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2020-21  Mini Grants


FR | Clare Gribi, AnneMarie Lanctot, Darlene Wilkins, Marcia Cragg, Catherine Hohmann

With the boundless creativity of our First Grade teachers, our first graders at Florence Roche built a community pinwheel garden. Students all brought a pinwheel home to represent families as an extension of the school community. So many smiles!

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3D Printer

HS | Rocheleau

This grant is for a Prusa 3D printer with features such as auto bed leveling, filament runout detection, skipped step detection, and power resume which nearly eliminate the most time-consuming and frustrating points of failure in 3d printing. This printer provides students with the opportunity to experiment with design and prototyping and will create excitement about the engineering design process as it give students an opportunity to quickly make their designs a reality. 


Boutwell Canopy

Boutwell | Andrea Barrett

Tents were purchased for Boutwell to assist in outdoor learning spaces for the preschoolers.    The tents are meant  provide shade/shelter and a designated area to do small group play, learning, and therapy activities.

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Net Games

HR | Lynch

This grant is for 4 adjustable nets that can be used for various games including badminton, pickle ball, and volleyball. These nets will used the entire year inside and outside by all students in the HS program. These games foster lifelong activities!

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Fourth Grade Reading

SU| Genevre Jankowski, Sue Wynn, Peggy Fournier

This grant includes yoga mats and scoop chairs to allow for flexible seating.  Chairs and mats can easily be moved outside for learning.  These also allow for alternate seating in the classroom within each child's 6 foot area.  The seats and chairs will continue to be utilized in a post Covid environment.


Jon Mattleman - Minding Your Mind

SEPAC | Katie Leonard

Jon Mattleman, a mental health counselor for over 35 years will give a dynamic presentation Oct 8, 2020 on returning to school and resilience.   He will address the mental health warning signs in our children, how to establish routine but stay flexible, and the importance of kindness during COVID-19.

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Robotomies Sponsorship

HS | Mark Rocheleau

GDEF is sponsoring the Robotomies Club once again to support in STEM learning.  The sponsorship will help to cover the entry fees and supplies needed to create a competitive robot.  We wish them luck!

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Second Grade Seating

Swallow Union | Hamel, Bushnell, Rozzi

This grant provided individual scoop chairs and yoga mats for the hybrid second graders at SU. These seats can be brought outside and rearranged in the classroom while adhering to social distance regulations, allowing for flexibility and more comfortable seating options.


Professional Development ~Thinker Analytix

HS | Reynolds

Thinker Analytix, whose mission is to empower educators to teach critical thinking skills so that students achieve academically and discuss social issues with precision and care, provided on-site training for teachers at the high school.

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Fidget Tools

Florence Roche | Bent

This grant provided “sensory kits” for special education students. Because of social distance regulations, students are required to stay in their seats, which creates a need for stationary movement breaks. This project  supports each student’s individual needs by allowing them access to student specific and individualized tools that promote engagement and decrease stress.

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Scoop Seats

Swallow Union | Ackerman, Caulfield, Schott

This grant provided individual scoop chairs and yoga mats for the hybrid first graders at SU. These seats can be brought outside and rearranged in the classroom while adhering to social distance regulations, allowing for flexibility and more comfortable seating options.

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Obstacle Course

Boutwell | Cummings, Barrett, Stengrevics

This grant supports the children of Boutwell  in the work of  language comprehension and use (understanding linguistic concepts, on, next to, under, between, through, first, second, then, etc.., categorization, description), development of gross motor, and fine motor abilities in a safe and fun environment.


Growing a Garden

Middle School | Letson

This grant supported a gardening program for special education students at the middle school.  It teach the functional life skill of gardening by growing vegetables and relate to the nutrition activities completed throughout the year.

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Immigration Picture Books

Swallow Union | Wynn, Jankowski, Fournier

These books will help provide students with a rich opportunity to deepen their understanding of the immigrant experience and expose students to cultures similar to and different from their own.

2020-21  Major Grants

Developing a Positive Sense of Self and Others through Literacy

District Grant

This grant would provide DEI professional development for all educators in the district through a literacy lens. The district will partner with Dr. Kimberly Parker, who will lead  PD for all staff on identity and implicit bias while making recommendations for a curricular library audit.


Snow Shoes

Swallow Union | Pelletier

This grant provided funding for 22 pairs of snowshoes to be used at Swallow Union during PE classes.

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Critical Thinking, Civil Discussion, and Evidence-Based Arguments

HS | Tammy Reynolds

This grant  gives GDRHS students in all grades access to an online  course, developed by Thinker Analytix, an educational nonprofit working in partnership with classroom teachers and Harvard’s Department of Philosophy, to help students build logic and reasoning skills using a

research-backed method called argument mapping.

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Sentence Analytics

HS | Kelly Cook

This grant provides funding for a year for an online sentence diagramming program to help students learn sentence syntax patterns appropriate to their grade level.  This contributes to their ability to edit their work and the work of their peers, defend their editorial decisions with absolute logic and improve success rates on multiple-choice tests with questions about usage, mechanics, and rhetorical skills.

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Enhanced Engagement in Remote Learning

FR, SU | Grace Volpe, Holly Shreve, & Sharon Lemont

This grant allows for the purchasing 50 sets of Fundations letter tiles and magnet boards to support students who are striving towards mastering foundational reading skills. Kits will be loaned to families to use in hybrid and remote learning and then be returned to GD when instruction returns to typical practice.

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Outdoor Sensory Breaks

B, FR, SU, GDRMS | Clare Gribi, AnneMarie Lanctot, Alison Sancinito, Laura Taylor, Ann Russo, & Chrissy Conway

This grant is for the purchase of equipment, paint and reusable stencils to make creative hardscape designs to create spaces for students to “remain together while apart” as well as spaces to connect with peers in positive ways.

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Standing Desks/ Flexible Workstations

GDRMS | Tracy Weeks & Brenda Hoag

GDEF will purchase as a pilot, 5 standing desks with swinging foot bars, and tall stools that allow students to reduce sitting times and provide them the opportunity to change positions when required to stay in a limited physical area.

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