Through the generosity of Ashland citizens, businesses and corporate partners, the Ashland Education Foundation, Inc. (AEFI) recently awarded six grants to fund innovative programs for Ashland schools.

Through the generosity of Ashland citizens, businesses and corporate partners, the Ashland Education Foundation, Inc. (AEFI) recently awarded six grants to fund innovative programs for Ashland schools.

The fourth annual Partners in Education Awards Ceremony took place on Monday, May 14, at the Ashland High School.
Paul Capelli, AEFI board member and Staples Vice President of Public Relations, presented the following awards for the spring grant cycle:

Hands-on Fun! $1,157
Awarded to: Amy Westerman
The Occupational Therapy department for Ashland Public Schools will use this grant to purchase materials for a "library" of fine motor activities for kindergarten and first grade students.

Multicultural Folkmoot Costumes, $1,745
Awarded to: Teresa McCarrick and Katie Bach, Henry Warren School
An expansion of the Multicultural Sports/Dance Curriculum grant awarded in 2005, this new grant will purchase supplies for the children to make folkmoot costumes, and integrate multicultural music and folk songs into the festival through the music department.

Books + Math = New Successes! $1,694
Awarded to: Patti Karam, David Mindess School
This grant will purchase library books that weave mathematical ideas into engaging stories, thus helping to dispel the myth that math is dry, unimaginative, and inaccessible.

Learning the Language of Music Through Technology, $937
Awarded to: Lori Osowski, David Mindess School
Through this grant, the music teacher will use the computer lab to impart music-reading concepts and track individual student progress with the exciting Music Ace software.

Travel to a European Country Project, $1,511
Awarded to: Nanci Farquharson & Scott Soderberg, Ashland Middle School
This grant will purchase books and USB drives for students to study and share findings of our changing world, one country at a time. They’ll learn research skills plus written, oral and multimedia presentation techniques.

Holga Cameras, $770
Awarded to: Leah Sumner, Ashland High School
This grant will fund cameras that make learning apertures, shutter speeds, film speeds, chemistry, lighting and timing easier. They’re ideal for novices and students with special needs before learning the more complex aspects of 35mm SLR photography.

In addition, the foundation acknowledged the grants awarded last fall which are now in use:

Green Spaces for Green Places, Christine Scott, Ashland High School, $775

Improving Classroom Libraries for All Readers, Erin Bannon, David Mindess School, $1,972

Using Technology to Improve Articulation, Sharon Ames & Jen Hoffmaster, David Mindess & Henry Warren Schools, $1,118

Digital Story Telling, Dolores Frazer, Ashland Middle School, $2,411

AEFI board member Cece Doucette thanked all who supported the foundation this school year, and presented awards to the following top-level donors:
Most Generous Corporate Donor: Verizon, Inc.

Most Generous Individual Donor: Karen & Ben Dunn

Silver: Ashland K-8 PTO, Kidde Fenwal, Middlesex Savings Bank, Staples Foundation for Learning, Maureen & Paul Wiencek

Bronze: Bose Corporation, Laurie Milewski of Partridge Design
The evening included entertainment by Ashland High student, pianist Isaac Stearns, opening remarks by AEFI President Cindy Hoyle and a video of last year’s grants in action hosted by Ashland Superintendent Dr. Richard Hoffmann (to be aired on Ashland Cable Access station). State Sen. Karen Spilka and State Rep. Tom Sannicandro spoke of important youth amendments being filed at the state level.

Then, more than 60 supporters enjoyed a four-course meal prepared by Fran Blake of the Greater Ashland Lions and Peter Chisholm of Framingham State College. The evening ended with a 50/50 Heads or Tails Raffle, won by MaryLou Hunt.

The AEFI is grateful to local sponsors who donated items for the event: Beckongreen Garden Center & Florist, Catch 22, Greater Ashland Lions, Shaw’s, Sunnyside Café & Catering, Super Stop & Shop, The Oregon Club, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market. Special thanks also go to Peter and Barbara Chisholm, the Blake Family, Amanda Nardini, Michelle Blackler, Camille Cushman, Jared Ulin, Andy Rund and Will MacLennan for their tireless assistance throughout the evening!

For additional information on the AEFI, please visit