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Spring 2009

~ The World Language Department of Granby Memorial High School (GMHS), through the efforts of Spanish teacher Ellen Buda, received $2,532 for the purchase of ten iPods and related accessories.  The use of such technology from a previous GEF grant has enabled language students to access their target language via real world radio broadcasts and news programs, textbook audio materials, and live class recordings.  With this supplemental purchase, an entire class of 20 students will have access at once, practicing speaking skills as each self-records and engages in the valuable process of self correction as they review their work.  This combined targeting of comprehension, fluency, and intonation will not only address the short term department goals of higher test scores, but will bring the students closer to a native-like tongue and foster longer term retention of the language as students move through their language careers.

~ The Granby Youth and Granby Senior Services have been awarded $1500 to offer an intergenerational African drumming and dance program this fall.  The Drum Unity Program will work with Granby youth to teach the history and art of the music and dance.  Under supervision, the youth will then in turn instruct the adult participants.  The two groups will collaborate to create a dance and drum presentation to perform as a finale.  Not only will all participants be part of a creative process that celebrates diversity, but they will have the opportunity to develop and maintain friendships and connections they might not have acquired otherwise.

~ The English Department and students of GMHS are the recipients of $1588 for the purchase of 10 digital flip mini camcorders and related accessories.  The department strives to incorporate 21st century technology into the classroom; the addition of this technology allows the 730 plus students to quickly learn the arts of filming, editing, and sharing presentations through CD or posting to approved websites.  As presented by Linda Touchette, English Department Head, this addition of durable goods will reach quickly across the entire student population, and well into the future.

~ The Marquis of Granby Jr. Ancient Fyfe and Drum Corp has been awarded $2000 for the repair of existing equipment and the purchase of new drums.  The Marquis brings to life the Revolutionary War period of our history, and this award winning group represents Granby at events all over the East Coast.  The intangible benefits of formal leadership opportunities, mentoring of younger participants, collaborative work, and experience of public presentation are immeasurable. A note from the Marquis describes:

"You can really see in these photos how there is such a huge difference in size between drummers...the new drums we bought enabled the smaller guys to get up in the drum line and play!  All of our old equipment was sized primarily for kids already in high school and since the minimum age is 10, that meant if you were a smaller kid wanting to play the drum you not only had to learn the instrument but you also had to wait while you grew enough to be able to handle it.  The new drums have really meant a great deal to us and we can't thank you enough."

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~ The Social Studies Department of GMHS has been awarded $2082 for the addition of audio and video media capture devices as a tool for the creation of digital diaries.  Similar to the Library of Congress’ archive of the “Slave Narratives Project”, students will choose a period of time in American History which particularly interests them, and create a character who will document the events of the time in a digital diary.  Students will create, perform, edit, and publish these diaries to be used within the classroom as teaching tools.  Social Studies teacher Joe Jarvis expects the benefits to be two-fold: first, the research, analysis, presentation, and technical skills of students will sharpen, and second, that by tapping into the particular interests of each student, the creativity and passions of the students for their chosen projects and subject matter will be contagious to students whose passions may lie elsewhere.