Nature's Harmony Grant

Therapy Dog Grant

One Book One School

Latest Grant News

June 20, 2017

Marshfield Education Foundation Awards 19 grants totaling $82,000 to Marshfield Public Schools

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This year, we are distributing $82,000 in support of 19 projects, including STEAM labs, immersive learning through virtual reality, gardens and even a therapy dog! Over the past seven years, MEF has donated more than $600,000 in support of 116 grants across the entire district!  In light of these incredible results, it’s a good time to recognize, on behalf of the MEF Directors and Officers, the efforts of all the individuals and organizations who have made this all possible.

First and foremost, we would like to thank the educators who spend their own time (and money!) on the planning and execution of these outstanding projects which benefit so many of our students.  They go above and beyond the call of duty, applying their passions to projects which supplement our already rigorous curriculum.  We are so grateful for their tireless commitment to our students and are proud to support their efforts.

In order to provide funds for these projects, we rely on donors and sponsors.  We would like to extend a special thanks to our many local corporate sponsors, who understand and support the importance of our mission of ‘innovation and excellence’ in all Marshfield public schools.  We hope that everyone recognizes their commitment to our community and patronizes them accordingly!

A significant portion of our annual fundraising is the result of our outstanding events.  To organize and run those events it takes many committed and dedicated committee leaders, volunteers, MEF board members and officers who run our marquee St. Patrick’s Day 5k, our summer golf outings and this summer’s new event, Circus Smirkus, I say THANK YOU!

Finally, as President of the Marshfield Education Foundation I want to personally thank my fellow officers and board directors, including Superintendent Jeff Granatino and School Committee representatives Sean Costello and Brigid Boyd, for their dedication and commitment to our mission.  We are fortunate to have an outstanding team and a great partnership with the Marshfield Public Schools!

Additional grants being awarded by MEF for the 2017-2018 school year include:


Beyond Four Walls: Immersive Learning through Virtual Reality, MHS – Applicants: Aimee McAlpine, Kate Tracey, Erin Palladino, Heather O,Neill, Christy Pitts, Meg Dinsmore, Karen Kronewitter, Alyssa Gage

Amount Awarded: $6,527

With a headset, mobile device and the turn of the head, students can be transported to other parts of the world, through time, and into otherwise untrodden domains, making all aspects of the curriculum come alive to enhance student learning. This grant will fund the purchase of virtual reality headsets paired with SMART Devices to allow students to immerse themselves in the sights and sounds and locations around the world and throughout various historical periods as well as journey to inaccessible places (inside the human body, Mars, the ocean floor). The benefits of VR encounters can be drawn to all disciplines.

First Steps into STEAM, EWS – Applicants: Annmarie Violissi, Allison Devin, Jessica Egelstrom

Amount Awarded: $963

This project looks to bring age-appropriate STEAM experiences into the Kindergarten classes. MEF funding will allow the purchase and implementation of standards based/design-based STEAM activities kits to help students develop STEAM related knowledge and competencies.

Wellness Through Movement, MHS – Applicants: Erin Wiggin

Amount Awarded: $450

Wellness Through Movement will use fitness trackers to enable students to learn about their own body’s physiological responses to stress, the application of coping skills and the impact that preventive measures can have on their body. This project will help students struggling with emotional and behavioral issues to learn how their bodies react in various situations.


Wiggle While You Work, DWS – Applicants: Sara Prouty, Melissa Mannetta, Kristen Andrews, Ali Mandile, Adrienne Robatzek, Katy White

Amount Awarded: $6,500

Using current research to address the increasing number of students identified with lack of focus, hyperactivity and/or impulsivity, this projects seeks to incorporate sensory strategies that blend into the classroom environment to create a more positive learning environment for optimal success. This project will implement stand-up desks and learning stools in each classroom to help improve student attention and self-regulation.

High School Art Department Displays, MHS – Applicants: Meghan Dinsmore, Michelle Almeida, Zoey Chapman, Jane Zell

Amount Awarded: $1,998

This project is aiming to set up more display opportunities for high school art students.The boards will allow students to have a moveable gallery space that they will run themselves at multiple times throughout the year. Students will then be able create show themes; they will show work collaboratively, and they will learn to work within a timeline and a process for setting up, publicizing and running an art show.


Proficiency in “Grit”: Achieving Transitional Learning Skills through Volunteer Community Involvement. MHS – Applicants: Meaghan Fitzpatrick, Jennifer Worden, Jaclyn Lamothe, Zack Lamothe, Brian Harty

Amount Awarded: $800

This project will help fund two project-based volunteer opportunities that are tied to learning and explicit instruction of noncognitive skills (metacognition, executive function, self-regulation) so that students will learn strategies in meaningful environments to help ensure a smooth transition out of high school. Students will create personal projects for each volunteer opportunity and will write reflective analyses of what they have learned with regard to core-skills as well as areas for improvement. These opportunities, which will be offered to LBLP students throughout all four high school years, will serve as scaffolded opportunities to learn about collaboration, communication, and problem solving outside of the classroom.

One Book, One DWS, DWS – Applicants: Marilyn McBride, Carly Walsh, All DWS StaffAmount Awarded: $4,000

One Book, One DWS is a program in that all DWS students (K-5), their families, and DWS staff will kick off the 2017-18 school year reading/listening to the same book over the course of a month and reflecting upon it’s themes and messages creating excitement for reading, building our school community of readers and forging ties with those at home. Through this initiative, the project will promote literacy, common discussion and renewed community partnership through a literary experience. MEF will fund the introduction of the text “The Wild Roboty” by Peter Brown, to all students and staff at DWS that will allow for myriad activities throughout the year around this common theme.


The Memory Project Portraits, MHS – Applicants: Meghan Dinsmore

Amount Awarded: $360

MEF funding for this project will allow Art III students to participate in The Memory Project which is a charitable nonprofit organization that invites art teachers and their students to create and donate portraits to youth around the world who have faced substantial challenges, such as neglect, abuse, loss of parents, violence and extreme poverty. Participation includes the mailing of the portraits and the video recording and sharing of video of the students receiving their work so that the ART III students can see the effects of their art work on others.


FBMS Wrist Heart Rate Monitors, FBMS – Applicants: Sarah Newcomb-Baker, Ryan King, John Sawyer

Amount Awarded: $6,096

This project will allow for students at FBMS to wear Wrist Heart Rate Monitors during their fitness and game activities in Physical Education. In the digital age, this will foster the understanding and development of lifetime fitness goals. The use of these monitors will also allow for the generating of whole-class data providing evidence of student growth using real-time data and immediate feedback.


ALP Community Involvement, MHS – Applicants: Paul Carroll

Amount Awarded: $3,205

This project will provide the students in the Adaptive Learning Program authentic opportunities to develop life skills, learning opportunities and community involvement. MEF funding will support/supplement exposing these students to careers (including the military); meal planning, shopping, menu development and financial planning; utilization of public transportation (GATRA, Commuter Rail and MBTA); visits to museums, RMV, Historic sites, banks, colleges and other transitional services.


Mystery Science, MES – Applicants: Allie Smith, Megan Holdgate

Amount Awarded: $499

This project will fund a one-year membership to Mystery Science, a hands-on, NGSS and Common Core aligned online science curriculum for grades K-5. The program first hooks learners through short videos and discussion questions, and then guides students through interactive science challenges.


Tower Garden Expansion, MHS – Applicants: Erin Wiggin

Amount Awarded: $924

This project will allow The Tower Garden Project to expand which will enable students to successfully grow additional varieties of herbs, vegetables and flowers within the Adaptive Learning Program while allowing the creation of a new Plant Science course in addition to the Tower Integration that already occurs (MEF 2016).

  • One School, One Book EWS Applicants: William Campia Amount Awarded: $1,043

    One Book, One School is a community building literacy activity which will allow children in all grade levels to read/listen to the same text that can be understood and enjoyed by students in the primary grades yet still engage readers from the upper grades. Through this initiative, the project will promote literacy, common discussion and renewed community partnership through a literary experience. MEF will fund the introduction of the text “The World According to Humphrey” by Betty G. Birney to all students and staff at EWS that will allow for myriad activities throughout the year around this common theme.

  • Emotional Support/Therapy Dog MHS Applicants: Rebecca Helman O’Dowd, William Battis, MaryBeth Battis Amount Awarded: $3,200

    In a world of constant change and potential conflict, this project hopes to provide the students, faculty and staff at Marshfield High School another support to develop skills in combating stress. This project will fund the purchase and training of an Emotional Support/Therapy Dog which studies show can help a person feel more relaxed and decrease stress. This project can be incorporated into many areas of the school. For example, Construction classes could design and build a doghouse; science classes could use the dog to study animals; psychology students could study the effects of animals on humans regarding trauma, anxiety and depression, and culinary classes could be motivated to make dog-friendly treats.

  • Reading Assistant Program FBMS Applicants: Anne Burke, Margaret Kenney, Brie Gaffney Amount Awarded: $5,167

    The focus of this project is to employ Reading Assistant, a scientifically researched reading software, to increase our struggling students’ opportunity to effectively and meaningfully interact repeatedly with text at his/her independent reading level which will result in increasing their reading fluency, vocabulary and comprehension skills. The Reading Assistant provides one-to-one guided oral reading to support and correct students at point of miscue thus allowing immediate feedback for a student. This will be targeted at our sixth grade students that are performing at or below grade level with the potential of benefiting similar 7th and 8th grade students.

  • Technology for STEAM lab MES Applicants: Pam Connor, Kristine Stansbury Amount Awarded: $7,550

    This grant will fund data acquisition technology for the MES STEAM Lab. Specifically, this will fund six Vernier data acquisition workstations and transducers that will allow students to conduct and record the results of experiments with an interface that allows for better visualization and analysis for a wide range of events.

  • Hooked on Books EWS Applicants: Kathleen Carbonara, Jen Spaulding, Peter Van Buskirk, Tracy Niland, Lisa Zayac, Michelle Simmons, Bill Flanagan, Caroline Listernick Amount Awarded: $3,898

    This project will help fund the establishment of an “anchor text student library” that corresponds and enriches the District’s new ELA Journeys-Common Core Reading Program as well as our own new initiative to teach reading in a reader’s workshop model. This will enhance classroom libraries and the reading experience for all students, which will benefit their education. This grant will allow the purchase of both hard copy sets and e-book sets to provide flexible access for grades 3, 4 and 5.

  • Greenhouse Growth MHS Applicants: Christine Pitts Amount Awarded: $5,718

    This grant will fund the necessary equipment for the Greenhouse space on the third floor of MHS so that it can be used as an effective learning enrichment area for the Science Department. This will enhance the science curriculum while also providing opportunities across disciplines.

  • Ready to Read! Building Robust Readers with Classroom Libraries MES / GWS / SRS Applicants: Vanessa Scanzillo, Amy Miller, Janna Murphy, Pamela Roberts, Deb DiBona, Cathy Minich Amount Awarded: $23,740

    This project will help the district move towards the Reader’s Workshop model of instruction by enhancing the quality and quantity of books in teachers’ classroom libraries so that students have access to an extensive variety of books at their individual reading level. This grant will provide each classroom teacher at MES, GWS and SRS with 100 high quality and engaging books in a range of reading levels and genres. (Based on cost, this grant will likely come before the MEF next year to supply DWS and EWS).

The Marshfield Education Foundation (MEF) is a private, independent, nonprofit organization with the unifying goal of enhancing the quality and character of our community by identifying, promoting and funding worthwhile educational programs and initiatives in the Marshfield public schools.

The Marshfield Education Foundation, Inc.—or MEF, for short—is a 501(c)(3)  charitable corporation which raises funds through corporate grants, individual donations, and various fundraising projects and activities. With these funds, we make grants to support innovative and worthwhile classroom projects, teaching strategies, and special programs in the Marshfield Public Schools, and to support the purchase of education-related technology and other educational materials for the Marshfield Public Schools—pursuant to a rigorous and objective grant application/grant review process. Our purpose is to serve as an engine for innovation, opportunity and excellence in the Marshfield Public Schools, by identifying, promoting and funding—with privately-raised funds—promising educational initiatives and programs throughout the entire school system.  The MEF was launched in the spring of 2010 by a broad and diverse group of local  parents, educators, business owners and community leaders. 

Highlights from the 2017 Grants Award Ceremony







Fund IconFunding Grants



How does MEF decide which grants to fund?

The Grant Committee, under the direction of the Board of Directors, solicits and receives grant applications submitted annually by educators from throughout the Marshfield Public School District.  The Grant Committee reviews the requests, collects information and makes recommendations to the MEF Board of Directors for approval. The grants are awarded based on merit to the five elementary schools, Furnace Brook Middle School, and Marshfield High School.


What types of programs or initiatives are generally funded?

MEF grants impact the educational experience at all levels throughout Marshfield Public Schools.  We fund innovative projects that broaden and deepen student learning, making it more meaningful, memorable and fun.


What are the criteria for funding?

MEF invites Marshfield public school staff to apply for grants to support projects that:

  • Directly impact students and significantly enhance learning.
  • Employ creative methods to enrich the existing curriculum.
  • Support excellence and innovation in teaching.
  • Provide a compelling explanation of the expected impact of the grant.
  • Identify specific expected outcomes for student learning.
  • Are not funded by the School Department budget.

In order to maximize the effectiveness of grant monies, MEF encourages applicants to consider projects that have the potential for broad, long-term impact or replication.  Proposals that embed plans for a range of differentiated learning experiences and/or interdisciplinary collaboration are highly encouraged. The MEF grant program is intended to supplement, not to supplant or replace, public funding of the schools.

transport-report-iconApplying for Grants


Who can apply?

Teachers, school administrators or other school staff may apply. Each grant application must be approved by the principal of the school where the proposed project would be implemented.


Who reviews the grants?

Initial review is by the Grant Committee, currently composed of five members, pursuant to objective review criteria as outlined in a detailed assessment rubric. Final approval is made by the full Board of Directors of the Foundation.


How do I apply?

Click Here to download a .doc version of the 2019 Grant Application.


Applications due March 4, 2019

Deadline: Grant applications must be received on or before midnight March 4, 2019 of the preceding academic year for monies to be disbursed in July.



Applicants notified and awards made?

Applicants will be notified in late April and the award ceremony will take place in May.


Example Grant Application 1

Example Grant Application 2

Example Grant Application 3

Download more frequently asked questions about grants.