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Foundation raises $9K for schools, honors educators

UPDATED, Dec. 16: Spirits were high at Arlington Education Foundation’s annual fund-raiser on Nov. 25, as those gathered celebrated innovations in education within Arlington’s public schools.

Storytelling Residency at Thompson - Jeanne Orlando and Tonja Bishop (Thompson), Norah Dooley (storyteller) receiving the Dawn Moses Memorial AwardFrom left, Jeanne Orlando and Tonja Bishop (Thompson), Norah Dooley (storyteller) receive the Dawn Moses Memorial Award. MORE PHOTOS >>

Board members, supporters, guests and grant recipients shared a lively evening recognizing AEF’s work. The event raised $9,380 for the foundation. All funds raised will directly support advancing public education in Arlington, a Dec. 14 foundation news release said.

Through its grants, AEF aims to enhance the educational experience of teachers and students by empowering teachers, school staff and administrators to design innovative projects and initiatives, which in turn empower students as they grow and learn to think in new ways.

Evidence of AEF’s work was on display through numerous presentations of recently awarded grants that are now operating the schools. The grants highlighted the wide variety of projects funded and included the following:

  • Safe and Supportive Schools, Sara Burd (Districtwide);
  • Social Justice Project Block​, Rebecca Hawk, Ziaquian Goode-Morris and Kirsten Silverman (Gibbs);
  • Crafting Minds: Targeted Reading Intervention Training, Kate Peretz (Hardy);
  • Storytelling Residency at Thompson​, Jeanne Orlando and Tonja Bishop (Thompson), Norah Dooley (storyteller);
  • Latin Independent Reading​, Abbi Holt (OMS);
  • Mobile and Flexible Digital Investigations, John Macuk (AHS);
  • Wellness Day​, Andrea Razi and Jess Klau (AHS);
  • Trip to Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, Brandy Whitney (OMS); and
  • Summer Math Leadership Program at Mount Holyoke, Sonya Connelly (Thompson).

aef logo 2018Each year, the AEF board chooses one Innovation in Education Grant to be designated as that year’s Dawn Moses Memorial Innovation Grant. This award pays tribute to the legacy of former AEF board member Moses, who served on the board from 2005 to 2012, when she passed away.

Moses especially advocated for sustainable, student-centered grants that encompass alternative ways of learning. These values are embodied by the 2019 Dawn Award-winning grant “Storytelling in Residence” written by parent Tonja Bishop and teacher Jeanne Orlando of the Thompson School. This innovation grant teaches public speaking and the art of storytelling to all Thompson students with Norah Dooley, project director of Stories Live.

The evening featured three guest speakers, Matt Coleman, director of mathematics K-12; Terry Dash, Ottoson Middle School computer science teacher; and Sam Hoyo, director of science K-12.

Coleman spoke about the goals of the math department over the past eight years. “​The overarching goal of supporting all students,” said Coleman in the release, “has been focused on questions about opportunity, access and equity.” ​He highlighted the success of the math programs at AHS saying “​currently 98 percent of all seniors are enrolled in a math class and 100 percent of freshmen, sophomores and juniors are currently enrolled.” He also spoke of the success of bringing computer science to the middle school.

AEF’s work is an investment in all of the Arlington public schools, and AEF is deeply grateful for all of its donors’ generosity. In particular, AEF thanks its platinum sponsors, Belmont Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry and Arlington Orthodontics.

AEF’s motto captures these goals: Educate. Innovate. Empower. The foundation awards more than $100,000 in grants to the town's public schools each year. From small Innovation in Education grants to districtwide initiatives, AEF works with school administrators and teachers to fund programs, professional development, and projects that support and enrich the teaching and learning that occur in all of our schools. AEF relies solely on contributions from the community.

For more information or to donate, visit ​​. 

This news announcement was published Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019, and updated Dec. 16, to add a link to photos.

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