Learning Excellence Grant Awards

Page through for information about grants awarded in previous cycles.

Foundation for Belmont Education
Learning Excellence and Special Initiative Awards
Approved November 20, 2019

Applicant Target School Award Title Grant Purpose Amount
Belmont High School BHS Diversity Day: Keynote Speaker – Anthony Valentine to fund the keynote speaker, Anthony Valentine, for BHS Diversity Day 2020 $1,200
Gwendolyn Kerr Belmont High School BHS Diversity Day Speaker: Christina Irene on “Invisible Disabilities” to fund a presentation by disability awareness speaker Christina Irene to increase awareness at Belmont High School for invisible disabilities, including mental health, autism, learning disabilities, and chronic pain as part of the Diversity Day offerings $1,200


Belmont High School Girl Power! A Workshop with Dr. Lori Monaco to fund a motivational workshop for girls at BHS during Diversity Day 2020 with Dr. Lori Monaco $600
Elizabeth Baker Chenery Middle School Discovery Museum Traveling Enrichment for Grade 6 to fund a hands on and minds on in school enrichment presentation by The Discovery Museum for the entire sixth grade class $2,940


Chenery Middle School Ending “Fake” Reading in the Middle School Classroom to buy books that will facilitate student ownership of their growth as readers and learners $2,000
Elizabeth Scott Belmont High School Updating Data Acquisition Capability for Belmont High School Biology to purchase Vernier LabQuest 2s and biology-specific probes to enable students in biology to efficiently collect, analyze and share their data during class to enhance biology students’ data acquisition and analysis experiences $15,615


Chenery Middle School Building a Thinking Math Classroom with Vertical Non-Permanent Surfaces to fund Vertical Non-Permanent Surfaces for implementing instructional routines to support math discourse $3,000
Kristin Ciappina Chenery Middle School Physical Education Equipment for Chenery to purchase general gym equipment to enhance the physical education experience for all 1,500 Chenery students $2,712


Belmont High School The Vision of the Graduate – Train the Trainer Workshop to pay for Abby Benedetto to coach and inspire a BHS leadership team to help develop BHS’ “Vision of the Graduate”, a NEASC requirement $6,000

Foundation for Belmont Education
Cycle 2 – Learning Excellence Grants
Approved March 26, 2019

Applicant Target School Award Title Grant Purpose Amount
Tawnya Lewis Belmont High School Microscopes with Digital Cameras for Increased Student Engagement to fund five microscopes with cameras and four live video microscope imager USB digital cameras to increase student engagement and the ability for students to conduct authentic investigations in BHS science labs $3,001
Meghann Remick Belmont High School Developing the Digital Art and Animation Program at Belmont High School to fund a station of five iMac computers and Adobe creative software to help build the Animation and Digital Art program at Belmont High School $10,575
Jessica DeFrances Elementary-All Energizing Students’ Thinking and Collaboration about Energy to purchase 48 science related “sparkle”  teaching tools to enhance the Focus on Energy unit for all 4th graders across the district to help students better understand energy transformation and transfer $1,272
Paul Ketchen Belmont High School AKAI Professional FIRE Controllers for Electronic Music Production to fund 16 new AKAI Pro FIRE Controllers for the BHS Music Technology Lab that will enhance, deepen and improve the understanding and facility of students engaged in electronic music production using FL Studio 20 $2,960
Emily Communiello Chenery Middle School ELMO Document Cameras at Chenery to purchase ELMO cameras to provide practical capability for Chenery 7th grade teachers to share student examples, demonstrate models, or share a page of text with the entire class so that students will be able to engage with content in real time $5,000
Kristen Bell Wellington School Culturally Responsive Texts and Resources to purchase diverse literature and inclusive classroom materials for the Wellington School so that culturally responsive teaching strategies can be used to improve school experiences and instructional approaches and to provide a welcoming environment for students of all cultures $3,114

TOTAL, 6 APPROVED LEGP GRANTS                                               $25,922


Foundation for Belmont Education
Cycle 1 – Learning Excellence Grants
Approved November 29, 2018

Applicant Target School Award Title Grant Purpose Amount
Kristin Comment Belmont High School African & Latin Dance & Drumming Workshop to fund the Greg Coles “Salsa for the Schools Enrichment Program” to teach students historically accurate, culturally based African and Latin dance and drumming as part of our 2019 Diversity Day program offerings $1,000
Kristin Comment Belmont High School Diversity Day Hunger Banquet to fund the food services required to produce a “Hunger Banquet” for students to attend during our “Diversity Day” at BHS in the spring $850
Danette English Belmont High School Visiting Artist: Diversity Day to fund a program by Darrell Gane McCalla, an African American artist, who will provide an interactive art workshop and expose BHS students to social concerns and diversity on Diversity Day in the spring of 2019 $600
Amy Sanchez Chenery Middle School Flamenco Performance by “Flamenco Boston” to fund a real Flamenco performance by “Flamenco Boston” to allow Chenery 7th and 8th grade students to experience the Flamenco unit they will be studying in class $1,100
Karl Mitchell Chenery Middle School Improving Math Engagement with a Group-Based Immersive Games Platform to improve math problem-solving skills and student engagement for Chenery sixth graders through an immersive learning games platform $800
Leon Dyer Chenery Middle School Learning to Code and Program with Lego Mindstorm Robots to fund the purchase of Lego Mindstorms Education EV3 robotics to engage Chenery 6th grade students in a cross-curricular, hands-on learning environment $3,269
David Beebe Chenery Middle School Glow Forge Pro to fund the purchase of a Glow Forge Pro, specialized equipment which allows for a synthesis of robotics and programming and woodworking and machining, and supplemental materials, for technology and engineering classes in grades 6, 7, and 8 at the Chenery $7,668
Colleen Foley Chenery Middle School, Belmont High School Increase in Communicative Language Proficiency in all BPS Students through Intensive Teacher Workshop


to fund the registration fees for seven foreign language teachers from BHS and the Chenery to attend a four day intensive workshop by the Massachusetts Foreign Language Association (MaFLA), from July 22–25, 2019 at Westfield State University, to help these teachers become more versed in new best practices and teaching methods $3,710
Danielle Betancourt Butler School Desk Cycles for Active Learning to provide two desk cycles for each Butler classroom (grades 2 to 4) to give students opportunities for physical activity while learning to improve engagement, health, and academic and social/emotional outcomes $1,280


Elementary-All 95 Percent Group Phonics Chip Kits to purchase phonics chip kits (basic and advanced) for all first grade teachers across the district to support small group instruction during their core instruction $4,620
Lisa Hurtubise Chenery Middle School The Girlhood Project 2: Education and Empowerment through Leadership Development to fund the cost of twenty 6th-8th grade girls from the Chenery to participate in ‘Girlhood, Identity, and Girl Culture’, a program at Lesley University, to learn about the social and cultural construction of girlhood and how cultural practices help form girls’ identities $6,700
Kristin Ciappina Chenery Middle School FIFA Soccer & Handball to purchase soccer goals and nets for the FIFA Soccer Tournament and Handball Units to enhance the physical education experience for Chenery students in all grades $3,000

TOTAL, 12 APPROVED LEGP GRANTS                                                         $34,597

CYCLE 2 – Learning Excellence Grants
Approved April 10, 2018

Applicant Target School Award Title Grant Purpose Amount
Janet Carey Winn Brook School Bringing Science Standards to Life – four programs from the Discovery Museum for Winn Brook to provide highly engaging, hands-on science experiences which teach, reinforce, and extend the concepts and skills in our new curriculum frameworks $1,826
Audrey Ruddock Butler School Discovery Museums Traveling Science Workshop: Force and Motion for Butler Kindergartens to extend and enhance learning related to science standard K-PS2-1 by comparing the effects of different strengths or different directions of pushes and pulls on the motion of an object $721
Patrick Mongeau Burbank School Plantmobile Science Enrichment and Training Program with Burbank School Gardens Connection to bring the Plantmobile, Mass Horticultural Society’s traveling science enrichment program, to Burbank second grade classes and to sustain the utilization of Burbank’s school gardens for hands-on learning $800
Jaynene Dellitt-Young Elementary Guided Reading Short Reads – Fiction to provide each elementary school with a full set of authentic, Scholastic fiction short reads (levels A through Z) to improve the genre selection for guided reading groups $13,186
Jessica DeFrances Elementary Increasing Science and Literacy Success Via Integration to purchase trade books and early readers for  all kindergarten classrooms to support literacy development in nonfiction and introduce weather related phenomenon in language and visually rich ways to supplement our new Weather in My World unit, which is aligned to the 2016 STE frameworks adopted this year $5,000
Jaynene Dellitt-Young Elementary Teachers College Reading Conference to fund a one-day Teachers College reading conference for all 1st through 4th grade teachers on June 21, 2018 $8,000
Katharine Kelley Chenery Middle School Visual Art Instruction for the YouTube Generation to purchase technology to teach fine arts lessons using media that is relevant and recognizable to middle level learners $701
Jessica Endres Wellington School Windows and Mirrors: Looking at the World Through Different Lenses to develop a library of grade-appropriate, accessible, high-quality books to expose fourth grade students at Wellington to diverse immigration stories about culture, race, ethnicity and identity $2,500
Lindsey Rinder Elementary Diverse Voices in the ELA Curriculum to include more diverse voices in our language arts curricula, which is important to reduce the ELA achievement gap for students of color and increase background knowledge of the world for all students at Burbank, Butler, and Wellington (previously funded at Winn Brook) $15,000
Carrie Salvato System-Wide New England Association of Teachers of English Conference to send a group of English teachers from the middle and high schools to the annual New England English Association of Teachers of English conference who will then bring back new ideas to share with colleagues to enhance the district’s English/ Language Arts curriculum $2,040
Janet Carey Winn Brook School Flexible Seating for Diverse Needs at Winn Brook to provide students with flexible seating options which address their needs $900

 TOTAL, 11 APPROVED LEGP GRANTS                                                                             $50,684

CYCLE 1 – Learning Excellence Grants
Approved November 29, 2017

Applicant Target School Award Title Grant Purpose Amount
Molly Arnason Wellington School How Many Guinea Pigs Can Fit On A Plane? to purchase math-based literature to enhance the 2nd grade math curriculum at the Wellington School $400
Tawnya Lewis Belmont High School Engaging Students through Dissections in Biology Class to purchase specimens to allow dissections of different animals in biology class $523
Tawnya Lewis Belmont High School Using Crazy Traits in Biology Class to Engage Students to purchase 12 Crazy Creatures Kits to increase the understanding of genetics in biology $1,710
Lisa Hurtubise Belmont High School The Girlhood Project: Education, Empowerment and Leadership to fund the cost for a BHS teacher and 20 students to attend ‘Girlhood, Identity, and Girl Culture’ at Lesley University to learn about the social and cultural construction of girlhood and how cultural practices help form girls’ identities $6,200
Colleen Cox Burbank School Force and Motion (Discovery Museum Traveling Science Workshop) to fund the Discovery Museum Traveling Science Workshop ‘Force and Motion’ for all Burbank kindergarten classes $898
Patrick Mongeau Burbank School Physical Changes of Matter (Discovery Museums Traveling Science Workshop) to fund the Discovery Museum Traveling Science Workshop ‘Physical Changes of Matter’ for all Burbank second grade classes $306
Tricia Clifford,

Amy Spangler,

Janet Carey

Elementary Chromebooks for Elementary Schools (Grades 3 & 4) to purchase Chromebooks and carts so that all third and fourth grade students at the Burbank, Wellington, and Winn Brook Schools have access to a Chromebook (Butler was previously funded in a pilot program in FY2017) $23,500
Deborah McDevitt Chenery Middle School Integrating Civics Education into the 8th Grade Curriculum to expand the focus on Civics in 8th grade by providing training for one 8th grade teacher to attend the Primary Source workshop ‘Strengthening Civics Education Throughout the K-12 Curriculum’ $200
Jessica DeFrances Elementary Math Enrichment Units for 2nd and 4th Grades to provide math extension and enrichment projects for second and fourth grade teachers across the district $2,164
Deborah McDevitt Chenery Middle School Teaching about Africa in World Geography to provide training for one 7th grade teacher to attend the class, “Africa and Africans: The Making of a Continent in the Modern World” $1,500
Margot Reavey System-Wide Palaver Strings Orchestra Residency to expose string students in grades 5-12 to innovative and contemporary professional string musicians through in-school workshops and evening community performances $3,275
Allison Ruane Chenery Middle School Helping to Make Social Connections in a School Setting for six after school sessions to provide opportunities for students who are feeling disconnected to make social connections within a school setting $300
Colleen Foley System-Wide Social Justice in the Foreign Language Classroom for four Foreign Language teachers to attend ‘Teaching Social Justice in the World Language Classroom’ $800
Lindsey Rinder Chenery Middle School Analyzing and Creating Digital Media, Part 2 to partially fund the purchase of iPads and a cart to be used by grades 6-8 students to analyze and create digital media $6,678
Arto Asadoorian System-Wide Grade 4-6 Ukulele Project to purchase a classroom set of 80 ukuleles for grades 4, 5, and 6 $4,368
Kathryn McLeod Belmont High School VEX EDR Robotics Kits for Belmont High School to fund VEX EDR Robotics kits to use in the Engineering Design course at Belmont High School $5,503

TOTAL, 16 APPROVED LEGP GRANTS                                                                         $58,325

CYCLE 2 – Learning Excellence Grants
Approved March 30, 2017

Applicant Target School Award Title Grant Purpose Amount
Colleen Cox Burbank School LEGO Storytelling Kits to purchase Lego Storystarter kits to motivate reluctant writers to create and write their own stories and to be used as an alternative assessment tool when appropriate $855
Colleen Foley System-Wide Authentic Resources and Assessment Through Modes of Communication in the Foreign Language Classroom to provide professional development regarding the use of authentic resources in foreign language instruction and assessment through the three modes of communication:  interpersonal, interpretative, and presentational $1,862
Kathyrn McLeod Belmont High School 3D Printer for Belmont High School to fund the purchase of an NVBots 3D printer to use in numerous classes across multiple departments at Belmont High School $12,499
Monica Frender Chenery Middle School Health and Wellness Technology – iPad Cart to purchase an iPad cart for safe storage and transport of iPads/tablets that will be used to enhance and improve the health curriculum for students $1,700
Deborah McDevitt Chenery Middle School Chromebooks and Cart for Grade 6 Social Studies to provide up to 30 Chromebooks and a storage cart for 6th grade social studies students to practice their research skills and create products for authentic assessments that demonstrate their progression towards mastery of content and skills $7,830
Dan Richards Belmont High School Project Zero Perspectives: Making, Innovating, Learning Conference to fund the registration of four Belmont High School faculty members to attend the ‘Project Zero: Making — Innovating — Learning’ Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania $3,300
Nichole Bukowski Belmont High School Yoga 4 Classrooms Implementation Leader Training to train a cohort leadership team of Belmont High School staff members to receive, plan, and implement the Yoga 4 Classrooms Program at BHS $5,394
Margot Reavey Chenery Middle School Chenery Auditorium Stage Portable Speaker System to implement a portable speaker system for the Chenery Auditorium Stage Rehearsal Space to allow effective presentation of educational materials from devices already routinely used in orchestra rehearsals $1,000
Janet Carey Winn Brook School Reflections and Connections to purchase teaching materials which reflect students’ cultural background, ethnicity, and identity $2,500

LEGP GRANTS                                                                         


Foundation for Belmont Education
Cycle 1 – Learning Excellence Grants
Approved November 30, 2016



Target School Award Title Grant Purpose Amount
Amy Spangler Wellington School Wellington Soar Academy to increase achievement of low performing fourth grade students by providing targeted learning opportunities in ELA, mathematics, and social/emotional learning in the hour before school begins (or ends) twice a week for twelve weeks $1,801
Ann Walsh Wellington School Fairytale Story Performance for Wellington Kindergarteners to fund a visit by Odds Bodkin, internationally-renowned storyteller and musician, who will present three stories with Wellington kindergarten that touch on themes of empathy and kindness and engage students with music and a group discussion $863
Julie Kim Belmont High School Motivating and Engaging Students through Dissections in Biology Class to purchase equipment that will allow hands-on dissections of different animals so as to increase student motivation and engagement in all biology classes at the High School $485
Kate Hayashi Burbank School Renaissonics Workshop to fund a workshop for third graders on the recorder by Renaissonics, an innovative musical ensemble $450
Janice Darias System-Wide Achievement Gap Professional Development – METCO Conference to fund the conference registration fees for seven district leaders and teachers to attend the METCO Directors’ Annual Conference for Educators on December 2, 2016 $1,525
Adrienne Dinh Wellington School Animal Adaptations to fund a Museum of Science Animal Adaptations program for third grade students, including two presentations by museum staff, DVD’s, and five sets of classroom books $1,257
Kristin Ciappina Chenery Middle School Enhance Physical Education Curriculum to purchase yoga equipment to enhance the physical education experience of all Chenery students $1,804
Karen Duff Chenery Middle School Chenery Upper School Author Series to fund a two day visit by Kekla Magoon for all grade 7 and 8 students, including presentations and mini-writing workshops, to enhance understanding of race and racism in American culture and history through the lens of literature $5,000
Mark Abruzzese Belmont High School Data Acquisition Expansion for High School Science to purchase data collection equipment to further High School students’ ability to design and carry out authentic scientific experiments $9,873
Kristin Comment Belmont High School Facilitating Difficult Conversations to fund an EDCO consultant who will train BHS faculty in how to facilitate difficult conversations about race, ethnicity, and other differences in the classroom so that they can help students to process new ideas and experiences in Diversity Programming $1,920
FBE ID Target School Award Title Grant Purpose Amount
Janet Carey Winn Brook School Responsive Classroom Training to fund Responsive Classroom training for two members of the Social Emotional Steering Committee at Winn Brook and purchase books related to this curriculum $638
Paul Ketchen Belmont High School Marching Band – Battery Percussion Instruments and Carriers to replace the current failing inventory of marching percussion instruments in order to enhance instruction, performance, and overall experience of all students in the Belmont Marching Band $5,042
Ezra Flam Belmont High School Diversity Programming: Interactive Workshop Assemblies with Urban Improv to fund two Urban Improv workshops to engage BHS students in sensitive and productive conversations about race and identity $3,000
Janet Flaherty Burbank School Scholastic Book Library: Guided Reading for Daily 4 in Grades 3 & 4 to purchase fiction and nonfiction texts that align with the Common Core Standards to complete the shared level library for students in grades 3 and 4 $3,000
Danielle Betencourt Butler School Chromebooks for Third Grade Google Classrooms & Digital Literacy to fund a pilot to purchase Chromebooks for a third grade class to allow ready and regular access to digital tools so as to develop skills necessary to collaborate, create, and effectively use and manipulate technology to solve complex problems $7,304

TOTAL, 15 APPROVED LEGP GRANTS                                                                         $43,962

Foundation for Belmont Education
Cycle 2 – Learning Excellence Grants
Approved March 30, 2016

Applicant School Title Purpose Amount
Jessica DeFrances All Elementary Improving Number Sense through Number Talks in Kindergarten to purchase Number Talks and the accompanying Rekenrek materials to create student Rekenreks for every kindergarten classroom in all four elementary schools $1,552
David Beebe Chenery Experiential Curriculum Aids for the Transportation Unit to purchase materials for grade 7 students at the Chenery to use and enhance their understanding of the Transportation Unit, one of the newly adopted science standards $250
Michael McAllister Butler iRover for Grade 1 Mathematics to fund the purchase an iRover interactive easel to help first grade teachers at Butler make their classrooms more interactive and engaging $3,531
Jessica DeFrances All Elementary Engineering Curriculum Pilot for Elementary to support the pilot of three engineering units, including curriculum, materials, and professional development, for grades 2, 3, and 4 in all four elementary schools $2,519
Jennifer Scranton All Elementary Traveling Field Microscope Lab to create a traveling field microscope lab that can be used at all elementary schools in the district $2,487
Jessica DeFrances All Elementary Engaging Students in Inquiry Based Science Instruction Using Picture Books to enhance inquiry based science units for all grades in the four elementary schools by purchasing picture books to be used during read alouds to help capture students’ interest in scientific phenomena, and additional materials for students to use in investigations $2,500
Colleen Foley High School Utilizing Authentic Interviews to Aid Cross-Cultural Proficiency and Linguistic Development for authentic interviews, via online resources, to aid in cross-cultural proficiency and linguistic development, to enhance the existing French and Chinese curriculum at BHS $2,800
Elizabeth Gentes Chenery 6th Grade Science iPad Cart to purchase an iPad charging cart and 30 iPad cases to be used by the sixth grade science classes at the Chenery (30 iPads to be supplied by the Belmont Public Schools) $4,270
Lisa O’Sullivan Burbank Animal Adaptations Program and Materials to fund a Museum of Science Animal Adaptations program (2 sessions), books, and DVDs about Animal Adaptations for grade 3 at the Burbank $957
Lindi DeLorio All Elementary ESL Center Materials to purchase materials needed to implement language-focused centers for ESL classes in all four elementary schools $6,396
Jessica DeFrances All Elementary Supplemental Materials for Struggling Math Students to pilot the purchase of a math intervention module for students in grades three and four at all four elementary schools $4,022
Jonathan Marks Chenery Hands-On Physical Science with ErgoBots to purchase six ErgoBot robots to supplement the eighth grade physics curriculum $3,600
Victoria O’Regan Burbank Scholastic Leveled Library (Levels E-N) to partially fund the purchase of the Scholastic Leveled Library (Levels E-N) book sets for the Burbank $1,000
Jaynene Dellitt-Young Winn Brook,


Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention – Gold & Red to purchase Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention (Gold & Red) for the third grades at the Winn Brook and Burbank $10,890
Erica Ross Winn Brook Teaching Reading With Rich Literature and Leveled Non-Fiction to partially fund the purchase sets of leveled nonfiction and rich literature to support Grade 4 student learning in English Language Arts at the Winn Brook $1,000



TOTAL, 15 APPROVED LEGP GRANTS                                                       $47,774

Foundation for Belmont Education
Cycle 1 – Learning Excellence Grants
Approved December 3, 2015

Applicant School Title Purpose Amount
Justin Lipomi Chenery SOS Signs of Suicide – Middle School Program to assist in identification of at-risk youth by addressing the issues of depression, suicide, and self-injury $395
Kristin Ciappina Chenery Updating Project Adventure and Physical Education Equipment to purchase and/or replace Project Adventure and other physical education equipment to enhance the physical education experience for all Chenery students $5,000
Jaynene Dellitt-Young All Elementary Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention – Green to allow one guided reading intervention kit to be purchased for each first grade at the four elementary schools $8,745
Kelly Hiltz Winn Brook Kindergarten Leveled Libraries at Winn Brook to purchase a leveled reading library for each of the four Winn Brook kindergarten classrooms in order to support literacy goals for our youngest readers $1,436
Karen Duff Chenery Tales2Go: Creating a Digital Audio Library at Chenery to create a robust, readily accessible digital audio library of over 5,000 titles for the Chenery Middle School $5,000
Ezra Flam BHS 21st Century Lighting Control for BHS to purchase a modern lighting control system for the Belmont High School auditorium $7,108
Sharon Phipps Chenery CMS: Instruments for All to provide musical instruments, with a focus on guitars and tubas, for use by Chenery students who wish to participate in music instruction $5,000


Erin Gillies Winn Brook First Grade Listening Centers at Winn Brook to equip each 1st grade Winn  Brook classroom with up to date listening stations $2,613
Arto Asadoorian BHS Recording and Playback System for BHS to purchase a Light and Sound recording/playback system for use by BHS faculty and students in band,  chorus, and orchestra $10,000
John McLellan Chenery CMS: Band Room Sound System to purchase an amplification system to enhance instruction by making audible all forms of technological tools used in the music class including iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, computer, and the metronome/tuner $3,402
Briana Wall Wellington Music for Preschoolers to purchase the ABC Music & Me program to help develop the essential listening, early literacy, and social-emotional skills that all pre-school students need to succeed in school $2,435
Sarah Forrey-Pettit Wellington Playworks: Play and Recess to Support SEL at Wellington to implement and establish Playworks recess strategies and activities for 3rd and 4th graders at the Wellington $6,000


TOTAL, 12 APPROVED LEGP GRANTS                                                               $57,134