Please note: These are the grants awarded on February 24, 2020. Due to school closures during the school year to comply with Covid-19 protocols, some of the grants may have been delayed or canceled. Please check with the school administration for more information. 

In just its third funding cycle, open to all teachers, parents, students and administrators in the City School District of New Rochelle, the New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence doubled its grants budget from last year. Fund Grants were awarded to programs and initiatives that aim to ultimately build students’ self-confidence, encourage them to discover and show their true selves, and broaden and enhance their educational experience.

The schools listed below received a grant from the NR Fund for Educational Excellence last year:

1. Trinity Elementary School/Hudson Park Children’s Greenhouse
Grant: Amaryllis bulb gardening project

Hudson Park Children’s Greenhouse has collaborated with Trinity for several years to implement in-class lessons about the plant growth cycle, seed structure and scientific experiment and observation techniques. This grant supports all 3rd graders – about 150 students including special ed – in their third year devoted to the project. They have at least 5 sessions and 6 classes devoted to the project. There are visits by garden educators throughout the year.

2. Barnard Elementary School/WABSE – Westchester Alliance of Black School Educators
Grant: Annual Black History Month event – this year the theme is “2020 Exploring Africa: A Celebration of the continent”

A great annual celebration which takes place at NRHS on Feb 29, 2020 with spoken word and art shows, performance, author visits, food and crafts vendors. Every school participates by presenting artwork and poetry focused on the project.

3. Columbus Elementary School
Grant: All 3rd grade classrooms – 120 students – will take a trip to the Marine Education Center in Mamaroneck

This is an opportunity for students to learn with a hands-on experience at the MEC about their ecosystem, including animal adaptations for survival, how ecosystems are interdependent and how humans impact the ecosystem. This trip and collaborating curriculum highlight the use of technology, science research and literacy skills.

4. Columbus Elementary School
Grant: Increasing instruction, practice and play time for the Chess Team

Funds will help increase the time students have to play chess with class and teammates, and will help them compete locally and nationally leading up to the national tournament in Tennessee in May, where they have received awards in the past.

5. Columbus Elementary School
Grant: Newly created “calming boxes” will be placed in EVERY CLASSROOM in the school – 41 classrooms

This grant addresses the psycho-social needs of young students as they face more and more traumas, difficult situations, lockdowns, etc. Calming boxes will be a place kids can congregate and work through social and emotional issues, which enhances their abilities to regulate and cope.
Michael Galland, principal, noted these boxes as a big part of the school’s initiative to focus on social and emotional learning and resilience.

6. Davis Elementary School
Grant: Bringing the “Story Pirates Changemakers” program through 2 assemblies to Davis

Bringing the program known as “story pirates changemakers,” which incorporates acting, writing, and music, to Davis. Premise is students in the audience write stories in advance and then the Story Pirates act them out in a fully produced sketch musical and comedy assembly for the entire school.

7. Davis Elementary School
Grant: Professional Staff Mindfulness Development with Little Flower Yoga

The goal is to continue to solidify teacher understanding of mindfulness concepts and building their repertoire of strategies to implement mindfulness in their classrooms to yield better student results. It’s the third installment of a 5-part series. Helps kids deal will stress and anxiety about school, navigating complex social scenarios, overstimulation from media and technology and other stressors.

8. Albert Leonard Middle School
Grant: “Theater in a Trunk” afterschool program

Students will work on a two-act play titled “Super Max: Escape from Liberty Island.” Students will create fully dimensional characters, work on roles, puppet characters, dialogues, etc., all designed to build self -confidence.

9. Albert Leonard Middle School
Grant: Music in the Parks: annual regional competition for middle school bands

Music in the Parks is an annual regional competition for middle school bands, orchestras and choral groups which happens in our area, this year at Dorney Park in PA in May 2020. This grant helps fund scholarships to make the competition more affordable for students.

10. Albert Leonard Middle School
Grant: Breakout EDU “Escape Room Kits” for French classes

Escape room kits will be purchased to foster critical thinking and build community in French classrooms. They give a sense of joy and fun while learning in an engaged setting with students working together. There are 75 students studying French at ALMS.

11. Isaac E. Young Middle School
Grant: Jazz Hands Workshop Musical Theatre Workshop

Jazz Hands Theater workshop is a new program at IEYMS designed to introduce students to a high-level performing arts program. They combine theater, music and the art of storytelling to express fundamental understanding of universal themes and the world around them. Performances will take place in April in front of the entire school as well as Jefferson Elementary.

12. Albert Leonard Middle School & Isaac E. Young Middle School
Grant: Science Research Fair in the CSDNR Middle Schools – Saturday Jan 11, 2020

New research fair offered for all 7th and 8th graders in the district with the primary goal of encouraging students to take a deeper, scientific look into the question of their choosing. It looks to develop students’ passion for scientific inquiry earlier than in high school. Mentors from the NRHS Science Research program will be working with them and vice versa.

13. New Rochelle High School
Grant: Expansion of the Junior State of America chapter

This after school civic engagement and debate club will expand to hold a one-day conference in February and now one in May, and with this grant they will be able to provide free attendance and lunch for all NRHS students attending.

14. New Rochelle High School
Grant: Science Research Program

The Science Research Program at NRHS is for 9-12th grades, with the goal of training young minds in scientific inquiry, applied scientific techniques, and data analysis. The students in the renowned program will be involved in competition at the local, state and national levels.

15. New Rochelle High School
Grant: Robotics Club

The Robotics Team has existed for 6 years now, and they compete at the national level. The goal is that by the end of the year, students will have coding skills and will have worked together on a team devoted to complex robotics including motors, sensors, controllers and programming and coding.

16. New Rochelle High School/My Brother’s Keeper
Grant: NRHS in partnership with My Brother’s Keeper NR will inspire young men and women of color to imagine and realize their professional futures

Specifically supports their fourth annual Take a Student Ambassador to Work Day in late April (75 students); One-Week Spring Break Internship (20 students); and a new Career Readiness Day with workshops, headshots, business cards and a career guidebook giveaway (30 students).

17. New Rochelle High School
Grant: LatinX Youth Leadership Conference

This April will mark the 8th annual LatinX Youth Leadership Conference, a student-run event which last year drew a crowd of more than 400 students and participants. The purpose is to encourage Latino and Hispanic students to celebrate, share, earn and appreciate their own different cultures.

18. New Rochelle High School
Grant: TheatreWorks

Each school year the co-curricular club TheatreWorks does 1 large scale play and 1 large scale musical. There are currently 75 active members, and the club offers an avenue for kids who are interested in the arts to participate fully in all aspects of theater production. This grant subsidizes their main source of revenue, ticket sales.

Last year, in the New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence’s second year of its grants program, the Fund awarded thousands of dollars in grants to schools across the District, including:

  • Expansion of the Robotics Team program at New Rochelle High School;
  • Presentations of “Addy & Uno” – the critically acclaimed, first family musical about disability – to approximately 1,400 district students in 4th-8th grades;
  • Creation of a movement-based kinesthetic hallway and document cameras to the Barnard School;
  • A point-of-sale system for the student-run G.O. store in the high school.
  • Materials for a “Literature Igniting STEAM” project at Jefferson Elementary School;
  • Creation of a sensory hallway providing activities and tools to Ward Elementary School;
  • Expansion of the Science Research Program at NRHS;
  • A mindfulness program and student-designed and painted hallway murals at Davis Elementary;
  • Career exploration activities for NRHS students, in partnership with My Brother’s Keeper New Rochelle chapter;
  • Expanding the student gardening program at Trinity Elementary School through additional gardening beds and educational lessons.