Thursday, March 7, 2013, Ridgefield, CT – The Ridgefield Education Foundation is pleased to announce its 2nd grant cycle. They award grants to educators or education professionals in the Ridgefield community for creative, innovative or collaborative classroom projects, professional development or technology.

“Our intention is to support Ridgefield and leverage the untapped potential that helps move education forward. Blended learning, the flipped classroom, 21st century skill sets and the Common Core State Standards are all becoming mainstream phrases”, states Ridgefield Education Foundation President, Avery Costigan. That’s exactly what the foundation is set up to do. It will not supplant programs or items that are traditionally funded by operating budgets. Instead, they want to focus on the creative, innovative and collaborative aspects. “We ask educators to take a risk, get of the box and to try something new” explains Mrs. Costigan. The foundation sees themselves as research and development for the district. This way, the district can learn what works and what doesn’t before they invest in a project.

2012 grant recipient, Brian Kovalsky, Ridgefield High School English Teacher, explains the vision behind his project; enabling wireless integration of iPads in 2 RHS classrooms using Bluetooth connectivity of both the iPad and the Apple TV devices as well as the classroom projectors providing a seamless transition of device to device, whether it be a student or teacher. “I believe in a content centered classroom where the teacher acts as a guide and the students are free to interact with the material in the unique ways that they develop. This grant, and the introduction of iPads as learning devices, helped me and other teachers take one step towards making this happen.”

The grants are voted on by the community member Board of Directors. The board also includes a Board of Education representative and Ridgefield Public School representatives, including Superintendent Deborah Low, who acts in an ex-oficio 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 professional and/or community organizations, parents and students. Deadline for applications is Thursday, March 28th. For more information, email: info@ridgefieldeducationfoundation.org or visit our website for the grant application. The Ridgefield Education Foundation is in the process of obtaining it’s 501c3 not for profit status. Any donations are considered tax deductible. The foundation always welcomes new team members! Visit www.ridgefieldeducationfoundation.org to learn more.

Attached artwork are two tablet pictures from Madeline Wroblewski, RHS AP Studio Art Concentration, who used the Digital Art Tablets provided by a 2012 REF Grant to the RHS Art Department.

valley

owl

Ridgefield Education Foundation Kick Off Grant Cycle