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Harvard Community Education Foundation awards District 50 about $48,000 in grants

Harvard School District 50 students will have expanded learning opportunities next year, thanks to recent grants the Harvard Community Education Foundation awarded District 50 teachers.

Musical instruments, multicultural art curriculum, yoga for elementary students, ladybug houses, makerspace projects, trips to museums and equine therapy programs all will receive funding from the grants.

In the past five years, the foundation has given more than $275,000 in grants to District 50 educators. The foundation offers minigrants for projects that cost less than $1,500, and megagrants for ideas requiring funds more than $1,500.

Two megagrants went to Crosby Elementary School. Counselor Diana Borges and occupational therapist Pat Grosso received funding for the development of eight calming areas/quiet zones within classrooms at the school.

“Children are only able to learn when they feel safe and secure,” Grosso said. “The quiet zones will use environmental, multisensory-based strategies and educational/therapeutic approaches designed to calm children.”

Crosby music teachers Spencer Kibbler and Juan Osorio also received a grant to buy percussion instruments to use in conjunction with music-teaching approaches called Orff Schulwerk and Kodaly. The teaching combines music, movement, drama and speech that are similar to a children’s play.

Harvard High School art teacher Rosemary Palczynski will use a grant to buy cameras and printers to add a digital photography course to the high school’s curriculum. Washington School teacher Sonia Alvarez received a minigrant for authentic Spanish language texts.

“Our mission is to encourage the Harvard community to support the quality education of its children by enriching and expanding learning opportunities,” said Tim Chrapkiewicz, the foundation board president.

For a full list of grant awards, visit www.cusd50.org.

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