Over $1.3 million in grants awarded!
TOP SEF GRANTS OVER THE YEARS
The Somers Education Foundation has awarded more than 270 grants totaling over $1,300,000 since its inception in 1994. The monies awarded come mainly from the fundraisers we hold, such as the annual SEF Golf Outing and Blackjack Ball. Here’s a list of some of the top grants we’ve given over the years. We awarded our One Millionth Grant Dollar in June 2014, and now we look forward to raising and awarding our SECOND million dollars! Additionally, SEF awards five $1,000 scholarships each year to senior class members.
ENGINEERING BY DESIGN: All SMS students are now learning about engineering this year by working closely with cutting-edge technology including 3-D printers and robotics kits. Using a computer-controlled cutting machine, students have been creating robots and even a miniature golf course and amusement park. This grant represented the ONE MILLIONTH dollar that we have cumulatively awarded!
POWER LIBRARIES: A $40,540 grant, the largest in SEF’s history, was awarded to the district in Summer 2011 help fund the “Power Libraries” Learning Labs initiative, in which the library facilities at all district schools have been or are being transformed into technology-based, state-of-the-art learning centers. They are equipped with iPads, flat screens, media rooms and wireless-connected “netbooks,” plus new lighting and comfortable seating. SEF, through an additional $20,000 grant from the Canino Family Charitable Foundation, funded the full learning lab at Somers Middle School (SMS), consisting of 28 netbooks, 28 flexible space desks and five flat screens.
In Summer 2012, SEF awarded another $20,000 grant to complete the renovation of the existing SMS Library into a “Power Library” complete with new furniture and video screens, which is now in use by students.
“COMPUTER NUMERIC CONTROL” (CNC): In Spring 2013, SEF awarded a large grant for the purchase of a computer numeric control device and associated equipment for rapid prototyping and fabrication. This is used by SHS and SMS students in various courses ands clubs, including those focused on pre-engineering topics.
SMARTBOARDS: More than 10 years ago, SEF helped provide the initial “seed funding” to purchase the original group of interactive SmartBoards, which are now installed in most classrooms in the district and have changed the way teachers teach and students learn.
ELECTRIC- POWERED CAR: The SHS Green Power Club received an SEF grant to design, construct and maintain an electric-powered vehicle, which they raced in the national “Electrathon” competition. In this era of global warming concerns, the more than 200 students who worked on this project said they learned a great deal about alternatively-fueled vehicles through this experience.
MUSIC EQUIPMENT: The Somers School District Music Department has received several grants to significantly enhance the wonderful music program, including a digital music studio equipped with computer, keyboards, microphones and software for students to practice, compose and record music. Grants have also been awarded to purchase guitars and iPads for classroom use. Meantime, other grants have been used to purchase instruments, as well as help fund the SHS Chamber Choir’s several visits to Canada. In April 2015, a grant was awarded to created a Music Lab at Somers Middle School.
SMS WALL MURALS AND “DAYS OF CLAY”: SEF has provided several grants to fund the appearances of artist Clif Mendelson, who has worked with students to design beautiful clay projects and the large “clay wall mural” that is prominent outside the auditorium. Students have reported having a genuine appreciation of art through these experiences.
SIS AUTHOR’S DAY: Each year the SEF provides funding for one or more authors to appear and discuss their works with all SIS students. The grant is given in honor of Kay Staplin, who taught at SIS for 34 years and is a founder of SEF.
“LIVING HISTORY”: The SMS Living History Program has received grants to purchase Civil War hats and coats for student members, who are now wearing them in parades and other related events, making history “come alive” for them beyond the pages of a textbook.