2016 Fall Grants Awarded


PARCC Breakfast
Sharyn Fisher – Taylor Mills School 
($268 approved)

During the past 4 years, our school staff has aimed to offer a light breakfast to students in grades 3-5 on each day of the standardized testing. Students are taken from the buses and offered a simple breakfast in the cafeteria. The students will learn that they are valuable and that they do have a chance… not just to test well, but to build dreams, work hard and succeed. We can’t take away standardized testing but we can make sure that our students go into the testing process equipped as well as they can be, and that includes by eating a good breakfast in the morning. We also know that the social component – time spent with peers, staff and volunteer parents – helps the students begin the testing day with confidence.


Alternative Classroom Seating to Support Young Leaners – Wobble Chairs
Lori Watkins – Taylor Mills School 
($300 approved)

Studies by Harvard professor John J Rately and Bob Nellis of the Mayo Clinic concluded that movement in the classroom stimulates the brain and allows it to better take in and process new information. The rocking motion allowed by the use of a Wobble Chair provides movement input for the nervous system that is calming and organizing for the brain. This type of input will allow the student to focus in a subtly, non-distracting way. They also provide an outlet for excess energy.


NCTM Regional Meeting and Exposition
Melissa Sharar – Lafayette Mills School 
($395 approved)

National Council for Teachers of Mathematics  (“NCTM”) Regional Meeting & Exposition is an opportunity to expand both local and national networks and to find the information needed to help prepare pre-K through grade 12 students for college and career success. After attending the meeting the teacher subsequently shares many of the innovative ideas and activities in a Common Core workshop to the MERS Special Education teachers.


Physics Day
Sharyn Fisher – Taylor Mills School 
($400 approved)

Physics Day allows the students to design and carry out an experiment that includes a research question, control and variables. The students also research gravity, speed, friction  and forces in order to answer the research question, “What material provides a student the fastest speed down the slide?” Finally, the student will discover how other factors, such as subjects’ different size, may affect the outcome.


One School, One Book
Sari Laurence and Lisa Garnett – Wemrock Brook

One School, One Book will enrich students’ experiences in literacy and improve literacy skills. Numerous studies have shown that when parents read aloud to their children, the benefits are tremendous. According to the 1994 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), frequent discussion of reading at home is associated with higher reading proficiency. Research has shown that shared story reading experiences at home are linked with children’s literacy achievement in school. This grant will also motivate all students to read and become active members of the literacy community. Reading to children helps them to listen better and longer, build bigger vocabularies, understand concepts better, and feel positive about books and learning.


Makerspace Initiative
Catherine Grimm – Taylor Mills 
($3,200 approved)

The Makerspace initiative that has begun in the Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District connects the area of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and provides opportunities for students to apply the design process in ways that are relevant to their abilities and experience. Furthermore, these opportunities will afford students the opportunity to plan, design, create and collaborate with others and reflect which will help them to hone critical thinking a problem solving to prepare them for success beyond the classroom. The Taylor Mills Makerspace Initiative seeks to incorporate resources that will create opportunities for all students in the Taylor Mills School to participate in the design process. The resources for the Taylor Mills Makerspace Initiative will be housed in the Taylor Mills Media Center, but will be made available to all students and staff.


Stephanie Walden – Pine Brook
($5,100 approved)

The grant will be implemented by introducing new Makerspace items to give our students the opportunity to continue to discover, design, and create more advanced projects than are currently possible. The requested items will be used to enhance the safety (goggles) aspect of the classroom as well as expand the opportunities for students to create more advanced projects such as coding and robotics. The 3D printer which would accompany the two we currently have will allow more students the opportunity to complete printed 3D projects.


David Geltch – Pine Brook 
($7,625 approved)

The grant fund will be used to purchase high quality Steel Pan instruments to add to the group. The ManalaPANS are becoming well-known at the NJMEA Music Teacher’s Convention and in school and community performances and in-district performance. The grant allows more students to be a part of the ensemble.


MEMS Drama Club Equipment (General Light, Lighting Console, Wireless Microphones)
Julianna Krawiecki – MEMS 
($14,589 approved)

Education in and exposure to the Theatre Arts is an essential component of a well-rounded education. Through theatre education, young people engage in activities and experiences that foster creative expression, discipline, collaboration, self-awareness, and personal transformation. Students involved in the MEMS theatre program develop the skills of creativity, confidence, problem solving, perseverance, focus, non-verbal communication, receiving constructive feedback, collaboration, dedication, accountability, and so much more.