Spotswood Education Foundation awards grants to educators


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SPOTSWOOD – The Spotswood Education Foundation (SEF) awarded more than $10,000 in grants to educators in the Spotswood School District.

A total of 24 grant proposals were received, with 20 selected by the Foundation Board of Trustees for a total of $10,498.25, according to information provided by Nicholas Legakis, president of the SEF. The grants were awarded during a convocation held on Sept. 4.

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Since 2006, the SEF has awarded 147 grants totaling $89,140.41. This past year, the Spotswood Education Foundation partnered with BCB Community Bank, which pledged additional funds to sponsor 10 of the 20 grants, totaling $2,411.95, according to the statement.

The grants selected for 2018 are: 

  • The Great Appleby Escape: Paige Besthoff for $150 
  • Scooting into Fitness: Jill Hetzler for $290
  • Language Lab: Marian Ayad for $299.95 
  • Facts for Me: Maureen McDonald for $50
  • Family STEM: Famous Inventors: Deborah Cilmi & Maureen McDonald for $342.70 
  • Let’s Noodle: Angela Scuorzo for $99
  • Speedy Speech: Aleksandra Zolotnisky for $375
  • Megan Donegan and Jackie Martinez for $74
  • Spanish Library Literacy Program: Megan Donegan for $231.30
  • Grammar Flip: Gabby Borelli and Stephanie Fallon for $69
  • Expanding Expression Tool: Marian Ayad for $294
  • Learning without Tears: Erika Stinson for $595
  • Take the Makey Makey Challenge: Paige Besthoff for $699.95 
  • Telling Tales through Plays: Maureen McDonald for $745
  • Dive into Splash Math: Debbie Generelli, Taryn Bruno, Stacey Vespoli, Barbara Silvers for $747
  • Gemiini System: Ginger Isaksen and Anne Fox for $882
  • Creating Tomorrow’s Engineers with Cubelets: Paige Besthoff for $1,440 
  • Little Bits of Energy: Sue Schmidt, Deb Cilmi and Angela Scuorzo for $1,779.95 
  • Dressed to Impress: Kelly Meagher for $1,000
  • The final grant awarded was the newly created Dee Pope Memorial Grant, in memory of Dolores Pope, who was the foundation’s secretary. Dee passed away on June 12 from cancer.
  • “Dee was the heart of our organization and along with her husband Jim, did so much to make our fundraising efforts a success. The board wanted to honor Dee’s memory by awarding an annual scholarship to a deserving student but Jim reminded us that Dee would’ve wanted to see us continue to support the educators and assist the efforts of our teachers, so from this year forward, we will be awarding a grant in honor of Dee Pope because all of you are the reason she did what she did for the SEF,” Legakis said.
  • This year’s Dee Pope memorial grant was awarded to Making Connections for Struggling Readers: Blair Falzon for $334.40
  • The Spotswood Education Foundation’s purpose is to augment the financial resources available to the district in educating the children of Spotswood, Helmetta and Milltown. To join, contact Legakis at or call 917-476-6418.
  • The Spotswood Education Foundation will hold its annual casino night fundraiser on March 2. More details will be announced.

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