HEF awards $44,000 in grants to local schools
The Hammonton Education Foundation awarded $44,379 worth of grants that will fund 13 projects in the Hammonton School District during the 2023-2024 school year.
The foundation—a recognized 501(c)(3) organization that raises money to fund innovative projects in the public schools—has awarded more than $603,000 worth of grants since 2005.
The organization’s major fundraisers include Recycling Central, Taste of the Town and the ThanksForGiving Gala.
“The Hammonton Education Foundation’s commitment to enhance the quality of education for students in our public school district is only possible because of the tremendous support we receive from the community,” said Monica Kemp, co-chair of the foundation’s program allocations committee. “On behalf of our trustees, I want to express our gratitude to everyone who has contributed to our organization’s success by sponsoring, attending or supporting our fundraisers.”
Teachers must apply to the foundation for grant funding. Here is a breakdown of this year’s grants by school:
Hammonton Early Childhood Education Center
• $5,000 to expand the ECEC Food Pantry. The pantry—established during the 2022-2023 school year—provides essential food and hygiene products to students with unmet needs.
Warren E. Sooy Jr. Elementary School
• $5,000 to replace and expand the school’s greenhouse—which is shared with ECEC—and purchase supplies for the annual fifth-grade greenhouse project. The goal is to provide an ongoing, hands-on experience for students through gardening, as well as application of science, math, life and social skills.
• $5,000 to fund Kids in Motion, a playground area where students will be offered unstructured, open-ended play options to encourage physical, mental and social learning.
• $5,000 to establish and stock the WES Care Closet and Pantry, which will provide essential items such as snacks, hygiene products and basic clothing to students with unmet needs.
• $2,467 to update technology that will be used by special education students in second through fifth grades.
Hammonton Middle School
• $4,600 to fund a positive behavior support initiative that will recognize and reward students for targeted positive behaviors. The goal is to improve social and emotional well-being, create safe learning environments and foster a positive school climate.
• $2,250 to purchase supplies for Coffee Cart Friyay, a program that will take place each Friday during the school year. Students will compile beverage orders from staff members through the week, then prepare and deliver the drinks—along with sweet treats they prepare—on Friday mornings. Students also will wash/dry dishes and clean prep stations. The program will teach students baking/cooking skills, how to handle money, and the importance of using proper greetings and manners when interacting with others.
Hammonton High School
• $2,500 to fund the purchase of monthly selections for the school’s book club, which strives to improve literacy and foster a lifelong interest in reading.
• $2,665 to fund a trip to The Franklin Institute for 10th- and 11th-grade students in the special education program. The trip—along with subsequent in-classroom discussions and presentations—will help increase students’ comfort with scientific concepts.
• $1,375 to purchase Spanish-language and world language books for the library.
• $5,000 to sustain the HHS Blue Devil Pantry. The pantry provides food, clothing, hygiene products, toiletries and other items to students with unmet needs.
• $2,519 to purchase new hardware for the school’s video game club. The grant will cover the cost of four consoles, as well as two subscription plans that provide access to dozens of school-appropriate games.
• $1,000 for a reading incentive program. Online platforms will provide challenges based on time spent reading, formats selected and number of pages/books completed. Quarterly celebrations will recognize students who complete specific skills and achieve predetermined mastery scores.
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Melanie Sole is on the board of trustees for the Hammonton Education Foundation.