GRANTS FUNDED 2022-2023

Sensory Walk at Highcrest


Type of Grant Requested                 School-wide Initiative

School                                        Highcrest

Grade Level(s)                        K-6

Number of Students Impacted        475

Timeframe of Project                             ongoing

Dollar Amount Requested                $ 200.00

Dollar Amount Given                        $200.00


My special services team and I are requesting a grant to purchase materials to create a sensory walk for a hallway at our school. A sensory walk includes a variety of decals that are placed on the floor and walls to create a path with a variety of movement activities. For example, lilypads for the students to hop on, logs to balance on, bear paws to bear walk on, animal prints for wall push-ups, etc. These motor breaks are research-based and provide opportunities for students to move, stretch and get sensory input, which can help to improve attention, concentration, and overall physical and emotional well-being. Studies have indicated that sensory paths can also help students develop motor skills, such as balance, hand-eye coordination, and spatial awareness to name a few. When utilized by pairs or small groups of students, it provides opportunities to build social skills such as turn-taking, compromise, and teamwork. A sensory walk can be used in a variety of areas and does not need to be extensive, which is helpful when space is limited. A sensory path can be utilized by an entire class during a transition, by one student, or by a small group of students. It's a great alternative to use during inclement weather or when other options (sensory room, gym) are not available. It is a tool that can be used by students of any age in our elementary school. Most of all, sensory walks provide an opportunity for fun and play, which after all, is what being a kid is all about!


Building Fact Fluency: Math Bundles


Type of Grant Requested                 School-wide Initiative

School                                        Highcrest

Grade Level(s)                        K-5

Number of Students Impacted        approximately 20 to start

Timeframe of Project                             yearly implementation

Dollar Amount Requested                $1,141.00

Dollar Amount Given                        $1,141.00


Funds awarded through the WEF grant would be used to purchase the Building Fact Fluency: Addition & Subtraction + Multiplication & Division Bundles. The materials are to be used for students in SRBI and small groups based on their understanding of fact strategies and flexibility with numbers. The cost outlined above includes both kits. These toolkits, by Graham Fletcher and Tracy Zager, help students learn their math facts by developing deep, conceptual understanding and procedural fluency at the same time. This comprehensive, research-based toolkit provides everything needed to help students develop number sense on the way to fluency—from cards, games, and videos to online resources, a facilitator’s guide, and hundreds of highly-engaging activities and tasks. Students will be able to see how number facts connect to a wide variety of mathematical situations, problems, and contexts and build a foundation of strategies they can draw from efficiently.



Math Fluency Toolkits


Type of Grant Requested                 Classroom Innovation Grant

School                                        Emerson-Williams, Webb, Hanmer, Charles Write

Grade Level(s)                        k-6

Number of Students Impacted        whole school

Timeframe of Project                             Next school year

Dollar Amount Requested                $1,131.42

Dollar Amount Given Each School        $1,132.00


This toolkit will help students learn their math facts by developing deep, conceptual understanding and procedural fluency at the same time. This comprehensive, research-based toolkit provides everything an educator needs to help students develop number sense on the way to fluency—from cards, games, and videos to online resources, a facilitator’s guide, and hundreds of highly-engaging activities and tasks.



Books that Celebrate Diversity!


Type of Grant Requested                 School-wide Initiative

School                                        Highcrest

Grade Level(s)                        K-6

Number of Students Impacted        Entire Highcrest School

Timeframe of Project                              Diverse Texts to Enhance Classroom Libraries and Highcrest Bookroom

Dollar Amount Requested                 $ 1,500.00

Dollar Amount Given                        $1,500.00


In order to strengthen our district's priority focus on equity, we would like to support our classrooms and whole school bookroom with more diverse texts that better represent our student population and honor the unique cultures and diversity within our building. The staff was pleasantly surprised to learn that there are fourteen different languages spoken by students at Highcrest School and became eager to discuss ways to foster this realization within their classrooms. As a result of this and other courageous conversations with staff on race, gender, and equity, we would like to be able to purchase more texts that celebrate the diverse races, gender identities, and various family structures of the students at our school. We hope to ensure our students and staff have access to picture and chapter books, along with shared texts that mirror students’ identities and/or become windows for students to better appreciate and understand other cultures, races, and perspectives. The need for new resources to support this work is great. In general, this request also supports the need for more books for all of our students post-pandemic, as we return to reading less online and focus on supporting students reading stamina and growth within texts.


Math Games for Game-based Learning in the Classroom


Type of Grant Requested                 Classroom Innovation Grant

School                                        Highcrest

Grade Level(s)                        5

Number of Students Impacted        75

Timeframe of Project                             School year

Dollar Amount Requested                $ 455.16

Dollar Amount Given                        $456.00


HC Engaging mathematical games encourage students to explore number combinations, place value, patterns, and other important mathematical concepts. Playing games encourages strategic mathematical thinking as students find different strategies for solving problems and deepen their understanding of numbers.   Prime Climb involves using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.   The game involves luck and skill and is a fun way to practice math facts.   Because of the color-coded spaces, the game allows students who have not yet mastered their math facts to discover the answers to their math problems.  Racko is a strategy game that uses the skill of comparing and ordering numbers. Four students may play at a time.     Sumoko is great for mental math.  It is a crossword-style numbers game that asks students to seek out combinations of numbers that add up to the multiples of the key number.   It allows for both addition and multiplication practice.   Triminoes is my favorite of all math games!   Due to the nature of the game, it requires students to master the life skills of communication, teamwork, and critical thinking.   Students must use their number sense, pattern recognition skills, and strategy to win at this exciting game.  

Potter’s Wheel for “The Empty Bowl Project”


Type of Grant Requested                 Classroom Innovation Grant

School                                        Webb

Grade Level(s)                        K-6

Number of Students Impacted        aprox. 300 students

Timeframe of Project                              2022-23 school year and beyond

Dollar Amount Requested                  $ 1,550.00

Dollar Amount Given                        $1,550.00


In previous years, elementary art teachers have been participating in an initiative called “The Empty Bowl Project”. The Empty Bowl Project is an international project to fight hunger that started 27 years ago in a High School ceramics class in Michigan. It is personalized by artists and art organizations on a community level with each event being self-developed and independent. Utilizing a Keane Foundation Grant, we were able to successfully start the program in Wethersfield. The art teachers had student volunteers from all 5 schools who took on the responsibility of selling the bowls to people attending the district-wide art show. We followed that fundraiser with a second sale at the Mayor’s Ball. When both sales were over, a donation of $1,256 went to the Wethersfield Food Pantry. The students (as well as adults) had such a sense of pride and accomplishment, knowing we truly helped to make a difference.


In order to enhance this project at my school, we would need to invest in some equipment. We have very minimal potter supplies, which limited the types of bowls we were able to create for this fundraiser. I am asking for some basic equipment that will allow my students to further participate in the project, be able to create a larger number of bowls to sell for this fundraiser, as well as exposure to new and different pottery techniques. I am asking for a potter’s wheel which is a brand new piece of equipment for the art room. This will allow all students to explore the world of wheel throwing, where we were limited to hand-building before.


VR Headsets for Immersive Learning


Type of Grant Requested                 Classroom Innovation Grant

School                                        Charles Wright

Grade Level(s)                        K-6

Number of Students Impacted        50-60

Timeframe of Project                             Throughout the school year

Dollar Amount Requested                $1,500.00

Dollar Amount Given                        $1,500.00


The proposed program is to purchase VR headsets and compatible smartphones to use with English Learner (EL) students. Wethersfield has the privilege of serving students from very diverse backgrounds. As such, we have a high population of EL students, many of whom have parents who are recent immigrants to the U.S. An integral part of language learning is through authentic experiences that engage the learner in using a new language and provide multiple means of representation for a target concept. Through VR technology I will be able to provide an incredibly engaging way for students to interact with and retain academic English.

Our district EL curriculum provides a wide array of topics and text genres for every elementary grade. There are thematic units within the curriculum that covers topics such as national landmarks, space exploration, environmental conservation, historical figures, important inventions, and American immigration. How great of a lesson hook would it be for students to first “explore” a coral reef through VR before reading and learning about the fragile ecosystem? What kinds of thoughts and emotions would go through students’ minds as they “visit” Ellis Island and stand at Lady Liberty’s feet? The curriculum connections are as vast as the internet allows. I will also be happy to collaborate with classroom teachers in integrating VR into their lessons as well.  


Books in Many Languages


Type of Grant Requested                 School-wide Initiative

School                                        Hamner

Grade Level(s)                        K-6

Number of Students Impacted        55+

Timeframe of Project                             June - October 2022

Dollar Amount Requested                $1,500.00

Dollar Amount Given                        $1,500.00


I am looking to purchase books in other languages to support the many EL students in our school. I believe in order to promote equity amongst our students and to boost social and emotional learning for our EL students it is imperative that we have a wide variety of books available to them in their native languages. I want to purchase books that are for pleasure reading, that highlight and teach SEL lessons as well as books that introduce and explain holidays in students' home language. I would like to create an EL library (books, shelving, bins, labels, etc,)  where all staff members and students can find and engage in books that help support a greater understanding of a student and their home life and culture. Imagine the excitement when a student realizes that our school has books just for them! Beyond anything else, I want to create a community of inclusivity and acceptance.


Makerspace Challenges for Hands-On Learning


Type of Grant Requested                 School-wide Initiative

School                                        Webb

Grade Level(s)                        pre-k to sixth grade

Number of Students Impacted        approximately 300

Timeframe of Project                             2022-2023 school year and beyond

Dollar Amount Requested                 $ 1,000.00

Dollar Amount Given                        $1,000.00


We have a new Makerspace that is a collaborative workspace within our school that is a dedicated space where both classes and small groups can access pre-k through grade six. Students can participate in hands-on challenges and tasks designed for their grade and/or group. This grant would allow us to purchase materials that will be housed and utilized in this space. This space will help prepare our students for the critical 21st-century skills of science, technology, engineering, art, and math. This will promote creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking skills. Our Makerspace will challenge students to create and learn through hands-on experiences, and provide the opportunity to innovate, problem-solve, and be real-life engineers. This space would allow teachers to create customizable cross-curricular lessons. This would align perfectly with our NGSS standards.


“One School, One Book” The World According to Humphrey


Type of Grant Requested                 School-wide Initiative

School                                        Charles Wright

Grade Level(s)                        K-6

Number of Students Impacted        276 (approximately)

Timeframe of Project                             4 weeks

Dollar Amount Requested                $ 1,000.00

Dollar Amount Given                        $1,000.00


“One School, One Book” The World According to Humphrey initiative at Charles Wright Elementary School. This literacy experience would include both at-home and in-school activities.  We would select a single title for all grades, and every student would be provided a copy of that book.  Students would follow a nightly reading schedule at home to complete the book. Older students could read the book independently or with a family member. Younger students would be read aloud to by a parent, guardian, or older sibling. There would also be a digital link of a staff member reading each chapter for those who need access. At school, events such as trivia games, projects, and “visits” by characters from the book would occur to help promote interest and engagement in the book.

Such a program would provide many benefits.  For one, it creates a “buzz” and excitement around reading.  It also builds a sense of community among the students, staff, and parents, who are all sharing the experience from a single book.  Most importantly, it will help improve the literacy skills among the students: research shows that reading aloud to students helps build their vocabularies, listening comprehension, and overall confidence about reading. Participating in this program at the start of the school year would help to engage students in reading and build their social and conversational skills, which will set a positive tone for the remainder of the school year.

Happy Hands Fine Motor Kits


Type of Grant Requested                 District-wide Initiative

School                                        All Schools

Grade Level(s)                        K-1/2, Middle/High School/Transition (to be determined) Special Ed students

Number of Students Impacted        Up to 20 elementary school K-1/2 classrooms and 1-6 middle school/high school/transition students

Timeframe of Project                              2022-23 School Year

Dollar Amount Requested                  $ 650.00

Dollar Amount Given                        $650.00


District-Wide, many students in the early elementary school grades are presenting with decreased hand strength in the face of increased school demands. I am requesting a grant to create 20 “Happy Hands” Fine Motor kits that could be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis to K-1(possibly gr. 2) classrooms and special education teachers throughout the district.  These kits would consist of 4 tennis ball “puppets” requiring students to squeeze the corners of the puppet’s mouth in order to open the mouths and “feed” the puppets small manipulatives.  The goal is to build strength and stamina for classroom tool use (markers, pencils, crayons, scissors) while also supporting literacy and math skills. For example, students could be asked to spell a sight word with letter tiles or roll numbers and color dice, and count out manipulatives to feed the puppets. The Happy Hands Kits offer an opportunity for district-wide collaborative and creative learning between older and younger students as well as between the occupational therapists and the teachers.  Teachers can use their creativity to expand on kit offerings by using their own manipulatives (i.e. coins, math counters, etc.) during lessons as well.