Students in third grade are exposed to multiple genres of literature, including mysteries.   The goal of this grant would be to increase classroom libraries in the third grade by adding more mystery books, thus providing a more current and a wider variety of literature for children to choose from.  Research proves that in order to grow as readers, students need to read books at their appropriate reading levels.  Therefore, a classroom library needs to be well stocked with diverse options to meet the needs of a varied student population.

Growth Mindset Books

Florence Roche | Lanctot

A Teacher resource of read alouds focused on Growth Mindset to incorporate in our Social Emotional Learning. Will create a dedicated space for Growth Mindset Read Alouds focusing on K-2 level with PIBS model.

SEPAC Speaker - 11/14/2017

District | SEPAC

The GDRSD SEPAC is applying for a mini-grant in the amount of $500 to help cover the cost of a speaker for the Groton and Dunstable communities on the topic of social thinking.  The grant would provide for a portion of the speaker’s honorarium. Attendees at this presentation will leave with specific strategies they can employ to strengthen their students' or their child's  social skills, thus promoting more healthy social interactions in our schools, homes, and the broader community. The speaking event will be November 14, 2017 from 6-9pm.

Thea Davis, M.Ed., BCBA is an experienced special educator and behavior therapist who practices in the tradition of Winner’s social thinking program.  She is a highly sought after speaker in the greater Boston and New England areas who presents on the Skills® curriculum. 

Sensory Seating

Florence Roche | Mills

The wobble stools and the Back Jack seats that I would like to order will help students focus and be more engaged in their class work and independent lessons. The Back Jack chairs will help my growing fourth grade students who are having trouble sitting on the floor without back support. Having a variety of seating options will allow the students to make choices, which align, to the principals of Universal Design for Learning. This alternative seating will be accessible to all of my students and will be a part of the classroom for many years. 

Classroom iPad

Middle School | Morris

This iPad would be used for collection of data, student use for learning centers, student use of downloaded applications and subscriptions, collecting student evidence, student use for research, sensory games, and will allow students more choices for projects, such as stop motion, online apps, downloadable apps, and video making.

Early Reading Experiences

Florence Roche | Volpe

“GDEF has funded so many grants I have written. I appreciate the process and careful thoughtfulness that goes into reviewing each grant. I have written larger grants and mini grants and both experiences have been very positive for me. Thank you!” Grace Volpe

*A similar grant was also awarded to Swallow Union.

MA Association of Science Teachers Conference

Middle School | Morris

Attendance at the MAST Conference attended by teachers and educational leaders from Massachusetts. The themes of the conference are: Science in the World Around Us- Innovative Assessments, Teachers as Leaders, Student Misconceptions, Technology and Engineering. My goal is to obtain information about how to implement new science standards into my classroom, including ideas for lesson plans and available resources. We are implementing new stat standards this year in 6th grade next year. This conference will also provide the time to talk to other teachers who have begun this process and also give me background information I can use in developing new activities and lessons to use in my classroom in order to teach these standards.

Art Professional Development - TAB

High School | Kostich

The TAB Institute at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston takes place from July 9th to the 14th. Teaching for Artistic Behavior is a choice-based educational approach, a visual arts form of UDL / Universal Design for Learning, which is one of our district's main goals for the next few years. TAB allows students to work independently, take ownership of their own learning, and reflect on their process, just as practicing artists do. Students are encouraged to explore and experiment, and they have the opportunity to make their own decisions about what and how they learn. Students who experience this TAB-based approach will become more independent learners and take more ownership of their work and performance in the classroom.

Once TAB has been implemented into the GDRHS arts curriculum, the primary method of sharing the results of this new approach will be through multiple art displays throughout at the Middle School and High School, coinciding with the beautiful display boards that GDEF provided for our department a couple years ago. These boards have made a tremendous difference in sharing our students' artwork with our community, and we very much look forward to using them for years to come.

Library Conference

High School | Cook

This year's conference is in Orlando, Florida, from July 15-17.

My goals are to connect with literacy specialists from around the world to learn about the newest and best practices for students in critical thinking, reading, and expression. I will attend sessions related to all areas of English Language Arts (reading, writing, listening, speaking, and language), and particularly those in which presenters discuss or demonstrate how digital literacy tools can enhance student learning, with an eye toward universal design.

Destination Imagination Team Support

Middle School | DI Finals

Robotomies Sponsorship

High School | Robotomies Team

Please reload

bottom of page