top of page

Grant Application

For over 30 years, we’ve funded innovative projects across all schools and grade levels in the Manchester Essex Regional School District. Our grants help students reach their greatest potential by enhancing the school curriculum with opportunities that can’t be funded through the tax-supported school budget.

Grant cycles are offered in September and January. Grant applications are due before the designated grant deadline.

Our next grant cycle opens on September 9, 2024 and closes on September 30, 2024.

We evaluate grant applications with several criteria in mind: 

  • Innovation and Educational Value:  How does the project enrich the approved academic curriculum and support the district's strategic plan and ongoing priorities?  
     

  • Impact and Collaboration:  How will the project benefit students across schools and grade levels? Who could you work with to ensure the project has the greatest possible impact to MERSD?
     

  •  Replicability and Sustainability:  If successful, how could learning opportunities be replicated and expanded? How could this project be sustainable in the future (adoption district-wide, alternate funding, reuse of materials, etc.)?

Spaulding grants are not intended to support salaries or stipends.  Funding may be available for short-term project work. 
 
Please note, while Spaulding supports student trips, and approved applications requesting transportation last spring, this grant cycle we are looking to fund more experiential and tactile experiences for students.

You can find more information about the grant application process in this presentation to MERSD staff.  To inquire about a grant please email grants@spauldingeducationfund.org.  

2024

Beneficiary: Essex Elementary School and Memorial Elementary School

 

  • Funds to update the library collections at with new reference materials in areas that “age” quickly, such as computer systems, life sciences, and maps
     

  • Art supplies for elementary school students to learn about monoprinting with gel printing plates

Beneficiary: Manchester Essex Regional Middle School

 

  • Fan carts, tracks, and motion sensors to support STEM education

Beneficiary: Manchester Essex Regional High School Band and Chorus 

 

  • Tickets to a Broadway play for students

Beneficiary:  Essex Elementary School 

 

  • “Brain bins” to engage students at Essex Elementary School at the start of the school day.

Beneficiary:  Manchester Essex Regional High School Model UN Club

 

  • A visit to UN Headquarters in New York

Beneficiary:  Manchester Essex Regional High School Model UN Club

 

  • A visit to UN Headquarters in New York

Beneficiary:  Manchester Essex Regional High School Robotics Team
 

  • Tools and supplies to support the high school Robotics Team’s competition robot

Beneficiary:  Manchester Essex Regional Middle and High School Students
 

  • Specialized graphing calculators for math and science students in grades 6-12

2019 

Laser Cutter

Steve Cogger (Teacher)

Beneficiary: Manchester Essex Regional High School

Laser cutters can  play a significant role in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) projects. Students can use laser cutting to create custom parts for robotics, construct intricate circuit boards, or fabricate scientific apparatus.

Laser Printer

DNA Visualization

Kristin Umile (Teacher)

Beneficiary: Manchester Essex Regional High School

Separating and visualizing DNA fragments allows a user to determine whether DNA is present in a sample.  This can confirm, for example, if a DNA extraction or a PCR has worked and in the context of a diagnostic test can therefore determine if a sample is positive or negative.

DNA Visualizer

“Minding Your Mind” Student Program

Mrs. Cameron (Teacher)

Beneficiary: Manchester Essex Regional High School

Students will learn to recognize, identify, and express emotions in age-appropriate ways. The primary goal of Kind Minds curriculum is to cultivate positive reactions while providing children with the tools they need to create meaningful connections, leading to consistent emotional wellness.

Minding Your Mind Program

2018

Author Visit by Award Winning Children’s Author Jarrett Krosoczka

Beneficiary: Essex Elementary and Manchester Memorial Elementary

Second through fifth graders, district-wide, will have the opportunity to work with renowned award-winning children’s book writer and illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka. Elementary students will each host Krosoczka for an assembly titled “Writing with Pictures: The Graphic Novel” as well as two writing workshops. Through this engaging and innovative program, it is the hope to expose students to an in-person example of excellence in writing, illustration, and determination.

Author Jarrett Krosoczka

National Archery in the Schools Program 
Beneficiary: Manchester Essex Regional Middle High School
This grant was awarded to the Middle and High School physical education program.  Archery is a fun, alternative sport that can be enjoyed by all ages and abilities and gives students the opportunity to develop new skills, particularly mental training.  Success in archery requires the shooter to control their breathing, steady their heart rate and body as well as focus their mind.  These are all concepts that can be applied to stress management in and out of the classroom through a fun and holistic approach. 

Archery Program

Sustainable Food Production in the Classroom 
Beneficiary: Manchester Essex Regional Middle High School
The Tower Garden System is an environmentally friendly, sustainable growing system uniquely appropriate for classroom use. This project invites students to develop hands-on, practical learning experiences that will allow them to interact with community groups (food banks/shelters). Food grown using the aeroponic system could be used in the cafeteria and donated to local food banks, providing students with the opportunity to give back to the school/community in ways that are meaningful and long-lasting

Hydroponic Garden Tower

3D Printers for Computer Aided Design (CAD)
Beneficiary: Manchester Essex Regional High School
3D printers for the STEM classroom will be purchased initially to support the existing Introduction to Computer Aided Design (CAD) class through a SEF grant. It is expected that the printers will also provide the basis for the development of higher-level CAD and design classes that will be part of the district’s planned STEM Pathways program. 

3D Printer for CAD

Technical Pop-Up Presentations
Beneficiary: Manchester Essex Regional High School
The wireless projection offered by Chromecasts has already proven successful in middle school. Wireless projection allows teachers to be with students in a more collaborative way. Students can present and connect to the projector in a more seamless way. The interactive touch part will serve as an exploration into future possibilities. Students will be exposed to multiple methods of presentation, immersion into data, images, and video.

Pop-Up Chromecast Technology

2017

Learning Commons in the Library
Beneficiary: Manchester Essex Regional Middle High School
Learning Commons is a means to encourage participatory learning at school. This is a shared space with physical and virtual components. Learning Commons' emphasize creativity, collaboration, innovation and opportunity to enhance teaching and learning outcomes.

Learning Commons

The Anatomy in Clay
Beneficiary: Manchester Essex Regional High School

Dr. Maria Burgess (Teacher)
The High School Science Department will purchase and implement this hands on system to support the growing interest in Anatomy and Physiology courses. The program, which aligns with progressive trends in education, provides differentiated instruction to effectively reach a wide variety of learning styles.

Anatomy in Clay

Flexible Classroom Seating
Beneficiary: Essex Elementary
Flexible seating for classrooms throughout Essex Elementary will provide students with alternative options to a traditional seat and desk.  It gives students a choice in what kind of learning space works best for them, helps them to work collaboratively, communicate, and engage in critical thinking.  Research has shown that flexible classrooms empower student choice, increase student engagement, and improve student participation which allows teachers to maximize their teaching.  

Flexible Seating

Engineering Component for Math Explorers and Problem Solvers Program

Beneficiary: Essex Elementary

MEAPS is an innovative pilot program recently launched at Memorial Elementary School that encourages students, grades 2 through 5, who have an interest and passion in mathematics and technology/engineering to work on flexible, collaborative problem-solving projects.  This grant  will expand the scope of the projects to include more advanced engineering concepts.  Last year, over 130 children participated in MEAPS. 

Math Explorers

Shakespeare & Company
Beneficiary: Manchester Essex Regional Middle High School
The three-day Artist-in-Residence program at the Middle School is an exciting opportunity to bring Shakespeare to life in an active, imaginative and personally meaningful way.  By experiencing a performance of Macbeth and then working in small groups conducted by Shakespeare and Company to act out the plays, students can make better sense of the rigorous Shakespeare texts they are reading in the classroom.  

Shakespeare & Company

Composer in Residence
Beneficiary: Essex Elementary School
Under the direction of the award-winning composer Demetrius Spaneas, Essex Elementary School's fifth-grade students will learn how to compose music with a goal for each student to complete an original composition by the end of the residency.  In addition to an introduction of music writing software, students will learn to utilize and combine the basic concepts of melodic contour, simple harmonic progression and rhythmic continuity in their own compositions.  

Composer in Residence

Robotics Team Engineering Program
Beneficiary: Manchester Essex Regional High School
The MERHS Robotics Team provides students a unique hands-on experience through applied engineering. Students worked intensely to design and build a robot for competitions throughout the region, and qualified for the national competition - Our Robotics team was the winner!  This STEM activity also fosters teamwork and a commitment to excellence among the students. 

Robotics By The C

Graphic Arts Photo Scanner
Beneficiary: Manchester Essex Regional Middle High School
As the High School Art Department moves toward the use of digital portfolios for their students, a high quality graphic arts photo scanner is necessary.  This cutting-edge piece of technology will allow students to record and track the development of their work as well as easily upload their artwork for the college admissions process and submission of work for contests and juried awards.  It will also allow the students to learn the technology of scanning their own artwork to help prepare them for a 21st century work life.

Epson Graphic Arts Scanner

Speech and Debate Programs
Beneficiary: Manchester Essex Regional High School
This grant allowed for the High School Speech and Debate Team to participate in the Columbia University Invitational Speech and Debate Tournament on January 20, 2017.  The students, from freshmen to seniors, competed against top-tier teams from across the country in two debate formats: Lincoln Douglas and Public Forum debate. From the research and writing skills used to prepare cases to the public speaking skills needed to present quality debates and speeches, students had numerous opportunities to gain skills and hone their craft.

Debate Team

Chromebooks for Middle School Robotics
Beneficiary: Manchester Essex Regional Middle School
Robotics will be incorporated into the Middle School Engineering curriculum with the addition of six Chromebooks to the classroom.  With robotics and engineering design being taught over the course of 4 to 6 weeks, all middle school students will have the opportunity to design, build and program robots to solve real-world problems, evaluate their own work and generate solutions. In response to the grant’s approval school Principal Joanne Maino said,  “Thank you SEF.  I can’t tell you how proud I am to be principal of this wonderful school – much of it in thanks to the incredible support we receive from our community of dedicated parents.”

Chromebooks

Middle School Academy Digital Classroom Equipment

Vidula Plante (Teacher)
Beneficiary: Manchester Essex Regional Middle  School 
Middle School Academy is a 6th grade class at MERMS with the goal of academic, social, and digital literacy skills through project-based learning. Technology will be purchased to support this innovative class including iPad minis and cases, green screens and microphones. MSA teacher Vidula Plante shared, “Adding 21st century technology will support students’ imaginations and build their digital skills as they work together to troubleshoot problems and produce new content that follows an idea from inception to its finished product.”

Digital Classroom Equipment

2016 Awarded Grants

Natural Science Projects with Kestrel Educational Adventures 
Beneficiary: Essex Elementary and Manchester Memorial Elementary
This inquiry science program rooted in the local natural world is an important addition to the district’s elementary Science program and is specifically designed for Kindergarteners, first and second graders.  SEF helped to bring this very hands-on program to the districts’ youngest students, introducing them to science process skills as well as fostering a sense of wonder, understanding and connection to the world around them through playful, outdoor, scientific inquiry. 

Kestrel Education Adventures

Potato Hill Poetry Writing Workshop 
Beneficiary: Essex Elementary and Manchester Memorial Elementary
4th graders district-wide had the opportunity to work with the celebrated poet, writer and teacher Andrew Green, founder of Potato Hill Poetry.  He shared a group presentation at each elementary school and then conducted small workshops with students which beyond poetry included exercises in metaphors, word play, rhythm, narrative, and collaboration.  The goal of the program was not only to teach and encourage writing skills but to also spark creativity, get students excited about poetry, and improve their confidence in public speaking. 

Potato Hill Poetry

Ladibugs for Learning 
Beneficiary: Essex Elementary and Manchester Memorial Elementary
14 High-Definition Document Cameras were purchased through the SEF grant to aid teachers at Essex and Manchester Memorial Elementary schools with resulting benefits for all students.  Document cameras can be compared to a 21st century overhead projector, allowing teachers to differentiate their instruction more effectively, to help them reach every student, and to make the classroom a more dynamic place.  

Ladibugs for Learning

Anti Bullying & Conflict Resolution Educational Performance
Beneficiary: Manchester Memorial Elementary
Scot Cannon, a dedicated educator Mime, Musician Artist Music Presentation performed his award-winning Anti Bullying & Conflict Resolution Program for MMES students.  His stage presentation uses pantomime, music and audience participation and looks at the subjects of bullying, cyber- bullying, anger, tolerance, differences, and the importance of kindness, understanding and compassion.

Anti Bullying and Conflict Resolution Education

Shakespeare Play Performance and Workshop 
Beneficiary: Manchester Essex Regional Middle High School
This three-day Artist-in-Residence program has become a wonderful addition to the middle school English curriculum.  It helps to make Shakespeare come alive for students and makes the reading of the plays much more meaningful.  The school wide performances and small workshops conducted by Shakespeare and Company help Middle School students make sense of rigorous Shakespeare texts more fully, by bringing them to life.

Shakespeare Workshop

Biotechnology in the Classroom 
Beneficiary: Manchester Essex Regional High School
Kristin Umile (Teacher)
Description: The high school science department purchased cutting edge equipment that introduces students to a growing field of biology known as proteomics. The technology allows for inquiry-based learning and discovery which will engage all learners.  Students are introduced to 21st century science skills, gain real hands-on experience in new areas of biology, better preparing them for college and possibly stimulating new career choices. 

Biotechnology in the Classroom

Implementing Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Technology to Study DNA 
Beneficiary: Manchester Essex Regional High School
Kristin Umile (Teacher)
This new technology is an important addition to the High School science programs as it provides students with an understanding of basic principles and applications of PCR.  With this program students get increased exposure to the concepts of biotechnology and how DNA tests and fingerprints will be something they use not only in the classroom, but in the real world.   

PCR Technology

 Visiting Jazz Artist
Beneficiary: Manchester Essex Regional Middle High School
Middle and High School Jazz Band Students had the opportunity to listen to and learn directly from professional jazz musicians that they may otherwise never have the chance to see.  This unique interaction helped to increase their musical awareness and encouraged them to develop their own talent and musical abilities. 

Visiting Jazz Artist

Artist in Residence Program
Beneficiary: Manchester Essex Regional High School
This program gave the AP and Portfolio art students at the High School an excellent opportunity to learn new techniques, stimulate creativity and continue to build their portfolios working alongside a professional artist, Coco Berkman.  The artist is a well-known Cape Ann printmaker who has had prior experience working in educational settings.  This was an important addition to the AP Art programs.  

Artist in Residence Program

2015 

Maritime Gloucester Explorer Program 
Beneficiary: Essex Elementary and Manchester Memorial Elementary
This exciting hands-on program will benefit all Manchester and Essex third through fifth graders. This program is run by Maritime Gloucester and will involve 2 experiential field trips on Gloucester Harbor along with classroom learning units designed to increase student knowledge of local watershed resources and ecosystems, enhance student understanding of historic and recent human impacts on local watersheds, introduce students to local watershed restoration and monitoring programs, and encourage student ocean stewardship.

Gloucester Maritime

National Archery in the Schools Program 
Beneficiary: Manchester Essex Regional Middle High School
This grant was awarded for the middle and high school physical education program.  Archery is a fun, alternative sport that can be enjoyed by all ages and abilities and gives students the opportunity to develop new skills, particularly mental training.  Success in archery requires the shooter to control their breathing, steady their heart rate and body as well as focus their mind.  These are all concepts that can be applied to stress management in and out of the classroom through a fun and holistic approach.

Archery Program

Rob Buyea Author Visit 
Beneficiary: Essex Elementary and Manchester Memorial Elementary
Fourth and Fifth graders district-wide will benefit from this grant.  Mr. Buyea is a celebrated author of the Mr. Terupt novels.  He will share a group presentation at each elementary school and then work with individual classes in writing workshops.  The overarching messages in Mr. Buyea’s books are to follow your passion, never give up and to be accepting of all.  His visit will not only teach and encourage writing skills but will also inspire children in their efforts to maintain a positive and supportive school climate.

 

Rob Buyea Author Visit

Rachel’s Challenge
Beneficiary: Manchester Essex Regional Middle High School 
This program is focused on school climate and empowering students and adults to combat bullying and allay feelings of isolation and despair by creating a culture of compassion.  Based on the writings of Rachel Scott, who was the first student killed at Columbine, this program focuses not on the shooting but on her hopes for the world – that we create a chain of kindness.  This is a collaborative effort for grades 6-12 that will include assemblies, student training to sustain and integrate the ideas throughout the year as well as an evening program for adults.  

 

Rachel's Challenge
bottom of page