The following is a press release submitted by MCPE.
The Medfield Coalition for Public Education has invested over $66,000 in Medfield's five schools in the first half of the school year. These funds--in the form of 14 grants--will enhance curriculum and learning in many ways, including new technologies and books in the classroom, performing arts and special speakers, and professional development opportunities.
“It’s been exciting to fund such a variety of grants. MCPE aims to have a direct impact on students across all areas of the curriculum and school experience. The grants we've made so far this year really fit with that mission,” notes Laura Eselius, MCPE Co-President.
Teachers at Memorial School are now using iRovers to facilitate interactive learning in all subject areas.
“The design of the iRover provides an interactive Smart Board that stands at the appropriate height for young learners. Specifically designed for early childhood learning experiences, it is about the size of a large classroom easel and is compact enough to fit in the gathering space of our classrooms,” explains Memorial School principal Andrea Trasher.
MCPE's recent funding will allow every classroom to be equipped with an iRover.
Another recent MCPE grant supported Wheelock School's acquisition of nine new document cameras.
The school will now have a document camera in each classroom as well as in the art room and library. Document cameras act like an overhead projector and can zoom in on two- and three-dimensional objects such as homework problems, found objects or microscope slides, and are being used in Medfield at the elementary, middle and high school levels.
Jane Woods, a high school mathematics teacher, said of MCPE’s funding of document cameras, “I think about how fortunate we are to have a group like the Coalition ready to support teaching and learning here in Medfield. No technology since the advent of the graphing calculator has impacted best practices so greatly!”
Other classroom enhancement grants included social studies and science books geared for different reading levels for 4th and 5th graders at Dale St. School, software that enables the creation of handwriting exercises in all the elementary grades, and software and tablets that enable 7th grade science students at Blake Middle School to animate cellular processes.
For the high school, Coalition funds were used to cover the fees of three native French speakers who will be coming from the French Library and Cultural Center in Boston to engage with students in the upper level classes, and to purchase a 3D modeling computer program for engineering students. MCPE has also provided support for the development of ballroom dancing courses at the high school.
Beyond the classroom, MCPE has funded three upcoming performances and presentations. In collaboration with the Blake CSA and SEPAC, the Project Moves Dance Company will come to the high school auditorium in late February to offer a multimedia production for students in grades 6 through 12 and their parents. In March, the Wagner Percussion Workshop will perform during Blake Middle School’s Foreign Language Week. And Chris Herren, a professional basketball player who has struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, will return in April to share his experience through two student assemblies and an evening presentation for the community.
MCPE’s support of the schools in the first half of this year has also included professional education for teachers taking part in the district’s iPad pilot project and funding for teachers and administrators to attend the New England Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (NEASCD) conference.
Many grants previously funded by MCPE continue to have an impact in the schools. For instance, over 1,000 trout eggs were recently delivered to the 7th grade science classrooms at Blake Middle School. Each year, students will be raising and releasing trout into nearby rivers, studying water quality and ecosystems during the process.
"MCPE'S impact in Medfield's schools is the direct result of this community's support," states Kim Venkataraman, MCPE Co-President. "In celebration of MCPE's 25th Anniversary, our fundraising appeal has been generously supported by over 360 Medfield families who have donated nearly $68,000 toward our $100,000 goal. We are extremely thankful for these donations which will be used to foster and sustain academic enrichment and excellence in our schools."
MCPE's special 25th Anniversary fundraising campaign will continue to accept donations through the end of the school year. Donations can be made either online at www.medfieldcoalition.org or by mail at MCPE, P.O. Box 452, Medfield, MA 02052.