FMPS Announces 2015-16 Grants and Holds Annual Fundraiser

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Excitement is growing for the new FMPS-funded Marblehead High School course, Tiny House: Designing for Sustainable Living.

The Friends of the Marblehead Public Schools (FMPS) is thrilled to announce over $90,000 of newly-awarded grants for the 2015-2016 school year. “Thanks to our generous donors, Marblehead public school students in grades K-12 will benefit from these grants,” said FMPS President Lillie Lombardi. The new grants cover a wide range of curriculum-enhancing initiatives, from innovative enrichment programs, to teacher training and equipment to enhance learning, to exciting new courses. “This is a creative, diverse group of grants that we’re really excited about,” added Lombardi.


It’s also time for the primary fundraiser for FMPS: the annual Friends and Flip Flops Summer Soiree, which will be held on Saturday, June 20 from 5:30-8pm at the home of Alexander and Nora Falk, 452 Atlantic Avenue. Enjoy a night of food, drinks, music and good company in a spectacular oceanfront setting. “FMPS is thrilled that the Falk family is hosting the Soiree in their beautiful home,” said Lombardi. “We encourage people to attend or make a donation: The strength of FMPS and the ability to fund educational grants that benefit all Marblehead public school students depends on the generosity of the community.” Tickets are $75 per person. For more details on the Soiree and to purchase tickets, please go to

FMPS Funded Grants for 2015-2016

An Apple (iPad) A Day…in every classroom! This grant provides Village School with the funding to purchase 50 iPads and 46 Apple TVs. The teachers at the Village School will be using the iPads daily to teach in their classrooms and to provide an interactive platform for communicating with other teachers and their students.

Interactive and Engaging Math Enrichment and Reinforcement This MCCPS grant funds a one-year subscription to Mangahigh, an online math program aligned with the Common Core standards. This program will help teachers address the needs of all math students by using individualized math practice and game-based math challenges.

Tiny House: Designing for Sustainable Living Thanks to this grant, three new classes will be offered at MHS in the science, design, and building of a tiny sustainable house. These classes support the high school initiative for additional Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM) programs. The tiny house will be sold at a profit in order to provide funding for the following year.

STEM Day: Applying the Engineering Design Process STEM Day at MCCPS will engage students in a one-day team project requiring them to apply engineering design principles to solve a problem. This day will promote creative and critical thinking, sharing of ideas, and the benefits of project-based learning.

Third Grade Build a School Song Residency Tying together Marblehead history, music instruction and pride in a new school, this grant funds a series of song-writing workshops for Glover third grade students. The program culminates in a school-wide performance of the song. The Glover music teachers plan to teach the song to all students over the coming months and years, expanding upon it with additional verses as well as percussion accompaniment.

Let’s Go Snowshoeing! This grant will fund the purchase of snowshoes for the Village School. The snowshoes will allow students to increase their level of outdoor activity during the winter months and will be used in PE classes, for special projects, field trips and recess.

AP Environmental Science This is one of the new Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) courses to be offered at MHS in 2015-16, and it incorporates both theory and hands-on experimentation. The primary goal is to introduce real-world environmental concepts to students before college.

Maker Movement: Makerspace 1.5 This builds on previous FMPS grants that funded a 3D printer and an oscilloscope and related materials for Makerspace at MCCPS, a “making and tinkering space.” This grant provides funds for storage and tools for Makerspace. Students will be experimenting in this space with microcontrollers, prototyping, electronics, coding and robotics.

Interactive Bullying Prevention Curriculum This Bell School grant will fund a bullying prevention curriculum kit for each grade. These prevention units will empower students to engage in a comprehensive research-based bullying prevention program from K through 3rd grade.

Relief Printmaking This MCCPS grant will give students the opportunity to increase their experience in relief printmaking and mono-printing. The funds will cover the cost of tools and materials including ink, rolling tools, mono-print plates, and carving sets.

American Library Association Conference This grant provides a rare opportunity for all librarians in the district to attend this respected conference in Boston. They will have the opportunity to collaborate and interact with publishers, vendors and authors, and gain fresh ideas to update curriculum and programming.

SteadiCam Rigs for MHS-TV Studio Two SteadiCam video cameras will be purchased. These cameras are used for videotaping in the field without the use of a tripod. Not only will students in Field Production and Editing and Advanced Television courses gain experience with this new equipment, but it is anticipated that the technical quality of their projects will improve as well.

MVMS Yoga This grant will expand the yoga practice at MVMS, including training specifically designed for yoga for adolescent children.

Informational Texts for 21st Century Learners This grant funds the purchase of books that will enhance the nonfiction library collections at the Bell, Coffin, Gerry, and Glover schools.

Text-Based Discussion Group Funds for this grant will be used to purchase books for a text-based discussion group for faculty and staff district-wide. This will create a collaborative forum for teachers as learners, and will foster exploration of best practices, create more common language, and encourage active learning.

Mindfulness Based Stress Management Program The Mindfulness Based Stress Management Program (MBSM), which began at MHS in 2015, will continue the work of a psychologist and stress management expert providing MBSM sessions for students. Interested teachers will be trained to facilitate future sessions, and will have weekly, then monthly, support in this pursuit.

Bell School Organic Garden The Bell School will be expanding their original organic garden–funded by a previous FMPS grant–to lower Bell. The kindergarten classes will now have dedicated garden beds.

Chemistry of Cooking This course will provide an innovative way to teach science: reaching students through their stomachs! The course will be co-taught by a chemistry teacher and a family/consumer science teacher.

Third Grade Barn Dance This is an artist/musician-in-residency program for all third graders in the district. They will learn the history of the barn dance as well as the movements and music. The program will culminate in an evening of music and dance for students, parents, teachers, and principals.

The Magic of Wheel Throwing Funds will provide a potter’s wheel, stools, supplies, and a refresher course in wheel throwing, which will be added to the curriculum of popular 3D design and art studio classes at MHS.

Growing Independence Growing Independence is a grant to create a garden for the post-graduate VOICE program. This grant provides an opportunity for the post-graduate students to learn lifelong skills while enriching their community.

ELA Summer Institute Five English teachers from MHS will attend seminars on poetry and fiction writing at St. Johnsbury Academy in Vermont. The teachers will share what they learn with the rest of the English Department, and will incorporate the ideas into the English curriculum.

MHS Photography Equipment Funds for this grant will be used to purchase additional digital cameras and backdrop lighting umbrella kits to enhance the existing popular photography classes at MHS.

Village School Loves FMPS

Dear FMPS,

Thank you all so very much for the opportunity to build on the active momentum of learning and exploration created from our initial 2013 FMPS iPad grant award (which we used to launch a 2-yr pilot program focused on leveraging iPads, Apple TV and Google Classroom with a select group of teachers and students in science and math classes). This newest grant award will expose all students at Village School to this versatile, efficient and effective learning platform. Our tech pioneers have proven the concept and now, with this generous grant, we are ready to replicate our successes across all classrooms. I’ve included community member, Joanne McElhenney, in this correspondence as she was integral in the grant-writing process.

Please accept this 3-min video clip as a gesture of our deep gratitude, and know that we welcome FMPS members to visit VS next school year to observe first-hand the magnitude of this gift.

Yours truly,

Theresa McGuinness
Village School

FMPS Funds Innovative Electronics Program

Thanks to a new grant from the Friends of the Marblehead Public Schools (FMPS), creative sparks are flying at the Makerspace enrichment program at the Marblehead Community Charter Public School. “The ‘Getting Kids Into Electronics’ grant provided us with electronic tools, testing equipment, and practical electronics books that give meaningful, real-world learning experience to our students,” explains Assistant Head of School Bill Sullivan, who leads the program with Matt Cronin and Glenn Blackney. Kids can build whatever they dream up, or they can find inspiration from sources like and, which have step-by-step instructions for projects like electronic toys, gadgets and robots. Makerspace has become a thriving program thanks in large part to FMPS, explains Sullivan. “We were so grateful for the Friends grant for the 3D printer last year, and this new grant expands the Makerspace program even more.” The new electronic kits include Arduino products—hardware and software that can be used to create interactive designs—and an oscilloscope, a tool engineers use to test electronic devices. The kits give the students the freedom to design and the hands-on opportunity to learn by trial and error, says Sullivan. As he checks in with the dozens of students who are researching, building, testing and playing with their creations, he has to remind them that the school day is almost over. “No one wants to leave,” Sullivan laughs.

Nick, a 7th grader, shows off the car he built at Makerspace with materials funded by FMPS.

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Sixth graders Caroline, Ellie and Kate research a new project to build.

MCCPS photo 1Cal, Justin and Theo collaborate on a project at Makerspace, an enrichment program funded by FMPS grants.

Meet Our 2015 Soiree Invitation Artist…Ana Curtin


“I love drawing people the most, but this was a good challenge” says
Marblehead High School junior Ana Curtin, who created this year’s
Friends of the Marblehead School’s Summer Soiree invitation. Ana’s art
teacher Pascale Queval, says her “talented and smart” student was the
perfect artist to render the stunning beachfront home of The Falk
family, the venue for this year’s Soiree.


FMPS traditionally asks a MHS artist to create the artwork for the
Summer Soiree’s invitation, and the resulting creations reveal the
skill and talent of the students, and the backstories of how they’ve
been nurtured by the art programs at the Marblehead schools. “I’ve
been drawing since I was little, and I always loved going to art class
at Eveleth, Glover and Village, remembers Ana. “But I especially loved
class with Mr. Pierce, at Veterans,” The Studio Art III Honors student (whose favorite artist is Andy Warhol), recently won a 2015 Scholastic Art and Writing Gold Key award for drawing, and her artwork is often inspired by music: she plays the
piano and ukulele.



“Drawing a building was different for me, it’s more precise, and it
involved measurement to get the perspective right,” Ana explains. She
used pen and ink for the initial drawing, and then added watercolor.
And the fact that she knows the Falk family and is familiar with their
home added a fun element to the project. Ana is considering going to
art school after graduation and is interested in career in commercial