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Education foundation awards $10G in grants to Ayer schools

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AYER — The Ayer Education Foundation is pleased to announce that at their recent grant meeting, the board of directors voted to fund 11 educational enrichment grants to Ayer Public Schools, which serve approximately 1,300 students districtwide.

“Our board of directors is consistently impressed with the dedicated efforts of the staff and faculty within our school district. The AEF’s grant award program is one of the most direct ways that we have to show our appreciation” said Maureen Kilcommins, grant coordinator for the Ayer Education Foundation. “Since its formation in 2005, the AEF has received overwhelming support from the community through donations and participation in our events, and as a result we’ve been able to give more than $100,000 to our schools to benefit the students”.

According to the AEF board of directors, the Foundation’s success in providing educational grants to the schools is directly related to the enormous success of its largest fundraiser, the annual Janis Bresnahan 5k Run for Education. Next year’s road race will be held on Saturday, May 8. (www.janisbresnahanforeducation.com).

To date, the AEF has funded 110 educational enrichment grants that support or extend the curriculum at Page Hilltop Elementary School and Ayer Middle-High School.

Ayer Education Foundation Fall 2009 Grant Awards

1. Data Collection with pH Sensors in Chemistry, Ayer Middle-High School, Grades 11-12. Lab resources for use in conducting titration experiments in which students will be able to compare pH of a solution to the concentrations of the reagents that are used. Supports the frameworks of acid-base chemistry.

2. Promethean Board, Page Hilltop School, Grade 1. Interactive white board supports interactive learning environment that encourages active participation by students and engages their senses with sounds, colors. 3. Nature’s Classroom, Ayer Middle-High School, Grade 6. Teachers and students participate in a two-day living-learning community that integrates social development with academic experiences, particularly, environmental education in a marine biology setting.

4. “Mad Scientists” of Greater Boston, Page Hilltop School, Kindergarten. Hands on workshop addressing science and engineering frameworks by providing students with guidance to explore strength of various shapes and materials with the goal of building an earthquake proof structure.

5. Young Adult Novels, Middle-High School, Grade 6-12. Reading materials to support literacy efforts and the student population’s recreational reading needs.

6. Reading for Meaning, Page Hilltop School, Grades 3-5. Computer software program that targets reading comprehension using modeling and guided practice to strengthen skills in five key areas: main idea, inference, sequence, cause & effect, and compare & contrast.

7. Music Enrichment, Page Hilltop School, Grades 4-5. Classroom materials to facilitate music instruction including DVD’s, overhead transparencies, and audio CDs.

8. Discovery Museum Visit and In-House Field Trip, Page Hilltop School, Grade 2. A visit to the Acton Discovery Science Museum with emphasis on earth and space science standards including demonstrations of weather patterns and atmospheric changes. An in-house presentation will introduce students to physical science standards with experiments demonstrating electromagnetism.

9. Literacy Instruction Materials, Page Hilltop School, Grade 4. Resource materials for language arts instruction in small groups or as practice for student partners. Games and activities will focus on phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension.

10. Social Studies Enhancements, Page Hilltop School, Grade 2. Materials to address the concepts of community, geography, and American symbols. Students will demonstrate their knowledge through classroom discussions and writing reflections.

11. Natures Classroom, Page Hilltop School, Grade 4. Students participate in experiential lessons and learn about human environmental impact and group dynamics. Supports science, math, social studies and language arts curriculum.

The AEF awards grants for projects that encourage and support innovation in teaching and learning; creativity and leadership in teachers and administrators; and collaboration among teachers, administrators, parents and the community. Ayer Public Schools (APS) teachers, administrators, and other staff members are eligible to apply for an AEF grant.

The next grant cycle will be in spring 2010 with a deadline for grant application submissions of Thursday, March 25 by 3 p.m. Grant guidelines and application forms may be downloaded off the AEF’s website located at www.ayereducationfoundation.org.

The Ayer Education Foundation also supports Ayer preschools through the Janis Bresnahan Early Childhood Education Grant. The deadline for applications is Jan. 15. Grant guidelines and application forms may be downloaded off the AEF’s Web site located at www.ayereducationfoundation.org.

The Ayer Education Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that is supported by donations from individuals, businesses and organizations committed to improving the quality of education in the Ayer Massachusetts School District. Through a granting process, the Ayer Education Foundation disperses the tax-deductible donations to create specific new programs and professional training aimed at enriching the education of the 1,300 students in Ayer Public Schools. The Ayer Education Foundation may be contacted via phone at 978-772-8600, ext. 143, or mail at P.O. Box 502, Ayer MA, 01432. Visit the AEF online at www.ayereducationfoundation.org or e-mail ayer_education_foundation@yahoo.com.