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N.E.E.D. Awards Five Grants for Norton Schools

Over $12,000 distributed to town schools.

Gretchen Stalters, president of the Norton Embracing Educational Development (N.E.E.D.) organization announced that $12,330 in grants has been awarded to five different programs at Norton Public Schools.

Those five programs include $60 speakers for Kent Taylor’s classroom; $493 in books that promote special needs awareness at ; $1,625 in iPods, headphones and downloadable audio books to provide a balanced literary program at Solmonese using new technology; $8,052 for two SMART Boards will be used in sixth grade classrooms at ; and $2,100 in responsive classroom training for teachers at Solmonese.

Kristin Kefor’s first grade class made Stalters a poster thanking N.E.E.D. for the grant that will supply Solmonese with responsive classroom training. This program addresses daily discussion of social needs of the children and teachers are trained on using interactive modeling, positive teacher language, morning meetings with the kids to discuss social issues and more.

NEED was formed by Kathy Voegtlin in 2004 out of concern for education quality given recent budget restrictions. Voegtlin has since died of cancer, but the group still strives to carry on their collective goal of giving back to the schools. The NEED Grant Review Committee evaluates and prioritizes applications received, and collectively determines which grants will be awarded. Individual NEED grants do not exceed $3,500.

The money comes from two or three fundraisers each year including Artwork for Education in which student art is turned into merchandise for sale. This year they raised $5,155 by doing this. Every May they also do Thank A Teacher where people donate $5 to donate in honor of an educator.

The NEED organization includes Angel Doyle, Donna Ross, Rachael O’Neil, Beth Blakeley and Sheila Mackie.

Since 2008, about $40,000 has been distributed to Norton programs.

“I’m just glad we can do it,” Stalters said.

For more information about joining the organization, grants or to download a grant application, visit www.NortonNEED.com or email NortonNEED@gmail.com.  Applications are also available at superintendent Dr. Patricia Ansay’s office.

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