CSF Grant Recipients

Named after one of CSF's founding members, Janet Wells, the award recognizes faculty, based on community nominations, who demonstrate a commitment to educational innovation by bringing transformative learning experiences to the students of Chappaqua's schools.

Eileen Kenna, a previous innovator of the year award recipient, presented the awards to Diane and Justin. She said, in part, "I also have grown as an educator by the incredible colleagues I come into contact with every day. They push my boundaries of what I think is possible because of their innovations. Diane Madaio and Justin Olive are perfect examples of innovative teachers who affect not only their students but their colleagues. Their work is like ripples in the water, spreading innovation across the District."

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"I am proud to say that since our founding in 1993, CSF has invested nearly $4 million dollars in our schools and funded over 325 grants impacting every school, every grade and every student," said Jillian Pohly, CSF President. "Most of all, we want to thank our fantastic teachers for your dedication and enthusiasm for teaching. Your energy and passion to seek innovation in our schools and your commitment to teaching our students are why we celebrate you today." To learn more about their work or to make a donation, please visit www.chappaquaschoolfoundation.org.

2018 Traditional Grants


Elementary Art Displays  ($14,435.00)
Covers three multi-touch display monitors to be placed in the art classroom in each of the elementary schools. These monitors will facilitate the further development of STEAM curriculum for students across the district in grades K-4 and will facilitate student collaboration as they will allow students to easily show and share their work.

Joshua Culwell-Block, Director of Technology and Innovation; Braken Feldman, Sarah Curry, Elizabeth Rose, Art Teachers, Roaring Brook Elementary School, Westorchard Elementary School, Grafflin Elementary School

Digital Learning Initiative  ($316,785)
The result of a unique partnership between CSF and the CCSD to develop and fund a 1 to 1 digital learning initiative to be implemented in all third and fourth grade classrooms at each elementary school. This CSF grant funds hardware, software and professional development which are essential to the success of this exciting initiative.

Joshua Culwell-Block, Director of Technology and Innovation


Google Jamboards  ($13,996.00)
The Google Jamboard is a mobile display board that allows students to collaborate, easily and seamlessly, in-person, on a document, presentation, video production, or research project. Jamboards were only released by Google in May 2017; Greeley will be the second school to use this cutting edge technology in our geographic area. This grant funds the purchase of two Google Jamboards which will support project based learning and small group instruction in the L-building across the English and Social Studies departments.

Joshua Culwell-Block, Director of Technology and Innovation; Daniel Valentin, English Teacher, Horace Greeley High School

Cintiq Tablets for Greeley Art Lab Studio 5  ($35,110.68)
The result of a collaborative process among Greeley art students and art faculty who recognized the need for additional digital capability for art classes at Greeley. This grant funds a full class set of Cintiq tablets which will be used to equip the existing computers in Art Lab Studio 5, giving access to digital equipment to students in Drawing 1,2,3 and 4, Visual Dynamics, Photography 1, Fashion Design and Industrial Design. Access to Cintiqs will allow these students to learn how to use digital tools, enhance their digital drawing skills and to create drawings and visual prototypes which they can revise and refine.

Louise Brady, Art Department Chair; Sarah Kugelmas, on behalf of Horace Greeley art students

Greeley Dynamic Fitness Center  ($50,000.00)
Part of a larger project to refurbish and renovate the current weight room at Greeley.  CSF is pleased to partner with the District to replace antiquated fitness and weight equipment as part of the redesign of the current weight room.  Funds from this grant will provide equipment to support the physical education curriculum at the high school. This equipment will be utilized by all 9th grade physical education students and upperclassmen enrolled in specific physical education electives.  

Jason Semo, Athletic Director, Steve McLees, Athletic Trainer, Horace Greeley High School


Outdoor Courtyard Classroom  ($19,861.30)
Bell Middle School will use tables, chairs, and other equipment to establish an outdoor classroom in the courtyard.  The Bell Student Leadership, comprised of representatives from the 5th through 8th grades, initiated this application with the help of faculty and administrators.  Teachers at all levels will be adapting curriculum units to use this new space.

Bell Student Leadership Council and advisors Justin Olive and Meredith Green

Mobile Production Cart for Project Based Presentation Recordings  ($22,757.55)
Provide multimedia recording equipment that will help students design,create, narrate their work process and present final projects in project based learning units. Students will be able to record video, sound and use animation to produce, edit, share and reflect on their academic work. The equipment includes cameras, lighting, microphones, laptops, ipads, greenscreen, and other support equipment.

Amanda McDonough, Art Teacher; Sharon Wiggins, Library Media Specialist; Elizabeth Sovern, Family and Consumer Science Teacher; Gina Serafin, Music Teacher; Bell Middle School

Tertia Brook Field Study Equipment  ($8,866.00)
Upgrade and improve the 8th grade science cumulative, end-of-year ecological/environmental study of Tertia Brook (located near Bell Middle School). The grant allows the 8th grade science teachers to replace out-of-date equipment with updated equipment having additional capabilities and increased accuracy, allowing students to have more technological opportunities in scientific study and observation of the ecosystem.

Patrick Liu and Annie Madden, Science Teachers, Bell Middle School

Everblock Design System  ($7,904.46)
Funds the purchase of EverBlocks –  modular, oversized plastic blocks that facilitate the construction of all types of objects – and storage carts to allow these blocks to be stored and used by a variety of Bell teachers. These blocks are ideal for collaborative building and engineering projects and will allow students to build full scale, reliable, weight-bearing structures for advanced STEAM work. Use of the blocks will deeply enrich problem based learning and cross curricular units by creating opportunities for students to have hands-on, problem solving experiences.

Jessica Sansevera and Sarah Geronimo, Science Teachers; Megan Barnes, Math Teacher; Amanda McDonough, Art Teacher,  Bell Middle School

Outdoor Science Study  ($7,296.00)
Funds science equipment and portable tables to create an outdoor study area/classroom for Seven Bridges students. This grant fosters a more active, collaborative and hands on learning experience as it will allow for deeper experiences as part of the seventh grade science program looking at the ecological and environmental impact of invasive species in the natural settings of the Seven Bridges school yard.

Nancy Soliz and Kathleen Kuczma, Science, Seven Bridges Middle School


Recording Studio  ($7,025.68)
Grafflin will use this grant to convert an existing space into a multimedia studio with recording equipment. Students will be use this studio to create a variety of presentations and projects, including voice-overs, recording of musical performances, electronic music, sound effects and podcasts and audio books.The recording studio will align with the curriculum embracing STEAM/Makerspaces and recognizes that presentation, peer feedback and reflection are important aspects of the learning and design process.

Elizabeth Rose, Art; Steve Listengart, Music; and Ellen Paradiso, Library Media Specialist, Grafflin Elementary School

Tools for Differentiated Learning  ($18,495.50)
Emerged from a working group of teachers and administrators at Grafflin Elementary School studying ways to engage and motivate students and to allow for more targeted, personalized instruction in their classrooms. This grant will pilot the transformation of teaching and learning in three Grafflin classrooms (one second and two fourth grade) through the use of software programs, cameras to record lessons and iPads (Grade 2 iPads covered in this grant, Grade 4 iPads covered in the District 1:1 Digital Learning grant).  These tools will enable teachers to personalize instruction by differentiating the content to the pace of their students.

Margaret Salmore, Second Grade Teacher; Dana House and Marina Comblo, Fourth Grade Teachers; Jamie Edelman, Principal, Grafflin Elementary School

2017-2018 InstaGrants


Engagement in Physics/Chemistry/Astronomy With Telescopes  ($2,483.45)
Funds the purchase of affordable telescopes to be used initially in the LIFE School science classes to enhance the curriculum and afford students the ability for first hand observation of concepts discussed in class. This pilot will also help  to inform work around the possibility of work on the Observatory at Horace Greeley.

Priya Ma, Science Teacher, Ari Silver, Student, Horace Greeley High School

Piano Keyboards and Headphones for Music Theory  ($1,052)
Equips the Greeley music classroom with a set of 15 Casio keyboards and headphones. This equipment will allow Music Theory students to gain keyboarding skills, allow students to progress from concept to creation and will foster active learning.

Raymond Lucia, Kathleen Feldman, Maureen Callan, Music Department, Horace Greeley High School

VEX Robotics  ($2,099.98)
The VEX Robotics design system is used around the world to teach students classic STEM concepts with hands on, project-based learning opportunities. By adding VEX robotics kits to the robotics curriculum at Greeley, this InstaGrant will allow students to design, build and test concepts which address a much wider variety of real world problems.

Mike DeBellis, Science and Technology Teacher, Horace Greeley High School

Fischertechnik Kits for Physics  ($2,470.34)
Already used successfully in technology and design classes, the addition of these kits to physics classes will allow for the addition of four labs to the class curriculum. These kits lend themselves well to illustrating physics concepts such as forces, circuits and energy and will allow students to do hands on work to better understand physics principles.

Paul Bianchi, Science Teacher, Horace Greeley High School


Crescent and Cog Collaborative Math Tables  ($2,309.97)
Funds the purchase of three sets of mobile crescent and cog collaborative tables with white board tops. These tables will promote student collaborative work in a 5th grade math classroom.

Danielle Cohen, Tricia Greco, Seven Bridges Middle School

Club Comfort Workshop for Fifth Grade Guidance Groups  ($240)
Club Comfort provides social and emotional learning workshops to help students learn empathy and coping skills. The Bell fifth grade guidance workshops will be participating in this program which was originally developed to support the children and families of Sandy Hook Elementary School. This InstaGrant will provide the funds necessary to purchase the supplies for students to make a plaque including words of inspiration or encouragement for someone they believe needs comfort or support.

Lisa Bisceglia, MSW and Dr. Annmarie Giannettino, Robert E. Bell Middle School

Lego EV3 Expansion Kits  ($2,390.85)
Enhances the grant awarded last year for updated EV3 robots for use in technology classes at Bell. These expansion kits (new this year) will allow students to develop robots that are more advanced and provide greater electro-mechanical agility in robot design.

Robert Raguette, Robert E. Bell Elementary School

Collaborative Whiteboard Tables – Bell 7th and 8th Grade  ($2,425.03)
Funds the purchase of eight whiteboard tables to better allow for problem solving and collaborative learning in a classroom at Robert E. Bell Middle School. This classroom is used for 7th and 8th grade Skills classes and will also be available to all 7th and 8th grade core subject teachers to use for lessons and classwork that would benefit from these more collaborative work surfaces.

Dan Perito and Jen Fleisher, Robert E. Bell Middle School

Constitution Works  ($2,295)
An end-of-year program for 7th grade social studies students at Seven Bridges to learn about the constitution in an interactive and dynamic way.

Amanda Lifschultz, Social Studies Teacher, Seven Bridges Middle School

Flexible Seating for Fifth Grade Science Classroom  ($2,301)
This furniture will allow for increased flexibility in learning in a science laboratory classroom, particularly to allow for collaborative work.

Diane Madaio, Science Teacher, Seven Bridges Middle School

"Building" a STEAM Foundation  ($2,486.56)
A request for traditional wood working tools to be used primarily by 7th grade technology students at Seven Bridges to supplement their STEAM curriculum.

Chris Stasi, Seven Bridges Middle School

Library iPad Kiosk  ($656)
This iPad and kiosk will allow students to independently identify and locate resources in the Seven Bridges library and help them to build library research skills.

Karen Baker, Seven Bridges Librarian

Orchestra Performance Evaluation – The Adjudication Project  ($2,495.49)
Arose from the collaborative efforts of the orchestra teacher and this year’s Chamber Ensemble students who identified the need for and desirability of curriculum to replicate the New York State School Music Association evaluation and adjudication process in the classroom. The materials requested will enable all students to see themselves performing, listen to their performance on higher quality sound equipment, and take their performance to the next level.  This program will document student development, foster critical thinking, enable students to speak/write well about music, provide tangible real-time assessment, and help students achieve high performance standards.

Kim Meade, Orchestra Teacher; Elvin Lo, Devisi Goel, Luke Chang, Hudson Chung, Emily Ni, Emma McCumber, Nadia Nabeel, Emily Jiang, Richard Liu, Jared Damon, Jay Kim, Justin Ng, Chamber Ensemble Students, Seven Bridges Middle School

Bell Crescent and Cog Whiteboard Math Tables  ($2,399.97)
Allow math teacher Danielle Cohen to bring the work she has done with whiteboard tables at Seven Bridges to her new classroom at Bell Middle School. The crescent and cog tables allow students to work collaboratively and to freely brainstorm, take notes and share ideas.

Danielle Cohen, Math Teacher, Robert E. Bell Middle School


Breakout EDU – A Flexible Problem Solving Platform  ($2,500)
Funded kits to allow third grade student teams to solve subject-area based problems in order to open locks and get inside a breakout box. Based off the Escape the Room concept, the kits enable students to apply different math, social studies and science concepts learned in the classroom to solve a puzzle.

Warren Whitney, Third Grade Teacher, Grafflin Elementary School

Yogibos – Grafflin Shark Tank Winner, Ms. Cohen’s 3rd Grade Class  ($972.55)
The winning result of student persuasive writing presentations for innovative classroom ideas, funds the purchase of two reclining and five mini Yogibos which will be shared among the third grade classrooms at Grafflin. The yogibos will enhance the learning environment by providing alternative seating for students as well as sensory stimulation which can help students to focus on their learning.

Mara Cohen and her 2017-2018 third grade class, Grafflin Elementary School

Westorchard Playground Stencils  ($2,300)
Funds the purchase of stencils that will be used by CCSD building and grounds personnel to enhance the newly resurfaced playground at Westorchard. These stencils will provide stimulating artwork and lines for games and other activities.

Carolyn Elwood, James Skoog, Westorchard Elementary School

Grafflin Mobile Video Production Project  ($2,296.98)
Funded the components of a mobile video production unit initially serving Grafflin third grade classrooms with the possibility of expansion to other grades. This production unit allows third grade students working with their teachers and the Grafflin librarian to create digital content to go with a variety of curricular units. This ability will enhance the curriculum and will teach the students all the skills necessary to produce digital media, a key skill set to succeed in the 21st century.

Mara Cohen, Ellen Paradiso, Grafflin Elementary School

Kindergarten Hollow Blocks  $2,450
Funds the purchase of a set of hollow blocks to pilot a program to update existing block areas in Roaring Brook kindergarten classes.

Stefanie Kandalaft, Kindergarten Teacher, Alison Porcelli, Principal Roaring Brook Elementary School

Third Grade Recess Activity Cart  $1,000
Emerging as the winning concept from Mr. Whitney’s third grade class Shark Tank persuasive writing unit, this InstaGrant funds items which foster creative problem solving, logical thinking, building and teamwork. These items will be housed on a mobile cart and will be used by third grade Grafflin students during indoor recess.

Warren Whitney’s Third Grade Class, Grafflin Elementary School

National Geographic Reach – Small Group Reading  ($1,875)
Funds 25 licenses for National Geographic Reach, a digital platform which provides content for learners in grades 1-4. This platform will be used to facilitate small group reading instruction, primarily with English as a Second Language learners and with other students who benefit from small group literacy learning.

Ellie Foundoukis, ESL Teacher, Westorchard Elementary School