Fund for Excellence in Education Grants are awarded to recognize the important contributions that teachers make in our community; support the personal and professional enhancement of teachers; and champion teacher initiatives to improve learning opportunities for teachers and students. The following Funds contribute to the Fund for Excellence in Education. We gratefully acknowledge their generous support.
|Bank of New York Fund||Dennis J. Markle Community Service Fund|
|Dorothy's Marionettes and Puppets Fund||Mildred McManus Fund|
|Irene G. Gatanis Fund||David Kennon Moody Fund|
|HSBC Donor Advised Fund||John J. and Margaret M. Mulvey Fund|
|Roy C. Ketcham Fund||Robert Polhill Fund|
|Donald P. and E. Lorraine Love Fund||Poughkeepsie Savings Bank Fund|
|Margaret W. Mair Education Fund||Premier National Bank Endowment Fund|
|Marine Midland Bank Education Fund|
Carol Becker and Dr. William Moss
The Regina Coeli School: Weather in the Digital Age
A Vantage Pro2 Wireless weather station with LAN capability and the corresponding simple weather instruments will enable students from primary to 8th grade to understand data collection and the interpretation of weather data in age appropriate ways.
Loretto Canfield and Susan Roach
St. Martin de Porres School: Science and Math in the Garden
Students will participate in a gardening program designed to teach both science and math skills. 5th grade students will team with kindergartens to teach and learn about plant growth and reproduction through the care of flower and vegetable plants in a greenhouse. Students will learn the health and nutritional qualities of the plants they grow, and the effects of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers on vegetables. Students will practice math skills as they maintain a budget for the gardening program. Future expansion of the program will include composting of kitchen waste materials to teach about ecology.
Anita Estes, Shanna Didymus and Tammy Delguidice
Charles B. Warring Academy: Puppet Artists Against Bullying
Students in fourth and fifth grade will learn about different artists from the Impressionist, Expressionist, Cubist and Modern Art movements. Students will read, research and watch videos about VanGogh, Monet, Jackson Pollack, Fredrick Church, Louise Novell, Georgia O'Keefe, Salvadore Dali, Picasso and Diego Rivera. Puppets will be created from various materials such as clay, cloth and/or paper mache. Students will be engaged in discussion on how people from diverse backgrounds and cultures can learn to get along with each other. Students will then write a script with an anti-bullying theme, extending the project to their English Language Arts class time. Students will rehearse their parts and learn about voice inflections and putting on a puppet show. They will present their play to the other classes and to the school.
The Randolph School: Building and Architecture and Hudson Valley Brickworks
Brick making provides an avenue for the study of local history and ecology for third, fourth and fifth grade students. This project will include a visit local to brickwork manufacturers, photography of local brick buildings and other brick-based constructions, and ultimately the design and construction of model brick buildings. They will be assigned a "construction budget" and a challenging "customer" for their buildings, which will be inspired by the local architecture we have viewed. Prior to engaging in the construction of models, students will have an opportunity to explore the properties of the building materials and to create structures that will introduce building principles. Students will record the process, and eventually produce a book about their experience and how it relates to the local brick making history.
The Randolph School: Aesop’s Animation Project
As a part of a unit on Ancient Cultures, and specifically Ancient Greece, 4th and 5th graders will complete stop-motion animation videos of fables by the Greek storyteller Aesop. Animating these tales will be a complex process involving analysis of a story and its structure, crafting visual elements from many kinds of art materials, and using cameras, tripods, computers, and computer software to film, edit, and record sound.
Karen MacLeod and Therese Coyne
Vassar Road Elementary School: World Dance Residency Incorporating Study of World Cultures
Over the course of four weeks, second and third graders will learn the traditional dances of various countries, from resident dance artists. The countries and cultures of these dances will be incorporated into an interdisciplinary study of world cultures. Students will perform these dances in traditional garb, accompanied by live musicians playing traditional instruments at an all-school festival. Students will share artwork and interesting facts from their study, and present a short video of class activities. The teachers and staff will also present a dance they have learned. Throughout the residency, the curriculum of the entire school will focus on the study of these countries and cultures.
Arlington High School: Students Pedal Their Way to a Greater Future
Biology and research students will be creating electricity using their very own muscles and nearly endless supply of energy, to pedal an exercise bicycle that can create electricity to power other electrical appliances. They will also harness their energy and store it in a battery for future use. This demonstration mimics the concepts learned in biology classes about the conversion of food to Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) via cellular respiration, powering muscles to create mechanical energy. The concept is taken a step further when students use this mechanical, muscular energy to create electrical energy through a generator attached to an exercise bike.
Arlington High School: High School Students Teaching Science
Teaching Science is for high school students who may want to become teachers. This class gives them an opportunity to learn how a classroom works from a teacher's perspective, educational theories, how to write lesson plans, and most importantly, gives many opportunities to teach science lessons.
Beacon High School: Professional Development in AP Biology
This subject-specific professional development opportunity at the AP Biology Summer Institute provides teachers with the support and training needed to teach AP courses. This one-week workshop is an opportunity for experienced teachers to explore new curriculum and laboratories, while working together on course syllabi to meet the revised standards. Emphasis will be placed on inquiry-based teaching and learning, and ways to integrate “Big Ideas” into the classroom. There will also be a critical review of textbooks and ancillary materials designed to meet the new curriculum, as well as the introduction of the new AP Biology examination, and strategies for student success.
Dutchess Day School: Exploring the Science of Meteorology
A weather station will be installed on the school's roof where data will be fed into a computer. Students will analyze the data collected to make correlations between temperature, pressure, and humidity, while studying trends, making forecasts and becoming amateur meteorologists. The weather station will be in place in September when Dutchess Day 5th graders do their catastrophic events study, for the 2nd graders to use during their weather study and the 8th graders to use for the collection of information for their climate change studies.
William A. Yager, Jr.
Millbrook Middle School: The Junior Engineer Workshop
Sixth grade students will become "junior engineers" as they devise and fabricate solutions to solve various problems. As part of a culminating activity to units on design, energy transfer, simple and complex machines, the class will work in cooperative design teams to collaborate and exchange ideas, fashion a workable plan, create a solution, test, re-evaluate, improve upon to compete against other organized design teams. Using Lego Mindstorms, cooperative teams will encounter numerous engineering challenges by constructing and programming mechanisms to complete various tasks. All students will manipulate the Lego construction pieces, various adaptable sensors and programmable equipment to analyze their fabrications and test their success in each challenge.
Dennis J. Markle Community Service Awards
Dutchess County United Teachers’ Community Service Grants are awarded to public school teachers for projects involving their students in community service. These community service awards are made in memory of Dennis Markle.
Laura A. Collins
North Park Elementary School: Very Special Friends
"Very Special Friends" is a community service project designed for Kindergarten and First Grade students, who work in cooperative groups to brainstorm examples of friendship and kindness, exploring what these relationships would look like and sound like, while discussing how their ideas can be brought to life using art and writing. Each child's work will be scanned and sent away to be bound into a beautiful hardcover book. A pen pal program will be set up with a local nursing home in the fall, culminating with a field trip to the nursing home in the spring. Our visit will include a planned sing along of traditional friendship songs such as "Tea for Two" and "Make New Friends", songs that the seniors may recognize and enjoy. Each child will present and read his or her bound book including a personalized dedication page to their senior pen pal.
Elyse Joy and Karen McGuire
Orville A. Todd Middle School: C.L.A.S.S. Community Leaders and Student Support
C.L.A.S.S. was started with equipment received from the Community Foundation in 2011. The district and community will continue to be offered free workshops and professional development opportunities through the continued funding of this program. Students will use equipment and software to train and support teachers with classroom projects, provide community workshops, and lead after school student help sessions. This year, the addition of a connection to the local Poughkeepsie Public Library - Adriance, will allow students to work side by side in the computer lab with local children and teens. The C.L.A.S.S. student participants will work in conjunction with the library to bring in tools and equipment to share and teach with. Weekly topics include digital photo editing, advanced Google searches, Microsoft Publisher, and Prezi will be covered. Basic computer skills will also be covered.
Chancellor Livingston School: Compassionate Classroom Creates Cards
This project will begin in September as part of our English Language Arts class when students will make cards twice a month to send to cancer patients at a nearby hospital. The students will make these cards during an indoor recess time or free time at the beginning of the day. As the year progresses and writing abilities expand, students will begin including poetry and verse. Collaboration with the school’s art teacher will help students with the design and layout of their cards, as well as a connection to our health curriculum as we study the 5-A- Day Program promoted by the American Cancer Society as a preventative measure to fight cancer. Personal responsibility will be promoted by the expectation that each child will learn how to manage their time to ensure that two cards are completed each month.
Dorothy’s Marionettes and Puppets Award
Grants are awarded to public school teachers for projects which incorporate student and/or teacher-made marionettes and puppets in the curricula.
Millbrook High School: Kinect with Digital Puppetry
Students will show different cultures and experiences through 3D design and interactive projections using Microsoft Kinect, Blender, projectors, cameras and open source software to create interactive digital puppets. The students will create 3D models and connect them to a web cam. When the student moves, the character on the computer will do the exact same thing. These models will be used as installation interactive art pieces that will be displayed in schools, libraries and art galleries.
David Kennon Moody Award
Grants are awarded for either professional development in the field of teaching writing or for a specific program designed to enhance the writing abilities of a teacher’s students.
Franklin D. Roosevelt High School: Writing in 2012: Redefining Instruction through Technology
This project will bridge students' differences in abilities by embracing available technologies. Through the use of an online classroom via the virtual learning environment, “Moodle”, there has been efficient, effective, and discreet instruction through private journal responses, student choice polls, and discussion forums. There is even opportunity to interact with students through a school-wide Google Docs community. There has been phenomenal improvement in student motivation and communication as a result of the utilization of these technologies. The ultimate goal is to use technology to completely restructure the instructional approach, modeling lectures after the Khan Academy's design. With a laptop and microphone, a Smart Board will record material for students to access "for homework", while class time can be utilized by students to write and be coached individually.
2011 Grantees2010 Grantees2009 Grantees2008 Grantees