The Foundation's mission is to provide financial support for educational projects, programs, and initiatives that will enhance and enliven the classroom experience and promote excellence in West Hartford Public Schools.
The Foundation raises funds from individuals, businesses, and civic groups in the community as well as alumni nationwide. Gifts of $1,000 or more entitle the donor to honor an individual, business or civic group by having the Foundation name a grant. Once a year, certified teachers throughout the school district are invited to apply for grants ranging from $200 to $3,000 for a project that will enhance student experience, complement the curriculum and demonstrate educational merit. A Foundation committee reviews the applications with the teacher's name and school removed. After approval by the Foundation board, awards are presented in late spring of each year.
For more information or to apply for a grant, visit The Foundation's webpage HERE.
Click here to donate for Teachers Grant Program to support the Teacher Grant Program.to purchase note cards created by West Hartford Public School Students to support the Teacher Grant Program.
Grants Awarded to Norfeldt School this year:
Anthony and Aidan Casarella Grant: A Miracle of Modern Science with Distance Learning
Rebecca Pauluk, Lead Teacher (Duffy), RickBassett (Norfeldt)
This in-residence grant at Duffy Elementary School will bring the innovative and engaging science educator Mike Caouette to the school for three one-hour sessions with each fourth-grade classroom focusing on specific scientific themes. Combining his enthusiasm and talent for connecting abstract scientific principles with hands-on activities, Mike will lead students in instruction and experiments in separate sessions related to light as a form of energy, rocks and minerals. The activities support academic material students are studying within the curriculum and will be followed up with related student presentations.
Bridgewater Chocolate Grant: IXL as a Tool for Small Group Instruction
Rick Bassett, Lead Teacher, Aimee Heaton, Ali Campagna, Jill Larson, Emily Laucks
IXL, From “I excel,” is an online, dynamic, standards-based curriculum for kindergarten through twelfth grade that has been successfully utilized in our classrooms this past year. Subscribers at Norfeldt Elementary School will have access to math for the third grade, as well as language arts and science in grades four and five. “I excel” allows for flexibility and students to learn at their own pace. IXL is aligned with the math curriculum.
Falvey Linen and Uniform Supply Grant: Launching Literacy with the Nutmeg Nominees
Lori Andrada, Lead Teacher
Funding this grant will allow the grant writer to purchase abundant copies of the 2019 Nutmeg Intermediate Book Award Nominees. Using these books, the teacher will porivde several literacy activities and programs to all fourth and ﬁfth grade students at Norfeldt Elementary School. Planned activities include a weekly student enrichment book club and a monthly evening parent-child book club. The primary goal of this project is to increase the number of students reading, discussing and sharing their opinions about quality literature.
Gengras Motor Cars Grant: Unique Learning System: Differentiated Academic Modules for Students with Special Needs
Lynnette Kaschke, Lead Teacher & Michelle LaCroix
This grant funds the purchase of “Unique Learning System (ULS)” which is an online, standards-based curriculum that serves students with special needs across all grade levels. This software program provides 30 special education lesson plans as well as corresponding materials to assist with learning for learners of all levels. The ULS components mirror the curriculum units being taught in the classroom and provide differentiated learning across three levels to allow students to access the material at their unique levels. Additionally, there is a focus on functional skills such as daily living, social skills, and contributing to the community which can be learned in a variety of ways like worksheets and role play; all of these lessons and assessments can be accessed by the teacher who can monitor progress and adjust accordingly. This grant will have a major impact as it will be accessible by teachers across the entire district and allow students of all levels to access the curriculum.
Goldbeck Family Grant: Solve the 3D Mystery Location!
Kathy Hardesty, Lead Teacher (Smith) & Ali Campagna (Norfeldt School)
Funding this grant will allow for the purchase of a computer program called TinkerCad and a 3D printer. Fourth graders at Smith STEM Elementary School will then work in groups in choosing a location in the world and use the program and 3D printer to create 3D artifacts that represent its culture, food, history and location. Students will collect their artifacts in a “treasure chest” and give it to a partner school’s group. The receiving group will look at the artifacts and guess the mystery location.
Smith Brothers Insurance Grant: Inspiring Equity Continued…Diverse Abled Storytelling
Teacher-of-the-Year Finalist, Michelle Tremblay Lacroix
Inspirational speaker, Dave Stevens who was born without legs, will visit Norfeldt Elementary School to share his powerful message of believing in yourself and in others with physical disabilities. Dave will inspire students of all abilities to "reach for your impossible dream". Dave is a charismatic speaker and will inspire students based upon his dreams and desires to play able-bodied sports and how he became a three sport athlete setting records in high school. Dave also played football in college and had a professional sports career. One of Dave's quotes is "It's better to try and fail, than to never try at all". More information about Dave can be found on the following links.
J. P. Carroll Construction Grant: SUPER SCINTILLATING SCIENCE
Jessica Johnson, Lead Teacher
This grant at Norfeldt Elementary School is designed for children from kindergarten through 2nd grade and will utilize Tinker Crates which helps kids gain crucial STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills through hands-on activities that are also seriously fun! The grant will also fund hands-on field studies from the Roaring Brook Nature Center to come to the classroom as well as Science A-Z for the teacher in the classroom to have grade level appropriate materials that will also bring NGSS standards and science to the classroom. Lastly, the grant will cover costs associated with bringing butterflies and baby chicks to the classroom for children to observe the change in life cycles of different species. The project will begin in September 2018 and last through spring of 2019 and culminate with a chick's hatching in the classroom, allowing students to observe the life cycle of a chicken.
Rob and Tiffany Grossman Grant: A Scientific Eye: Electricity, Magnets, and Optics In the World Around Us
Kim Jackson, Lead Teacher (Duffy), Jill Larson (Norfeldt)
This in-residence grant supports bringing Mike Caouette to provide 5th grade students at Duffy Elementary School with an enhanced science experience related to their science curriculum. Students will experience six 90-minute sessions enhancing their units on electricity and magnetism and optics. Mike will help students conduct experiments related to circuits, batteries and bulbs as well as learn about the optics of the human eye and create a “Camera Obscura”, a model human eye they can bring home and share with their families. In addition, students will have the opportunity to dissect a preserved cow’s eye (which closely mirrors a human eye), providing them with a unique experience to see the external and internal anatomy up close. Throughout the visits students will engage in in-depth scientific discourse and hands-on learning that will deepen their understanding of the science curriculum.
Rogo Distributors Grant: Pictures Open Doors to Narrative Writing
Lori Durocher, Lead Teacher
Mr. Thomson will work to show kindergarten and first grade students at Norfeldt Elementary school how he creates stories through the lens of a child’s imagination. His wordless stories and mentorship will inspire and guide them as they write and illustrate individual and class books. Through hands-on time working with an author, the students will develop an understanding of story structure, apply understandings of characters and setting, as well enhance prediction, sequence and inference skills. Students will document their progress through use of the SeeSaw app as well as utilizing the Book creator app to create a class informational text about “How to Make a book from Start to Finish.” After his visit, Mr. Thomson will communicate via Skype to evaluate the final projects. This grant will also provide funding for the purchase of Mr. Thomson’s hard cover books for the classrooms and school library.
State Farm Insurance Agent Mario Russo Grant: JusTme
Michelle Tremblay Lacroix, Lead Teacher
More than three hundred elementary school students from Norfeldt Elementary School will experience improved mindfulness from JusTme creator Timothy Scott Jr. Mr. Scott is a mindfulness instructor and hip hop artist, as well as part of the Mindful Life Project. Students will all have the opportunity to engage in grade level assemblies focused on mindfulness and how mindfulness strategies directly affect their lives. This will be done in a fun and engaging way, utilizing JusTme’s music, something students readily connect to. JusTme has already inspired the school community to embrace the art of mindfulness in a creative and expressive way through his videos/music. These strategies have helped students and staff appreciate themselves more and to be more mindful. Mindful moments are taken throughout the day in classrooms and individually.