Foundation hands Northampton schools $25K grants for anti-racism learning, mural, musical performances

  • Bridge Street School in Northampton will be the beneficiary of two grants from the Northampton Education Foundation. STAFF FILE PHOTO

Published: 1/23/2023 9:37:10 PM

Ten grants for the fall/winter semester have been awarded by the Northampton Education Foundation to city schools, providing an additional $25,000 worth of funding for new projects for the 2022-2023 school year.

“The ten grants awarded this fall are exciting in their diversity and creativity — from anti-racism work in the elementary schools to the history of genocides and reconciliation, and physical and social justice theater,” said Dale Melcher, chair of small grants at NEF, in a statement provided to the Gazette. “It is so rewarding to give teachers what they need to explore new approaches to teaching and learning.”

Two grants totaling $2,760 are being awarded to Bridge Street School. The first grant will go toward the school’s second year of its “Empowering Youth: Working to be Anti-Racist” program, where students work with Black writer Tiffany Jewell to engage in age-appropriate dialogue regarding topics pertaining to anti-racism, according to NEF. The second grant is for the Friday Notebook program, where fourth and fifth graders complete weekly writing prompts.

Two programs at Northampton High School will get a total of $4,700 in funding: Never Again, a program expanding on genocide studies; and the theater class, which will allow students to see a production of “Mother Tongue” by Springfield-based the Performance Project that addresses themes of multilingualism and engage with the performers in conversations about physical and social justice theater.

Two additional grants totaling $6,230 are split between NHS and JFK Middle School, going toward a DNA analysis of a school-owned skeleton and examination of the transition from middle school to high school social studies.

Leeds Elementary School received one grant for $3,000, to go toward an outdoor community mural in collaboration with local artists. Lastly, $4,470 was given to support musical ensembles at NHS including the Symphony Band, the Wind Ensemble, the Jazz Band, the Chamber Choir and the Northamptones, to help fund performances for elementary and middle school students.

Alexander MacDougall can be reached at amacdougall@gazettenet.com.


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