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The Williams Rockwell Educational Gift Foundation is pleased to announce $76,899 in grant disbursements to benefit the students in the Gardner Public Schools. This year’s grant awards include a range of projects including field trips to art museums and theatre shows, improvements to the Landry Auditorium, musical equipment, literacy software, a 3D laser printer, and a field trip to the Worcester Bravehearts.
The committee, chaired by Acting Mayor James M. Walsh, met on January 23rd and awarded grants to 25 projects submitted by teachers from the Gardner Public Schools. The Foundation stipulates that the grant funding must be split on a 50/50 basis for the arts and general educational purposes. The largest grant award of $9,588 was for an ETC ION XE20 Lighting Console 2K at the Gardner High School which is part of a wide range of improvements planned for Landry Auditorium. The new console is an immediate need as the current board is outdated.
Several of the grant awards were geared towards literacy including a district-wide implementation of Footsteps to Brilliance. This is a software program that enables children to utilize their parents’ mobile devices to engage in learning activities aimed at producing proficient readers. The Middle School received awards for a Family Literacy night and for the One School, One Book Club – a program where student in grades 5 and 6 reads the same book at the same time.
Elm Street School Teacher, Denise Ulrich and Math Coach, Stephanie Curtis requested funding in the amount of $3,800 to bring back the very popular Bren Bataclan, a Boston-based artist. Mr. Bataclan promotes kindness and a sense of community through student participation in a mural painting project where the students become artists. Bren spent a week at the Elm Street School last March turning student drawings into smile-filled paintings.
The Williams Rockwell Educational Gift Foundation was established from the $1.9 million sale of the Norman Rockwell painting, “Willie Gillis in Convoy” in 2014, which was a gift to the Gardner High principal F. Earl Williams, in the 1950’s. The Foundation was created in December 2015 when Gov. Charlie Baker signed the home rule petition. The fund is currently valued at $2,420,755, and up to 90% of the interest accrued each year is used for grants.
In addition to Chairman Acting Mayor James J. Walsh, the other committee members are: Dr. James Faust, Trustee; Dr. Paul Damour, Trustee; Michael Nicholson, Trustee; Attorney Robert Rice, Trustee; Jennifer Dymek, City Treasurer; Mark Pellegrino, Superintendent of Schools; and James Abare, Representative of the Gardner School Committee.
A breakdown of the grant awards is as follows:
Gardner School District
Footsteps to Brilliance-Literacy Software
Gardner High School
Fitchburg Art Museum Field Trip
Replacement of 20 Plus Year Old Work Tables
Glowforge, Laser Mfg. for Art, Technology & Engineering
Gardner Middle School
Leisure Activities Supplies-ping pong table etc.
Waterford Street School
Beauty and the Beast. Jr.-Kindergarten & 1st Gr Field Trip
Eighth Grade Trip to New York City
Museum & Workshop-Worc. Art Museum Tour
Art Club History Field Trip-Boston Museum
Gardner Academy Day in Boston
Bringing Shakespeare to Life-TheatreTroupe @GHS
Family Literacy Night
One Book, One School-Gr. 5,6 & & Book Club
GMS Club Block
The Sound of Music-speakers for cafetorium
Grade 6 Field Trip to Worc. Bravehearts baseball game
Elm Street School
Stephanie Curtis & Denise Ulrich
Artist in Residency-Baren Bataclan mural presentation
Character Strong-Professional Development Program
Auditorium Lighting Improvements
Sound Equipment-Amplifiers for music program
Gardner Academy Intramural Athletics, Fitness & Comm
Musical Equipment-tuba and euphonium