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Hopkinton Education Foundation Awards Almost $90,000


HOPKINTON, Mass – June 2, 2010 – The Hopkinton Education Foundation announces the awarding of seventeen grants to Hopkinton Public Schools totaling almost $90,000. In making the awards, Kim Pucci, Education Foundation President said, “This year’s grant awards cover a broad educational spectrum and reflect the Foundation’s mission of encouraging innovation that fosters students’ educational success and forms the foundation for their lifelong learning.”


Grants were awarded to all five Hopkinton schools and include grants to:

  • redesign the Middle School library into a new high-tech Learning Commons;

  • innovate math instruction for Hopkins students;

  • teach Elmwood students math, arts, and culture by designing and building a mosaic;

  • generate interest among elementary students in the new Mandarin Chinese curriculum;

  • engage fifth graders to teach writing to first graders; and

  • infuse technology into music instruction.

The Education Foundation awarded the Stephen Gray Memorial Grant (awarded each year for the most innovative program) to Diane Norby, Middle School Librarian, for her application entitled Transforming the Middle School Library into a Learning Commons. According to Norby, “This project will transform both the physical space in the library as well as add tools to enable students to experience learning within a 21st century environment. The learning commons concept of library design is at the forefront of academic innovation, and it is viewed as essential in order to provide students with the infrastructure necessary for the newest educational models to be completely implemented. It is a human-centered design based on the principles that today's students learn by collaborating and working cooperatively.”


In addition, thanks to the continued generosity of EMC Corporation, the Education Foundation was delighted to award the Fifth Annual EMC Grant for Math and Science to Elizabeth Mack, 4th Grade Classroom Teacher, for her application entitled Making Math Meaningful. As part of this grant, Ms. Mack will innovate mathematics instruction by creating a workshop model for delivering the Everyday Math curriculum. Educators agree that the workshop model is the “best practice” model for engaging students in other subject areas; and, with this grant, this model of instruction and associated tools will be available to aid students who need to link the abstractions of math to concrete experiences. In addition, according to Ms. Mack, through use of the tools, “students of all learning styles can explore math and develop a deep understanding of math concepts.”

This year, for the first time, the Education Foundation solicited applications and awarded grants for professional development opportunities for HPS professional staff. Among the Professional Development Grants awarded was Building a Critical Language Program which will support the new Mandarin Chinese curriculum by providing instruction for professional staff on China and the Chinese language so they can generate interest among elementary students in Chinese culture. Dr. Mary Colombo, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction and primary applicant, said the Education Foundation’s “financial support means so much for the establishment of our high-quality critical languages program.”


Another professional development grant for the application entitled Tools of Engagement will provide faculty and administrators training to better leverage HPS’ investment in the Apple Macintosh laptops being used throughout the High School. This grant will also form the foundation for HPS’ 1-to-1 laptop initiative for Hopkinton students.


On the subject of this year’s grant awards, Superintendent Dr. John (Jack) Phelan said, “I was incredibly impressed by the grants awarded. They will impact students in the regular classroom, in the related arts areas, and in support services. The grants also capture the ability of technology to provide authentic learning for our students and will provide seed money for a critical language initiative in Mandarin Chinese, one of the district’s key strategic initiatives.”

Clelland Johnson, Treasurer of the Education Foundation and Grants Committee Chair said, “I am extremely excited about these grants. They represent the essence of the Education Foundation’s work in that they are innovative, they cover the entire educational spectrum from math and science to art and music, they reach a very broad student population, and they will advance HPS’ strategic plan.”

Phelan went on to say, “The Hopkinton Education Foundation continues to inspire creativity and innovation among our teachers and provides funding that the school district could not otherwise provide during these constrained financial times. It has often been noted, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’  For the school district, the Education Foundation is a critical component of our village.”


And, Johnson echoed those sentiments, “While the economy falters, and our town’s expenses continue to outpace income, the Education Foundation is here to ensure that innovative educational experiences are not sacrificed as a result of the requirement to fund state mandates, contractual payroll obligations, and other system maintenance. In fact, the Education Foundation’s grants this year exceeded our annual income from corporate sponsors, individuals, foundations, and special events by a significant margin. By approving the $90,000 expenditure, the Board reinforces the Foundation’s belief that even in tight fiscal times, our students should still benefit from innovative educational experiences. Finally, we thank all those parents, community partners, and businesses who have supported the Foundation to make these grants possible.”


The Hopkinton Education Foundation is a small, but mighty, all-volunteer non-profit organization that provides resources to educators in the form of funding, ideas, tools, and professional development to promote educational innovation. Since its inception in 1992, the Education Foundation has been the primary independent catalyst energizing Hopkinton Public School educators to deliver innovative educational experiences that inspire students to strive for excellence and become lifelong learners by funding over $900,000 towards new ideas requested by HPS professional staff.

To learn more about the Hopkinton Education Foundation and to view all the grants awarded in 2010, please visit .

The Foundation is generously supported by the following corporate sponsors:  EMC Corporation, Phipps Insurance Agency, Hopkinton Wine & Spirits, Middlesex Savings Bank, and The Richmond Group. In addition, event sponsors include Star Realty Hopkinton, Paragon, Hallmark Sotheby's International Realty, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, RE/MAX Executive Realty. To learn how your business can sponsor the Foundation in our mission to foster innovation and educational excellence in the Hopkinton Public Schools, please contact Christine Coffman at .

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