The Chatham Education Foundation (CEF) has awarded $26,882 for projects in the 2020-2021 school year.
In the past, the CEF encouraged teachers, community members, parents, educators, and cultural and educational institutions to apply for grant funding for enrichment projects that enhanced the educational experience of students in the Chatham Central School District. This year, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CEF provided funding to support educators responding to educational needs and concerns related to the pandemic.
Many projects were developed with the challenges of the pandemic in mind. At the Mary E. Dardess Elementary School, a Nature Week project will take place for the 5th grade. This nature-based instructional project will provide the 5th grade with experiences they would have learned on their traditional week away at Nature’s Classroom, which they will be unable to do this year.
Flying Deer will lead the “My Side of the Mountain” nature project for the 4th grade. In this project, the 4th grade students will have the opportunity to explore firsthand some of the lifesaving wilderness living skills that they read about in the novel My Side of the Mountain.
At Chatham Middle School, funding for “A Day in the Life of Project” will purchase digital cameras and encourage students to tell their stories through photography in a way that impacts how they view themselves and their role in their community. The cameras will be used for all grade levels and subjects.
“Community Performance of Pan with MacArthur Fellow Chase & the 2021 PS21 Summer Theater Institute” will introduce students to two summer programs at PS21. This will be for students in grade levels 3-12 who are interested in the program; families will get more information in the near future about how their children can sign up and participate.
An online simulation site that features games and STEM interactives to engage and enhance student learning of math and science concepts will be funded in the “Gizmos for Math/Science 3-12” project.
Chatham High School’s senior class received funds from the CEF and the Chatham Alumni Association to celebrate their accomplishments. Due to COVID-19, many of the seniors have missed out on experiences that are traditionally part of the senior year. The funds will be used for the school and community to work together to make the seniors feel special.
The “Learning and Leading Through the Pandemic” project affords targeted coaching support to principals to reflect and adapt practices to meet the educational challenges the pandemic poses. While some students are thriving, many other students are coping with isolation, anxiety and depression, and may experience reduced engagement and attendance, along with faltering grades. The project seeks to empower school leaders to engage in the continuous improvement process and support them through being uncomfortable, fatigued and vulnerable to put themselves “out there” for change.
The CEF thanks all who submitted applications during this unprecedented time and hopes these projects help students, teachers, staff, families and the community.