CWC Education Foundation Awards Teacher Grants

Everything from new white boards to foam-a lins will be purchased by teachers with the help of grant money.

The Caldwell-West Caldwell Education Foundation (CWCEF) has awarded nearly $10,000 in teacher mini and extraordinary grants for the 2011-2012 school year.

Eighteen grants were awarded to teachers and staff at each of the six schools in the Caldwell-West Caldwell School District.

Grants will be used to purchase new technology, such as Kindles, iClickers and interactive white boards, as well as pay for author visits, music equipment to aid with lessons for younger students, tools that enable the Environmental Club to maintain the high school courtyard, a student-mentoring program and more.

“The increase in the number and scope of the grants this year was both exciting and an indication of the times,” stated Marie Lanfrank, CWCEF chairperson, in a press release. “The teachers really have some innovative ideas on how to teach the children the required skills, but in a fun or less tedious way.”

According to the district, the foundation received 28 applications, several which were multi-teacher grants. The number of applications tripled since last year and the CWCEF was able to award twice as many grants for 2011-2012.

“We like the idea that the teachers are working together to determine the best tools and approaches for their classrooms,” added Lanfrank. “The joint applications show us that the children throughout a particular grade will all benefit from the same grant, and in many cases children in these classes will benefit from the grant for the next several years.”

One of the things the Foundation considers when reviewing a grant is how long of an impact will what’s being requested have on the students or school.

“If the process suggested or tools asked for in a grant application will not be used again and again, then the grant has to be for something that will have a lasting effect on a large number of students,” stated Maryann Campion, chairperson of the Foundation’s grant committee.

“One such event was a to Lincoln Elementary School last year,” stated Lanfrank. “We partially funded the visit from Bridges, knowing it was a one-time event, but the impact on the students will last a lifetime.

Below is list of grant recipients broken down by school. 



Ms. Wenger – iClickers

Mr. Marone – Molecular Protein Analysis Supplies

Ms. Browne- Tools and Supplies for upkeep of high school courtyard (partially funded)

Ms. Keil – Student Mentoring Program 


Mr. Rush (media specialist) – 3 Kindles and 17 e-Books


Ms. Stigliano – Author Visit (partially funded)

Ms. Credico – Franklin Any Book Reader

Ms. Berkman – Mobi-View Interactive White Board

Ms. Bardes – Mobi-View Interactive White Board

Ms. Donlin –  Mobi-View Interactive White Board

Ms. Monk/Ms. Jiuliano – Environmental Center Outreach Amazing Waters Program


Ms. Vecchione/Ms. Zevin – 12 MP3/4 Players with accessories

Ms. Stevens/Ms. Greier/Ms. Burns – 3 Computer Tablets and accessories


Ms. Dean/Ms. Zeman – Medals for Fitness Marathon (partially funded)

Ms. Anderson/Ms. Maisano – 25 Magnetic Alphabet Boards and Tiles


Ms. O’Brian – World Book Web Subscription

Ms. Minardi – Cultural Arts Enhancement - Art Supplies & Books


Mr. Downey – Foam-a lin (foam) Violins and Mock Bows (Wilson and Jefferson Schools)

For more information on the Caldwell-West Caldwell Education Foundation, or a complete listing of programs, services and grant information, visit the new website at www.cwcef.org.

Amy August 04, 2011 at 06:15 PM
Congrats to the teachers who applied for these grants! Thanks CWCEF!
Carolyne Curley August 05, 2011 at 03:14 PM
What the heck - the Foam-a-lin Violins are horrible! They cost @$20 each, perhaps the school received them for $18. If they purchase 20 that would be @$400 for FOAM VIOLINS? That will be useful for about 10 minutes and then serve no purpose. I really hope this isn't indicative of the CWC music program.
Carolyne Curley August 05, 2011 at 03:15 PM
Carolyne Curley August 05, 2011 at 03:16 PM
Why not just cut them out of cardboard. This is nuts. Isn't there anyone overseeing this?
Christine Corliss August 07, 2011 at 10:51 AM
Hi Carolyne I have worked with the Foundation grant committee in the past and know that the CWCEF funds grants based on applications, goals of the request, number of students that may benefit and more. In many cases, teachers are trying something new to help with an existing situation, and in others trying something used by another teacher or district where the proposed grant solution worked well. The teacher requesting the foam-a-lins is well-respected, and I would guess that the Foundation was impressed with both the creativity, the potential benefits and the continuing support and involvement of the music department to keep children involved in music. At the end of the grant program, the grant writer must also submit a grant evaluation to the Foundation letting them know if the grant was successful, what worked, what didn't work, and future plans. If the Foam-a-lins are not successful, they will hear at that point and will know not to fund them in the future. If they do work, however, the Foundation will have helped teachers find a successful and cost-effective way to get more children involved in music. I know that as a lover of music you will enourage all of our music teachers in their endeavors to keep music alive in our children.
Carolyne Curley August 08, 2011 at 02:41 PM
Hi Christine - thanks for responding. I wouldn't dream of encouraging a musician to waste time or money on foam instruments. That's a great way to turn kids off from music forever. You're right on creativity, though - they'll be using those foam violins for bats or boomerangs. No way should that have been approved. Total scam.
Michael August 16, 2011 at 04:30 PM
I can understand why, at first glance, it may seem that foam violins are a waste of money. However, I think one of the main reasons a music teacher would apply for such a grant is because musical instruments are expensive and young children do not treat them as such - they drop them or accidentally bang them into things (but hopefully they don't use them as bats or boomerangs). I have never heard of foamalins before now, but they actually seem like a great way to prevent damage to expensive instruments, thus saving money.


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