Grants Awarded

Grants Awarded

Fall 2017

The School Yoga Project. $2000 pop-up grant to fund this meaningful new program at CET.

Hands-on Learning. CHEF is proud to have funded the Flexible Seating Initiative at CET. Why flexible seating? Children learn about the world using many senses; we often forget about the importance of touch and movement. By using kinesthetic tools such as unconventional seating, students are more focused in their learning activities.

Coding and Robotics at CET. Librarian Renoir McManus has implemented a brand new CHEF-funded program that uses technology to foster creativity and problem-solving skills even in the earliest years. In her own words:

“Coding is much more than websites and software. Computational thinking teaches reasoning, creativity and expression, and is an innovative way for student to demonstrate their knowledge.” The new robotics program offers “each student an opportunity to program working robots quickly and easily. Having a coding and robotics program, especially in K and 1, [is] revolutionary.”

Spring 2017

INDE Lab Project Support at PVC Middle School. CHEF contributed $2800 to purchase storage units for INDE lab projects.

Collaboration Lab at Croton-Harmon High School. $33,000 in CHEF grant funds have enabled the High School to outfit its new collaborative learning space with cutting-edge equipment, including the Nureva Span collaboration and projection system.

Fall 2016

The Croton-Harmon Education Foundation has granted $8,000 for the Croton-Harmon High School to upgrade its theater lighting system.

Fall 2015

The Croton-Harmon Education Foundation is pleased to announce the following grants have been accepted by the Croton Harmon Board of Education:

1. CHEF application for PVC/Croton Free Library Mobile Research Lab
2. CHEF application for PVC/Croton Free Library Makerspace

Spring 2015

The Spring Cycle included three accepted grants. The two grants from PVC were conceived by students and supported by the staff. The third grant included a new “scholarship” fund for scientific research in a CHHS AP class.

PVC – Window Garden Initiative:
The Window Garden initiative will allow students to construct and operate a hydroponic window garden. As the PVC student writes: “… The initiative breaks the cycle of chronic deficiency of interdisciplinary communication, by bringing the latest hydroponic technologies out of the lab and into the classroom. By immersing students in the concept of reality behind theory, students will not only develop critical thinking skills, but initiative to take action based on that critical thinking.” CHEF was thrilled that students were taking theoretical technologies and trying to apply it to a sustainable application.

PVC – Escape Room Field Trip:
PVC 8th Grade class requested funding to visit the Escape The Room NYC, in addition to the Reading a Building tour at the J.P. Morgan Library. As a pertinent part of the 8th grade curriculum, Escape the Room is a program that allows you to utilize and obtain valuable skills in metacognition, perseverance, resilience to failure, teamwork, human psychology, and natural instinct. Innovation, playing a key role, as students were exposed to the use of logic and work as a team as they never have before. CHEF piloted the initial trip for 3 of the 8th grade classes in 2015. CHEF hopes that PVC and/or PTA will continue to provide this wonderful educational field trip in the future years.

CHHS – CHEF Environmental Science Research Scholarship Award:
CHHS requested scholarship funding for innovation in environmental science research. The scholarship was available to student teams enrolled in the AP Environmental Science course in the 2014-15 school year. The mission for this scholarship was to demonstrate community support for student-centered STEAM-D research as it pertained to local and global environmental issues. The rationale for this scholarship award was to demonstrate support for innovative research and/or experimentation in which students educate themselves and others about important environmental issues impacting our community. The 2014-15 “Environmental Science Research Scholarship Award” acted as a pilot project to be evaluated and, if needed, modified so that it could become an annual scholarship award.

Fall 2014

The Croton-Harmon Education Foundation is pleased to announce the following grants have been accepted by the Croton Harmon Board of Education:

Graphing Calculators for Introductory Algebra course geared towards special education students. The thought behind the design of the course, was to reinforce all of the previous (k-8) concepts that are needed to be successful in the CC Algebra course the following year.
CHEF believes this Grant was aligned with supporting the whole child and every child in our district.

Spring 2014

In the Spring of 2014, Croton-Harmon Education Foundation accepted the following grants:

-$18,857 for Students Taking Charge: Creating Learner-Active, Technology-Infused Classrooms (LATIC). The LATIC model directly aligns with the District’s vision and mission to support students’ developing lifelong learner habits and skills, as well as developing problem solving skills and independent learner skills. This is the second year CHEF has funded LATIC training. While last year we funded a grant at 100% ($33,396), this year we have approved the grant request at 50%. Since it is CHEF’s mission to support innovation and change in our district, we feel strongly that activities that are long-term should be part of the regular school budget.

Fall 2013

In the Fall of 2013, Croton-Harmon Education Foundation accepted the following grants:

$950 for Catch Up Math. A subscription to to support Grade 6-7 Math instrruction.
$956.41 for Video Equipment for the CHHS Theater Elective.

Spring 2013

In the Spring of 2013, Croton-Harmon Education Foundation accepted the following grants:

$17,198 for Croton Arts in the Cloud, an initiative supporting the Art, Media and Music Departments at Pierre Van Cortlandt Middle School and Croton-Harmon High School
$33,396 for Students Taking Charge: Creating Learner-Active, Technology-Infused Classrooms, a district-wide initiative
$2,000 to expand the Clay Program at Carrie E. Tompkins Elementary School

Fall 2012

Laptops for STEM-D Interdisciplinary Project Stations –PVC – Philip Ranieri, Dara Diamond, Annemarie Powers, and Richard Casey
CHEF funded one laptop for every eighth grader to enable the teaching team to flip their classrooms and enhance students’ overall learning. Each student will have an interdisciplinary project revolving around a “Big Idea” and “Essential Questions” each trimester. The students will enhance their research, communication, and problem solving skills.

American Mathematics Competition (AMC) – CHHS – Soyoung Lim
AMC is a nation-wide competition in high school mathematics that determines the United States team for the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO). Croton plans to send 40-50 students to the competition. This will enable children to apply their classroom learning into a competitive situation. And, the competition promotes enthusiasm and engagement.

Spring 2012

Laptops for Science Labs – CHHS – Alan Capasso and Deborah August
CHEF funded 24 laptops and 2 printers for the science labs. The laptops provide portability for experiments as well as compatibility with the existing technology in the labs – from data collection devices (Vernier probes granted last year by CHEF) to smarboards. Students will now be able to conduct experiments using real-world, professional data collection techniques, immediately chart and graph the results on the laptops, and then project the results for all to see on smartboards.

Buzzer System for Croton Academic Challenge Team (CACTI) – Brett Bowden CACTI students take part in regional, national and televised academic competitions which bring attention to and acclaim for Croton-Harmon High School. In order to answer the questions in the competition the team needed a new buzzer system. The old buzzer system will be handed down to PVC.

Podcasting for the Fourth Grade – CET – Kristine Robinson and Deborah August CHEF funded 12 handheld digital audio recorders for podcasting by the 4th grade at CET. Podcasting enables students to hone their skills in research, writing, editing, speaking and collaboration. Students will learn those skills on professional level equipment, and will post their podcasts on school websites for the benefit of the whole community.
Smart Response PE Systems – CET – Debbie Liebert

CHEF funded two Smart Response Systems to use with the Smart Boards. The systems give all students an an opportunity during a lesson to participate simultaneously. And the systems maximize student engagement and make learning fun.

Fall 2011

AP Comparative Government and Politics – CHHS – Thomas Naughton
CHEF is funding textbooks for this new class, which will provide an AP-level option to fulfill the 12th grade social studies requirement and will be of particular interest to students who want to study political science, current events and world cultures.

Sound Upgrade to Frederick Blais Auditorium – CHHS – Michael Weinstein and Lisa Primeggia
CHEF is funding an extensive sound upgrade to the Blais auditorium which will include a new microphone system, new wall and stage monitors, and new direct boxes that will enable the connection of computers, keyboards, microphones etc. This grant will impact hundreds of PVC and CHHS students who are in theater, band, chorus and orchestra, as well as the student stage crew members who will be mentored and trained on the new equipment.

LED Chinese Character Practice Pads – CHHS – Sophie Wang-Paolicelli
CHEF is funding electronic tablets which will help students with this challenging task by providing a large bright screen for easier creation of Chinese characters as well as better viewing by teachers for assessment and differentiation of students.

Canoe-Building Project – PVC – Philip Ranieri
CHEF is funding materials and equipment for the building of six canoes by 8th grade math students.  An example of STEM-D project-based learning, the students will learn algebraic and geometric concepts while designing and building the canoes.

Fourth Grade Writing Day – CET – Ana Maria Strattner
CHEF is funding a new Fourth Grade Writing Day to introduce students to a wide variety of writing genres and to help them better understand the writing process. The day will include presentations by authors, as well as workshops led by community members teaching kids about a wide variety of writing genres.

Spring 2011

Science Equipment for New Science Labs – CHHS – Laurel Cardellichio
The largest single grant ever awarded by CHEF (for $45,000) will fund 120 science kits for the two new CHHS science labs opening in the fall of 2011.   The kits will provide new state-of-the-art equipment for all 4 high school lab classes –Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science and Physics.

BioLab Software – CHHS Jamie Rooney
CHEF is funding BioLab software for the CHHS Animal Physiology class to enable students to do a variety of experiments including virtual dissection of animals.

TI-Nspire Navigator Wireless Network – CHHS – Soyoung Lim
CHEF is providing funds for a network that will connect the 30 CHEF-funded TI-Nspire CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) graphing calculators and will provide a more interactive and dynamic way for students to learn high-level math.

Laptops for Special Education Department – CHHS – Kim Gaynor
In a co-funded grant with SEPTA, CHEF is providing funds for five laptops for the Special Education department at the high school to increase computer and internet access for all students.

Mimio Teach System – District-wide – Deba August
CHEF is funding a pilot of this next-generation smartboard technology at CHHS.  The Mimio System provides innovations in both cost and portability and will be evaluated for possible future use in all three schools.

New Non-fiction Library Collection – CET – Melissa Heckler
CHEF is funding a non-fiction upgrade to the CET library, providing 149 new high-interest non-fiction titles to replace the current outdated collection.

Fall 2010

Lighting Console for Frederick Blais Auditorium – CHHSMeg Flood
CHEF is providing funds to purchase a new lighting console which will be used for all theater and music productions in the high school auditorium. The console will be used for both PVC and CHHS productions as well as stage crew training in theatrical lighting.

Shakespeare Students On Stage Program – CHHS – Noel Schoenleber
CHEF is providing a grant to the CHHS English Department to start a Shakespeare Students-on-Stage program for 9th Grade English Students. The students will work with professional actors from the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival.

Digital Photography Portfolio Program – CHHS – Jodi Burger
CHEF is providing funds for new digital photography equipment to create professional quality portfolios for art students in all grades. The equipment will also be used by photography students to do digital studio photography.

Japanese Printmaking Workshop – CHHS – Jodi Burger
CHEF is funding a new Japanese Printmaking workshop for AP Art students. Croton artist Joe Mullins will teach the history and technique of this 18th c. art.

Arts of Africa Program – PVC – Wendy Armstrong
CHEF is providing funds to bring an interdisciplinary African art, music and dance program to PVC. The students will learn about African culture through clay-mask making with artist Cliff Mendelson, and drumming and dance with the Sankofo Drum and Dance Ensemble.

English Language Learner Technology – PVC – Alicia DeSanti
CHEF is providing a grant to the English Language Learner program to purchase two iPods and a digital camera to enhance comprehension for students learning English as a second language.

Hope Program For PVC And BOCES Students – PVC – Nancy Saladino
CHEF is providing funds for interactive games to be used by the newly formed HOPE (Helping Our Peers Excel) program. This program is held twice weekly for BOCES students with special needs and PVC 8th graders to interact and learn from each other and is part of a student exchange program between PVC & BOCES.

Guided Reading Library – CET – Megan Weiss and Ana Maria Strattner
CHEF is providing a grant for an extensive new Guided Reading Library at CET – to provide teachers in all grades with multiple copies of books for use in new guided reading groups in the classroom. This program is being launched now to help students meet higher reading benchmarks recently set by New York State. The library will be comprised of leveled books for every grade at CET and will include 1,080 fiction and 1,080 non-fiction titles – 2,160 books in total.

Spring 2010

Virtual High School – CHHS – Alan Capasso
CHEF is providing startup funds to train the teacher facilitator for the new Virtual High School program at CHHS.  Virtual high school is an exciting new program that enables qualifying students to choose from a wide range of courses not offered at CHHS.

AP World History Textbooks – CHHS – Thomas Naughton
CHEF is funding textbooks to launch a brand new course at CHHS – AP World History. This course will expand the AP Humanities options at the high school, and will offer an approach that encourages students to study history by using the methods a historian would take to analyze events and evidence from multiple perspectives.

Math Response Boards – CHHS – Kurt Lindner
The math department at CHHS will receive CHEF support for individual response boards with built-in coordinate grids for all math classes to encourage increased student collaboration and differentiation of learning.

TI-Nspire Calculators – CHHS – Soyoung Lim
The CHHS Math department will also receive 30 CHEF-funded TI-Nspire CAS (computer Algebra System) calculators.  These calculators have enhanced graphing capabilities and computer features providing students with a more dynamic way to visual and perform mathematics.

Technology Upgrade  – CET – Deborah August
CHEF funded a school wide technology upgrade at CET with the purchase of fifteen digital camcorders, five webcams, and two microphones to be used by students for everything from enhancing class projects to creating digital libraries to going on virtual field trips.

Fall 2009

Robotics Equipment – CHHSZhanna Glazenburg
The new CHHS Robotics Club received funding from CHEF for equipment that will enable them to build and program large complex robots. These robots will be used by the club in regional competitions, as well as for classroom projects at CHHS.

Calculus & Algebra in Motion Software – CHHS – Soyoung Lim
CHEF funded a grant for Calculus in Motion and Algebra in Motion modeling software—to be used in math classes across all grades at the high school. These programs help students to visualize key math concepts through the use of interactive animation tutorials.

Math Team Books & Materials – CHHS – Soyoung Lim
The new CHHS Math Team (Pi Sqad) received funds from CHEF for books and materials to pursue advanced math topics that go beyond the scope of the classroom, and to prepare them for local and regional math competitions.

Global History Regents Review Books – CHHS – Kim Gaynor
A CHEF grant to the special education program at the high school will provide for new Regents review books that provide a less complex alternative to the existing Global History review books.

Outdoor Learning Lab – PVC – Barbara Ulm
CHEF is sponsoring a brand new Outdoor Learning Lab at PVC. The space will be used to raise vegetables and flowers organically, and will have an impact across all grades and curriculum areas at the middle school – from science and health to math and social studies.

EarthHeart Organic Garden – CET – Shirl Kaplan
CHEF awarded a grant to CET to build a sustainable organic garden that will be primarily planned and maintained by the children. The third grade will be spearheading this project which ties directly into their science curriculum on the life cycle of a plant.

Spring 2009

Atlas Curriculum Mapping Software – District Wide – Marjorie Castro
CHEF provided funding for the purchase of Atlas Software, a web-based program designed to organize the curriculum of a school district into an electronic “map” that can be viewed by many users. This map facilitates collaboration among teachers across grades, subject areas, and schools. It also enables the sharing of curriculum strategies with administrators, the school board, parents and students.

Stand Up for Learning Project – CET – Esra Murray
The 4th grade at CET will be participating in a nationwide action research project called “Stand Up for Learning” which encourages schools to create more flexible classroom environments to support different ways of learning.  CHEF provided funds for 24 stand up desks and adjustable stools (4 per classroom), which allow the children to stand for move while they learn.  Here is a great story about the benefits of stand up desks — Stand Up Desks Report / YouTube

Math and Spelling Tools – CET – Shirl Kaplan
CET’S 3rd grade team received CHEF funds for an array of math games and manipulatives to assist students in developing critical thinking and strategy skills in math.  CHEF also granted funds to the 3rd grade for a new approach to spelling lessons using Didj handheld devices.

Ecologist in Residence – PVC – Maureen Dillon
The PVC 5th grade team was granted funding for a visiting ecologist, George Steele, as well as science supplies including microscopes and salinity and pH kits. Mr. Steele will serve as PVC’s “ecologist in residence” and he will teach scientific observation, testing, and record keeping as part of a new unit of study, “Human Impact on Water.”

Senteo System for Special Education Program – CHHS – Sam Occhipini
The CHHS Special Ed program (TAP) received funds for a Senteo System, an interactive student response system that enables students to individually answer questions on a SmartBoard through the use of Senteo remote controls. This system promotes 100% class participation as well as improved classroom differentiation.

Lighting Upgrade for Frederick Blais Auditorium – CHHS – Greg Bradley and Meg Flood
The CHHS Auditorium will get a lighting upgrade with CHEF’s grant to the school for 36 theatrical lighting instruments.

Photography Program Equipment – CHHS – Nicole Snider
The photography program of the CHHS Art Department received funding for additional cameras and supplies to enable more students to take advantage of the popular photography courses offered at CHHS.

Grants Awarded: 2000–2008

District Wide


  • SmartBoards & Laptop Computers
  • Strings Program/Startup Funds
  • Extensive Book Purchases for CET, PVC, and CHHS Libraries
  • Training for Administrators at Harvard Institute for School Leadership
  • Administrators’ Trip to China for Startup of Mandarin Program
  • Columbia Teachers College Reading & Writing Project/Startup Funds

Croton-Harmon High School

  • Telescope Equipment for Earth Science Curriculum
  • Digital Storytelling Technology for English Curriculum
  • Foreign Language Podcasting Equipment
  • Croton Academic Challenge Team National Championship Expenses
  • Art Supplies for Art Club Schoolwide Beautification Project
  • Ipod Nanos for Special Education Reading Program
  • Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival Acting Class
  • Darkroom/Startup Funds
  • Digital Piano for Choral and Video Production Programs
  • Robotics Club Software and Graphing Calculators
  • Foreign Language and Literary Criticism Library Additions
  • Computer and Technology Equipment for Science and Math Programs
  • New Sound System for Frederick Blais Auditorium
  • Upstander Day sponsored by the Human Rights Task Force
  • CHHS Arts Day

Pierre Van Cortlandt Middle School

  • XO Laptop Initiative for 5th Grade (co-funded with the PVC PTA)
  • Video Cameras and Adobe Software for Math/Science Classes
  • Music Composition Technology—Imacs, Keyboards & Speakers
  • Garden Project for 7th Grade Living Environment Classes
  • SmartBrain Software for ADHD Students (co-funded with SEPTA)
  • Math Software for Customized Learning in 6th and 7th Grades
  • Video-Conferencing Equipment for Science and Foreign Language Dept.
  • Guitars for Schoolwide Music Curriculum
  • Fifth Grade Library Expansion (Fiction and Non-Fiction)
  • Chekov Theatre Ensemble/Stages of Learning Programs
  • Creative Writing After-School Program Supplies
  • Aquatic and Terrestrial Habitats for Ecology Curriculum
  • Weather Station Training and Equipment
  • Club Getaway Outdoor Learning and Team-Building Program
  • Etching Press for Art Classes

Carrie E. Tompkins Elementary School

  • Upgraded Sound System for CET Multipurpose Room
  • Artist in Residence Program for 3rd and 4th Grades
  • Schoolwide Hudson River Program (in conjunction with Clearwater)
  • Ipod Lab and Computer Hub for CET Library
  • Wireless Laptop Cart with 16 Computers for Schoolwide Use
  • Rain Forest Biomes for 3rd Grade Study of Rainforests
  • Outdoor Project Adventure Course (Michael Columbini Memorial)
  • Enhanced Lighting System for CET Multipurpose Room Stage
  • New Leveled Collection of Books (Grades K-4) for CET Library
  • Hot Air Balloon for 2nd Grade Unit on Flight
  • Blocks Program for 1st Grade
  • SmartBoards and Elmo Projectors Schoolwide
  • English Language Learner Technology for ESOL Program
  • Occupational Therapy Equipment
  • Math Manipulatives and Tools for 1st Grade


Dobsonian Telescope
CHHS 2008

Students, teachers and parents use the CHEF-funded telescope to view stars and planets at night-time “Star Parties” held around Croton.