Suffield Foundation for Excellent Schools awards grants

By Calla Vassilopoulos - Staff Writer
Suffield - posted Tue., Sep. 10, 2013
Cami Beiter and Barry Armata at last year's Suffield on the Green booth. This year Suffield Foundation for Excellent Schools will announce new programs at the event held Sept. 7 and 8. Courtesy photo. - Contributed Photo

For more than 25 years, the Suffield Foundation for Excellent Schools (SFES) has been awarding grants to support educators who create innovative educational programs. This year, the organization announced five grants and 11 mini-grants that were awarded to faculty district-wide, according to marketing committee chair Wendy Mitzel.

Though the SFES was unable to fulfill all the proposal applications, the organization was able to offer more than $25,000 in grants. For many years, the Sow the Seeds for Education dinner and auction has been the primary fundraiser. However, this year, Mitzel said the organization wants to reach more of the community.

"Not everyone can make it, nor afford the dinner and auction event, and we understand that,” said Mitzel. “SFES hopes to draw in new supporters this year with some of our own new and innovative programming. We are really excited to see how the community responds."

She said the organization plans to announce the new events and fundraisers at the Suffield on the Green event on Saturday, Sept. 7, and Sunday, Sept. 8, as well as at the Fall Floral Arrangement Workshop in November.

The teachers who were awarded funds this year will be using the money toward supplemental materials such as heart rate monitors for physical education and field trips to competitions and plays. Some educators have also organized activities including the mix-it-up lunch, which encourages students to engage with peers they may not know.

One of the McAlister Intermediate School long-term grant projects will involve students in grades three through five, school staff members and various community members working together to create a 5-foot by 12-inch mosaic mural for the building. The program called Artist in Residence, created by teacher Sharon Bowe, will host artist Joanne Hunter and her husband.

Another large project the SFES has awarded funds to this year will allow Suffield High School teacher Savanna Lamas to purchase supplies for a saltwater touch tank. The tank, which will include starfish, will be located in the aquaculture room and be featured in the upcoming Suffield Regional Agriscience Center's Agriculture Exposition held annually in May.

“This event will bring many classes from around the state to visit our school in order to see the animals and participate in numerous hands-on events,” said Lamas in the grant application.

For more information on events and donating, visit

Let us know what you think!
Please be as specific as possible.
Include your name and email if you would like a response back.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the code without spaces and pay attention to upper/lower case.