Friends of Holyoke Public Schools Awards $11,000 in Grants to Support Teachers, Students and Additional Programming

HOLYOKE – The Board of Directors for the Friends of Holyoke Public Schools is pleased to announce the award of $11,000 in grants to support teachers and students across the district, allowing continued opportunities for educational programming and extra-curricular activities.

With support from the Superintendent’s office, grant applications were made available to teachers in the Holyoke Public Schools earlier this spring.   A total of 18 applications were received from teachers across the district, and the following five proposals were selected:

  • Yaraliz Soto, 6th Grade Teacher at Donahue School to cover the cost associated with a field trip to the Connecticut Science Center for a hands-on lesson on the ecosystem
  • Lynn Dutsar, 10th Grade Teacher at Dean Technical High School to create a makerspace in the Library at Dean Technical HS.
  • Arrin Barnes, 6th Grade teacher at Kelly School to purchase ipads for classroom
  • Karen Roidoux, 4th Grade Teacher at Sullivan School to start a Robotics and Coding class
  • Laura Shanahan, 7th Grade Teacher at Kelly School to purchase Ipads for special education middle school students and support current curriculum

The Friends of Holyoke Public Schools (FHPS) was established in 2008 in an effort to preserve the Summer Strings Program: a four week camp teaching violin, cello and other programming to Holyoke Public School students, free of charge.  With increased support from the community and donors, the organization has been able to expand its grant program in recent years, offering opportunities to all grade levels for various types of programs.

“We received a lot of great proposals this year from dedicated teachers aiming to further enrich the lives of their students,” Board President Christian Lachapelle said. “Thanks to the growing success of our annual fundraiser hosting the Boston Improv Asylum, we’ve really been able to expand this grant program to support additional educational opportunities across the district, both in and out of the classroom.  Our city’s children need us now more than ever and we couldn’t do this without the support of the community.”

School Superintendent Dr. Zrike commented, “We continue to be grateful to the Friends of Holyoke Public Schools for their generosity.  This year, many of our talented educators have taken advantage of this opportunity to propose innovative projects that will have a significant impact on student learning.  Congratulations to our winners!”

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