Dream Grants

Contributions to Date:

  • Provided funding for 195 grants totaling $468,004.86
  • A total of 17 grants will be awarded at the 21th Annual Dream Awards Gala in 2016

The 2016 – 2017 Dream Grant Recipients

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ART THERAPY, “I DID IT MY WAY”
Ridge Ranch Elementary SchooL
Barbara Vene-Anderson • Kally Williams

This grant will provide a therapeutic art experience to students in the ABA program. The funding will allow students to participate in weekly therapeutic art sessions with an art therapist in collaboration with the regular art education teacher. Funds will also be used to purchase a variety of art supplies, including materials that provide a sensory experience for students.

BROADWAY MEETS THE ARTIST MASTER CLASSES
Paramus High School
Claudine Ranieri

The goal of this project is to provide a professional dance educational experience with an opportunity to meet with working professionals on Broadway, as well as learn original choreography from Broadway productions. The development of choreography and the purchase of costumes also funded by this grant will become part of the dance department’s repertory.

BUSY BEES, BUSY BODIES
Stony Lane Elementary School
Erin Todd • Kristen Scrivens

The objective of this project is to engage students in physical movement while working in order to promote focus and an ability to stay on task longer. This grant will provide alternate sitting choices for exerting energy such as under desk cycles and ellipticals, ball chairs, motion seating stools and inflatable wedge seats. Some slanted desks for Occupational Therapy students that need extra assistance to write will also be provided.

LET’S KEEP THEM MOVING & GIVE DANCE A CHANCE
Ridge Ranch Elementary School
Kelly Ribeiro • Barbara Vene-Anderson

Research points to children with autism needing multiple types of stimulation in order to process information. This grant provides the funds for formal dance, yoga, gymnastics and karate instruction by certified instructors. A family component will be offered so families can learn the benefits of these exercises and facilitate carryover of the skills learned in these programs to the home.

KINESTHETIC CLASSROOMS
West Brook Middle School
Anne Cuviello • Liz Smerdon

This grant will provide for the implementation of under-desk peddlers and standing desks that will allow students to move in class without distracting others. Research has found that movement can have the following benefits in classrooms: greater creativity, more focus, achievement of classroom goals, happier students, and improved classroom behavior.

“LOOK WHO’S HORSING AROUND AT RECESS”
Midland Elementary School
Lisa Quimby • Cynthia Hulse

This grant will supply safe games (Soft-Stick Team Horseshoes and Game Play Washer Toss) that will increase social skills, aiming skills, sportsmanship  and make a safer recess for all.

STARS ON STAGE: GROWING STRONG READERS AND STAR PERFORMERS
Midland Elementary School
Jennifer Jennings

GROWING STRONG READERS AND STAR PERFORMERS will provide a venue for students to hear fluent reading on CD books and record themselves to track their growth as readers using iPads in the Book Nook. The students will also have the opportunity to perform in the school Talent Show and School Play reading theatre scripts and working collaboratively across grade levels to increase reading fluency in real life settings.

TEACHING THROUGH VISUAL IMMERSION
East Brook Middle School
Kristen Johnson

This grant will bring the Middle School curriculum to life by using new and unique forms of technology. Every student in the school, in any classroom, in almost any subject, would have the ability to take a three dimensional guided tour and be immersed into a particular area of study using smartphones, “Google Expedition” Apps, and the Google viewers provided by this grant.

CALMING DOWN CADDIES
Midland Elementary School, Parkway Elementary School
and Stony Lane Elementary School
BLeslie Lapotasky • Cynthia Hulse • Suzanne Barbi • Thomas Marshall

Each classroom in these three schools will benefit from this grant. The Calming Down Caddy will consist of such items as: home-made play dough, sensory bag, glitter bottle, pool noodles, pipe cleaners, squishy balls, and coloring pages (mandalas) and crayons.these items would be at the disposal (and discretion) of the teacher to assign to a student having difficulty regulating their emotions.

DOORWAY TO YOUR IMAGINATION
BEYOND OUR FOUR WALLS – PHASE IV

West Brook Middle School
Gina Herring • Carla Alvarez • Anne Cuviello • Lisa Ahrendt • Jean Duff • Courtney Rejent • Janine Wizemann • Aimee Carroll-Matos •
Elizabeth Smerdon • Alicia Miller • Susan Otterstedt •         Patricia O’Keefe

The DOORWAY TO YOUR IMAGINATION grant is Phase IV of grants previously awarded in pursuit of creating the inviting and inspiring Courtyard Learning Environments. This phase will see murals painted, a Language Arts mosaic created, Science Curriculum Ceramic Pots painted and filled with plants by the West Brook Gardening Club as well as the general updating of the courtyard aesthetics.

HOOKED ON HYDROPONICS
Stony Lane Elementary School, Paramus High Shcool
Kristen Scrivens • Tracy Glock

By introducing hydroponics, as well as soil planting, into the garden studies at Stony Lane MSchool and with the Leap Program at the High School, classes will have the opportunity to make observations, document the growth of plants that are grown with and without soil ( hydroponically). This project will be a continuation of the grant, Growing Friendships from 2015 – 2016, with kindergarten students and high school students.

CALMING DOWN CADDIE
Memorial Elementary School, Ridge Ranch Elementary School
Laurie Corizzo • Laverne O’Boyle • Jeanine Nostrame

Each classroom in these two schools will benefit from this grant. The Calming Down Caddy will consist of such items as: home-made play dough, sensory bag, glitter bottle, pool noodles, pipe cleaners, squishy balls, and coloring pages (mandalas) and crayons. These items would be at the disposal and (discretion) of the teacher to assign to a student having difficulty regulating their emotions.

WOBBLE WHILE YOU WORK
Midland Elementary School
Cynthia Hulse • Betsy Johnrud
This grant will supply Wobble Chairs which will provide access to sensory input in the classrooms. Such input can be calming for the body and organizing for the brain. This in turn can promote focus and help students learn better, be more productive and experience increased success in the classroom.

HORSING AROUND
East Brook Middle School
Dana Folcarelli • Christopher Nutland • Laurie Corizzo • Thomas LoBue
Children identified as experiencing grief, anxiety or extreme life challenges will be able to attend the Pony Power Therapies (PAL program) in Mahwah, New Jersey. This Pony Assisted Life Skills Program is aimed at developing and honing fundamental life skills in children and adults facing a range of life challenges. They will be exposed to activities focusing on: self-awareness, communication skills, social and relationship skills, and responsibility / accountability.

A DAY IN THE LIFE: READY….SET….GO PRO!
Memorial Elementary School
Marie Creste  •  Mona Bennett  • Cindy Miller
This project will ease the concerns of new students and those experiencing anxiety by allowing them to take a “virtual tour” of a particular event beforehand to help them mentally prepare themselves. Students will use GoPro cameras to shoot live, firsthand footage of various school events and procedures, and then hone their technology skills  by editing their footage to create an electronic library of videos available to students, teachers and parents to view as appropriate to their particular situations.

YOGA FOR HEALTH AND MINDFULNESS AT MEMORIAL SCHOOL: PART: II
Memorial Elementary School
Michael Kukla • Laverne O’Boyle
A prior grant provided for a yoga instructor, certified to work with children, to conduct yoga classes at lunchtime during the winter months. The objective of this grant is to expand on the opportunity for students to participate in the practice of yoga with an emphasis on mindfulness. Focusing on being mindful benefits children in the same way it does adults, by reducing stress, improving sleep quality, and heightening focus and attention.

OUTDOOR EXPLORATION
Parkway Elementary School
Elissa Scotto • Christine Rath  • Jaclyn Huntington  • Alyson Fuhrman

Create an outdoor classroom to help instill a love of science and nature by providing a creative learning experience for our students. Children will develop scientific inquiry skills through hands on discovery while interacting with and observing nature in activities like cultivating plants, watching the lifecycle of butterflies and exploring and discussing seasonal changes together.