Oktoberfest 2015 Coverage in the Weekly Sentinel! – November 4, 2015

Oktoberfest 2015 press

Marshwood Educators Surprised with Grants

June 2, 2015 – SOUTH BERWICK, ME

SOUTH BERWICK — Marshwood Education Foundation’s Grant Patrol was thrilled to surprise two Spring Grant Award recipients last month.

The MEF Prize Patrol surprised its first Spring Grant recipient, Marshwood Middle School 7th Grade History teacher Andrew Rowe, on Friday May 15. Mr. Rowe was awarded a $9000 grant to start a “We the People” program at MMS. This program will feed into the program at Marshwood High School which has brought a tremendous amount of success for MHS students.

We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution for middle grades is composed of 6 units and 29 lessons that use critical-thinking exercises, cooperative-learning practices and a culminating authentic performance assessment to teach the history and principles of constitutional democracy. Three students will work on one of the six units (18 students total) and present their unit to a panel of judges at the National Invitational in April of 2016.

“Matt Sanzone has led a very successful program at the high school for several years. It’s exciting to think that these 7th graders will be able to go to Washington DC and have a similar experience,” said MEF Treasurer Seth Herbold.

Due to the great success of the Marshwood High School “We The People” program, and with the guidance and support of its director Matt Sanzone, Mr. Rowe is looking forward to giving students at MMS a chance to explore, in greater depth, civic issues and constitutional applications in today’s world, thanks to this MEF Grant.

On Monday, May 18, Marshwood High School Band Director David Graichen was awarded a $3000 MEF grant for his “Score Composition” Project. This project will bring composer, Thomas Borgault to MHS to work with band students on creating an original score of music. Students will gain the valuable understanding of how a composition is created. The composer will work with students to create a piece that represents the students abilities, styles and interests. The students’ piece will be premiered at the May 2016 concert.

“This is a great, real opportunity for students to deeply understand the process to create a significant, musical piece. To work directly with a professional to produce a ‘Marshwood’ original, will be something they will always remember. Thanks to MEF for providing this wonderful experience,” said MHS Principal Paul Melhorn.

“These are 2 ideas that exemplify what MEF is all about: Bringing exciting new opportunities that enhance the school experience. We are glad to help make them a reality,” said Mr. Herbold. Since its inception, MEF has awarded 41 grants to RSU 35 schools totaling $113,493.

Marshwood Education Foundation congratulates both of its Spring 2015 Grant Recipients, and thanks community members and businesses who support MEF and help raise funds to enable MEF to continue to award wonderful, innovative grants such as these, benefiting Marshwood Schools and their students.

Marshwood Education Foundation is currently offering Trellis Awards, which are often given as gifts for teachers, coaches and mentors. The tax-deductible gift of any amount may be given, honored recipient’s name will appear on their website and teachers and other recipients will receive a certificate from MEF to inform them of the Trellis gift given in their name. For more information and to purchase a Trellis Award for those special educators in your life, please visit the MEF website at: http://www.marshwood-education-foundation.org/trellisawards.htm

Marshwood Education Foundation Grant Patrol Surprises 2014 Fall Grant Recipients

December 3, 2014 – SOUTH BERWICK, ME

Marshwood Education Foundation congratulates all of our Fall Grant Award recipients!

When Marshwood Education Foundation’s Grant Patrol surprised their Fall Grant recipients last month, they reached a milestone of exceeding $100,000 in grants awarded to MSAD 35 schools located in South Berwick and Eliot, Maine.

MEF has now awarded 39 grants totaling $101,493. “This is a great milestone for us because it shows that Eliot and South Berwick residents and area businesses understand what we are all about. We are lucky to have a community that is so supportive of our students & teachers.” said MEF President Seth Herbold.

The Fall grant cycle awarded 4 grants to three different schools in Marshwood school district. The first stop was Eliot Elementary where they surprised Music Teacher Bryan Bergeron-Killough with a $5000 grant for the “Sticks and Stones” project. With this project, Artist-in-Resident, Jeff Irwin and Skip Burnette, will provide a week-long workshop to students and staff at EES teaching students tools and strategies to address bullying. “The MEF continues to be a tremendous resource for our school,” said Bergeron-Killough. “Jeff Erwin’s amazing program will impact the children of the Eliot Elementary for years to come,” he added. Jeff Erwin of Trashcan Lid Productions describes the residency as “taking a creative, performance-based approach to addressing the important issue of bullying.” A previously awarded MEF grant made the “Sticks and Stones” program possible for Central School in South Berwick, and was a huge success.

MEF members received an added bonus during their stop at Eliot Elementary when they discovered a program funded by a previous MEF grant award, was taking place in the gym that week. The “Similarity Awareness” grant was awarded to Guidance Counselor, Christine Bisson, this past Spring. Through the MEF Grant and NEP, the students at EES were able to experience first hand, through indoor wheelchair play, the importance of sportsmanship, having fun and athleticism devoid of ones’ specific abilities.

“The Similarity Awareness program through Northeast Passage (NEP) gives students in grades Pre-K through 3 the opportunity to learn that disabilities are a part of their community and society, and should be respected and supported, not just tolerated,” said Bisson.

Chandler Bullard, Program Specialist from Northeast Passage, was at Eliot Elementary School all week, exploring similarities of all people, regardless of disability. The students and staff played Chimichanga, a wheelchair game similar to dodge ball. MEF Vice President Hilda Howell said “It was fun, entertaining and very educational! Many thanks to Chandler and the Eliot Elementary staff for organizing such a great learning experience for our students.”

The Grant Patrol then went to Marshwood High School to award Music Teacher, David Graichen, a grant for “Instrument Tutoring.” With this $2000 Grant, the band director will bring in local professional musicians to teach students individually on their instruments. Graichen looks forward to fostering relationships between students and musicians and providing guest conductors to lead the band. “I am very grateful and excited about the opportunity being given to my students by the MEF. As a music educator I know a lot of things about many instruments but I do not know all of the finer details and nuances. This grant will give my students a chance to study and learn these things from experts on their instruments,” said Graichen “Thank you so much MEF for giving me this opportunity!”

The last stop for the MEF Grant Patrol was Central School where they awarded 2 grants to Music Teacher Kate Smith. The first grant for “A Land Without Borders: Central School Students as Citizen Scientists,” was for $1200. The school will purchase an outdoor antenna to enable students the ability to monitor the outdoor classroom environment. This two phase project taking place in 2014-15 will involve current Central School second graders.

Kate Smith is looking forward to sharing this grant with students. “Central School is thrilled to receive this grant! We will be purchasing an outdoor antenna to bring wifi to our outdoor classroom,” she shared. “This will enable us to be citizen scientists, collecting digital data for scientists and naturalists from around the world with help from USM professor, Dr. Jeff Beaudry. Of course, this is just one of the ways the wifi will be used! Be on the lookout for interactive Storywalks, Quests, QR codes and more! Many thanks to MEF for supporting innovation and excellence in our schools!” She added.

The last grant awarded in MEF’s Fall’s grant cycle, “Transformative Media: Sustaining Marshwood Media- Year Two”, was awarded to Mrs. Smith and Bill Rogers, Executive Director of the Coruway Film Institute. With this program, which is a continuation of a previous MEF grant, Staff and Students will work together under mentorship of Bill Rodgers to create student produced broadcasts and documentaries that capture school and community events.

“I am excited to continue working with the entire Marshwood School District to present terrific educational work reflected in media,” said Rogers. “Giving students and educators a way to create and present their voice, their own view of their own education is a forward thinking and bold venture, and one that Coruway Film Institute is proud to be part of, and thrilled to be partnering with Marshwood Education Foundation. The fact that MEF has extended their support to a second year reflects that this community is confident and excited with us that students’ and educators’ work needs to be seen and known. We are thrilled to be a continuing part of Marshwood Media,” adds Rogers.

Marshwood Education Foundation congratulates all of its Fall Grant recipients, and thanks community members and businesses who support MEF and help raise funds to enable MEF to continue to award wonderful, innovative grants such as these benefiting Marshwood Schools and their students.

Marshwood Education Foundation is currently offering Trellis Awards, which are often given as gifts for teachers, coaches and mentors. The tax-deductible gift of any amount may be given, honored recipient’s name will appear on the MEF website, and teachers and other recipients will receive a certificate from MEF to inform them of the Trellis gift given in their name. For more information and to purchase a Trellis Award for those special educators in your life, please visit the MEF website at: http://www.marshwood-education-foundation.org/trellisawards…
The MEF is now accepting applications for the Spring grants with a deadline of April 15th, 2015. For more information on how to submit a grant application, contact Kate Doherty, MEF Grants Committee Chairperson at kateandjay@comcast.net.

The Marshwood Education Foundation was established in 2009 as a non-profit corporation, wholly dedicated to enriching and supplementing the educational programs of the Maine Regional School Unit 35, representing the communities of South Berwick and Eliot. The MEF raises money primarily through community fundraising events and private donations and has granted more than $100,000 to Marshwood School District, funding creative and innovative ideas brought forth by school administrators, teachers, staff and parents. To learn more about MEF or to donate online, visit www.marshwood-education-foundation.org.

Oktoberfest Coverage in the Weekly Sentinel – October 10, 2014

Weekly Sentinel 1

Weekly Sentinel 2


Grant Patrol ‘checks in’ with Marshwood educators

Fosters Daily Democrat – June 5, 2014 – By: Dylan Morrill
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SOUTH BERWICK, MAINE — Three faculty members from the Marshwood school district were surprised with giant checks on Wednesday by the Marshwood Education Foundation’s “Grant Patrol.”

The faculty members — two teachers and one guidance counselor — all applied for grants in the spring from the Marshwood Education Foundation. They were notified that they won on Wednesday by the foundation’s four-person grant patrol, which paraded around with balloons, surprising each of the three grant applicants one after the other.

The Foundation awards grants twice a year. It has handed out $85,493.10 to projects from the five schools in the Marshwood district since its founding in 2009.

Wednesday’s festivities started at the Marshwood Great Works School, traveling to Marshwood Middle School, and finally ending at Eliot Elementary School.

The foundation awarded $5349.50 in total.

Lori Girouad, a fifth-grade teacher at Marshwood Great Works School, was the first grant recipient on Wednesday.

“I’m so excited. I am very surprised,” said Girouad after receiving the $2,250 grant. “It was a very tough grant to write there were a lot of components of it.”

The four members of the grant patrol were Marshwood Education Foundation Board Members Mimi Abell, Hilda Howell, Sharon Trull, and Roberta Beavers. Beavers is also the Maine state representative representing Eliot and South Berwick.

Around 11:20 a.m. Principal Jerry Burnell knocked on Girouad’s classroom door and announced that a few guests were looking for Ms. Girouad.

The Grant Patrol then walked in with balloons in tow, surprising Girouad with a $2,250 check.

Girouad, who was assisted in the grant writing by Terry Johnson and Susan Goetlich, will use the money to fund a “walking classroom,” which is a program that provides students with audio devices stocked with lessons plans to exercise and learn simultaneously.

Girouad, who unsuccessfully applied for the same grant last year, said that she will implement the program this fall.

Next up, the grant patrol darted over to Marshwood Middle School to surprise sixth grade earth science teacher Keith Barron with a check for $2099.50.

Barron will use the money to purchase supplies for “Hawkbotics,” which is a robotics team from the school. Barron says his students have competed at multiple robotics competitions and that the money will help them to compete at more.

“It’s amazing,” Barron said about the grant. “And the biggest thing is knowing that I have the materials to build a strong program with the kids.”

Finally, the grant patrol made its last stop at Eliot Elementary School on behalf of guidance counselor Christine Bisson.

Bisson wrote her grant for a program called Northeast Passage to put on its weeklong Similarities Awareness program. The program seeks to increase awareness about the normality of disabilities by encouraging students to find similarities among each other, regardless of ability.

The Grant Patrol surprised Bisson with a check for $1,000 in the gymnasium of Eliot Elementary School, where students had gathered for an assembly.

“I had no idea,” said Bisson after receiving her check. “I just got paged to come to the gym.”

When it was all over, the Grant Patrol had surprised three faculty members, at three separate schools, awarding $5349.50 in grant money.

Mimi Abell, the foundations public relations chairperson, said the festivities were successful.

“The best part of being a Marshwood Education Foundation board member is seeing the look of surprise, excitement and appreciation in our School District 35 teachers, staff and community members, when they find out they’ve been awarded a Marshwood Education Foundation grant for their projects,” said Abell.

Marshwood Education Foundation Grant Patrol Surprises Fall Grant Recipients

prize_patrol3December 10, 2013 – Though the excitement in the air at Marshwood Schools last Tuesday had nothing to do with the Holidays, many felt like they received early Christmas presents as the Marshwood Education Foundation (MEF) Grant Patrol surprised Grant recipients with giant checks and balloons while presenting their Fall Grant awards.

The first stop was Eliot Elementary School where Brian Bergeron-Killough, EES Music Teacher, was awarded $900 for a Ukelele Club, which will be made up of 2nd & 3rd graders who will meet once/week to learn to play the ukulele. There will be performances at school assemblies & community events. “Ukuleles for the Eliot Elementary School music room will give many children an opportunity to play a stringed instrument for the first time. It is a wonderful gift to the program. We are so grateful to Marshwood Education Foundation for this grant,” said Bergeron-Killough.

Next stop was Central School where 3 grants were awarded. Jenn Bogard, Central School Literacy Coach, was awarded $1000 for “Little Free Libraries”. Students will work with local artist Shane Chick to locate, design & build 2 little free libraries around Eliot and/or South Berwick. For more information, check out littlefreelibrary.org.

Then, the Grant Patrol surprised Kate Audet Smith – Music Teacher & Outdoor Classroom Coordinator at Central School, who was awarded a $4900 grant to help pay for “Central School Cares”, which is an anti-bullying initiative whose aim is to reinforce a culture of kindness and acceptance while teaching students the tools and skills they need to avoid or get out of a bullying situation. With this grant, Musician Jeff Erwin will spend 7 days with all Central School kids to work on a project called “Sticks & Stones” which will promote social kindness and social acceptance and help kids avoid bully behavior. The “Sticks and Stones” residency is a creative, performance based approach to learning about the effects of bullying. Taught in a caring, respectful way, students will learn about the importance of empathy, self-respect, and the lasting effects of kindness through engaging, interactive activities. “Sticks and Stones” outfits students with tools and strategies for potential interactions with individuals who demonstrate bullying behaviors while offering bullies compelling reasons to change their own behavior. “Students will participate in role play, engage in thoughtful discussions, and collaborate through song, dance, and performing on instruments, and will leave feeling empowered and supported,” said Mrs. Smith.

Central School’s 3rd grant recipient was brought to Central School with a little help from his wife. John Wiegert III thought he and his wife Kim Wiegert were coming in for a meeting when MEF surprised him with a 2245.60 grant to help pay for “Junior First Lego League” (JFLL). Mr. Wiegert conceptualized this program enabling 4 teams of 6 students each to build LEGO robots with motorized parts to solve problems with help from high school mentors. With the increasing demand for STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) skillsets, the JR First program will encourage children to solve real-world challenges using advanced LEGO sets. They will go through the process of researching, brainstorming, developing, and presenting their ideas with their team members. “We are very grateful that MEF has been investing in the robotics program throughout the school district and it really shows how innovative the foundation is to ensure the students are provided with STEM programs. It is a pleasure to see a foundation that invest in children and understands the importance of the next generation,” said Mr. Wiegert.

The MEF Grant Patrol finished up today’s exciting awards with a visit to Marshwood Great Works School. They surprised 5th Grade Teacher, Elizabeth Higgins, who collaborated with Marshwood Schools’ Parent and Community Member David Whelan Jr., to write a grant for “5th Grade Robotics”, an In-Class Robotics project for all 5th graders using LEGO Mindstorm robotics kits. “We are thrilled with receiving the MEF grant for the 5th grade robotics. This will provide many of our students the opportunity to work in small groups to solve real life problems using math, science and technology,” said MGWS Principal Jerry Burnell. As Mrs. Higgins was presented with the $4,199 grant award in front of her 5th Grade class, Mr. Burnell shared with the students that Mrs. Higgins wrote the same grant the year before, but didn’t win. Instead of giving up, she persevered, rewrote the grant, and tried again. Mr. Burnell emphasized to the students the importance of not giving up when success doesn’t come right away.

MEF has now awarded 32 grants totaling over $80,000 to benefit Marshwood students. “Being here to award the grants really gives you a sense of how valuable and innovative these projects are. MEF is a little community organization run by volunteers and we thank our donors and the Marshwood community for supporting us,” said MEF President Seth Herbold.

Marshwood Education Foundation congratulates all of its Fall Grant recipients, and thanks community members and businesses who support MEF and help raise funds to enable MEF to continue to award wonderful, innovative grants such as these benefiting Marshwood Schools and their students.

For more information about Marshwood Education Foundation or to make a donation, view their website at www.marshwood-education-foundation.org.

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