The Lawrence Township Education Foundation presented the grant award from Church & Dwight at the November 14, 2018 Board of Education meeting. Pictured here from left to right: Kevin Van Hise (President, LTPS Board of Education); Dr. Ross Kasun (Superintendent, LTPS); Pat Devlin (LTEF Board of Trustees); Amy Davis (President, LTEF Board of Trustees); Jay Billy (Principal, Ben Franklin Elementary); Jeanne Muzi (Principal, Slackwood Elementary); Karen Faiman (Executive Director, LTEF); Kathy Robbins (Principal, Eldridge Park School); Melissa Lockett (Principal, Lawrence Elementary School); and JoAnn Groeger (LTPS Board of Education).

The Lawrence Township Education Foundation recently received $10,000 from Church and Dwight to go toward the Lawrence Township Public Schools Milestone Project, a district-wide initiative to encourage children to write.

The project is a year-long book-making program that the district hopes will improve the literacy of every elementary student in the LTPS. Each student will create handmade books that chronicle important milestones in their lives, like losing a first tooth, making a friend, doing chores or going to school for the first time. Children will write, illustrate, design and publish their works.

The LTEF also recently awarded $64,000 in support of 37 programs throughout the district. The grants, awarded to district teachers and administrators, will provide funding for projects and programs that are outside of the regular budget, covering a range of disciplines including literacy, science, math, character and physical education, music and the arts.

One district-wide initiative will fund a one-day mental health training for all LTPS school counselors to support students developing signs and symptoms of a mental illness or emotional crisis.

Multiple grants were provided on the elementary level. At Lawrenceville, three grants were awarded: one to support the digital music program, one to provide iPads to second grade classrooms and one to bring sensory materials to help improve student focus. Eldridge Park received a grant for classroom sound amplification systems to enhance learning. Slackwood received three grant awards: one will fund materials to enhance the English language learning program, one will bring more culturally diverse literature to the school and one will fund a field trip to the Philadelphia Magic Gardens and a workshop to teach students how to create a mosaic mural at the school. Ben Franklin received several grants. These include a new bucket drumming program in music, the expansion of the Streamkeepers program, OSMO kits (game systems for hands-on learning play), building materials for math centers, culturally diverse literature and literature to help students foster a growth mindset. In addition, Lawrence and Ben Franklin collaborated on a project and will both receive the Avengers Hero Inventor Kit from littleBits for the Makerspace programs at the schools.

At Lawrence Intermediate School, students will benefit from 11 grant projects. These projects include the addition of Google Expeditions, a replenishment of materials for the sensory lending library, a music program that will connect students to local musicians, learning about the magic of the Monarch Butterfly, materials and professional development to improve math instruction and the publication of an anthology of short stories by sixth grade students. In addition, one grant will give all LIS students and staff the opportunity to paint a “Kindness Rock” that will be placed around the school in an effort to promote both character education and school spirit.

Lawrence Middle School students will benefit from new wireless microphones in the LMS auditorium, equipment and materials for students to produce their own spirit gear, a field trip to the X-Stem Conference in Washington, D.C., an assembly about the Human Body presented by the Franklin Institute and new televisions in the technology room to improve students’ ability to see demonstrations.

LIS, LMS and LHS students will also take part in a series of masterclasses with a Jazz Fest guest clinician. In addition, a collaboration between LIS and LMS will give string players the opportunity to work with a LTPS alumni Jason Bembry to create an original composition.

Lawrence High School students will see the addition of some alternative seating options to increase student focus and reduce behavioral issues. In addition, LHS will benefit from new headset microphones to enhance theater performances and Keegan Cooperative Learning discussion chips and foam dice which will offer differentiated means of instruction and increase student engagement in learning. Additionally, a new program will connect character building and athletics in order to create a culture where athletes can grow, be challenged and have fun while participating in LHS athletics. Finally, special education students at LMS and LHS students will take a trip to the Philadelphia Zoo.

Since 1992, LTEF has funded over 750 programs in the Lawrence schools with grants in excess of $3.6 million. For a complete list of the grants, along with more information on LTEF and ways to support the foundation, visit ltefnj.org or email info@ltefnj.org.