Canton Public schools were awarded a total of $15,000 in grants for six projects, courtesy of a local nonprofit.
At Thursday night's School Committee meeting, members took a break from executive session and contract negotiations to hear from the Canton Alliance for Public Education, known as C.A.P.E.
C.A.P.E. is a community-based, non-profit foundation that seeks out innovative grant proposals from Canton teachers, community members and schools. The group awards funding to projects each spring and fall. The proposed projects are educational in nature and enrich the curriculum already approved in Canton Public Schools, according to C.A.P.E members.
Represented by Trish Boyden and Cam Rees, C.A.P.E. announced the recipients of this cycle’s funding award at the School Committee meeting Thursday night. According to Cam Rees, C.A.P.E. was able to fund “…$15,000 to six grants in the fall cycle.”
One grant will revive Canton’s “Students Against Drugs” chapter, or S.A.D., at Canton High School. The purpose of this student-led group will be to “to unite students and take a visible stance against drugs, tobacco and alcohol," Reese said.
A second grant, called “Today’s Technology,” will provide funding at Canton High School for e-readers and MP3 players. While the main goal of the project, according to Rees, is school-wide access to such technology for educational purposes. It will begin being used within the Special Education and English-language learner programs. This new technology allows the reader/listener to speed up and slow down audio recordings as they read along, making it an excellent learning tool, Rees said.
Applicants based at the Galvin Middle School won two grants. “Science Archive” will allow middle schoolers to self-record science classes throughout their years at the school. When the eighth grade MCAS season approaches, students will have access to all of their science-class archives. For these students, “…it will be a great help to review all the way back to sixth grade,” Rees said.
“Dimension M," a new computer program for a wide variety of students, was another recipient of funding. As the mathematics curriculum has been updated at the middle school, Dimension M will receive a hardware upgrade with this grant, in order to engage more students with the innovative program, according to Rees.
An award to “Rage Against Hate," or R.A.H., will fund a new program that will be geared towards students in grades K-8. A variety of speakers, workshops and after-school programs will be provided to spread the message of anti-bullying and an anti-drinking/drug policy, the C.A.P.E representative noted.
Finally, an inclusive grant to build a greenhouse, complete with an ecosystem, has been chosen for funding approval. This project, called “Science House of Discovery," will construct and use a greenhouse to help students learn about the ecosystem. “There will be labs for grade 2-8. High School kids will gain community service hours by helping with maintenance of the plants and building,” Rees said.
The C.A.P.E. presentation concluded with an announcement regarding the C.A.P.E. Town Spelling Bee, which will be held at Canton High School on January 21 at 6:oo p.m. A competition between the three elementary schools will ensue, followed by a middle school and adult spelling bee.
“It is a wonderful event and we encourage everyone to come out and join us in this entertaining and important fundraiser," Rees said.
Rees and Boyden said they were impressed with the grant proposals this year. When the School Committee asked what project sparks the most excitement, Boyden referred to the Civil War re-enactment that C.A.P.E. has a history of funding.
“The Civil War re-enactment is always my favorite because it involves the entire eigth grade. The kids are blown away by it,” Boyden said.
For a complete description of past and present grant awards, and further information on C.A.P.E. , go to www.cantoneducation.org.