2016 Spring Grants Awarded


Andy Sheehy Award for Citizenship Graduation Awards
Robert A. Williams – Manalapan-Englishtown Middle School 
($150 approved)

The Andy Sheehy Award for Citizenship is awarded at the end of each school year to six students. The award impacts and promotes the students’ work ethic and desire to reach their academic potential, achieving high marks and becoming a role model to the peers.


National History Day
Lorrie Waldron (MEMS) and Michael Laufer (Pine Brook)
($500 approved)

National History Day (HND) is a nonprofit organization that creates opportunities for teachers and students to engage in real historical research. HND is not a predetermined by-the-book program but an innovative curriculum framework in which students learn history by selecting topics of interest and launching into a year-long research project. The purpose of HHD is to improve the teaching and learning of history in middle school and high school.


Functional Movement Systems (“FMS”) Certification
William Peck – Wemrock Brook
($689 approved)

Functional Movement Systems will be emphasized as part of the Physical Education Curriculum at Wemrock Brook. Proper fundamentals of basic movements have been and will continue to be stressed at the primary grades. FMS will help reinforce and improve the basic movement patterns of all students.


Keva Planks|
Cara Nelius – Milford Brook 
($750 approved)

As our district is moving towards a more integrated approach of learning activities that engage students through open-ended reasoning, the addition of KEVA planks to the Milford Brook Media Center will support this movement. Direct lessons and challenges can be planned around these planks. They will provide a unique opportunity for our students to explore and develop concepts through guided and unguided construction during library classes as well as individual class activities.


Fitness Equipment
William Peck – Wemrock Brook 
($689 approved)

The objective of this grant is to emphasize fitness throughout the school year. Students in the primary grades will be taught proper fundamentals and older students add the strength component. Kettlebells and dumbbells are basic strength equipment that can easily be handled by the students. The main purpose is to get kids moving and give them an appreciation for a lifetime of fitness.


Closing the Reading Achievement Gap in Our Elementary Schools
Kerry Marsala – Taylor Mills
($1,500 approved)

Our low SES students will participate in a book fair to self-select 3 books (depending on grade level). On the last day of school, students will receive their own personal “Take Home Book Bag” complete with their selected texts, reading skills cards, and a reading log book. Over the course of three years, this grant will help our school to dramatically reduce or eliminate the achievement gap between low SES and middle/high SES students in our school population.


Korg Little Bits Synth Kits
Duane Yaiser – Pine Brook 
($1,557 approved)

Students will receive hands-on experience with sound synthesis as well as learning the fundamental elements of all sounds, which will greatly improve their music listening skills. After a brief tutorial on how the key components work and interact, students will be given various sound design tasks which invite exploration as well as challenges that allow for several solutions with the given components. Through this tiered process, components are added to allow for greater flexibility and sophistication of the sound while the students understanding with the unit as a whole coalesces. A final project involves students using all key concepts to record a performance of an original sound or sequence they created.


Reading and Writing Institute
Maria Zofrea and Jackie Klask – Wemrock Brook 
($1,650 approved)

The Professional Enrichment Grant for the Reading and Writing Institute consists of the most current Common-Core aligned instructional practices for literacy. The workshop will emphasize a variety of methods that can be used to hold students accountable for doing their best work. In addition, it will examine effective ways to create a classroom learning culture that promotes the use of the critical thinking skills needed to interpret and synthesize information. The teachers plan to collaborate with grade level teachers and school interventionists to plan out cohesive units of study using the reading and writing workshop model.


Fly Leaf Publications
Special Education Resource Room Teachers – ($1,000 approved for Clark Mills, $1,000 approved for Taylor Mills and $1,000 approved for Wemrock Brook)

The grant would be used to purchase a set of the Fly Leaf Publication Books for use with our special education students. These books would be a wonderful supplement to compliment the programs currently used to teach decoding and fluency. This supplement resource would allow each student to read decodable books that directly reinforce the phonetic skill used in the classroom. These books offer rich vocabulary in addition to beautiful illustration and high interest topics. A teacher’s guide is provided for each title, which guides instruction in the Common Core Curriculum Standards.


Chromebook Initiative
Dr. John Marciante – Superintendent (All Schools)
($12,000 approved)

The Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School district is committed to preparing students to be college and career ready – communication, creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking skills are essential to thrive in the 21st century. This is why the MERS district launched the Chromebook Initiative, to bring a 1-to-1 Chromebook learning environment to our students. Having ongoing access to technology will allow our students to consistently practice and apply those 21st century skills and prepare them for a variety of post-secondary options. Since the inception of the Chromebook Initiative, The Foundation for MERS has granted  $75,000 in funding to the district for the purchase of Chromebooks.


Robert Williams and Margaret Scuteri – Manalapan-Englishtown Middle School ($15,000 approved)

The grant will be used to purchase equipment and materials that will support STEM-related instructional activities. The students will be provided with an environment that promotes creativity and exploration in a learning process. The long-range objective of the STEM Lab is to increase STEM literacy skills for all students so they are better prepared to face the challenges of our increasingly technological 21st century society. It is the hope of this program to expose students to STEM related activities and possibly ignite their interest enough to pursue advanced STEM-discipline degrees which will be in high demand in the near future.