2018 Spring Grants Awarded


Andy Sheehy Graduation Awards
Robert Williams: Principal – MEMS
($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.

ISTE Conference
Donna Falk: 8th grade Forensic Science – MEMS
($250 approved)
The International Society for Technology in Education (“ISTE”) is a non-profit organization serving educators and education leaders. The ISTE 2018 conference is the place where hundreds of technology classroom activities are available including global connections, one-to-one computer activities. It’s also the place to get connected to the brightest minds in EdTech, then network with them all year long.

Active Seating
Jamie Unger: 1st Grade – Wemrock Brook
($275 approved)
This grant will allow for flexible and active seating within the classroom setting for students who require movement in order to enhance their classroom executive functioning. “Executive functioning is an umbrella term for neurological skills involving mental control and describes a set of processes that manage your resources to help you achieve a goal. The executive functions of the brain are the underpinning of all academic performance and are related to attention and memory. These functions are improved through physical activity, and even single sessions can improve cognitive performance in children.” (Dr. Mercola/2016)

National History Day
Lorrie Daccurso: Social Studies – MEMS
Michael Laufer: Social Studies – Pine Brook
($600 approved)
National History Day (NHD) is an after-school academic program in which students conduct extensive research utilizing primary and secondary sources in order to create a historical research project. This grant will be utilized for the mentors travel expenses to the National Competition in Maryland.

Xbox Controllers and Charging Stations
Michael Foy: 7th grade STEAM – MEMS
($870 approved)
The additional Xbox controllers in STEAM Academy allows more students to work simultaneously with each station using a split-screen display. This grant will allow the students to be more involved and hands-on during the construction of their simulation. The quality and detail of the final simulations will also improve with more students working together.

Fly Leaf Publications
Jennifer Romeo: Special Ed – Wemrock Brook
($1,066 approved)
The grant will be used to purchase a set of the Fly Leaf Publication Books for use with our special education students. These books will be a wonderful supplement to compliment the programs currently used to teach decoding and fluency. This supplement resource will 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.

Kindergarten Literacy and the Content Area Curriculum
Sandra Caruso: Kindergarten – ELC
($1,932 approved)
The Kindergarten Literacy grant will enabled the teachers to obtain both fiction and non-fiction texts for use in classroom libraries. These book collections are comprised of poetry, fiction and non-fiction trade books which are correlated to key concepts emphasized in the Kindergarten Science and Social Studies curriculums. This grant will enhance the instruction of literacy goals including comprehension, justifying comprehension of texts, vocabulary development and drawing conclusions from informational text.

Teacher’s College Reading Institute
Nicole DiGiso: 4th Grade – Wemrock Brook
Jackie Klask: 5th Grade – Wemrock Brook
Marie Zofrea: RTI – Clark Mills
Ashley Trohalides: 5th Grade – Clark Mills
Jenna Widener: 5th Grade – Clark Mills
($4,125 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.

Chromebook Initiative
Dr. John Marciante – Superintendent
($8,000 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 over
$50,000 in funding to the district for the purchase of Chromebooks.