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PTA Awards Grants

11 Staff Members Receive PTA Grants

Lisa Mitchell and Sarita Dodd, representatives of the Manchester Township PTA, presented over $4,700 in mini-grants to 11 Manchester school staff members at the February 19, 2020 Manchester Board of Education meeting. 

The following grants were presented:

  • Will Schmidt, MTHS, $500 for Water Quality Testing Equipment. Schmidt said the grant would provide equipment to allow his environmental science students to test water quality in the nearby Union Branch stream, without the need for assistance from an outside agency.
  • Nicole Baldelli, MTMS, $380 for 12 music stands. Baldelli said her music students would be very excited to receive these new stands to replace older ones that are in disrepair.
  • Mel Firetto, MTES, $500 for a pop-up gym and game room. He said the grant would provide a new child treadmill and exercise bike for a reward/behavior management program.
  • Megan Lambusta, Regional Day School, $495 for games and resources for recess. Lambusta said the grant would fund supplies for a new indoor-outdoor recess area to allow students to be more active and entertained with a goal of reducing behavior issues.
  • Phoebe Pennypacker, Regional Day School, $462 for patio benches, a garden fountain, yoga mats and fidget items to enhance the counseling program’s mindfulness strategies.
  • Gina Foss, Ridgeway School, $393 for an Apple iPad mini and case. Foss said that her first graders would use it in conjunction with a new math program she piloted this year that uses technology to help differentiate instruction.
  • Nikki Mazur, Ridgeway School, $281 for Books for Global Cultures. Mazur, who is the school principal, said she plans to start a book club where students would join her at lunch time to read and discuss books that explore different cultures and diversity.
  • Crystal Policastro, Ridgeway School, $470 for Math/Language games and puzzles. She said these items would help make learning more exciting for her struggling learners in kindergarten. 
  • Stephanie Boyd, Whiting School, $390 for a playground communication language board. Boyd teaches in the school’s autism program. She said this large board, which she will have custom printed by a sign company, would help her non-verbal students communicate while they are outdoors on the playground by pointing to items on the sign.
  • Julie Seegers, Whiting School, $453 for table and floor seats for flexible seating for her first graders.
  • Evelyn Swift, Whiting School, $390 for sensory path decals. Swift said the school would create a sensory path with touch, sound and kinesthetic components for autism students to experience.

Mitchell remarked, “I want to thank everyone who applied for this year's mini grants and ask you to please encourage your colleagues for next year. The PTA is always grateful for the dedicated staff members of our school district and we look forward to awarding these grants each year.”