Piscataway Education Foundation Awards Teacher Grants for Innovation, Collaboration and Student Engagement

The Piscataway Education Foundation (PEF) will fund nineteen teacher grants totaling close to $20,000 for the 2015-2016 school year.  Credits: Piscataway Education Foundation (PEF)


Piscataway, NJ – The Piscataway Education Foundation (PEF) will fund nineteen teacher grants totaling close to $20,000 for the 2015-2016 school year. This is the first year for the Inspire Grant Program, which offers teachers funding opportunities for programs, new technologies, and hands-on experiences that may not be covered under the annual school operating budget.

Grants were awarded to teachers spanning preschool through high school. Curriculum areas included Literacy, STEM, Fine Arts, Special Education, History, Foreign Language, ESL and Physical Education. Several grants were for cross-curricular projects or included life skills and socialization opportunities.

“We were very pleased with the educational thought behind every one of the grant proposals we received,” noted Dr. Frank Ranelli, PEF Executive Director. “We deeply appreciate our teachers, and their willingness to go above and beyond in preparing Piscataway students for their futures.”

Sign Up for E-News

The following teachers and programs will be funded by PEF Teacher Grants during the 2015-2016 school year:

Children’s Corner Preschool

Kathleen Walsh and Sonya Slyman for “Build and Maintain Garden” to create a successful, sustainable garden using organic methods, allowing students to grow plants and vegetables in a safe and sustainable manner.

Nadine Lichtenberg, Julie Trudell, Judy Sundelof,  Elaine d’Esterhazy-Hagg, Patricia Barnes, Nicole Castillo and Shannon Strauss to build a live Butterfly Garden and a live Lady Bug Land.

Eisenhower Elementary School

Amy Switkes for “Peer Buddy,” bringing the program that pairs students in our autistic population with general education students out of school, for a field trip to Stelton lanes.

Stacey Cukierski for “Headsprout,” an early reading program for Tier 3 students that provides instruction in Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, and Fluency.

Knollwood Elementary School

Isabella Metrokotsas for “Active Seating,” workspace options, including stability balls, hokki stools and standing desks.

Elizabeth Collins and Eileen Kenny for “Learning with Legos,” using visual models and hands-on exploration to teach collaborative problem solving while developing perseverance.

Donna Srouji for “ESL Conversation Materials,” to enrich and enhance the oral vocabulary and conversation skills of ELL and at-risk students.

Randolphville Elementary School

Brian Voigt for an Epson Brightlink for technology-infused instruction in math, science and social studies.

King Intermediate School

Karen Fleming for “Bringing History to Life,” enriching the Fifth Grade Social Studies Colonial Unit through work with the D&R Canal Historical Society, East Jersey Olde Towne Village, and the Cornelius Lowe House.

Irina Nikitovic for “Mural Project,” to use chalkboard/ magnetic paint for school murals, allowing the school to go green while using wall space to communicate messages, inspirational statements, group problem solving activities and more.

Lindsay DiFilippo and Jill Brown for “King Cart,” to help self-contained students gain career readiness and life skills while increasing social interactions with the general education population. Working with general education student leaders, special education students will sell items from the King Cart to the school community.

Conackamack Middle School

Dolores Taylor for “Grade 6 Making Space Craters,” hands-on science lessons that connect to the real world. Students will create craters and complete an official lab report on crater impact.

Johanna Reid, Justin Strasser and Kevin Donahue for “Resistance Band Circuit,” a new teaching strategy for health and physical education. Resistance training will be employed in general physical education as well as adaptive physical education.

Quibbletown Middle School

Carleigh Zielinski and Tara Dalgleish for “Understanding September 11,” exposing students to material beyond the classroom so they will become more cognizant of events that shape our world.

Andrew Kehoe and Beth Barbarasch to support Year One of the Quibbletown Positive Climate Multi-Year Initiative: Positive Behavior Supports and Community Room. Year One initiatives include signage and incentives for positive behavior and the creation of a Quibbletown Community Room.

Schor Middle School

Courtney Angiuli for “Reading by Flashlight,” a focused and motivational reading activity that uses creative classroom materials combined with “Active Reading Strategies” for greater focus and engagement.

Brittany Perry for “Females in STEM…or lack therof.” Benefitting female students who receive free/reduced lunch or are Mathematics Tier 3 students, offering STEM opportunities through a trip to the Liberty Science Center, with a focus on App development.

Piscataway High School

Veronica Ber for “A Taste of Spain,” bringing the Alborada dance Company to PHS for an interactive presentation of Flamenco dance and music.


About the Piscataway Education Foundation

The Piscataway Education Foundation is a non-profit, independent, charitable organization committed to establishing and maintaining a positive relationship between the Piscataway Township School district and corporate, business, community, individual and government entities. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.



TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Valeski: Placing Police Officers in Schools was Planned for Two Years

February 21, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - In the midst of a media firestorm today, Dr. Victor Valeski, East Brunswick Superintendent of Schools, fielded questions from local and national journalists regarding the placement of armed police officers inside each of the district's K-12 buildings.  The move seemed to many as a "knee-jerk" reaction to the fear generated by the massacre of ...


Christina C. Sweet (Diaz) 79 years, died Monday January 1, 2017 at Robert Wood Johnson University ...
Read more
- Nov 15, 2017
Phillip A. Petracca, also widely known as Filippo Neri in the Italian-American Radio and ...
Read more

New Brunswick and the Civil War:  The Brunswick Boys in the Great Rebellion

February 23, 2018

February 25

(Snow date 3/11)

New Brunswick and the Civil War:  The Brunswick Boys in the Great Rebellion

with local author Joanne H. Rajoppi

2:00PM – 4:00PM

TKTS: members $10, in advance $12, door $15

Limited seating - adv. registration sug.

Light refreshments included

Dutch Door Gift Shop ...

Early Cat in the Hat Visit to Piscataway Regional Day School

NJEA’s Cat In The Hat Visits PRDS

Students at the Piscataway Regional Day School (PRDS) were treated to an early visit from the New Jersey Education Association’s seven foot 'Cat in the Hat', in advance of Read Across America, the annual nationwide celebration of reading.

Wearing the traditional red and white stovepipe hat, the Cat in the Hat, (retired teacher, Marie ...

Trees Have Sex? Rutgers Researchers Have All the Answers

New Brunswick, NJ - A few years ago, Rutgers researcher Jennifer Blake-Mahmud was working on a botany project in Virginia when colleagues pointed out a striped maple, a common tree in the understory of mountain forests from Nova Scotia to Georgia. 

“They told me, ‘We think it switches sex from year to year, but we don’t know why,’ and I said, ‘No ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, February 24, 2:00 PM

Metlar-Bodine House Museum, Piscataway

New Brunswick and the Civil War:  The Brunswick ...

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, February 24, 2:00 PM

Edison High School Auditorium, Edison

Free community viewing of "BAG IT" - Award ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Sat, February 24, 4:00 PM

American Legion, South Plainfield

Boy Scout Troop 207 Spaghetti Dinner

Food & Drink

Sun, February 25, 1:00 PM

St. David's Episcopal Church, Cranbury

Organizing for the 2018 Mid-terms: Elections, ...

Education Giving Back Government


Tue, February 27, 7:00 PM

Cranford Community Center, Cranford

“Olmsted By Design!” Free First-Person, Dramatic ...

Arts & Entertainment Green Home & Garden

Shouts of Racial Slurs Bring Police to Sparta Theatre

February 21, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night because of a woman shouting slurs in a screening of Black Panther.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including “look at these ‘n-word’” and “can you believe these ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

Guest Column

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The ...

Let the Games Begin

I am truly awed by the Olympics.  Watching these superb young athletes on TV inspires me to renew my membership to the gym and pursue my lifelong dream of taking home the gold.  


The problem is that in my deluded head, I can see actually see myself standing atop the podium.  I am wrapped in a puffy designer ski coat with a huge piece of bling slung around my neck ...

The Best Way to Pay Your Child a Compliment

“Of course you’re good-looking.”  “You’re the best friend ever.”  “Who wouldn’t want you on their team?”  Is there a parent out there (including me) who hasn’t praised a child in order to make him or her feel better?  Sometimes it’s true, and sometimes we say it because we just can’t stand to see them ...

Height during childhood associated with increased stroke risk in adulthood

Researchers in Denmark studied the health records of more than 300,000 people born between 1930 and 1989 and found that those who were shorter than average height between ages 7 and 13 had a greater risk of stroke as adults. The results of this study were published in the February 15, 2018 issue of the journal Stroke.


Journal ...

Very Hot Tea Increases Cancer Risk

Researchers in China studying the consumption of “burning” hot tea, alcohol, and smoking habits of greater than 450,000 people ages 30 –79 for more than nine years found a five time greater risk of esophageal cancer in those who engaged in all three of the behaviors and a two time greater risk in those who either smoked or drank alcohol and consumed burning hot tea as compared ...