2017-2018 InstaGrants

These InstaGrants were approved throughout the 2017-2018 school year and are currently in place in classrooms impacting students throughout the District.

Horace Greeley High School

Engagement in Physics/Chemistry/Astronomy With Telescopes ($2,483)

This InstaGrant funds the purchase of affordable telescopes to be used initially in the LIFE School science classes to enhance the curriculum and afford students the ability for first hand observation of concepts discussed in class. This pilot will also help  to inform work around the possibility of work on the Observatory at Horace Greeley.

Priya Ma, Science Teacher, Ari Silver, Student, Horace Greeley High School

Piano Keyboards and Headphones for Music Theory ($1,052)

This InstaGrant equips the Greeley music classroom with a set of 15 Casio keyboards and headphones. This equipment will allow Music Theory students to gain keyboarding skills, allow students to progress from concept to creation and will foster active learning.

Raymond Lucia, Kathleen Feldman, Maureen Callan, Music Department, Horace Greeley High School

VEX Robotics ($2,100)

The VEX Robotics design system is used around the world to teach students classic STEM concepts with hands on, project-based learning opportunities. By adding VEX robotics kits to the robotics curriculum at Greeley, this InstaGrant will allow students to design, build and test concepts which address a much wider variety of real world problems.

Mike DeBellis, Science and Technology Teacher, Horace Greeley High School

Fischertechnik Kits for Physics ($2,470)

Already used successfully in technology and design classes, the addition of these kits to physics classes will allow for the addition of four labs to the class curriculum. These kits lend themselves well to illustrating physics concepts such as forces, circuits and energy and will allow students to do hands on work to better understand physics principles.

Paul Bianchi, Science Teacher, Horace Greeley High School

Middle Schools

Crescent and Cog Collaborative Math Tables ($2309.97)

This InstaGrant funds the purchase of three sets of mobile crescent and cog collaborative tables with white board tops. These tables will promote student collaborative work in a 5th grade math classroom.

Danielle Cohen, Tricia Greco, Seven Bridges Middle School

Club Comfort Workshop for Fifth Grade Guidance Groups  ($240)

Club Comfort provides social and emotional learning workshops to help students learn empathy and coping skills. The Bell fifth grade guidance workshops will be participating in this program which was originally developed to support the children and families of Sandy Hook Elementary School. This InstaGrant will provide the funds necessary to purchase the supplies for students to make a plaque including words of inspiration or encouragement for someone they believe needs comfort or support.

Lisa Bisceglia, MSW and Dr. Annmarie Giannettino, Robert E. Bell Middle School

Lego EV3 Expansion Kits ($2,391)

This InstaGrant will enhance the grant awarded last year for updated EV3 robots for use in technology classes at Bell. These expansion kits (new this year) will allow students to develop robots that are more advanced and provide greater electro-mechanical agility in robot design.

Robert Raguette, Robert E. Bell Middle School

Collaborative Whiteboard Tables – Bell 7th and 8th Grade  ($2425)

This InstaGrant funds the purchase of eight whiteboard tables to better allow for problem solving and collaborative learning in a classroom at Robert E. Bell Middle School. This classroom is used for 7th and 8th grade Skills classes and will also be available to all 7th and 8th grade core subject teachers to use for lessons and classwork that would benefit from these more collaborative work surfaces.

Dan Perito and Jen Fleisher, Robert E. Bell Middle School

Constitution Works  ($2,295)

An end of year program for 7th grade social studies students at Seven Bridges to learn about the constitution in an interactive and dynamic way.

Amanda Lifschultz, Social Studies Teacher, Seven Bridges Middle School

Flexible Seating for Fifth Grade Science Classroom  ($2,301)

This furniture will allow for increased flexibility in learning in a science laboratory classroom, particularly to allow for collaborative work.

Diane Madaio, Science Teacher, Seven Bridges Middle School

“Building” a STEAM Foundation  ($2,487)

A request for traditional wood working tools to be used primarily by 7th grade technology students at Seven Bridges to supplement their STEAM curriculum.

Chris Stasi, Seven Bridges Middle School

Library iPad Kiosk ($656)

This iPad and kiosk will allow students to independently identify and locate resources in the Seven Bridges library and help them to build library research skills.

Karen Baker, Seven Bridges Librarian

Orchestra Performance Evaluation – The Adjudication Project ($2,495)

This InstaGrant arose from the collaborative efforts of the orchestra teacher and this year’s Chamber Ensemble students who identified the need for and desirability of curriculum to replicate the New York State School Music Association evaluation and adjudication process in the classroom. The materials requested will enable all students to see themselves performing, listen to their performance on higher quality sound equipment, and take their performance to the next level.  This program will document student development, foster critical thinking, enable students to speak/write well about music, provide tangible real-time assessment, and help students achieve high performance standards.

Kim Meade, Orchestra Teacher; Elvin Lo, Devisi Goel, Luke Chang, Hudson Chung, Emily Ni, Emma McCumber, Nadia Nabeel, Emily Jiang, Richard Liu, Jared Damon, Jay Kim, Justin Ng, Chamber Ensemble Students, Seven Bridges Middle School

Bell Crescent and Cog Whiteboard Math Tables ($2,400)

This InstaGrant will allow math teacher Danielle Cohen to bring the work she has done with whiteboard tables at Seven Bridges to her new classroom at Bell Middle School. The crescent and cog tables allow students to work collaboratively and to freely brainstorm, take notes and share ideas.

Danielle Cohen, Math Teacher, Robert E. Bell Middle School


Breakout EDU – A Flexible Problem Solving Platform ($2500)

This InstaGrant funded kits to allow third grade student teams to solve subject-area based problems in order to open locks and get inside a breakout box.  Based off the Escape the Room concept, the kits enable students to apply different math, social studies and science concepts learned in the classroom to solve a puzzle.

Warren Whitney, Third Grade Teacher, Grafflin Elementary School

Yogibos – Grafflin Shark Tank Winner, Ms. Cohen’s 3rd Grade Class ($973)

This InstaGrant, the winning result of student persuasive writing presentations for innovative classroom ideas, funds the purchase of two reclining and five mini Yogibos which will be shared among the third grade classrooms at Grafflin. The yogibos will enhance the learning environment by providing alternative seating for students as well as sensory stimulation which can help students to focus on their learning.

Mara Cohen and her 2017-2018 third grade class, Grafflin Elementary School

Westorchard Playground Stencils ($2,300)

This InstaGrant funds the purchase of stencils that will be used by CCSD building and grounds personnel to enhance the newly resurfaced playground at Westorchard. These stencils will provide stimulating artwork and lines for games and other activities.

Carolyn Elwood, James Skoog, Westorchard Elementary School

Grafflin Mobile Video Production Project ($2,297)

This InstaGrant funded the components of a mobile video production unit initially serving Grafflin third grade classrooms with the possibility of expansion to other grades. This production unit allows third grade students working with their teachers and the Grafflin librarian to create digital content to go with a variety of curricular units. This ability will enhance the curriculum and will teach the students all the skills necessary to produce digital media, a key skill set to succeed in the 21st century.

Mara Cohen, Ellen Paradiso, Grafflin Elementary School

Kindergarten Hollow Blocks  ($2,450)

This InstaGrant funds the purchase of a set of hollow blocks to pilot a program to update existing block areas in Roaring Brook kindergarten classes.

Stefanie Kandalaft, Kindergarten Teacher, Alison Porcelli, Principal Roaring Brook Elementary School

Third Grade Recess Activity Cart ($1,000)

Emerging as the winning concept from Mr. Whitney’s third grade class Shark Tank persuasive writing unit, this InstaGrant funds items which foster creative problem solving, logical thinking, building and teamwork. These items will be housed on a mobile cart and will be used by third grade Grafflin students during indoor recess.

Warren Whitney’s Third Grade Class, Grafflin Elementary School

National Geographic Reach – Small Group Reading ($1,875)

This InstaGrant funds 25 licenses for National Geographic Reach, a digital platform which provides content for learners in grades 1-4. This platform will be used to facilitate small group reading instruction, primarily with English as a Second Language learners and with other students who benefit from small group literacy learning.

Ellie Foundoukis, ESL Teacher, Westorchard Elementary School