Dream Grants

The 2017 – 2018 Dream Grant Recipients

Contributions to Date:

  • Provided funding for 211 grants totaling $507,680.92
  • A total of 16 grants were awarded at the 22nd Annual Dream Awards Gala in 2017

The 2017 – 2018 Dream Grant Recipients

BUDDIES BEAT BEING LONELY
Parkway Elementary School
Kathy Guner • Andrea Stone

A brightly colored and adorned Buddy Bench will be installed in each of Parkway School’s two playgrounds. The Buddy Bench is a simple way to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground. Student Council members will be trained to actively look for students sitting on the Buddy Bench and engage them in group play.

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS THROUGH PLAY
West Brook Middle School
Debbie Scuilla

There are four main goals of this project. They include promoting life-long fitness and activity, fostering social skills, promoting kinesthetic movements to enhance classroom learning, and to incorporate the special needs students during school hours as well as further develop programs such as the Unified Sports/Vision programs at West Brook. This grant will provide some of the funds needed for adapted equipment, including a wheelchair ramp.

COLLABORATION STATION
Stony Lane Elementary School
Kristen Greco • Melissa Milazzo

This grant involves flexible seating for the first grade and will create a student-centered learning environment that promotes collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking amongst students, an atmosphere that serves to benefit all students across the spectrum. The classroom design will incorporate a low table with pillows, wobble stools that rotate, and small carpets for students to sit or lay side-by-side with their classmates.

CONNECTING THE MIND AND BODY THROUGH FLEXIBLE SEATING
East Brook Middle School
Krystle Matuseski

 Flexible seating options will be provided by this grant so that students can work around the room allowing them to choose a work space that is conducive to their needs. The more choices these special education students have, the more they will feel invested and responsible for their learning.

DYNAMIC TEACHING AND LEARNING USING DIGITAL TOOLS
Parkway Elementary School
Laurie Hemmerly • Maryalice Perazzo • AnnMarie Brown • Cathy Matasker • Suzanne Barbi

Each support classroom will be equipped with enough CHROMEBOOKS so that each student will have access to digital tools and resources daily. Students will have the opportunity to use the CHROMEBOOKS to explore concepts, access a variety of digital platforms that support collaboration and cooperative learning while practicing their reading, writing and problem solving skills.

FOCUS TO FIND IT
Midland Elementary School
Betsy Johnsrud • Sherry Toubassi

The Resource Rooms and Self-Contained classrooms will be using Find It games. The Find It games are exceptional tools for learning and behavior self-management.  Find It games provide many uses in a classroom to stimulate students; to engage in active learning; as well as calming a student who needs support on focusing or concentration. Find Its provide the necessary sensory input while building visual perceptual skills and increasing cognitive development.

GET A GRIP! ADAPTIVE DEVICES TO HELP BEGINNING AND DIVERSE STRING PLAYERS DEVELOP PROPER BOW HOLD AND TECHNIQUE
Midland, Stony Lane, Memorial, Parkway and Ridge Ranch Elementary Schools
Kerry Russo • Angela Girvan • Kristine Hart • Kenneth Korn • Reita Powell

This grant will provide for two devices, the BowMaster (a molded rubber piece which attaches to the bow and provides the support for the bow hand to fall into place and form a proper grip for playing) and the Bow-Right (a guide which is placed on the instrument that forms a straight “pathway” for the bow to travel on the strings). These devices will have a dramatic effect on the resulting playing, boosting the confidence and self-esteem of the beginner, especially those learners with special needs.

GOING GREEN IN 2017 WITH A RECYCLED PLASTIC BOTTLE GREENHOUSE
Stony Lane Elementary School
Kristen Scrivens

The plastic bottle greenhouse has many benefits: It is self-watering, as rainwater can penetrate through the gaps between the bottles. It is self warming: it raises the temperature by at least 10 degrees. It also gives the opportunity to recycle bottles. Students will help design the Green House using STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) skills. Parents will help build the structure and students will add the plastic bottles to create the walls, door and ceiling.

LET’S  MOVE OUR BODIES AND OUR BRAINS
Ridge Ranch Elementary School
Kelly Ribeira • Barbara Vene-Anderson • Jeanne Browne

Special needs students will continue to receive formal dance, yoga, gymnastics and social instruction provided for in previous grants. The goal is to improve student’s physical and mental well being. A new family component will be offered in the evening – CranioSacral therapy. This gentle yet powerful therapy works with the body. A light touch manual therapy, CranioSacral therapy enhances the body’s natural healing process and is a useful tool in the treatment of children with autism.

MOVE THE IMAGE
Paramus High School
Dennis Dalelio

The “move the Image” grant project plans to take our photography students into a next generation mindset of including images that move into their artistic practices. This does not only mean video footage, but means interactive photographs, animation, virtual reality, and slow motion landscapes or portraits that tap into interactive apps like Augmented Reality. By doing so students will be able to create work that matches cutting edge trends within contemporary museum and higher level art education institutions that exhibit and teach photography.

OUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE
West Brook Middle School
Gina Herring • Susan Dziob

 “The Vision for the Future” proposes to further challenge student learning by continuing to transform the two school courtyards into two 21st century hands-on, inquiry based, learning environments entitled Fine Arts Learning Center and Science Learning Center. Plans have been drawn up and donated by Mr. Phil Wells of Peter Raymond Wells Architects. He is s specialist in creating enriching learning environments. This will be an ongoing project. The Education Foundation will fund the Bird House Village and the Stage Curtain Wall.

TECH-LARATION of INDEPENDENCE: TEACHING AND PROMOTING INDEPENDENCE with TECHNOLOGY
Paramus High School, West Brook Middle School, Parkway Elementary School and Ridge Ranch Elementary School
Raymond Vazquez • Kevin Kehoe • Melissa Meyers • Jeannette Reilly • Jackie Huntington

The goal of “Tech-laration of Independence”  is to provide students from the Life Skills Education Achievement Program (LEAP) with Amazon Kindle Fire tablets to facilitate activities of daily living (ADLs) learning via video modeling. The student will be able to follow the video as a prompting method rather than relying on an adult for assistance.

THE PLAY’S THE THING: BUILDING EMPATHY THROUGH PUPPETRY AND FABLES
Memorial Elementary School
Agnes Moore • Kristine Hart • Mona Bennett • Bharti Ohri • Marie Creste

This grant will provide high quality hand and finger puppets to the Reader’s Theater performances. Second graders will use puppets as a means of developing knowledge of characters and character exploration. They will also reinforce knowledge of character motivation and emotion, develop empathy and gain confidence by physicality and using voices as instruments of communication. Students will develop literacy skills by writing and editing original scripts based on folktales and fables.

VERTICAL GROWTH
Midland Elementary School
Michele Higgins

 The purpose of this grant is to teach students in grades 2, 3 and 4 the life cycle of a plant with real life application of creating and maintaining a vertical courtyard garden. Students who participate in the Vertical Growth program will meet after school and during lunch periods. Green Mojo Environmental Consulting Group will come and teach the students about the worm composting section and help assemble the vertical garden planter.

WOBBLE WHILE YOU WORK – Part II
Midland Elementary School
Cynthia Hulse • Betsy Johnsrud

Having alternative seating available for students throughout the elementary grades that allows for movement is beneficial without distracting others. It can increase blood flow to the brain, decrease the need for fidgety students to move around the room, and improve focus These higher wobble stools will be for taller students and is an extension of last year’s grant.

X-STREAM FAMILY NIGHT
Stony Lane Elementary School
Matthew Kimbell • Kristen Scrivens

This X-STREAM Family Night allows students to freely move between more than five activities involving science, technology, reading, engineering, arts and mathematics. These students will be introduced to many science topics and learn through a hands-on activity. The entire Stony Lane School community will be involved in the project.