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2018-19 Major Grants

Responsive Classroom Training

District Wide

GDEF, in partnership with the Middlesex Savings Bank, funded the implementation of Responsive Classroom training in the Groton-Dunstable Regional School District. Training began in the Groton-Dunstable Middle School in the 2018-19 school year and will extend into Swallow Union and Florence Roche in the 2019-20 school year.  Teachers are learning how to implement strategies to create classroom communities that fosters collaboration, community, and social emotional learning.

Teaching with Trout

GDRMS | Mr. Humphrey and Ms. Pflanz

GDEF supported the training of Mr. Humphrey and Ms. Pflanz to learn about the Teaching with Trout program. Teaching with Trout is an environmental education program, sponsored by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, with the goal of fostering a conservation ethic in young students as well as an appreciation and understanding of the importance of maintaining and protecting our natural ecosystems. The teachers picked up eggs at the hatchery in December 2018, had students care for the eggs and fry into the Spring, 2019, then released the young (under state license) into designated Massachusetts waterways. See this grant in action!

In Our Family Exhibit

GDRMS | Ms. Blydenburgh

GDEF supported Ms. Blydenburgh in bringing a photo-text exhibit to the Middle School called In Our Family.  This exhibit explored the diversity of non-traditional family structure through conveying the experiences of non-traditional families in their own words. 


Florence Roche | Ms. Potter and the Fourth Grade Teachers

GDEF provided funding for Professional Development for fourth grade teachers, professional books, and 15 workshops for fourth graders provided by a certified Mindfulness Trainer in conjunction with classroom teachers.

National Geographic Giant Map

Swallow Union | Ms. Wynn

GDEF bought a National Geographic Giant Maps (measuring 20 by 26 feet) for the use of Swallow Union students. This durable map offers a high-energy, kinesthetic learning experience offering multiple means of representation and expression in an innovative and inspiring way.

Writing Institute

GDRMS | Ms. Leung, Ms. Maio, and Ms. Masse

GDEF helped  Ms. Leung, Ms. Maio, and Ms. Masse attend intensive training at Teachers College, Columbia University.  This institute was a once in a lifetime opportunity for them that aligns with GDEF’s mission of funding innovative opportunities and also providing every student with an excellent educational experience. They then were able to support our other ELA staff who are implementing the Lucy Calkins Units of Study for Teaching Writing.

iPads for Visual and Communication Arts

GDRMS | Ms. Jones & Ms. Boettcher

GDEF provided 25 new iPads and 7 Apple Pencils to the MS Visual Arts and Communications Arts programs!  Our students in the Visual Arts program were able to break out of experiencing and creating artwork within the four walls of the classroom and to put those screens to use in meaningful and helpful ways. In the Communication Arts program, our students were able to pilot a spiraling curriculum in digital video, recording, and editing.

Kiln Installation

GDRMS | Ms. Boettcher

GDEF supported replacing the kiln at the Middle School to jump-start a sustainable ceramics program.  The goals of this grant project were to guarantee a clay and ceramics experience for every middle school student and make ceramics accessible to students through after-school clubs and programs for at least ten years.

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2018-19 Mini Grants

Sponsorship to National Council of Teachers of English Convention

GDRHS | Ian Wilkins

GDEF sponsored HS Teacher Ian Wilkins to attend the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Convention in November 2018. The theme of the conference was “Raising Student Voice: Speaking Out for Equity and Justice”. Ian’s used the information gained there to reshape his curricular and classroom practices at GDRHS.

Sponsorship for SEPAC lecture


GDEF helped sponsor Lynn Lyons, LICSW, a psychotherapist whose work is focused on child, adolescent, and adult anxiety, to Groton as part of the SEPAC lecture held in February 2019.

Math Workshop

Swallow Union | Ms. Marino

GDEF supported the purchase of math books, games, and other printed resources in third grade classes at Swallow Union to support a “math workshop” model of learning.

Robotomies Sponsorship

GDRHS | Mr. Rocheleau

GDEF awarded a sponsorship to the high school robotics team, the Robotmies, so they could compete in the 2018 FIRST competition.

All Hands Drumming

GDRHS | Ms. Cook

GDEF supported bringing “All Hands Drumming” to the high school during Wellness Day in December 2018.

Mock Trial Materials

GDRHS | Eli Sun

GDEF was thrilled to provide funding for this student-submitted grant, for demonstration aids and recruitment materials for the high school mock trial team.

Take Space

Swallow Union | Ms. Moffett

GDEF provided funding to create a space within Swallow Union where students who are experiencing anxiety or emotional dysregulation can have access to therapeutic tools, visuals, and aids.

Taste BUDS

GDRMS | Ms. Demeo

GDEF awarded a grant to establish a cooking program for children in the middle school who have autism and related disabilities. This program was designed to help teach the children life skills (including shopping, budgeting, and kitchen safety); develop fine and gross motor skills; and enhance relationship skills and social awareness.

Family Literacy Night

Florence Roche | Ms. Volpe

Funding was awarded to enhance the Florence Roche literacy night by providing books for each child to bring home and by supporting a live animal show.

Colorful Creations

Boutwell School | Ms. Stiles

GDEF  funded the “Colorful Creations” hands-on science workshop to visit the Boutwell School. The workshop was aligned with Boutwell’s curricular themes of shadows and light and night and day.

The Influencing Machine

GDRHS | Ms. Cook

GDEF purchased copies of The Influencing Machine for journalism and American literature students.

New England Young Writers Conference

GDRHS | Mr. Wilkins

GDEF provided two high school students the opportunity to travel to Middlebury College for the New England Young Writers Conference in May 2019.

Destination Imagination

GDRMS | Ms. Copeland & Ms. Witt

The two Destination Imagination teams who traveled to Kansas City, Missouri for the Global Finals were each awarded sponsorships.

Spatial Reasoning

Swallow Union | Ms. Marino

This grant allowed for the purchase of games that would allow third graders to work on their spatial reasoning skills. 

Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity

GDRHS | Ms. Cook

Copies of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity were purchased for junior and senior students.

Young Writers Conference

GDRHS | Ms. Cook

A high school student was provided the opportunity to travel to the Champlain College Young Writers Conference.

Sensory Path

Swallow Union | Ms. Lane-Hand

This grant supported the installation of a “sensory path” inside Swallow Union. The sensory path is a series of permanent adhesive decals that are applied to the floor of the school to create a fun and colorful series of movements designed to provide children vestibular and proprioceptive input.

Calkins/Science Standards

Swallow Union | Ms. Marino

This grant supported the purchase of books aligned with the literacy curriculum to enhance the third-grade science curriculum at Swallow Union.

DC Alternative

GDRMS | Ms. Mitchell

This grant provided activity support for 8th-grade students who did not attend the Washington, D.C. trip.

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