Friday, December 16, 2011

Marshwood Education Foundation Awards Fall Grants


The Marshwood Education Foundation (MEF) announced the recipients of its fall grants at the December 7 MSAD 35 Board meeting. The grants, totaling $8,742.80, were awarded to three recipients whose proposals will benefit elementary and middle school-aged Marshwood students.

“With each grant cycle, we are excited to see so many new ideas proposed by our educators, along with ideas that will enhance current programs,” said Rachel Martin, MEF President. “One school is trying out a brand new concept, while a previous grant project is being expanded upon as the children share what they learned through the outdoor classroom at Central Elementary School,” added Martin. “Another grant is helping to further develop a long-standing community event that students and their families will enjoy for generations to come.”

The Marshwood Education Foundation was established in 2009 and raises funds solely through community events and private donations. MEF is committed to supporting public education in Eliot and South Berwick through funding innovative educational opportunities that fall outside of the responsibility of the school budget. Grants are awarded twice annually, in the spring and fall.

MEF grants awarded December 7, 2011:

From The Ground Up – proposed by Kate Smith, Music teacher at Central School. Students will work with Ruth Baker, Jane Cowen-Fletcher and other community volunteers to develop a cookbook and guide for successfully creating an outdoor classroom and hoop house garden project. Students will create their own recipes to be included in the book as well as develop creative ways to document the creation of the outdoor classroom. $1500.00

Standing and Swinging – proposed by Beth Werker, Math teacher at Marshwood Middle School. $2242.80 will be awarded to purchase seven Stand and Swing desks. These innovative desks allow students to either stand or sit and swing their legs while learning. By offering students an outlet for their excess energy, these desks help students stay focused on learning. Each student in Mrs. Werker's classes will get an opportunity to try the desk and give their feedback.

Revitalizing Local History Education – proposed by Nina Maurer, Consulting Curator of the Old Berwick Historical Society and Vicki Stewart, Principal at Central Elementary School. Through this grant and funds being sought from other sources, the current Hike through History program will be greatly enhanced. MEF will grant $5,000.00 to purchase new tour artifacts and pay for the services of a curriculum planner. This grant will provide new local history resources to teachers, develop a program for teaching middle school students who help present the hike material, and create an online Hike through History resource.

The MEF is now accepting applications for the spring 2012 grants. For more information on how to submit a grant application, contact Janice Hastings, MEF Grants Committee Chairperson at

The Marshwood Education Foundation was established as a non-profit corporation, wholly dedicated to enriching and supplementing the educational programs of the Maine School Administrative District 35, representing the communities of South Berwick and Eliot. The MEF has granted more than $40,000 to the district, funding creative and innovative ideas brought forth by school administrators, teachers and staff. To learn more about the MEF or to donate online, visit