Grants Overview

CSF awards two types of grants to fund innovation in the Chappaqua Central School District. CSF grants fund initiatives that take place in one or more of our six schools, during the school day, impacting a significant number of students and which are not able to be funded through the school district budget.  Ideas for grant applications originate from Chappaqua teachers, administrators, parents and students and follow one of two grant application processes.

CSF Grant Pathways

Traditional Grants

Traditional Grants fund innovative ideas costing in excess of $2,500 or which require significant district support to implement. The application cycle for these grants begins in the fall of the school year with a final decision coming in the spring following a many month development process. Once approved, purchases are made and staff development occurs so that these grants are in place during the subsequent school year.


The InstaGrant process is used to fund innovative ideas costing $2,500 or less and which do not require significant implementation support. InstaGrant applications are reviewed and approved throughout the school year which allows for a fast track review of smaller requests and implementation during the current school year.


Our Newest 2019 Traditional Grants

These grants were approved by CSF in the spring of 2019 and will be implemented in classrooms during the 2019-2020 school year.


STEAM Augmented and Virtual Reality ($24,480)

This grant will fund two types of technology which will allow middle and high school students to construct and experience virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Our schools will be one of the first to pioneer the use of Microsoft’s Hololens 2 devices to create VR and AR content. The Hololens, together with Samsung HMD-Odyssey Mixed Reality Headsets, will be piloted in the STEAM centers at each school as teachers and staff developers work with students to create and experience a variety of immersive VR/AR content.

Josh Culwell-Block, Director of Technology and Innovation; Zach Arnold, Ellen Moscowitz, Instructional Technology Teachers


Greeley Multi-Media Art Production ($53,360.38)

This grant funds a trio of needs for Greeley art students and teachers to support increased media access and digital production. First, the grant provides for digital drawing materials including iPads to allow all students in drawing and fashion design classes to have more advanced and robust digital drawing opportunities no matter which classroom they are using. Second, the grant will fund digital SLR cameras and equipment to be used by photography and filmmaking students. Finally, this grant supports the creation of a recording studio at Greeley with the purchase of cameras, studio equipment and computers necessary to support studio work. The recording studio will initially be used by digital filmmaking students and eventually made available to other interested teachers and students in all Departments to use to support media work in those disciplines.

Louise Brady, Art Department Chair, Katherine Ottamanelli, Jennifer Schmidt, Art Teachers, Horace Greeley High School

Promoting Innovation and Engagement in Math Class ($24,281)

This grant funds the technology portion of a redesign of a Greeley math classroom to allow for students to access mathematics in a wider range of ways and to work collaboratively in an environment that is comfortable and engaging. Through the purchase of multiple interactive displays and touch screens, students will be better able to work together and share their work with each other while building problem solving, leadership and communication skills.

Estzer Weisz, Jennifer Wrenn, Math Teachers, Horace Greeley High School

See also STEAM Augmented and Virtual Reality under District Wide heading above.


See STEAM Augmented and Virtual Reality under District Wide heading above.


Jacob Burns Image, Sound, and Story Program ($40,530)

This grant will allow third and fourth graders in all three elementary schools to learn media literacy through the Image, Sound, and Story Program developed by the Jacob Burns Film Center. After receiving training from Jacob Burns experts, third and fourth grade teachers and elementary art teachers and library media specialists will bring this program which teaches students how to digest and create media into classrooms at each of the elementary schools. By adding this program to the elementary curriculum, students will be able to engage in “active literacy”, building skills of observation, comprehension, and analysis for viewing media and developing imagination and intention for creating media.

Warren Whitney, Third Grade Teacher, Grafflin Elementary School, supported by Adam Pease, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction

Grafflin Greenhouse Program ($49,560)

The Grafflin greenhouse is a “living laboratory” where students learn about a host of topics including plant biology, sustainability, healthy choices, environmental stewardship, while engaging in experiential scientific learning and building community. This grant combines needed structural upgrades with innovative teacher training and curriculum development which would create a strong and sustainable Grafflin Greenhouse Program, giving students access to hands-on, project-based, interdisciplinary instruction in this unique green learning space for years to come. 

Debra Alspach, Assistant Principal, Ellen Paradiso, Library Media Specialist, Elizabeth Rose, Art Teacher, Carol Scappaticci, Fourth Grade Teacher, Katie Snyder, Alison Matthews, parents, Douglas Grafflin Elementary School

2018-2019 School Year InstaGrants

These InstaGrants were approved throughout the 2018-2019 school year and are currently in place in classrooms impacting students throughout the District.


Active and Engaging Learning Through Telenovelas ($1850)

This InstaGrant covers subscriptions for students in Spanish 11 and Spanish 5 to EduNovela, a service that packages telenovelas with educational materials and assessments. These subscriptions will allow students to move through the series of telenovellas at a pace that matches their learning stage and to access content that will support course curricular goals, particularly listening to native Spanish speakers with increased accuracy.

Isabelle Irizarry, Donna Curtis, Spanish Teachers, Horace Greeley High School

GLOBE – International Water Quality Program ($1833.45)

This InstaGrant will fund materials necessary to fully implement the GLOBE program, an international program where participants assess water quality and share results, with earth science students at Horace Greeley. These materials will supplement items already in use so that students can collect data about the stream at Greeley which can be used by scientists to answer questions about the environment.

Carol DiGuglielmo, Science Teacher, Horace Greeley High School

Spin Classes for Fitness Center ($484.45)

This InstaGrant will fund training and supplies to allow spin classes to be offered in the new Fitness Center and Mind and Body Studio. Spin will be incorporated into physical education offerings from 9th through 12th grade, phased in over this school year and next school year. Students will engage in a variety of “rides” that will increase muscle strength and lung capacity while introducing them to the concept of exercise as stress relief.

Donna Versace, Physical Education Teacher, Horace Greeley High School

Disc Golf for Greeley Gym Classes ($1878)

This InstaGrant funds the equipment and instruction necessary to bring Disc Golf to Greeley gym classes. Disc golf is a non-contact, low impact, lifetime sport which will be integrated into the physical education offerings. By exposing Greeley students to disc golf, students will learn about a sport they can pursue outside of school, including at two local courses in Mt. Kisco and Yorktown.

Michael Cleary, Physical Education Teacher, Horace Greeley High School

The Literate Brain – Linking Researchers with Practitioners ($2500)

This InstaGrant will allow Susan Miller to attend a summer research institute where she will gain knowledge in the cognitive and neurobiologic foundations of language learning. While at this institute, she will develop a project to bring back to our school district to help educators and students with language and literacy learning. This project will help teachers understand who each student is as a learner, which will enhance the student’s ability to learn and the teacher/student dynamic.

Susan Miller, Literacy Teacher, Horace Greeley High School


Hands-on History ($1048.30)

This InstaGrant funds a variety of hands-on materials connected to the sixth grade ancient civilizations social studies curriculum. Materials include ancient artifact replicas, action figure sets, building sets and games from Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, India, Greece, Rome and the Middle Ages. These materials will allow students to access the curriculum in a new and interactive way, fostering conversation and problem-solving while engaging and inspiring students. These materials will be available for use by both 6th grade teams.

Miriam Longobardi, Teacher, 6th Grade Social Studies, Bell Middle School

Square Root of Math Anxiety ($224.41)

This InstaGrant is designed to help students recognize and manage math anxiety. This InstaGrant will fund simple materials and manipulatives designed to relieve stress. Having these materials in the classroom will allow students to work through their anxiety and better focus on their educational tasks.

Megan Barnes, 6th Grade Math Teacher, Bell Middle School

Collaborative Learning Spaces for 6th Grade English ($1521)

This InstaGrant will fund the purchase of three moveable whiteboards which will be used to different environments within the classroom to allow for group and independent work. These spaces and whiteboard write on capabilities allow for increased student collaboration and more active and personalized learning.

Dana House, 6th Grade English Teacher, Robert E. Bell Middle School


Painted Playground Games and Activities ($2500)

This InstaGrant funds the painting of templates on Grafflin’s blacktop. These templates will provide a variety of games and other interactive activities for students during physical education classes and at recess time. In addition to providing fun physical and cognitive activities for students, these games will also support students’ social/emotional learning by teaching conflict resolution and responsibility through cooperative play.

Carol Bartlik, Principal, Grafflin Elementary School

Pedometers for Kids ($866.74)

This InstaGrant is a partnership between physical education and first grade to fund pedometers to be used by students to keep track of distance traveled. In addition to serving as a motivator to achieve physical fitness goals, the information gathered will be used by students in mathematics and geography lessons.

Ryan Spillane, Physical Education Teacher, Marisa Boniello, First Grade Teacher, Grafflin Elementary School

Movable Library ($2309.10)

This InstaGrant will fund the purchase of a movable library which will be used to create a more flexible classroom space. With the ability to adjust the layout of the classroom, students will be able to engage in more active and collaborative learning, particularly during writing workshops but also when working in other areas such as science.

Warren Whitney, 3rd Grade Teacher, Douglas Grafflin Elementary School

2019 Third Grade Shark Tank – Sensory Tools to Increase Student Focus/Decrease Anxiety ($2372.70)

This InstaGrant combines many of the materials advocated for by the third grade students as part of their persuasive writing unit. This InstaGrant funds a variety of materials that will be used to help students focus during both group and individual work and to reduce stress in the classroom. Materials include noise cancelling headphones, calming bottles, weighted objects and other items identified with the assistance of the Grafflin experts.

Mara Cohen’s, Laurie Ende’s, Hannah Ottman’s and Warren Whitney’s Grafflin Third Grade Classes

iPad Tripods ($2249.75/school)

This trio of InstaGrants fund the purchase of tripods to be used with iPads in each of the three elementary schools. These sets of tripods will be available for use by all Grafflin, Roaring Brook and Westorchard classroom and specials teachers and will enhance the ability of students to use iPads for presentation and project recordings.

Mara Cohen, Third Grade Teacher, Grafflin; Josh Culwell-Block, Director of Technology and Innovation

Second Grade Noise Cancelling Headphones ($1917.60)

This InstaGrant funds the purchase of 12 noise cancelling headphones for each second grade classroom. Teachers have found that students work best when distractions are minimized and that having noise cancelling headphones available for students doing individual work is an important tool to increase student work stamina and focus.

Kathleen Wit, Sarah Alley, Second Grade Teachers, Grafflin Elementary School

Second Grade Focus Furniture ($2112.96)

This InstaGrant provides furniture, equipment and supplies for all second grade classrooms to help students reduce distractions, increase their ability to focus and create a more personalized learning environment. Children at this developmental stage work best when distractions are minimized, work areas are flexible and varied, and children have a choice about where they work best.

Carla Giacomi, Margaret Salmore, Second Grade Teachers, Grafflin Elementary School