Since 2008, NBEF has provided over $75,000 for New Brunswick Public School teachers to implement innovative projects and activities in classrooms and after-school programs. This special collaboration has involved more than 50 educators and has impacted thousands of students ranging from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12. The process begins with teachers submitting grant proposals that offer novel concepts and strategies which result in dynamic learning experiences for students.


Some of the projects and activities have included specialized fitness sessions for handicapped preschoolers; a SMART Board for elementary students; an in-class technology workstation for students with special learning needs; books and visits by Marcie Aboff, noted author of children’s publications in math and science for Kindergarten -5th grade students; an electronic field trip to the Philadelphia Museum for 4th – 8th grade students; and Moodle software, a web-based interactive content management system for high school students.


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Below are group photos of NBEF’s Innovative Teacher Grants for Excellence recipients and brief descriptions of their projects:




Innovative Teacher Group Picture

“Career Readiness”
Project Leader: Shauna Margerum, Michael Carter and Antoine Allen
New Brunswick High School
Career Readiness is a three-pronged career awareness program that targets at risk High School Students for their successful transition to employment and/or a postsecondary education. Modeled after the NJ Chamber of Commerce LearnDoEarn curriculum, this initiative provides students, mainly those with specific learning disabilities a unique and motivational way to acquire and develop experiential skills to further enhance as well as, increase their potential for gainful employment upon graduating High School. Career Readiness employs the use of life skills, information technology, business theorem and other success principles to help students learn to build their employability skills.

“Inspiring Students and Developing Global Awareness via Electronic Field Trips”
Project Leader: Kymm Spillane
Woodrow Wilson School
Now in its 5th year, this project enable distance learning for Woodrow Wilson School students by means of electronic field trips provided by the Philadelphia Museum of Arts. This year’s program transports 180 students in grades 2nd, 4th and 8th through a visually interactive experience where they get to merge visual arts with language arts, social studies, math, and technology. Students expand their global awareness in the following areas: (1) Art of Asia; (2) The Impressionist Era; (3) Modern and Contemporary Art; (4) Art of Spanish and Mexican Artists; (5) Art and Math; (6) African American Artists; and (7) Women Artists. Imagine visiting and interacting with a Docent at the Philadelphia Museum without leaving the school building. As a culminating activity, participants will produce works of art that reveal their level of understanding of what they saw through the electronic experience.

“Enhancing ESL Student Reading Skills”
Project Leader: Kathleen Eppinger, Anna Torres and Roxanna Marcone
Livingston School
With a student body of 582, of which 98% are Hispanic, a team of educators at Livingston School looked to create new pathways to improve literacy among its ESL learners. Enhancing ESL Student Reading Skills presented them with an ideal opportunity to accomplish this goal. This project seeks to broaden learning past the classroom by providing 115 K-2 students and their families’ greater access to a variety of pleasure reading materials in Spanish, enabling both parent and student to partake in the experience at home. Students are asked to help comprise a list of Spanish Language titles they would like to read (at home), along with requests from the Bi-Lingual teachers to identify books that synchronize with the school curriculum.

“Here Comes the Sun”
Project Leader: Lori Starozytnyk
Paul Robeson Community Theme School for the Arts
Here Comes the Sun is a standards-based, project-based, collaborative learning experience that seeks to teach students how science can be used to solve real world problems. The project provide 75 5th grade students engaging hands-on, integrated learning deepening their understanding of the sun as a source of renewable energy, while anchoring their foundation to help them further develop their appreciation and visualization of STEM engineering processes. Students are taught to design, build and market a solar powered car, as part of their activities.

“Building Character Education”
Project Leader: Hope Zabolinsky
McKinley Community School
It has been said that character can be measured by what one would do if no one were looking. Thus, true character is instilled at a deep level so that positive behavior is automatic. Building Character through Education seeks to do just that by instilling in 80 2nd grade students awareness on ways to be responsible citizens in the communities in which they live. Student participants will take part in a variety of activities and skits that highlight building and developing interpersonal and interpersonal skills.

“Wonders of Physics”
Project Leader: John Caputo
New Brunswick High School
This project involves exposing New Brunswick High School physics students to high quality physics programming, using demonstrations as a way to excite and inspire participants about physics and math, math being an integral part of the training. Moreover, the project helps to expand the students’ knowledge of science careers enabling them to understand practical applications of physics as a science. Through this grant, New Brunswick High School seeks to partner with the Rutgers University Physics Department to conduct physics assemblies for 500 students in 9th through 12th grade, thus making it possible for them to have an inspiring experience, one that could spark an edge of motivation and further study on their part.

“Spanish Listening Centers”
Project Leader: Lisa Capote
Livingston School
The goal of this project was to improve language skills and the reading habits in 2nd grade students by encouraging them to increase their reading in the classroom. Funds for this project are to be used to acquire a listening center, which comprises of a CD library with book companions. Students who participate in this project are allotted 20 minutes of reading time in the classroom, enabling them to appropriate this time toward reading material that bridges them to a grade level text in their native language as well as providing them with an opportunity to discuss and challenge their ability to move on to a higher grade text level. Consequently these applications will increase their vocabulary, fluency and reading comprehension as they apply it to a new language acquisition.

“Super Bowls for Change II”
Project Leader: Rashana Evans and Nilda Gutierrez
Lord Stirling School
This project fuses art, entrepreneurship training, and community service for 3rd and 4th graders. Students learn to incorporate business concepts in the arts, by producing, promoting and selling their artwork. In general, students are taught to assess create and utilize a cooperative business model to help the community. Moreover, students will learn about the need to maintain a high level of work ethic as well as work as a team, a value that serves well as they enter the workplace. Proposed activities will include creating their own art work, marketing products with posters, catalogues and developing a video for commercial use.

“Books Lover’s Club”
Project Leader: Diana Collazo
New Brunswick Middle School
Many students have limited opportunities to read books for pleasure other than what they are assigned in school. This project seeks to encourage student appreciation in the art of reading for pleasure, while helping them further develop their vocabulary beyond their grade level. Students in grade levels 6-8 will learn to use their imagination and apply independent thinking as they are urged to share their viewpoints during group discussions and projects. A portion of the reading will be devoted to students reading a book(s) of their choice either in a paired, single or group reading settings.

“STEM Club After-School Enrichment Program”
Project Leader: Rebecca Donatelli
New Brunswick High School
The STEM Club After-School Enrichment Program, is part of the HS STEM Themed Institute, which seeks to expose HS students to STEM fields including environmental science, forensic science, engineering and medicine. In this very unique program, students in grades 9-12 will have an opportunity to participate in hands-on, problem solving activities in various STEM areas with the expectations that these students will eventually pursue STEM higher education and careers. It particularly, targets minority students and women who are underrepresented in the STEM fields.

“Bringing Brainy Technology into ESL: BrainPop for the ESL Classroom”
Project Leader: Brittney Penson and Deborah Schneider
Redshaw School
BrainPop for the ESL Classroom brings technology into the ESL classroom, a revolutionary idea that helps to enhance ESL learning in a positive and forward thinking manner. The BrainPop approach uses short videos to reinforce the learning process via interactive quizzes, and extended activities. By having access to BrainPop, students in grades K-5 will be using technology along with their ESL curriculum, leveraging multimodal processing capability, animation and user friendly lessons that will encourage their participation enthusiastically.

“Parents and Children Reading Together”
Project Leader: Kate Sa
Adult Learning Center
The purpose of this project is to provide New Brunswick families enrolled in the ESL for Parents class at the Adult Learning Center access to new bilingual children’s books. Books will be the centerpiece of this project, and improved literacy will be the outcome. The foundation and driving force of this project is parental involvement with their children. ESL for Parents is designed to help parents learn English so that they can become full partners in their child’s educational and development process. Seventy five adults and their children are the targeted group.

“Jazz and Hip Hop Master Classes with Lees Hummel and Stephanie Scull”
Project Leader: Alicia Giglio
New Brunswick High School Dance Studio
Often dance is used as a means to increase self-confidence and self-expression in our youth. This projects seeks to add to that dynamic by reinforcing the curricular relationships between Dance, Music, Drama and Interpretation with Language Arts, Cultural Enrichment and physiology. Students in grades 10-12 will engage in master classes where the main focus of activities will include understanding Dance by using jazz and hip hop techniques as well as understanding the importance of physical preparation through warm up exercises, choreography, and positioning. The project will culminate in a presentation at the school’s annual Festival of Arts Performance.

“Food for Thought”
Project Leader: Julie Ziv, Sharon Uckar and Joan Hellman
New Brunswick High School
The purpose of this grant seeks to improve the health and wellness of persons of disabilities in grades 9-12, ages 14-21. This project is modeled after Easter Seals New Jersey “Be Well and Thrive Health and Wellness Program”, a program that is aimed at persons with special needs and their families. It is a six week curriculum, brought into our school and taught by Easter Seals staff which includes proposing strategies to improve nutrition, personal hygiene, fitness and overall wellness. Some of the topics covered will address Nutrition and Meal Planning, Exercise, Smart Shopping, Stress Management and Self-Care.

“LAL Listening Center”
Project Leader: Melissa Vega
New Brunswick High School
The goal of this project is to increase the amount of time students are reading independently with challenging text. Students are provided with an environment where they get to explore reading at a higher level. Funds will be used to purchase single player “read aloud” CD’s as well as headsets that will be made available for participating students. Language Arts, particularly reading comprehension, is an area that students struggle with. The Listening Center is another useful technology to further develop the reading skills of students ages 7-8, preparing them for High School.

“Adding Tools to your Toolbox”
Project Leader: Nancy Campbell & Elizabeth Vastano
New Brunswick Pupil Personnel Services
Over the past 10 years, the number of students with disabilities in preschool general education classes has more than doubled. Included in this cluster are students diagnosed with autism, visual and hearing impairments, orthopedic and other physically fragile conditions. The Adding Tools model sets the premise for supporting Preschool Teachers in general education classrooms throughout the district by providing them with strategies and technical assistance to best meet the needs of preschool students who are classified and/or are receiving services in Early Childhood Inclusion classrooms. Moreover, this project makes it possible for classroom teachers to modify and adopt existing curriculum in a way that engages students in a more meaningful way. Support will be provided selectively to children attending Lord Sterling, Paul Robeson, Redshaw and Puerto Rican Action Board Pre-school

“Do, Make, Break: Tech Makerspace@Your Library”
Project Leader: Sarah Neiderman
New Brunswick High School
This project seeks to create a Makerspace in the school library, where students can learn about technology and computer programming. The project also aims to be a resource for students who would like to experiment with technology, but lack the resources to own their own equipment. The Makerspace will allow 50 students in grades 9-12, a place for free experimentation, collaboration and educational play. It should be noted, that a significant number of these students may already be involved in tech programs, like Robotics. This will enable them to take their learned skills to a deeper and independent level of involvement.



Innovative Teacher Group Picture


“Mr. Shy’s Team Building Challenges”
Project Leader: Michael Shymanski
Paul Robeson Community School
The purpose of this project was to teach Paul Robeson Community School 1st through 5th graders the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship. This was achieved by engaging the students in weekly physical fitness and team building “challenges” with resources provided by the grant, i.e. exercise balls, scooters, dinosaur eggs, jump ropes, etc. The primary aim of these fun, competitive exercises was to put the students in a variety of high pressure situations in which they needed to utilize their team to be successful.

“Inspiring Students and Developing Global Awareness via Electronic Field Trips”
Project Leader: Kim Spillane
Woodrow Wilson School
Funded for a 4th consecutive year, this project provided distance learning for Woodrow Wilson School students by means of electronic field trips facilitated by the Philadelphia Museum of Arts. This year’s program engaged 443 1st through 8th graders with exposures in the following areas: (1) Art of Asia; (2) The Impressionist Era; (3) Modern and Contemporary Art; (4) Art of Spanish and Mexican Artists; (5) Art and Math; (6) African American Artists; and (7) Women Artists. The students experienced these offerings of the Philadelphia Museum without leaving the school building. They even interacted with a Docent through the electronic tours. As a culminating activity, all participants created works of art that replicated what learned.

“It’s all in the Game!”
Project Leader: Suzette J. Sularski, Psy.D.
Office of Early Childhood Education
This project involved the use of “board games” to increase parent-child interactions. The program introduced parents and teachers to activities that emphasized protective factors such as well-developed social and academic readiness skills and strong home-school connections. This special initiative reinforced the use of board games as a teaching and learning tool that provides both direct and indirect benefits for preschool students. For instance, social emotional skills are enhanced because of the nature of board games requiring the practice of turn-taking, sharing, waiting, and

observing limits. Children build self-confidence, self-esteem, empathy, and frustration tolerance as they and other players experience consequences, successes, and disappointments.

“Lemonade Literacy”
Project Leader: Lillian Sawma
Livingston School
The project hosted workshops for parents of 1st graders with tips and techniques to better assist their children in reading, writing, and spelling. The workshops were designed to teach parents fun and engaging activities to play with their children and supplied them with magnetic letters, leveled books in Spanish and in English, crayons, markers, and other tools. The aim was to provide parents with knowledge and necessary resources for them to maximize learning in the home. Additionally, the project promoted parental involvement in school. Thus, when young learners know their parents are interested in what they are learning, they are encouraged to work harder in school.

“Culture and Foreign Language Immersion Club”
Project Leader: Vincent Romagnuolo
New Brunswick Middle School
The purpose of this project was to educate New Brunswick Middle School students in foreign languages and cultures. The project encompassed several parts of the globe stemming from North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. Not only did the children learn about the way of life in different countries, they also were exposed to the music, film and everyday language of the countries they studied.

“Reading, Writing, and Hope in Hard Times”
Project Leader: Lori Starozytnyk
Paul Robeson Community Theme School for the Arts
This grant supplied 5th grade students at Paul Robeson Community Theme School for the Arts with the novel “Bud, Not Buddy,” which promotes awareness of social injustices such as racism, poverty, and homelessness. Its message — “hope in times of hopelessness” encouraged students to never give up; and the book’s poem entitled “I Am” inspired them to feel good about themselves and what the future might bring. Having all of the school’s 5th graders study the same novel, enabled book club discussion groups to be created and allowed students to meet and talk about the story with their peers in other rooms.

“Scholastic Super Stars”
Project Leader: Diane Loughlin
Redshaw School
This project introduced 5th graders at Redshaw School to “Storyworks Magazines” and “Storyworks Common Core Readers.” These publications were used to expose students to paired text selections of different genres on the same topic with an aim for them to develop critical thinking skills. The students were assigned to write opinion pieces using content from the magazines to support their answers. The development of these skills was measured through various writing prompts. Each magazine was used throughout the marking period in whole group and small group instruction as well as center activities. At the end of the school year, the students were able to take the magazines home to enjoy and discuss with their families.

“Life on Earth, People Who Changed the World and Arts and Culture”
Project Leader: Dolores McAndrew
Livingston School
This grant helped expand Livingston School’s 4th grade classroom libraries in Science and Social Studies disciplines. This initiative supported an ongoing collaboration among all teachers of 4th graders to promote curriculum based research projects covering topics such as: “Life on Earth,” “People Who Changed the World,” and “Arts and Culture.” The students’ projects consisted of research papers that supplemented materials for models, posters, dioramas, etc. Once completed, each student presented the projects to their classmates. In addition, their parents were invited to the presentations, enabling them to see their children’s progress and become engaged in the educational process.

“Ecosystems and Food Webs”
Project Leaders: Hope L. Wilkins, Priscilla Rosa, Darlene Keller and Amanda Gross
Livingston School

This grant funded an expansion of Livingston School’s ecology unit with non-fiction books, DVD’s, and Audiobooks. This initiative helped enhance 4th grade students’ knowledge of food webs within various ecosystems. Students utilized the text and illustrations of the new materials to create presentations, diagrams, PowerPoint slides, webs, charts, and written summaries. These presentations demonstrated the students’ insight and ability to identify relationships between organisms in a food web.

“Native Americans and the Westward Expansion”
Project Leaders: Kathleen Eppinger, Kami Puente, Sandra Jacobowitz and Carlene Young
Livingston School

This grant helped expand the non-fiction social studies unit of Livingston School’s Media Center through the purchase of 3rd grade level books covering the topic of Native Americans and the Westward Movement. The students used the Media Center and its new resources to develop projects on American Natives, including models, posters, dioramas, etc. They also researched the Westward Movement and its effects on the Native Americans, which is part of the 3rd grade curriculum. At the end of the year, the projects were used to create a display for the school’s Academic Fair.

“Mark My Time Bookmark”
Project Leader: Tara Webster
Livingston School
This grant purchased “Mark My Time Bookmarks” for 5th grade students at Livingston School, which tracked the children’s required reading times in a fun, colorful manner. The products were acquired in multiple neon colors with electronic functions aimed at encouraging kids to make reading a daily habit. The project’s goal was to increase the amount of time students read at home in order to improve their stamina, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

“Clicking to the Core”
Project Leader: Randall Miller
Redshaw School
The goal of this project was to actively engage and formatively assess 3rd grade students using a “personal response system” known as “iRespond Lite Clickers.” These educational resources allow teachers to instantly survey and collect data from the entire class. It helps to facilitate a learning environment that enables students to respond to different types of questions: Multiple Choice, Multiple Response, Numeric-Fill-In-the-Blanc, True/False, or Yes/No. Thus, students can be assessed as a whole class, individually, or in teams.

“Wonders of Physics”
Project Leader: John Caputo
New Brunswick High School
This grant funded three physics assemblies for New Brunswick High School students, 9th through 12th grade. The presentations were performed by a Rutgers University Physics Department Professor and four physics graduate students. The project enhanced the students’ knowledge of science careers and enabled them to see practical applications of physics as a science.

“Acting, Writing and Design: CoLAB Arts Residency”
Project Leader: Steven Thornburg
New Brunswick High School
The purpose of the project was to provide a Theatre II Class for advanced students. It was a 12-week residency in which the students trained in design (focusing on lighting), group ensemble practices, Meisner and Chekhov Techniques as well as analysis of classical plays/stories. The culmination of the project was a public performance infusing various disciplines that the students learned and experienced during the residency. The final production included a collaboration of a director, design team, production staff and ensemble that created and presented an original work of art.

“Weather Assembly/Mobile Weather Studio and Earth Science Lesson”
Project Leader: Barbara Zabel
New Brunswick Middle School
This grant funded an assembly for 300 Middle School students presented by John Marshall, a meteorologist from CBS and NBC news in New York City. The program enabled students to interact with a real life meteorologist and learn about weather concepts, motions of the moon, and gauges of tides. Not only did the experience provide students with an fun and exciting overview of how weather is actually forecasted and reported on television but it also served as an inspiration for students to be more perceptive to earth science studies and disciplines as well as gain insight and interest in pursuing careers in meteorology and related fields.

“Year Round Author Studies”
Project Leader: Norma Perez-Jackson
Roosevelt School
This grant funded a literacy project that entailed 3rd grade students reading books by renowned authors Eve Bunting, Jean Fritz, Patricia Pollaco and Greg Tangs. The publications covered a variety of topics ranging from social studies, to mathematics, to heart wrenching stories comprising difficult issues, triumph, and inspiration. Key objectives of this project were to encourage students to read; increase their fluency; motivate them to become better writers as well as introduce them to the possibility of becoming authors themselves. Upon finishing their reading, the students had a culminating assignment that included a written and oral presentation about the book and author.

“Newspapers and Literacy”
Project Leaders: Gloria Rahn and Sushama Raina
New Brunswick High School
This project engaged 10th through 12th grade ESL Intensive Literacy students with a broader base of exposures while they learn English. This initiative entailed using newspapers as a tool to provide students with themes and content in which enhanced language acquisition can be facilitated. Some of the activities included: (1) Completing weekly language based reading assignments covering one current event article; (2) Undertaking crossword puzzles covering monthly issues; (3) Writing letters to the editor about issues of interest; and (4) Reading and discussing an American tradition and/or holiday highlighted in the newspaper. The aim was for the students to improve vocabulary and reading and language skills, raise awareness of current events, and help ESL students better assimilate in a new cultural environment.

“African Dance Master Classes with Karen Love and Kimani Fowlin”
Project Leader: Alicia Giglio
New Brunswick High School
The purpose of the project was to increase self-confidence and self-expression of 10th through 12th grade students. This Arts Residency experience also reinforced the curriculum areas of Dance II and Dance III as well as enhanced students’ understanding of social relationships between African dance, music and drama. The students were able to demonstrate their increased kinesthetic comprehension of dance technique, performance and musicality. In addition, they developed choreographically individually and collaboratively. As a culmination, their work was showcased during the High School’s Annual Festival of Arts Performance event.

“10 Hairy Legs Dance Residency”
Project Leader: Alicia Giglio
New Brunswick High School
This grant funded a dynamic arts residency program that exposed advanced 10th through 12th grade dance students to modern technique warm-up, exercises in piles, and tendus du swings. Students were guided through structured improvisational activities that incorporated Laban Movement actions and terminology. This creative experience culminated with a sequential piece of work that the students presented during the High School’s Annual Festival of Arts Performance event.

“A Career Center for You — Your Future”
Project Leader: Virginia E. Haase
New Brunswick Middle School
This grant funded a Career Center at the New Brunswick Middle School which provides materials and resources that will help enhance students’ career oriented focus, choices, and direction as they begin to think about high school and beyond. A key objective of the Center is to help students develop a better understanding and appreciation of connecting classroom experiences with various careers that they may be interested in pursuing. The Center encompasses a four drawer file cabinet, biographical books of known role models in various fields, career preparation books such as “What Color is My Parachute and career based software that includes assessment tools that enables students to develop their own profiles of interests via work with school counselors and teachers.

“Tada! Youth Theater Master Classes”
Project Leader: Steven Thornburg
New Brunswick High School
The program utilized the students’ creativity and guided practice by Tada Arts Residency instructors to develop a final mini-musical showcase. The Tada! Youth Theater Master classes provided a forum for student confidence building and self-expression. The company used live musical accompaniment through each skill-building activity, which reinforced the significance and inter-curricular importance of music, dance and drama.

“Inspiring Students and Developing Global Awareness via Electronic Field Trips”
Project Leaders: Alissa Furfaro and Katy Champion-Uras
Redshaw School
This grant enabled 400 students (1st, 4th and 5th graders) to visit the Philadelphia Museum without leaving the school building. The visits aligned with interdisciplinary content such as Social Studies, Science, Technology, Language Arts and Math. Many of the students had never visited a Museum before and this project provided them with an opportunity to virtually experience a museum atmosphere. The students realized the benefits of technology and were able to see the high quality of the art work. The program featured: (1) Art of Asia; (2) The Impressionist Era; (3) Modern and Contemporary Art; (4) Art of Spanish and Mexican Artists; (5) Art and Math; (6) African American Artists; and (7) Women Artists. As a culminating activity, all participants created works of art that replicated what learned.


“The Senior Mural Project”

Project Leader: Kristine Templeton
New Brunswick High School

With this grant, New Brunswick High School students will paint a large scale mural that details their educational journey and symbolizes their contribution to the school. A primary aim is for student participants to work as a team and realize that the collaborative process yields far better results. In addition, the project seeks to emphasize the connection between art and the capacity to communicate effectively in a positive and productive manner.

“Bones are Basic”

Project Leader:  Kristine Templeton, Art and Computer Graphics Teacher
New Brunswick High School

This grant provides supplies for New Brunswick High School 9th through 12th grade art students to sketch anatomical forms in 3-D visual design.  Students will sketch human figures and hands in various poses, positions and forms. Through this project, students will enhance their drawing skills, vocabulary, understanding of anatomy, and ability to implement observational methods.

“The Clothesline Project”

Project Leader:  Linda Ashford
New Brunswick Health Sciences Technology High School

The purpose of this project is to engage 50 high school sophomores in an open dialogue about stereotypes. Students will participate in compelling discussions concerning stereotypes and ways to look beyond them by developing a better understanding of each other. The culminating activity will entail each participant creating an “I am” statement that will be used to design T-shirts which will be hung on a clothesline.

“Sylvester and the Magic Pebble:  A Literacy and Performance Arts Experience”

Project Leader:  Kate Sa
Adult Learning Center

This project involves 50 parents and 100 children (ages 3 – 9) who will read “Sylvester and the Magic Pebble.” The families will identify the book’s author, William Steig, define and practice any new vocabulary, answer comprehension questions, and discuss the story elements and theme. As a culminating experience, they will attend a State Theatre production of Sylvester and the Magic Pebble which will be preceded by a workshop including excerpts and props from the performance as well as Q&A facilitated by the actors.

“Inspiring Students and Developing Global Awareness via Electronic Field Trips”

Project Leader:  Kenneth Redler
Woodrow Wilson School

This grant will provide a virtual presentation from the Philadelphia Museum for 390 students, 1st through 8th graders. The program will feature the following: (1) Art of Asia; (2) The Impressionist Era; (3) Modern and Contemporary Art; (4) Art of Spanish and Mexican Artists; (5) Art and Math; (6) African American Artists; and (7) Women Artists. Students will experience these offerings of the Philadelphia Museum without leaving the school building. They will have the opportunity to interact with a Docent through the electronic tours. All student participants will create works of art that replicate what they have learned.

“Terra Nova Workstation”

Project Leader:  Nilda Gutierrez
Lord Stirling School

This innovative portable workstation will be used to engage 3rd and 4th grade students with special learning needs in various hands-on experiments. They will learn proper lab and measuring techniques while understanding scientific methods they will apply in and outside the classroom. Through this interactive technology program, students will explore plants, insects, planets and even dinosaurs! The aim is to develop students’ curiosity and self-esteem as well as increase their interest and desire to learn science.

“Souper Bowls for Changes”

Project Leader:  Rashana Richardson
Lord Stirling School

This project fuses ceramic art, entrepreneurship training, and community service for 3rd through 4th graders. Students will learn how to form, operate and utilize a cooperative business to help the community. They will create decorative soup bowls from clay with themes based on hope, peace, love, and giving. They will then develop and implement a cooperative business model to package, price, market, and sell the bowls with the profits donated to Elijah’s Soup Kitchen.

“Enhancement of Daily Activities”

Project Leader:  Chef Debbie Olsen
New Brunswick High School

The purpose of this grant is to help enhance the cooking experience of students by funding additional equipment to fulfill the growing programs’ needs. With this expansion of resources, culinary students, grades 9 through 12, will be enabled to perform more activities during class time, including chopping vegetables and fruits, weighing materials for recipe production, and sharpening knives more quickly and efficiently.

“Math and Movement”

Project Leaders:  Luisa Ferraro and Gaetana Swercheck
Redshaw School

This project will engage 170 students, ages 6 to 11, in an exciting form of exercise, stretching, cross-body movements, yoga, and visually-pleasing floor mats designed to help enhance their understanding of math concepts. This innovative program uses floor mats and banners to incorporate and parallel various mathematical concepts, including addition, subtraction, telling time, skip-counting, multiplication, division, fractions, factoring, and positive/negative numbers.

“Kindle Our Kids to Better Reading through Digital Text”

Project Leaders:  Olufemi Francis and Hassana Williams
Redshaw School

The E-readers purchased through this grant will be utilized in the classroom as an independent literacy activity for 4th and 5th grade special needs/resource students. The project will include downloadable nonfiction grade appropriate e-books that support content area instruction that will help enhance the students’ abilities to read more fluently. In addition, use of this technology will allow students to apply non-fiction text in research, reading to inform, and report writing.

“Just As I Am:  An Autobiographical Exploration through Writing and Art”

Project Leader:  Jessica Harris
Lincoln School

This project introduces 4th grade students to the book, “Writing Your Life: Autobiographical Writing Activities for Young People” by Mary Borg. Through the comprehensive collection of activities outlined in the book, the students will be prompted to examine their lives from before they were born to looking ahead in the future. They will draft, write, revise, and publish a thirteen chapter coffee table book about themselves.

“Then and Now:  Exploring Life in Early America”

Project Leaders:  Emma Burtenshaw, Carmen Rodriguez and Maria Nazareth
Lincoln School

Through this grant, 2nd grade students will visit Liberty Hall Museum at Kean University for a tour of artifacts, reproductions and hands-on activities illustrating what daily life was like for children years ago. The students will experience different aspects of a child’s life at Liberty Hall in the 1780’s (American Revolution), the 1820’s (New Nation), the 1860’s (Civil War), the 1900’s (Industrial Revolution) and the 1940’s (World War II). By comparing recreation, technology and lifestyles, students will grasp an understanding of how the world of children constantly changes.

“Performance in Theater Workshop/Shakespeare 2.0 Translation, Adaption and Imagination”

Project Leader:  Steven Thornburg
New Brunswick High School

This grant sponsors an Artist-in-Residence Program for students that focus on two texts, one classical and a piece taken from classical test and adapted to contemporary language (i.e. Orestes by Euripides in comparison with Orestes 2.0 by Charles Mee). Over the course of 8 weeks, students will study a specific sonnet of Shakespeare and discuss its style, form, use of language, vocabulary and major themes. As students analyze and comprehend the meaning, they will create a product by rewriting the sonnet and presenting their version live.

“Liberty Science Interactive Museum”

Project Leader:  Kathleen Reitsma
Roosevelt School

Through this interactive science adventure, 4th grade students will explore sea creatures, create a 10-foot geyser and view colorful poison dart frogs. The museum offers three floors of exhibits and hands-on experiences that covers topics on the environment, health and inventions culminating with a 3-D movie presented in the Imax Dome Theater entitled, “Tornado Alley.”

“Music Basics and Composition through Guitar Class for High School”

Project Leader:  Mary Vetter Purcell
New Brunswick High School

This project will allow students to learn music theory, composition and performance through instruction using the guitar. In addition, students will learn about pitch, rhythm, harmony and musical form. They will achieve a level of competence on the guitar that can be synthesized into a performance as a guitar ensemble or in conjunction with other performing groups at the high school.

“Raising Academic Achievement through Reading”

Project Leader:  Kathleen Eppinger
Livingston School

This project will improve literacy skills and academic achievement for K – 5 students through increased access to library materials. By merging funded purchases of printed materials, the students’ chances to learn and enjoy reading will be enhanced. The goal of this literacy plan is to create a library atmosphere where students can go to find award winning fiction and classic works that are specially selected for high-interest, age appropriate books for children.

“Goal Setting”

Project Leader:  Ginny Haase
New Brunswick Middle School

This project entails an inspiring learning experience for students who are referred to in-school suspension for behavior and disciplinary issues. These students will be introduced to the book, “We Beat the Street,” which chronicles the lives of 3 Newark youth who achieved success in spite of growing up in an adverse environment. The activity will include reading, discussing, and writing essays highlighting the messages expressed in this motivational publication.

“C.A.R.E.S. High School Culinary Arts Program”

Project Leader:  Scott Bollwage
Adult Learning Center

This grant funds an innovative culinary arts program that enriches students with technical training and practical academic content applications for careers in the restaurant industry. Some of the culminating activities will entail the students developing and marketing “Café Central,” a café style eatery what will service the Adult Learning Centre student and staff population as well as the Central Office administration staff. Upon completion of the program, students will receive a food service certificate.

“Anti-Bullying School and Community Assemblies”

Project Leaders:  Aimee Schneider, Nancy Zankel, Eve Berne and Kenneth Redler
Woodrow Wilson School

The purpose of this project is to train, educate, and reinforce pro-social skills and anti-bullying protocol for students, staff and the larger school community. This special initiative supports the New Jersey Statewide Anti-bullying mandate, providing prevention and awareness activities campaigns through reading materials, websites, creation of themed posters and participation in an evidence-based H.I.B. assembly.

“Scrabble Wiz”

Project Leader: Arnold Anderson
Roosevelt School

By playing Scrabble, 2nd through 5th grade students will expand their vocabulary, speech tenses and abilities to form words. In addition, through a combination of learning both math and English in a competitive game setting, students will practice mental arithmetic by doubling and tripling their scores. An aim of this project is to increase their understanding and aptitude to spell and apply words in various contexts. This objective is supported by the game’s requirement to use a dictionary.


“I Love English: Learning Language through Technology”
Project Leader: Karen Ellingson, ESL Teacher
New Brunswick Middle School

English Language Learners enter the middle school facing language barriers that limit their ability to keep up with their peers, and stifles their confidence and motivation to learn. This project will provide these students with an innovative language-learning software system, Rosetta Stone which will help to improve their language skills and enhance their ability to become more proficient in English. Teachers will be on hand in order to provide the necessary training and ensure an accurate and effective use of the program. The software will be made accessible to students before and after school, reinforcing their language skills development outside the regular class time.

The Immigrant Experience”
Project Leader(s): Karen Ellingson, ESL Teacher and Ann Marie Barr, ESL Teacher
New Brunswick Middle School

This grant will provide English Language Learners with the opportunity to visit Liberty State Park, as part of a field and research project. Students will spend the day visiting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, seeing firsthand the universal symbol of freedom and democracy and learning about the immigrant experience in America as they participate in hands-on activities and analyze historic artifacts. In the classroom, students will write about their experience, and work collaboratively to create a bulletin board that will be seen by their peers and parents.

“Philadelphia Museum Electronic Field Trips”
Project Leader: Kenneth Redler, Visual Arts Teacher
Woodrow Wilson Elementary School

This grant will provide virtual presentations from the Philadelphia Museum to students in 2nd through 8th grade. This project which highlights four artistic expressions: 1) Art of Asia, 2) The Impressionistic Era, 3) Modern Art, and 4) The Art of Spanish and Mexican Artists, will bring the students to the Philadelphia Museum without leaving the school building. Students will have the opportunity to interact with a Docent through the electronic tours. All student participants will create works of art that replicate what they have learned.

“Traveling Museum Exhibits”
Project Leader: Brandi Gustafson, Social Studies Teacher
Woodrow Wilson Elementary School

Presenting the traveling museum exhibits (American Indian Art and Prehistoric Rock Art) will provide a unique anthropological experience for the entire student population at Woodrow Wilson. Students will create and learn various aspects of ancient art, historical preservation, and as tour guides, learn to develop their organizational and presentation skills with the intention of explaining their observations to an audience.

“Book Club – Understanding Graphic Novels”
Project Leader: Sarah Neiderman, School Librarian
New Brunswick Middle School

This grant will support the development of an after-school Book Club that will help improve the literacy and critical thinking skills of middle school students. Student participants will meet twice a month to read as well as engage in discussion about their assigned books, using graphic novels as their focal interest. Multi-dimensional in its approach, many of the books will depict different cultures and ethnic traditions that the students will experience through food, traditional customs and parental involvement.

“The Senior Mural Project”
Project Leader: Kristine Templeton, Art and Computer Graphics Teacher
New Brunswick High School

This grant will provide New Brunswick High School seniors with the opportunity to engage in group collaboration to paint a large scale mural that details their educational journey and symbolizes their contribution to the school. Students will experience a sense of pride and accomplishment when completed. A primary aim is for student participants to work as a team and realize that the collaborative process yields far better results. In addition, the project seeks to emphasize the connection between art and the capacity to communicate effectively in a positive and productive way.


“Follow the Yellow Brick Road to 66 Bartlett Street”
Project Leaders: Jessica Harris and Dayna Sacks, 4th Grade Teachers
Lincoln School

This grant funded an after-school theater program that exposed 4th through 6th graders to acting techniques and helped them improve various literacy skills. As they read and performed, the children learned about character traits, settings, moods, points of view, inferences, and character motivations. Additionally, the students learned how to identify the differences between monologues and dialogues, lines and stage directions.

“In-Class Technology Workstation”
Project Leader: Nilda Gutierrez, Special Education Teacher
Lord Stirling Community School

This grant provided an in-class technology workstation that provides special learning needs students with innovative educational software and websites, including electronic talking dictionaries, BrainPop.com and Enchanted Learning.com. This interactive learning environment offers language friendly and cutting-edge illustrative resources, which enables students to expand on their knowledge and skills in multiple content areas such as science, social studies, math, and language arts.

“Techies Got Talent”
Project Leaders: Elaine Foulides, Music Teacher and Barbara DeBaylo, Art Teacher
New Brunswick Health Sciences Technology High School

This activity was a talent production that was written, staged, directed, performed and filmed by students. The grant supplied a camcorder, a multi-format DVD Writer, and blank DVDs for students to fuse technology into the creative process by filming the rehearsals and performance, editing the performance footage, adding graphics (titles and credits), and producing a final copy for distribution.

“Using Moodle In The Classroom”
Project Leader: Anthony Mwangi
New Brunswick High School

This grant provided a web-based content management system that makes it easy for teachers and students to interact, communicate, and share materials in a supervised and safe online environment. It is used interactively in the classroom, as well as collaboratively by students at home. Using Moodle prepares students for the 21st century classroom and environment by requiring them to think and to create in innovative, collaborative ways.

“Recording Our History”
Project Leader: Carol Giordano, 3rd Grade Teacher
Paul Robeson Community Theme School for the Arts

With funding for a video camera and blank DVDs, 3rd grade students had the opportunity to integrate technology with a project designed for them to capture the oral history of their families. Students engaged their families in this enriching and exciting activity, as they learned, told and re-told stories that encompassed their history, culture and traditions.

“Home English Language Practice (HELP)”
Project Leader: Marybeth O’Connell, Speech Teacher
Paul Robeson Community Theme School for the Arts

This grant provided digital recording devices for students to rehearse speech-language lessons repeatedly at home in order to increase fluency and comprehension. The focus area of this project, which required parental involvement, was for students to develop and gain mastery in their communication skills, both orally and in written form. This structured and measurable approach was designed to increase student achievement and social competency.

“Reading & Writing ~ The Ultimate Superpowers!”
Project Leaders: Nancy Antos-Ali, Basic Skills Teacher/Melissa Howard, 1st Grade Teacher/Diane Neal, Language Arts Literacy Specialist
Redshaw School

The emphasis of this project was for K-5 students to internalize the concept, “I am a reader. I am a writer. I have the ultimate superpowers”. The grant underwrote costs for books, visits and presentations by Marcie Aboff, noted author of children’s books that have many math and science connections, such as The Pizza Palace (fractions), The Lemonade Standoff (addition & graphing) and The Tallest Snowman (measurements). It was an exciting school-wide event for students geared toward engendering a life-long interest in reading and writing.

“Traveling Museum Exhibits”
Project Leader: Brandi Gustafson
Woodrow Wilson School

This grant sponsored traveling museum exhibits for one week each to expose Pre-K through 8th grade students to Ancient Egyptian Art and the Harlem Renaissance. This virtual field trip provided a unique educational experience for classrooms without the need for students to leave the school building. Students created art work that correlated with what they learned in their Social Studies classes and from the exhibits.

“Philadelphia Museum Electronic Field Trips”
Project Leader: Kenneth Redler
Woodrow Wilson School

This grant provided four virtual presentations from the Philadelphia Museum for 5th through 8th grade students in four program areas: (1) Art of Asia; (2) The Impressionist Era; (3) Modern Art; and (4) The Art of Spanish and Mexican Artists. Students were able to actually interact with the Docent at the museum through the virtual tours and created art work that replicated what they learned.


“Binding Together Good Ideas”
Project Leader: Jessica Harris, 4th Grade Teacher
Lincoln Elementary School

This project provided a binding machine and supplies for 4th grade students to “publish” their written stories, poems, and essays. The aim was to instill in students a sense of empowerment in writing by enabling them to see their work and the work of their peers being published. The culmination of this initiative was establishing a section in the Lincoln Elementary School Library that features books authored by students.

“Going Into Business Sale”
Project Leader: Anise Kaplan, Basic Skills Instructor
Livingston Elementary School

With imaginary jobs, income, interest-bearing bank accounts, and spending activities (i.e. shopping, dinner engagements, vacations, etc.), 5th and 6th grade students learned to make real life practical applications of addition, subtraction, and multiplication with decimals by using money amounts. They were also provided with hands-on training, resources, and supplies to start-up, manage, and operate a school store. Overall, this project exposed students to various math and life skills in a fun and fulfilling manner.

“It All Started With A Mouse”
Project Leader: Tami-Lyn Strachan, 5th Grade Teacher
Livingston Elementary School

This grant provided 5th grade students with books for an exciting thematic study on the life of Walt Disney. The aim was for students to see that Walt Disney’s dream all started with a mouse and that they too can accomplish their dreams from start to finish. Students created blueprints for their own amusement parks, containing 4-5 theme areas, and complete with restaurants. Students also studied the history of roller coasters and how they tie into science modules of simple machines. The project concluded with a study of EPCOT Center and various countries featured in the World Showcase.

“Success Murals”
Project Leader: Rashana Richardson, Art Teacher
Lincoln School

This activity provided 3rd through 5th grade students, with the opportunity to engage in a collaboration to paint both small and large scale murals around the school. Students were given a sense of ownership and responsibility to spread positive messages of success and achievement in school images that they conceived, organized, and ultimately painted. The school benefited by having created an aesthetically meaningful environment that can be used to visually prompt students to remember their goals and aspirations for being the very best in life.

“Classroom Performance System”
Project Leaders: Andre Bridgett, Biology Teacher/Barbara Debaylo, Art Teacher/Toni Austin, Chemistry Teacher
New Brunswick Health Sciences Technology School

With the NBEF grant, a Classroom Performance System (CPS) was included in the learning process for high school students. This innovative technology was designed to provide immediate student feedback by way of a wireless handheld response pad. Students were enabled to actively apply their knowledge, enhance their critical thinking capacity, and build their confidence. The CPS works in a similar fashion to the “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” show in which the audience is polled. It embodies technology that engages all students simultaneously within a classroom setting.

“Redshaw Teachers Incorporate Smart Board Lessons”
Project Leaders: Diane Neal, Reading Specialist/Delia Homs, Math Specialist/Judy Steinitz, Literary Coach/Angela Blake, Kindergarten Teacher/Randall Miller, 4th Grade Teacher
Redshaw Elementary School

The purpose of this project was to use a mobile SMART Board, an instructional interactive technological tool that engaged and motivated students to learn targeted skills. The SMART Board enables teachers to implement lessons that are visual, tactile, and auditory, thus creating an environment that is fun and exciting, therefore, increasing student alertness and retention. The SMART Board is utilized by teachers across curriculums and measured by increased student engagement during SMART Board lessons, improved benchmark scores, report card grades, and individual and group performance-based assessments.

“Newark Museum Electronic Field Trips”
Project Leader: Kenneth Redler, Visual Arts Teacher
Woodrow Wilson Elementary School

This electronic field trip activity provided students with the benefit of an exciting educational museum experience without actually having to leave the school building. Through the use of innovative technology within the classroom, students were enabled to interact with the Docent of the museum, while getting a close up look at Art and History. In turn, students (grades 4th – 8th) created their own museum style exhibits of artwork that included statements of objectives that they aspired to accomplish.



“Music In The Parks Choral Competition”
Project Leader: Libby Montiel Gopal, Music Teacher
New Brunswick High School

The New Brunswick High School Choir, “The Elite Chorale,” honed their talents and presentation skills by competing against other top-notch high school choirs in the Six Flags Great Adventure “Music in the Parks” in Jackson, NJ. The evaluation process of this exciting state-wide music competition included both written and recorded feedback from judges.

“My Gym – The Importance of Physical Fitness In Children”
Project Leaders: Theresa Strydesky, Teacher of Handicapped/Toni Ficken, Early Childhood Education Master Teacher
Paul Robeson Community School

My Gym instructors provided a fitness program devised for handicapped pre-school students. The monthly structured classes incorporated music, dance, puppets, relays, gymnastics and other original activities. The purpose of the project was for special needs students to have fun as they increased their strength, balance, coordination, agility, flexibility and social skills.

“Give Us This Day Our Daily Read”
Project Leader: Dr. Natalie R. Kreitzman, Speech Language Specialist
Lincoln School

This grant provided books and resources for a comprehensive six month reading program that engaged communication impaired students in disciplines that accentuated reading, comprehension, and vocalization. This was a student driven project with an emphasis on increasing word usage and various forms of expression, i.e. writing and performing skits as well as drawing illustrations based on the books that they have read.

“The Native Lands”
Project Leaders: Jessica Harris/Dayna Penchansky, 4th Grade Teachers
Lincoln School

Fifty-five (55) fourth graders traveled to Green Meadows in Parsippany, NJ for a presentation of “The Native Lands.” The students had up-close and personal conversations with Native Americans as well as witnessed their lifestyles and culture, including various types of music and dance.

“Garden & Insects”
Project Leaders: Karen Asson, Pre-K Teacher/Christina Campasano, Kindergarten Teacher
Woodrow Wilson Elementary School

Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students created a garden of flowers and vegetables incorporating worms, butterflies and ladybugs; and supported the local bird population, as well. The project included getting the ground ready for a garden, preparing the soil, planting seeds, caring for the habitats, creating borders, and maintaining journals. This project nourished students’ senses and fostered their creativity, curiosity, cooperativeness, and persistence.

“Here We Grow”
Project Leader: Karen Ellingson, ESL Teacher
New Brunswick Middle School

This grant helped expand an existing after school gardening program for Middle School students. The student gardeners prepared different types of soil, plant seeds, plants, and bulbs; and maintained the garden by weeding and watering. They worked as a team in making a difference for their school and community; and developed a strong sense of pride in their accomplishments. A notable goal of the program is for the students to successfully grow enough plants to one day establish a “Farmers Market.”

“Steps To Success”
Project Leaders: Stella Goyo-Shields, Bilingual Teacher/Karen Ellingson, ESL Teacher
New Brunswick Middle School

This project was designed to enrich learning for “English as a Second Language” (ESL) Middle School students with a Fifteen (15) week after school program involving peer leadership and tutoring. The focus was on various aspects of language and culture with lessons that were theme-based and communicative in nature integrating listening, speaking, writing and reading practice. Highly motivating, hands-on materials were used, as the Project Leaders assisted students and tutors in designing and producing their own language learning tools. Interactive games, technology and a field trip were incorporated in the program.

“Finding A Cure”
Project Leaders: Toni Austin, Chemistry Teacher/Elaine Foulides, Music Teacher
New Brunswick Health Sciences Technology High School

New Brunswick Health Sciences Technology High School students were exposed to science through performing and visual arts. Students dramatized the steps to developing drugs and treatments for a disease by creating storylines/scripts and acting out scenes. The story followed a disease from identification of the disease to the drug discovery for treatment of the disease. As the story unfolded, students showed the importance of the scientific method in the process. The finished product entailed videotaped performances that will be used for class instruction.

“Fun, Food, Friendship”
Project Leaders: Ann Seiderman, Pre-School Disabled Teacher/Debbie Grant, Pre-School Disabled Teacher/Irmaliz Minaya, Inclusion Pre-K Teacher/Toni Ficken, Early Childhood Education Master Teacher
Lord Stirling Community School

Kindergarten and Pre-kindergarten students of Lord Stirling Community School explored literacy, mathematics, science, and motor skills through a “Cooking” theme-based program with small appliances, basic kitchen gadgets, linens, and storage carts. The students utilized nutritional recipes to facilitate the growth of language skills, letter recognition, measuring skills, following 1 and 2 step directions, and socialization.

“B.E.A.R. (Be Enthusiastic About Reading)”
Project Leader: Renee Rivaldo, Language Arts Specialist – Basic Skills Interventionist
Lord Stirling Community School

This grant supplied books and resources for a six month incentive-based reading program for students that impacted fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary. The purpose of the program was to instill the love of reading in all environments outside of school with a built-in mechanism to involve parents in their child’s learning. A key emphasis was, “By making a big deal about children who read on their own and rewarding them for their efforts, children stop viewing reading as a difficult task, but as a fun activity.”