Spirits were high at Arlington Education Foundation’s annual fundraiser on November 25th as all those gathered celebrated innovations in education within Arlington’s public schools. AEF Board members, supporters, guests and grant recipients shared a lively evening recognizing AEF’s work. The event raised $9,380 for the foundation. All funds raised will directly support AEF’s work supporting and advancing public education in Arlington.

Through its offerings of grants, AEF enhances the educational experience of teachers and students by empowering teachers, school staff, and administrators to design innovative projects and initiatives, which in turn empower students as they grow and learn to think in new ways. AEF’s motto captures these goals:  Educate. Innovate. Empower.  

Evidence of AEF’s work was on display through numerous presentations of recently awarded grants that are now up-and-running in the schools.  The grants presented highlighted the wide variety of projects funded by AEF and included the following:  

  • Safe and Supportive Schools – Sara Burd (District Wide)
  • Social Justice Project Block – Rebecca Hawk, Ziaquian Goode-Morris and Kirsten Silverman (Gibbs)
  • Crafting Minds: Targeted Reading Intervention Training – Kate Peretz (Hardy)
  • Storytelling Residency at Thompson – Jeanne Orlando and Tonja Bishop (Thompson), Norah Dooley (storyteller) 
  • Latin Independent Reading – Abbi Holt (OMS)
  • Mobile and Flexible Digital Investigations – John Macuk (AHS)
  • Wellness Day – Andrea Razi and Jess Klau (AHS)
  • Trip to Smithsonian Air & Space Museum – Brandy Whitney (OMS)
  • Summer Math Leadership Program at Mount Holyoke – Sonya Connelly (Thompson)  

Each year, the AEF Board chooses one Innovation in Education Grant to be designated as that year’s Dawn Moses Memorial Innovation Grant.  This award pays tribute to the legacy of former AEF Board member Dawn Moses who served on the board from 2005 to 2012 when she passed away. Dawn especially advocated for sustainable, student-centered grants that encompass alternative ways of learning.  These values are embodied by the 2019 Dawn Award-winning grant “Storytelling in Residence” written by parent Tonja Bishop and teacher Jeanne Orlando of the Thompson School. This innovation grant teaches public speaking and the art of storytelling to all Thompson students with Norah Dooley, project director of Stories Live.

The evening featured three guest speakers, Matt Coleman, Director of Mathematics K-12; Terry Dash, Ottoson Middle School computer science teacher; and Sam Hoyo, Director of Science K-12.

Want to help support AEF’s work in the Arlington Public Schools? Donate now.