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The Groton Dunstable Education Foundation announced it has awarded 21 new grants totaling $8,301.49 to district schools in its1 7th grant cycle. This cycle includes mini-grants for up to $500 each.

Thanks to the community’s ongoing support of fundraising events like this fall’s Octoberfest 5K Road Race and donations to its annual Giving Campaign, GDEF has funded the following initiatives to enhance the education of its students:

Jeff Davis — American Folk Songs — a performance for Florence Roche third-graders demonstrating how folk music was part of the culture of Massachusetts past

Trinocular Stereo Microscope — microscope with USB camera to allow Swallow Union fourth-graders to view, print and copy images projected through the computer screen

“Project Hollywood” LCD Monitors — monitors for the new Middle School video editing studio for use in digital arts

High School Online Portfolio — equipment enabling high-school art students to develop their own online portfolios

Other GDEF grants fund attendance at a National Art Education conference for a middle school and a high school teacher, clay for an Outdoor Sculpture Garden at the high school, Galileoscopes for high-school astronomy students, books on Empathy and Self-Respect for GDAY’s annual K-4 Community Reading Day, a storytelling performance on empathy for all students at Swallow Union, nonfiction books to help SU first-graders develop their writing skills, music and poetry workshops for Flo Ro third grade, Reader’s Theatre sessions for Flo Ro fourth grade students, attendance at a reading conference for two SU special educators, and iPad accessories allowing more students to benefit from SU’s new iPads.

Last spring, GDEF deferred funding a number of technology grants pending development of the district’s technology plan. For this cycle, it’s now pleased to additionally fund several high school technology grants to help new principal Michael Mastrullo reach the school’s ambitious technology goals: an iPad docking cart, wireless printer for the iPad cart, a new desktop computer for the high school nurse’s office, and Flip cameras for high school Foreign-Language and AP Environmental Science students. GDEF wishes to thank the Town of Groton Commissioners of Trust Funds for its cooperation co-funding one grant and agreeing to fund two other grants received by GDEF.

Anyone who wants to contribute to next year’s grants, GDEF invites you to donate to its annual Giving Campaign, or you can thank a special teacher this holiday season by making a donation in his/her honor to GDEF’s “Teaching Stars” program. Spring grants in any amount are due March 30, 2012. Donations can be made online with a credit card at www.gdefinc.org or by printing off a form to mail in.

GDEF’s popular Trivia Night fundraisers will be returning this winter on three Saturdays, Jan. 7, Feb. 4 and March 3, at the Main Street Café, Groton. Join GDEF for a fun night of team trivia for a great cause, just $10 admission at the door. Visit www.gdefinc.org for more information and a complete list of GDEF grants.

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