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    Grants Awarded

    We have supported creative educational initiatives throughout the Town of Avon.

    Find out how the AEF has helped the public schools, the Senior Center and the public library receive grants.

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    Get Involved

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    AEF is an all volunteer organization.  We rely on help from Avon residents and businesses to continue to provide the grants in our town.

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  • December 2017, David and Mardelle Pena Mini-Grant for Moon in My Classroom: Mary Labowsky, PGS 4th grade teacher, Funding provided an interactive moon in each Grade 1 and Grade 5 classroom district-wide, so students can see patterns and phases of the moon every day, supplementing the the curriculum. Here is a quote from a first grade teacher as to how the AEF Grant has advanced learning: "In our first grade classroom we have incorporated the Moon into our morning meeting routine.  We use it weekly to observe the changes in the moon.  We have synced it up to the moon cycle and it has been great to reinforce the students observations at home with their moon journal and make it consistent with observations followed up the next day in class.  It has helped enhance learning in our classroom and made this lesson much easier to teach and also made it more effective!"
  • Fall 2016 Mini-Grant, Math Fluency Practice, Kristin Cutler, Grade 2: This mini-grant will fund 8 Minute Math devices, which allow the students to independently practice their fact fluency in a small group setting. The devices have multiple levels of difficulty, as well as multiplication and division modes. Kristin's comments on receiving this grant: "I was so excited to see the prize patrol in my classroom, but the ones who were the most excited were my students!  I tried to include them as much as possible in the process, and they were THRILLED that we would be receiving the Minute Math Machines.  They love using the one I have, and now we can use them in a small group math lesson."

  • Fall 2014 Mini-Grant: Educational Flip Books for Blazer's Trail Kiosk Stations, Larry Sparks, Assistant Principal, RBS, Grades K-4 and the community. This grant expands upon the 2012 Polley Family Grant, Blazer's Trail: Outdoor Learning Project, and the 2009 Unplugged Learning project.  This funding will enhance the Blazer's Trail experience by facilitating the design and creation of laminated ring-bound flip books that correspond to each kiosk and learning station so students can identify what they are observing along the trail. Larry Sparks, Janet Conner of the Avon Historical Society, and Judy Witzke, Park Naturalist for Winding Trails Recreation Center, will collaborate with Kristin Cutler and Joe Perieira (RBS teachers and 2012 Polley Family Blazer's Trail grant awardees).

  • 2013 Hyatt Family Grant, Playground Initiative: Access, Inclusion and Laughter for AllDr. Crisanne Colgan, Principal, Grades K – 4 – The Mini-Grant will support the purchase of two Spinner Bowls, a hollow, bowl-like piece of playground equipment that children can sit in and pump their legs to spin and move all around. It uses centrifugal force and weight distribution to not only provide a safe and fun ride, but as a great tool for teaching science. (Go to this link for a full description: http://www.kompan.co.uk/playground-equipment/roundabouts-and-dynamics/Spinner-Bowl-ELE400024).

  • 2012 Polley Family Grant, Blazer’s Trail, an Outdoor Learning Project, Joe Pereira and Kristin Cutler, Grand K – 4 - The Blazer’s Trail Committee will direct the construction of permanent kiosks to serve as learning stations along the existing nature trail. This project builds on the Unplugged Learning Project funded in 2009. Students will have access to Explorer Kits with tools and supplies to make the outdoor experience fun and engaging.

  • 2011 Robert, Brian and Matthew Duffy Grant, Mobile Overhead Projector Set-Up, Linda Miller, Librarian, Grade K – 4, All Subjects – Acquire a mobile projector and laptop computer with wireless access to the internet that can be used anywhere in the building. This will enhance teaching and learning by providing access to a broad array of internet based teaching tools.

  • 2009 Program Grant, “Unplugged Learning” Project, Larry Sparks, Assistant Principal, RBS, Grades K-4 and the community, Natural Science – Build an amphitheater stage and seating, develop a nature trail and remove invasive poison ivy (including ADA accessibility compliance). The space, designed by the Unplugged Learning Project team, will be used for “place-based education.” That is, hands-on, experiential learning and exploration within immediate natural surroundings.

  • 2009 Duffy Family Grant, Hartford Stage Arts and Literacy Connections, Mike DeRitis, TBS with grade level team leads at TBS and RBS, Grades K – 6, Reading – The Connections Program is being expanded after last year’s well-received 4th grade pilot program at RBS funded by an AEF Mini Grant. Over the course of five days, visiting artists in each classroom explore a grade-appropriate core-curriculum book. Designed to enhance reading comprehension skills and to instill a love of reading, students are engaged in a literary text through the use of dramatic techniques. (Additional funding from the PTOs and in-school field trip fees.)

  • 2008 Avon Junior Women’s Club Mini Grant, Leaping into Learning, Lisa Fenn, RBS with Erin Dorsey, PGS and Laura McDonnell, RBS, Grade 1, Science – Scientific inquiry that investigates the life cycle of the frog culminating in a “Swap and Hop Day” when all 1st graders will gather to share results and release their former tadpoles. Collaboration between the schools will be enhanced by a web blog of frog progress.

  • 2008 Mini Grant in honor of Larry Sparks, Fluency in Motion, Laura McDonnell, RBS, Grade 1, Reading – This program will assess and encourage reading fluency in first graders through the use of Reader’s Theatre audiobooks.

  • 2007 Leo & Jean Duffy Memorial Grant, Fitness for the FutureTim Feshler, RBS & TBS, Grade 4-12, Physical Education - Incorporate use of technology into Physical Education to enable students to track their fitness levels and progress and to enable educators to evolve the curriculum to meet needs.

  • 2007 Mini Grant, Connections Literacy Program, Wendy Zacchera and 4th Grade Teachers, RBS, Grade 4, Reading, History – This in-school residency program by the Hartford Stage is designed to enhance reading comprehension skills and to instill a love of reading by engaging students in a literary text through the use of dramatic techniques. A master teaching artist will lead literacy and drama activities based on Number the Stars by Lois Lowry.

  • 2005 Avon United Fund Mini Grant, China: Through the Eyes of a Child, Nancy Usich & Michele Lemis, RBS, Grade 2, History, Geography – Make the history and culture of Chinese Americans come alive through a multi-disciplinary approach. Students explore Chinese legends, folktales, customs, food, music and origami, interact with guest speakers and Chinese dance performers, and participate in a school-wide Lion Dance parade.

  • 2005 Shopis Family Mini Grant, The RBS Current, Alexa Pariano, RBS, Grade 3 & 4, Writing, Journalism – Software to enable students to develop a student-run newspaper. Avon High School students mentor and advise elementary students on the editing and publishing process.

  • 2004 Avon Junior Women’s Mini Grant, Music and the Underground Railroad, Nancy Usich, RBS, Grade 2, History – Multi-Disciplinary, Explore the history and culture of the Underground Railroad through music as a communication tool. A resident artist and musician visits classrooms and students keep slave journals and make “quilts” all culminating in a performance to parents and the community.

  • 2004 Mini Grant, Literacy-Based Phonic Enrichment, Kerry Lurate and 1st Grade Teachers, RBS, Grade 1, Reading – Books to enrich the current phonics program with authentic children’s literature.

  • 2004 Mini Grant, Multicultural Instruments, Paul Johnson, RBS, Grade 1-4, General Music, Geography – Acquire multicultural music instruments to implement study units devoted to world music. Grade level teachers will receive cultural support for geography units on other countries.


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Supporting public education in the town of Avon since 2003.

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