The ESM Education Foundation provides grants to ESM Staff to enhance the educational experience of ESM students. If you'd like to apply for a grant, submit the application by  11/5/21.

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If you are a potential donor, and would like to learn about funded grants, please look below for grant recipients.

 - Past Funded Projects - 



Brazil: A Changing Land of Sight, Sound and Movement is Minoa Elementary’s effort to breathe new life into the third grade social studies unit on Brazil through a visiting musician. The $600 grant will be used to highlight the arts by integrating them with classroom learning to support core curriculum. The focal point of this project is the creation of “Sound Boxes,” a tool that Syracuse musician Edward Ruchalski has developed to increase sensory experience around a topic. The boxes are collections of visual and auditory elements that will be arranged within a box. Mr. Ruchalski will bring his own instruments handmade from recycled materials to encourage creative solutions. Connections will be drawn to Brazil’s many environmental concerns, and thus the benefits of using recycled materials. The unit will incorporate third grade social studies, science, English language arts, visual arts and music in interdisciplinary fashion. Minoa Art Teacher Christy Sanzaro is the grant project leader. 

The Fremont Playhouse will use its $675 grant to present “The Best Little Theater in Town.” The goal of the project is to increase student achievement and participation in the theater arts though a collaboration of teachers, parents and students. Students will take part in all aspects of musical theater production including acting, singing, choreography, sound production, staging and set design in preparation for a public performance in the high school auditorium. In addition, students will benefit from the opportunity for project-based learning that incorporates 21st century skill building in creativity, innovation and collaboration. Thomas Decker, Fremont Music Teacher is the grant project leader. 

Winning Wednesdays will enhance East Syracuse Elementary’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support Program (PBIS) using a $1,000 ESMEF grant. ESE students earn “Cheetah Paw Prints” for demonstrating respect, responsibility and safety in school and on the bus. Each Wednesday, a Paw Print with a name from each grade level is drawn for a prize and one monthly prize winner is drawn. The grant will allow more students—36 per week—to receive incentive rewards. Winning students will come to the “Winners Circle” to collect their incentives. Pictures of the student winners will be displayed on the Wall of Fame in the Character Education hallway. In addition, this grant will allow ESE to recognize parent volunteers and other adults, including staff, who provide additional support to students during and after school. Student Council members will help, which will foster youth leadership roles. Principal Pat Charboneau is the grant project leader on behalf of the school. 

Motivating and Instructing Students with Flip/Pocket Video is a $975 grant for Minoa Elementary. This grant will provide a set of flip or pocket video cameras to actively engage and motivate students in activities that develop higher-level thinking skills, collaboration and motivational skills throughout all areas of the curriculum. The video cameras will allow teachers to create 21st century learning opportunities for students through grade-appropriate lessons. Existing lessons are also readily available on the Internet. Potential uses in the classroom include website presentations, sharing information and celebrations with parents and students, self-evaluation activities, podcasts and using them on field trips. Paul Kaczanowicz is the grant project leader, but all Minoa teachers will be able to use the cameras for their classes. 

ESM’s first Festival of Nations was held March 3, 2010 with assistance from a $1,000 ESMEF grant. The event exceeded expectations as attendees visited booths representing 18 countries and regions and enjoyed cultural food, crafts and authentic entertainment. The goal of the festival was to celebrate the diversity of the ESM District while promoting tolerance, awareness and understanding of other cultures and languages. It was held during National Foreign Language Week. Exhibits representing the nations/regions surrounded an area for live entertainment in the center of the gymnasium at the high school. Parents, students and staff contributed to the development of each exhibit. Doug Morhorter, associate principal, and Darlene Baker, DECA advisor, were the grant project leaders. 

The Book Cooks program at Minoa was developed from a cookbook for young children titled "Book Cooks: Literature-based Classroom Cooking" by Janet Bruno. This $1,050 grant will be used to teach students in grades 1-5 at Minoa Elementary that they can eat healthier by learning about and incorporating the love of books with the actual hands on preparation of food. In 2007-2008, ESM initiated a wellness program to promote healthier lifestyles. This grant will expose students to different kinds of healthy food experiences that they may not have otherwise. As young people are struggling with the problem of obesity nationwide, this after-school program will teach students how to make better food choices in a small group setting. The books will be resources to help students come up with new ideas for food choices, which in turn will promote the love of reading. This program is beneficial to Minoa’s students because they are being taught life skills. Field trips are planned to Wegman’s and Joey’s Restaurant and students will showcase what they have learned in May for parents and staff. Tina Nabinger, Minoa’s Library Media Specialist, is the grant project leader.