SEF Approves Seven Grants at April and May Board Meetings


SPARTA, NJ—May 28, 2020--The Sparta Education Foundation (SEF) approved seven grants at their April 21 and May 5 board meetings. “These grants really embody what we are all about,” said SEF President Donna West. “Districtwide, our teachers put a great deal of thought into which items that will enhance the classroom experience for their students. From Playaway audiobook devices and Google Expeditions Kits to 3D printers to much-needed upgrades to the saltwater aquariums at Sparta High School, we saw a variety of grant applications. Students at every school in the district will benefit from the fulfillment of these wide-ranging grants.” The grants totaled $51,899, which means the SEF has funded grants totaling over $1,133,899 since they were founded in 2006.


The May board meeting also included a preview of the SEF 2019 Annual Report which can be viewed at, West said.

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Recent grants include:


Supplemental Learning Tools, Tara Rossi, K-5 Literacy Supervisor, Grant amount: $25,535.

This grant provides a focused, intensive approach to developing reading skills. It utilizes text sets to meet the needs of learners in a collaborative manner. It will fund StartUp Phonics Skill Bag bundles for students in grade one. A custom book list providing multiple sets of books will be used for book clubs in upper elementary grades. Students in grades K-5 will benefit from access to supplemental literacy tools that support collaborative learning.


Two 3D Printers, Christine Collister, STEM teacher, Grant amount:  $4,045.

Two MakerBot Replicator + 3D printers will keep Sparta Middle School students at the forefront of educational technology. Most sixth and seventh grade students at the middle school participate in a nine-week STEM course which enables them to sharpen their problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills. 3D printing is widely used in the fields of architecture, education, medicine, manufacturing, aeronautics, military and food preparation. By familiarizing students with 3D printing and the design process, they are exposed to a diverse range of career possibilities.


Google Expeditions Kits, Emily Scott, Social Studies teacher, Grant amount: $9,749.

Google Expeditions to allow students at the High School to travel the globe using virtual or augmented reality tours. Destinations include historical places, outer space, college campuses, inside volcanoes and the ocean floor. Teachers and guidance counselors can use them in all classrooms at any time, drawing on content from social studies, English/language arts, the arts and science. Experiencing places outside of the classroom can foster a love of learning and an appreciation for other cultures as students begin to feel they are truly global citizens.


Other grants awarded:


  • Aquarium upgrades for the Sparta High School Coral Reef Active Learning Center, Ken Scognamiglio, Biology Teacher. Grant amount: $4,314.
  • Playaway Audiobooks for the Sparta High School Media Center, Angela DeLuccia, Educational Media Specialist. Grant amount: $1,334.
  • Diverse Books and Playaway Audiobooks for the Sparta Middle School, to accomplish the 1,000 book challenge, Kelly Kiff, Media Specialist. Grant amount: $8,633.
  • Playaway Audiobooks for the Mohawk Avenue School, Heather Freda, Media Specialist, Grant amount: $1,914.


Since 2006, the Sparta Education Foundation has funded over $1,133,899 in grants to all five of Sparta’s public schools. The Foundation is an all-volunteer, independent 501 (c) (3) NJ Non-Profit Corporation whose mission is to engage the entire community in philanthropic giving. Visit for more information about joining or volunteering.



Photo caption: Google Expeditions Kits, shown here in use by Sparta Middle School students, will soon be available at Sparta High School based on a recent grant from the Sparta Education Foundation. Additional grant approvals included supplemental literacy learning tools for grades K-5; Playaway audiobook devices at Mohawk Avenue School, Sparta Middle School and Sparta High School; a 3D printer at Sparta Middle School and saltwater aquarium upgrades to the Coral Reef Active Learning Center at Sparta High School.