One of the most enjoyable times for BCEF board members is when we receive the grant applications each January from teachers and staff members of Brunswick’s public schools. Realizing that our educators are bursting with innovative and creative ways to enhance education of our students, and that BCEF is making these ideas a reality, is very rewarding. Perusing last year’s batch, I was particularly excited by one from BHS librarian Daurene Jerome titled Steam Room. Fantastic, a steam room at the high school. I could already picture basking in the hot, moist air, cleansing the pores and loosening up the old joints. I vote Yes! Reading on though, I learned that the STEAM in the title was short for science, technology, engineering, art and math. Daurene’s concept was to have BHS join the ‘maker movement’ by providing a space and materials where students can go to create. Actually, that’s a fantastic idea I thought, although a steam room would be nice. The new space, renamed the STREAM Lab by students, with the R added for research, had its grand opening in November. It’s filled with cool materials like Snap Circuit electronics, coding stations, makey makey invention kits, virtual reality goggles and a variety of craft supplies. Since opening, students have been busy creating- writing code for Sphero robots, building complex Lego architecture, making holiday cards and generating virtual reality experiences to view through the vr googles. The grant is one of 44 that BCEF has given in its first two years of existence. We are currently in the midst of our annual campaign, which ends on Dec 31, to raise funds for the next round of grants. If you haven’t donated yet this year, have never donated, please visit our donate page.
Recently, George Neptune from the Abbe Museum of Bar Harbor visited Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary’s 2nd grade to give a presentation on the Wabanaki Native American tribes of Maine in conjunction with the revised social studies curriculum. The interactive presentation, funded through a grant from Brunswick Community Education Foundation, gave students the chance examine Wabanaki cultural objects while learning about the customs of the four tribes of the Wabanaki Nation.
Incoming 9th graders to Brunswick High School attended a day of team building at Camp Ketcha to start the 2016-2017 school year. Funds to make the day possible were provided though a grant from Brunswick Community Education Foundation. To see a video of the Camp Ketcha adventure, read the Times Record article detailing the day’s happenings or see photos of this and other grants, please visit our Grants in Action 2016 page.
Recently, we assembled this year’s grant awardees for an orientation meeting at the Brunswick Junior High School Library. It was inspiring as each recipient briefly outlined their grant for the rest of those gathered. Several of the new grants are already underway and we will begin updating you on their progress soon! The Times Record published our press release regarding the new grants. You can read it here. Thank you for your continued support.
Thanks to our Business Partners and individual donors, over $40,000 will be awarded to fund 23 different projects in amounts ranging from $400 to $5000 spread throughout Brunswick’s 4 public schools. Grants include the purchase of a variety of differentiated fiction and non-fiction texts for the Baxter Book Room at Coffin, stereo-microscopes for Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary, a Hoop House style greenhouse and growing materials for Brunswick Junior High, and a team building experience at Camp Ketcha for all incoming 9th graders at Brunswick High School. To see the full amazing list, click here. Stayed tuned for updates on our Grants in Action page!