The Dedham Education Foundation formally announced its grant recipients for the 2012-2013 school year in a ceremony today recognizing the talents and accomplishments of the teachers in the Dedham schools. The Dedham Education Foundation awarded $18,162 in grants this year funding all or part of 34 requests made by teachers and staff from all grade levels. The 59 grant requests received by the Dedham Education Foundation once again topped the previous year’s record.
The ceremony included an appearance by Senator Mike Rush ((D-Norfolk & Suffolk District) as the featured speaker. "I am honored to take part in the 2012-2013 school year ceremony which recognizes some our outstanding educators here in the town of Dedham," said Senator Rush. " I also want to acknowledge all the great work that the Dedham Education Foundation does to support this community. This partnership between the Dedham Education Foundation and the community at large is a model that other municipalities should emulate."
“This event is really about recognizing the tremendous talent, energy and creativity that exists among the teachers in our schools,” said Steve Bilafer, President of the Dedham Education Foundation. “This year, we received another record number of grant requests from teachers and staff throughout the district. Each request represents an effort to engage students in new ways and improve learning. But the number of requests we weren’t able to fulfill reminds us there is more we need to do.”
The funds provided by the Dedham Education Foundation annually help fund teacher initiatives and special enrichment programs that would not be possible otherwise.
Requests funded this year included student programs and trips at the Museum of Science, Minuteman National Park, the Freedom Trail, familiar programs such as “Read-Write-Win,” the Lowell Mill Girls presentation at the Tsongas Industrial Center in Lowell, the Birds of Prey at the Blue Hills Trailside Museum, presentations on bullying, health and social skills, and books, materials and equipment for music, arts and science programs.
The ceremony was highlighted by remarks by Dedham High School Assistant Principal John Murray, and two teachers, Ruth Dorsey and Julie Lally, who described what they are doing with the funding they received from the Dedham Education Foundation. Murray presented on the school’s new Marauder Pride Ticket program, an incentive program to reward students who make positive contributions to the DHS community. Ruth Dorsey from Oakdale Elementary talked about the Museum of Science’s Weather, Wind, Water and Temperature program to help 4th and 5th grade students understand the weather we experience everyday. And Julie Lally of the Early Childhood Education Center described her Savvy Scientists program, designed to get preschoolers and kindergarteners to explore science through hands-on activities.
More than twenty years ago, a group of Dedham citizens got together with the goal of starting a non-profit organization that would support the community’s public schools and protect key programs and initiatives threatened by budget constraints. Since its inception, the Dedham Education Foundation has awarded more than $300,000 in grants. The objectives of the Dedham Education Foundation are to provide direct support for classroom activities, to support teacher initiatives and ideas, and to create a permanent endowment fund. The Dedham Education Foundation provides financial support at all grade levels for internal and external, multicultural classroom activities. Dedham Education Foundation funds are a supplement for teacher initiatives and other projects that enhance student learning.
The Dedham Education Foundation is also well known for its creative and community-oriented fundraisers, such as Bernie’s Run 5k road race held at the Village Manor and surrounding neighborhood each October, the flocks of pink yard flamingos showing up in front yards each spring, and the Annual Spelling Bee in which students compete on behalf of their school to show off their smarts and hard work.
“We could not do what we do without the incredible community support we have received throughout the years,” DEF President Steve Bilafer added.