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~F.M. Kearns Primary School has received $2,300 toward the purchase and installation of a traverse wall to supplement the physical education program. Physical Education teacher Karl Gates explains that traverse walls not only enhance the upper body strength necessary to build a strong body and sound core for movement, but also increase confidence, balance, coordination, trust, teamwork, cooperation, problem solving, appropriate risk taking, communication, courage, patience, endurance, and leadership. All K-2 students will utilize the wall as part of the PE curriculum.
~The Town of Granby Senior Center has received $750 to help facilitate “Senior Voices ~ Expressing Yourself Through Poetry”, an interactive program geared toward seniors with no prior experience with poetry. Utilizing memories, current experiences, photographs, and even general class conversations, local poet Andrew Weil will encourage participants to explore and express through the written word. According to Sandra Yost, Senior Center Program Coordinator, adding a written word component to the existing Center’s programming will “round out opportunities to participate and engage in meaningful interaction” and creative expression.
~The GEF is pleased to announce its grant of $2,000 to Valley Preschool to aid in the purchase of a performance platform for the playground. This open play space will “encourage children to use their imaginations, foster social interactions, and allow teamwork” while further incorporating the Connecticut Preschool Assessment Framework benchmarks into the VPS curriculum. Expected to last ten years or longer, this platform will allow an estimated 700 children and families to imagine and create and perform in a natural, outdoor environment that will extend the school’s learning space. This request was presented by Director Kathy Jackson and Board Chair Kim Becker.
~The GEF is pleased to have provided a grant of $1,500 to benefit Granby fifth grade students who will integrate Language Arts and Social studies during a week-long in-school theater and literacy residency with a teaching artist from Hartford Stage. The Newbury Award winning novel My Brother Sam Is Dead is a story of personal and political conflict in the American Revolution as witnessed by a young man who places freedom before his family. Prior to reading the book, the students explore the central themes of the story through techniques such as improvisation, role-play, tableau, pantomime, and text analysis. The workshop engages students and taps all types of intelligence as the students work as an ensemble to consider character motivations, behavior and consequence. Upon completion of the residency, students read the novel and complete response journals. A past fifth grade teacher stated that “journal entries were detailed, thoughtful, and showed evidence of critical thinking and reasoning at a far more sophisticated level than previous classes.” Teacher Meghan Bavol presented this grant request.
~Granby Memorial High School has received $1,000 toward “Teen Battle Chef”, a leadership, teamwork, and culinary skill building program which teaches nutrition and an appreciation for diverse, healthy, and sustainably produced foods. Two teams of up to six youth collaboratively prepare a recipe from a designated culture, competing with students from area high schools. Students involved in this program present to their peers and members of the Senior Center, and have volunteered time at the Harvest Dinner at Holcomb Farm, utilizing their past program experience and skills to raise money for the Fresh Access program that supplies fresh produce to area social service organizations. This grant was presented by teachers Deborah Jacques, Baokhanh Paton, and Gina Magennis.
~GMHS has also received an additional $950 toward the continued publication of The Paw Print, the student-centered newspaper revived last school year. Per teacher Kelly Price, this publication provides an avenue for authentic learning through the brainstorming, research, writing, and layout collaboration required to publish a periodical. The Paw Print reaches a conservative estimate of 800 people between students, families, faculty, and local businesses.