Grants Funded: Literacy, Arts & History

Emily Dickinson at the Brookfield Library (2016)

A BEF mini-grant will allow the Brookfield Library to present “Inside Emily Dickinson: Her Poetry and Her Life”. Created and performed by actress Ginger Grace, this inspiring biographical portrait is based on the letters, life stories and poems of Emily Dickinson. In the course of the show, Ms. Grace reaches out to the audience for ideas, words and phrases, and with their input, new poems are created. The program exposes the audience not only to Emily Dickinson, but also to poetry in general and the joys of creativity.

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Summer Experiences Through Reading (2015)

The Brookfield Education Foundation awarded a major grant to Whisconier Middle School’s “Summer Experiences Through Reading”. Championed by Library Media Specialist Sue Crean, this amazing program will give struggling and reluctant readers a positive summer reading experience by linking their non-fiction book choices to experiential learning and hands-on projects. In this manner, not only will students have a positive experience with a book, but they also will deepen interests and knowledge.

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Whisconier Middle School World Drumming (2014)

One of the Brookfield Education Foundation's most recent grants was for the Whisconier Middle School World Drumming Program. Through this initiative, grant champion and WMS music teacher Leah Grace is both creating a stimulating music experience and introducing her students to various cultures around the world.

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Summer Experiences Through Reading! (2014)

The Brookfield Education Foundation awarded a major grant to Whisconier Middle School's "Summer Experiences Through Reading". Championed by Library Media Specialist Sue Crean, this amazing program will give struggling and reluctant readers a positive summer reading experience by linking their non-fiction book choices to experiential learning and hands-on projects. In this manner, not only will students have a positive experience with a book, but they also will deepen interests and knowledge.

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Making Music Come Alive! (2014)

Grant champion and music teacher Margaret Fitzgerald was awarded a BEF major grant to fund a program spread across the music departments of Center Elementary School, Huckleberry Hill Elementary and Whisconier Middle School. The Music Department will receive funding allowing them to record and playback student performances in music classrooms throughout the district. Through this technology, students will be able to evaluate their performance and gain insight and immediate feedback to improving their skills. The grant will also allow the Brookfield Public School Music Department to share the wonderful talent of BPS students with the community through the district website and Channel 17.

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Book Search Kiosk (2014)

Students at Whisconier Middle School will find searching for books at the school library easier, thanks to a BEF mini grant funding a dedicated book search area. Championed by 21st Century Skills teacher Sue Crean, the project both facilitates students' access to the online catalog and allows them to post their own reviews of book selections.

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Costumes for Plays (2013)

Fourth graders at Huckleberry Hill Elementary School have added a creative layer to their literary productions thanks to a mini-grant from the Brookfield Education Foundation. Championed by teacher Lee Morgan, the grant allowed for the purchase of costumes and costume accessories to be used by the students as they write and perform their own plays, fostering greater involvement in the writing process.

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Industrial Strength Public Art at Four Corners (2012)

A major community grant will provide an opportunity to learn about both Brookfield's past and contemporary American craft with the creation of a piece of monumental public art. Headed by the Brookfield Center, under the guidance of artist-in-residence Peter Kirkiles, a group of Brookfield residents of all ages will research and create a sculpture celebrating the history of Brookfield's industries along the Still River. The art will be unveiled during Brookfield's 225th anniversary celebration and will be permanently installed in the Four Corner's District.

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Early Literacy Project (2012)

A mini-grant has allowed the funding of the Brookfield Library's "1000 Books Before Kindergarten" project. This early literacy, self-paced program encourages parents to read to their children from infancy throughout the toddler and preschool years, helping to develop literacy and language skills and instill a lifelong love of reading and learning.

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Library iPod Program (2012)

Center Elementary School was the recipient of a major grant for the Library iPod Program. Headed by CES librarian Joyce Zaldo, the project provides funding for 20 iPods and 50 audiobooks, allowing emerging readers audio feedback as they read. In this manner, fluency and vocabulary skills can be improved as the students are encouraged to expand their literature choices and become lifelong readers.

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CES Seeing Stars (2012)

A mini grant will enable Center School teachers to help regular and special education students meet or exceed grade level expectations in reading through the Seeing Stars program. This project teaches children how to visualize the identity, number and sequence of sounds and letters within words. By learning to anchor and retain words in their visual memories, students' reading and spelling skills are improved.

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Fluency Consortium(2012)

A mini grant to Huckleberry Hill Elementary will fund a consortium of reading staff, special education staff, and a representative from the university community to promote the exploration of new ideas and promising practices in fluency assessment, materials and instruction. Championed by HHES Special Ed Department Chair Pat Hartman, this project will work to improve the literacy of students in grades K-4, with a specific emphasis on the vital skill of fluency.

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Brookfield High School Writing Center (2011)

A major grant by the BEF has been awarded for the creation of the Brookfield High School Writing Center. Championed by BHS teachers Michael Smith, Erin Dillon, Liz Spencer, Trish O'Connor, and Carol Zinser, this project will allow individualized one-on-one instruction to BHS students by trained peer-tutors, helping to promote writing skills as a key aspect of students' success. Funding will provide for all technology and materials required to support this valuable literary resource.

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Iditarod Dog Race Adventure (2011)

The Brookfield Library has received a mini-grant to fund a presentation by columnist, oral historian and three-time Iditarod participant Karen Land.  This program will explore the history of the Iditarod Dog Race, as well as the culture and will explore the history of the Iditarod Dog Race, as well as the culture and geography of Alaska.  Appearing with her sled dog, Borage, Karen Land will speak of how man and dog, with cooperation and teamwork, can survive in extreme conditions.

Grant requested by Katherine Van Leeuwen, Brookfield Library
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“Cinderella” one book-one school (2011)

This literacy initiative will bring the entire school community together around the presentation of several different cultural versions of the story “Cinderella”.  Using a blended curriculum of literacy, art, music and theater, the program aims to promote text comprehension, increase awareness of cultural diversity and involve students, teachers, and families in a community literacy experience.

Grant requested by Carrie Kilian and Krys Salon, Center Elementary School
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Sharps & Flats (2011)

This mini-grant provided funding for the Brookfield Senior Center’s “Sharps and Flats” musical group.  Under the direction of coordinator Rita Zullo-Lubinhis innovative group looks to enhance music education and appreciation for the entire community. Click here to enjoy a recent Sharps and Flats performance on YouTube.

Grant requested by “Sharps & Flats”, Brookfield Senior Center
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Wilson Language Program (2010)

This multi-sensory method of teaching reading and writing skills helps provide the foundation for life-long literacy for all students.  This major grant enables the implementation of the Wilson’s language basics foundations program at Center Elementary School.

Grant requested by Nancy Hayes and Doreen Dupill, Center Elementary School
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One Book, One Lake (2009)

akitaThe five surrounding towns of Candlewood Lake will participate in a “one book, one lake” summer program, using A Walk in The Woods.  The project will involve outreach to community organizations including scouting groups, the Historical Society, the Senior Center and Brookfield High School to ensure its success.  Program funding will include 220 copies of the book, two programs hosted by the Wolf Conservation Center, and a letterboxing workshop.

Grant requested by Anita Barney, Brookfield Library
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Playaways (2009)

Students can hear books by using a device called Playaways.  These small machines are similar to books on tape.

Grant requested by, Maureen Fitzpatrick, Huckleberry Hill Elementary School
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“Books to Food” (2009)

Children will earn items for the Brookfield Food Bank by reading books.  This will allow students to maintain or improve reading skills during school vacation months, while learning how their efforts can directly benefit others.

Grant requested by Mary Proudfoot, Brookfield Library
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Gurski farm blacksmith shop (2009)

The Brookfield Education Foundation will contribute matching funds to renovate the Brookfield Historical Society Blacksmith Shop. This renovation will be part of a major renovation of the Gurski Farm property. The blacksmith shop will house year round education programs for the school children of Brookfield, as well as the Brookfield community at large. There will be two blacksmiths that will demonstrate how tools were made during that era.

Grant requested by John Furlong, Brookfield Museum & Historical Society
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Joseph E. Baker Aviation book collection (2008)

In memory of our fellow board member, the first Joseph E. Baker Memorial Grant has been awarded for the creation of a collection of books pertaining to flight and aviation.  These books will be available, in age-appropriate formats, at all Brookfield public schools and at the Brookfield library.  These collections aim to ignite interest in and increase knowledge of the aviation-related topics that Joe Baker enjoyed.

Grant requested by Dottie Miles and Joan Oppenheimer
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Gender reading discrepancy (2008)

akitaFunding was provided to two third grade classrooms for the provision of male-oriented reading materials, with the goal of narrowing the gender gap in reading skills that becomes evident in third grade and continues through high school.

Grant requested by Heather Clifford and Barry Huber, Huckleberry Hill Elementary School
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Hand in Hand literacy program (2007)

Twenty-eight volunteers – senior citizens, parents and high school students – will enhance the learning of developing readers and writers.  Each trained volunteer will spend an hour a week inviting one child into the world of books and written language.  Literacy tutors will demonstrate not only reading and writing but also citizenship, showing their students by example what it means to give to others.
“Hand in Hand’ Is based on Help America Read, a program and handbook for volunteers, by Gay Su Pinnell and Irene C. Fountas.  They cite research showing that tutored students made greater academic gains than might have been expected and greater gains than students who were not tutored.  Structured on-going training for the volunteers is a cornerstone of the program.
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Grant requested by Dottie Miles, for Huckleberry Hill Elementary School
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Shakespearean Actors Workshop (2006)

Two actors from the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Artist-in-Residence program will hold a ½ day workshop for 5th and 6th grade humanities students.  Students will explore the social and historical contexts for Shakespeare’s plays in a learning environment similar to that of a professional rehearsal.  This workshop will supplement the Shakespeare unit of the humanities curriculum.  At the end of the unit, students performed their own version of Romeo and Juliet for family and friends.

Grant requested by Marisol Cappello, Whisconier Middle School
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IRIS scanning pen (2006)

The IRIS scanning pen for enhancing special reading instruction will help students who struggle with reading.

Grant requested by Tamara Priestley and Laurie Iovanno, Whisconier Middle School
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“The Old Country” one book-one school (2005)

All Brookfield High School students read the book The Old Country, by Mordecai Gerstein, during the summer of 2005.   This mini-grant contributed to bringing Mr. Gerstein to Brookfield, where he led discussions and activities designed to engage the entire school in an extensive study of the novel.
Picture of book

Grant requested by Sydnye Cohen, Brookfield High School
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