These InstaGrants were approved throughout the 2019-2020 school year and are currently in place in classrooms impacting students throughout the District.


All Night In A Day – Holocaust Learning Experience ($1,980)

This InstaGrant helped to fund a collaborative learning experience about the Holocaust between the english and social studies departments. By providing 300 copies of the book Night by Elie Wiesel, all 10th grade students can read the book at the same time and participate in the “All Night in a Day” program.  The English/Social Studies collaboration allows students to make powerful connections between literature and history – pairing their literary analysis with historical analysis of the Holocaust, resulting in deeper understanding. 

Susan Lunnie and Regina McKie, 10th Grade Teachers, Horace Greeley High School

Active Learning in a Proficiency-Based Spanish Classroom – Mobile Spanish Library ($2,200)

This InstaGrant allows Spanish classrooms to explore proficiency-based curriculum through the use of free voluntary reading and book clubs. Students can read for their own enjoyment, at their own level and without judgement or assessment. Data suggests that this practice supports language acquisition and builds student confidence as they finish books in Spanish. It also supports metacognition as students start to notice how they read, how they can improve, and what they can do with the language after reading. Book clubs provide a similar learning experience and conversation starters for class.

Isabel Irizarry, Spanish Teacher, Horace Greeley High School

Active Learning in a Proficiency-Based Spanish Classroom – Collaborative Whiteboard Tables  ($2,500)

This InstaGrant complements the mobile library InstaGrant through the addition of whiteboard tables to language classrooms. These tables allow for students to engage in conversation, recording and reporting while maintaining a flexible physical space. Students will be able to move more freely around their learning space, which can be reconfigured with learning stations, reading nooks, project pods, and conversation corners. By incorporating these tables into their classrooms, teachers will be able to implement proficiency-based curriculum in an active learning style.

Steve Warren, Spanish Teacher, Horace Greeley High School


Expanding the Tonal Palate of the SB Orchestra ($2,499.89)

This InstaGrant funded the purchase of a drum kit and additional accessories for the orchestra at Seven Bridges Middle School.  These materials allow the orchestra to utilize new instruments and play new songs which were previously not possible.  Additionally, these materials allow the acquisition of a variety of new sets of skills, including how to set up, operate, and care for the instruments, how to read a percussion clef and to practice rhythm reading.

Kim Meade and 7th and 8th Grade Orchestra Students, Seven Bridges Middle School

Go Be Kind ($2,194)

This InstaGrant enhances the social and emotional aspects of learning in middle school children by bringing to life the lessons being taught with the RULER program.  The Go Be Kind journals allow students to come to know themselves better, learn to take risks in and out of school, learn how to talk to peers, teachers and adults, and most importantly, learn the power of being kind.

Dana House and Patricia Adams, 6th Grade Teachers, Bell Middle School

Investigative Journalism Through Podcasting ($2,404)

This InstaGrant funded the equipment necessary for a new eighth grade English curriculum unit. This unit pairs learning about investigative journalism and trends in podcasting with students’ ability to plan, compose and record their own podcasts. Podcasting allows students to evolve their written work into a substantial and multidimensional piece of work that can be streamed or downloaded and optimized for playback on any number of devices. Students will be producing podcasts that are authentic, targeted to the Chappaqua community, employ the writer’s workshop model, and institute best practices of investigative journalism.

Michael Palmieri, Seven Bridges Middle School

Latin Percussion in Orchestra and Band ($2,498.95)

This InstaGrant funded the purchase of Latin American musical instruments to allow students to play a wider range of music including Latin American, Afro-Cuban, Jazz, and Contemporary Rock.  Having access to these instruments gives students a more authentic experience when playing multi-cultural pieces and allows for a cross-curricular experience when students are studying different cultures..  By broadening the types of instruments accessible to our middle school students, students gain exposure and understanding of the diversity in our schools and in the world beyond.

Laura Abbatantuono and Madison Martineau, Orchestra and Band Teachers, Bell Middle School


Election 2020 ($1,315.05)

Recognizing the importance of understanding how the President of the United States is elected, this InstaGrant enhances the third grade social studies curriculum focusing on US government and US regions. Students are provided with Scholastic magazines and display maps to learn about the electoral college and about US geography and regions. While the magazines will be specific to the 2020 election, the other materials will remain in the classrooms to enhance education for years to come.

Warren Whitney and Karen McNally, Teachers, Grafflin Elementary School

Election 2020 – Roaring Brook and Westorchard ($2,630.10)

This InstaGrant expands the Election 2020 proposal which originated at Grafflin to the third grades at both Roaring Brook and Westorchard Elementary Schools.

Adam Pease, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction; Mary Devane, Staff Developer

First Grade Innovative Chairs  ($2,366.51)

This InstaGrant funded furniture to allow students more choice and flexibility with regard to where they sit in the classroom (different types of chairs vs. on the carpet/floor).  It also allows students to select seating with movement opportunities while doing group/class work.  Many studies indicate that movement helps to stimulate brain function and alertness. By giving students a choice in their approach to the learning process, young children become more invested in their learning and begin to recognize what helps them do their best learning.

Sandi Schassler, Douglas Grafflin Elementary School

Floor Chairs and Desks ($2,469.42)

This InstaGrant represents the culmination of the persuasive writing unit done by Grafflin Elementary School third grade students.  The children worked in groups to imagine items that would enhance their learning opportunities and to create presentations to persuade their classmates, teachers and members of the Chappaqua School Foundation to select their concept for funding. Many excellent ideas were presented creatively by the students. The winning concept was additional floor chairs and floor desks that could be used to make working on the floor easier and more productive. The addition of this furniture to third grade classrooms allows teachers to create group and individual work areas in multiple configurations and spaces, enhancing learning flexibility.

Mara Cohen, Warren Whitney, Laurie Ende, Karen McNally and their 3rd grade students, Douglas Grafflin Elementary School

Grafflin Kindergarten Focus Furniture  ($2,467.23)

Through this InstaGrant, kindergarten classrooms at Grafflin obtained four different seating options for students. By introducing different seating options into the kindergarten classrooms, students have choices better suited to specific types of learning activities. Seating options help all students access curriculum and enhance their ability to focus on their learning.

Nancy Larkin, Lisa Tighe, Pam Worth, Douglas Grafflin Elementary School

Greenburgh Nature Center-Recycling Program  ($2,500)

This InstaGrant supported the pairing of a waste reduction and recycling program with environmental education through the Greenburgh Nature Center. By learning about how individual choices impact the world around them, students are empowered to sort their waste and do their part in helping to make the earth a healthier and safe environment.

Carol Bartlik, Douglas Grafflin Elementary School

Kindergarten Vertical Work Stations ($2,211.10)

This InstaGrant funded five standing work stations for the kindergarten students at Grafflin.  Having vertical work surfaces available to kindergarteners enhances their learning in multiple ways, including supporting the development of appropriate fine motor grasp during pencil and paper activities.  Integrating work area options into the kindergarten classroom helps create positive and appropriate habits early on, ensuring appropriate academic skills and a strong sense of self esteem around those skills.

Jennifer Pollitt, Abby Gitlin, Douglas Grafflin Elementary School

Math Stackers ($1,405)

This InstaGrant added a multisensory aspect to the second grade math curriculum.  The addition of the Math Stackers manipulatives help students acquire important skills including communicating mathematical ideas, using multiple representations to show their thinking, and representing and solving addition and subtraction equations when there are unknowns in the problem. The Math Stackers can be used both independently and for group work, supporting multiple types of learning situations. 

Mary Goff, 2nd Grade, Westorchard Elementary School