Monday March 21, 2016, Ridgefield, CT – The Ridgefield Education Foundation


(REF) is pleased to announce its Spring 2016 grant cycle. This makes it the 5th

year REF has awarded funds to local schools and community partners. The

foundation provides grants to educators or education professionals in the Ridge-

field community for creative, innovative or collaborative classroom projects, pro-
fessional development or technology.


“REF looks to support the Ridgefield community and leverage the under devel-
oped potential that helps move education forward. Our grants, for pilot projects,

enable the district to evaluate new and different ways to impact the learning ex-
perience for Ridgefield’s students. Terms like “blended learning, STEM or

STEAM, 21st century skills” and the Common Core State Standards are all be-
coming mainstream phrases,” states newly elected Ridgefield Education Founda-
tion President, Pamela Banks. The foundation’s focus is to support grants that

are funded outside traditional operating budgets. REF is able to provide educa-
tors and educational professionals additional access to monies that encourage

innovation and creativity in the schools and community. “We ask educators to

experiment and to try something new,” adds Grants Co-Director Beth Yavenditti.

The foundation seeks to partner with education professionals by offering these

grants for the research and development of the district. By connecting to those

immersed in the field and taking the initiative to do something new, the district

can learn what works and what doesn’t before they invest in a project.


2015 grant recipient, Elizabeth Misiewicz, East Ridge Middle School 7th Grade

English teacher, explains the vision and learning behind her project. “This grant

allowed students to learn about the life and times of Mark Twain in a new way uti-
lizing their critical reading skills analyzing both primary and secondary sources.

The support of REF enabled me to create a new partnership with The Mark

Twain House that I hope will continue in the future.”

Once received, grant applications are voted on by the community members of

the Board of Directors. The board also includes a Board of Education represen-

tative and Ridgefield Public School representatives, including Superintendent

Karen Baldwin, all of whom act in an ex-officio role. The process is “blind”,

meaning, Board of Directors will not know any identifying information such as

school, organization or teacher so that grants are awarded based on the merits

of the application.


Any educator or education professional may apply, either alone or partnered with

a community member. REF encourages collaboration between a school profes-
sional and/or community organizations, parents and students. Deadline for ap-
plications is Wednesday, April 27, 2016. For more information, email or click here for the grant application.


The Ridgefield Education Foundation is a 501c3 not for profit organization. Any dona-
tions are considered tax deductible. The foundation always welcomes new team

members! Click here to learn more.


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