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Posted by admin on January 6, 2021
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In light of the school closings and remote instruction/learning that transpired this past year due to COVID-19, NBEF’s Innovative Teacher Grants Program offered grants (ranging up to $1,000.00) to New Brunswick Public School District teachers and staff “to implement virtual projects and activities and/or to acquire resources that are needed to enhance or supplement their existing virtual lessons, projects and activities for students (including items that grant recipients can arrange for students to access/use at home).”

NBEF was pleased to partner with Johnson & Johnson in this special COVID Relief related project that welcomed proposals from New Brunswick Public Schools to benefit students in Kindergarten through 12th Grade; and included all curriculum areas.

The outstanding projects that were funded are as follows:

Jessica Bulleit and Daniel Fleming, Art Teachers
New Brunswick Middle School
“Virtual Art Class Kits for Academy Students”
Through this grant, advanced New Brunswick Middle Schools students were able to receive art supplies that helped to serve as social emotional learning, building confidence, resilience, creativity, and much more all through their own paintings. This project allowed students to boost their problem solving skills, demonstrate creative thinking and utilize an outlet for expression. Their artwork will be displayed at their schools in fall 2021. 

Shan Byrd, Special Education Teacher
McKinley Community School
“Restoring Justice through Cross Cultural Collaborations” 
New Brunswick students who attend McKinley School were able to learn about Latin and African Diaspora cultures. Through a series of workshops, virtual trips, and student led activities, students learned about the histories of indigenous, Latinx and people of African descent. 

Marilyn Crawford, Head Nurse and Katsiaryna Sikorakaya, School Nurse
New Brunswick Public School District
“The Road to Recovery”
Covid-19 has affected the lives of everyone, and this project helped to serve as a health initiative to educate students, parents and staff about the virus and preventing outbreaks. Emphasis was placed the contributions of both children and adults, and how their efforts will help end the pandemic. This project incorporated questionnaires, informational flyers, friendly competitions and even giveaways. 

Kathryn Galasso, Science Teacher
New Brunswick Middle School
“At Home Physics and Engineering Kits” 
This project provided students with the opportunity to conduct hands-on projects with actual kits. They were able to brainstorm, design, and even build and test their designs of their own engineering projects. 

Joseph F. Kriete, JAG Specialist
New Brunswick Adult Learning Center
“Business and IT Center 21 Century Skills” 
This project provided students with a learning experience that will lead to a long-term career preparation through completion of career readiness topics and applications, where the students were able to complete certificates of accomplishment through lectures, hands-on activities and computer based learning. 

Jeanmarie Swiontkowski, Fashion Design and Textiles Teacher
New Brunswick High School
“Sustainable Textiles … Experimenting With Natural Dyes”
Through the use of natural dyes and sustainable fashion, this project was able to teach students the value of these item while also teaching about reduction of waste and the value in repurposing. Students were able to dye textiles with natural materials such as flowers, teas and even vegetables. They were also able to repurpose garments and incorporate natural dyed textiles. Sustainability is important in the fashion industry and students were able to gain firsthand experience of these techniques.

Seth Upson, Mathematics Teacher
P-TECH School
“Building Minds through Minecraft”
What student doesn’t love technology? Through this project students engaged and participated in a STEM project that focused on concept, design, development, and execution stages of the engineering process with the use of the popular game, Minecraft. Students love this game and there are so many different areas, from content, to building processes, that were implemented to achieve student success.

Since 2011, NBEF has funded over 150 projects and activities (both inside and outside classrooms) through its Innovative Teacher Grants Program. This initiative has impacted tens of thousands of students (Kindergarten thru Grade Twelve) in areas such as Reading & Literacy, STEM, Fine, Visual and Performing Arts, and many other disciplines.

We welcome you to click on the video below to get a closer look at NBEF’s Innovative Teacher Grants Program and the 2021 Grant Recipients.