SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – The South Plainfield School District last year was the recipient of several private and state grants totaling more than $31,000. 

“Over the summer, we received notification of multiple grants our teachers applied for and were awarded,” South Plainfield Superintendent Dr. Noreen Lishak stated during the board of education’s Sept. 11 meeting. 

The projects and/or services funded through the grants, most of which will be implemented during the 2019-2020 school year, include a $10,000 Investors Saving Bank grant, which will be split over the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years and used to fund the outdoor classroom space and greenhouse at South Plainfield High School (SPHS) as well as close to $20,000 in grants awarded to SPHS teacher Kathleen Benton and Science, Fine & Visual Arts and Music Supervisor Shanti Kantha-Murray.

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Benton and Kantha-Murray were awarded an almost $10,000 New Jersey American Water 2019 Environmental Grant, which will go developing a water collection system and a sustainable outdoor learning center that includes a compost, koi pond, and raised planting beds at the high school. Benton also secured a $5,000 Lowes Tools for Schools grant, which will go toward filtered water fountains at SPHS, and she and Kantha-Murray were the recipients of a $3,875 Protein Sequencing Comes to Life Grant, which will be used to help biology students determine the amino acid sequence of proteins. Additionally, the two educators received two, 3D printers from the Toshiba Foundation and GE Additive for use by the SPHS bioinformatics class and the South Plainfield Middle School's (SPMS) art through technology & design course.

Other grants include a $2,000 Sustainable New Jersey Schools Grant awarded to the SPHS Green Team to assist with creating an outdoor classroom that will be used by the environmental science, multiply disabled, nutrition, and cultural classes along with a $500 State House Express Award secured by Roosevelt teacher Valerie Hunterton for bus rental expenses for an elementary school field trip to tour the State House in Trenton. Additionally, through the Facing History and Ourselves Scholarship Grant, SPMS teacher Barbara Pinelli and SPHS teacher Phil Thomas attended summer seminars and received training and classroom materials to support student learning. 

“Thank you to those teachers and administrators who are working hard to bring additional funding into the district,” said Lishak, adding that, currently, South Plainfield is eagerly awaiting notification on an additional $61,000 in grants that are still pending.’

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