Diverse Elementary School Libraries

Up to $10,000

We encourage the community to fund district elementary school library materials which more accurately reflect the diverse and multicultural nature of our students’ everyday lives.

For years, Achieve has supported educator grants to fund books and other educational materials to meet this need. We ask you to join us in enhancing diverse elementary school libraries this year. When the Direct Funding period ends, the total amount raised will be divided between all elementary schools in the district.

Providing students with materials that represent their cultural backgrounds, as well as exposing children to other cultures, will help create a more inclusive learning environment that appreciates and celebrates what makes each student unique.
– Prior grant recipient

These books are so good! There was was a great message in that.
– Student re: LGBTQ library grant

“Reading multicultural literature is something that is essential to our students’ ability to succeed in the 21st century.– Prior grant recipient


Middle School Model UN Clubs

Up to $6,000

We ask the community to help support Model UN clubs at Maplewood and South Orange Middle Schools.

Model UN programs allow students to role play United Nations delegates at regional and national conferences, building their research and debate skills as well as developing world view and personal confidence. Both middle school clubs have a history of Achieve Foundation support, which has broadened the accessibility of this program in recent years.

We were able to attend 5 conferences and brought almost 20 students to each conference.
– Model UN advisor and grant recipient

One Model UN program allowed students to meet children from all over the world. They were able to debate students from China, Sudan and Mexico on global issues.
– Model UN advisor and grant recipient


CHS Science Research Program

Up to $5,000

Achieve and our donors have supported the special Science Research Program for advanced students at Columbia High School since the program’s inception. This multi-year class offers advanced opportunities in research for students looking to pursue science studies in college and beyond.

Giving through the Achieve Foundation has helped expand lab equipment and enhance presentation opportunities for Science Research Program students.

“Students are very enthusiastic about getting to use the equipment and carry out their own investigations. Many of them have expressed interest in continuing this field of study in college.”
– Science Research Program teacher

“The Science Research Students and Ms. Tedeschi presented the class’s research on gene sequencing at Rutgers University [in June of 2019]. We really appreciate the support of the Achieve program and wanted to share how that support manifested itself in students’ success.  Thank you!”
– Jameel Misbahuddin, SOMSD Supervisor of STEM, grades 9-12


Flexible Seating for Tuscan School 5th Grade Classrooms


Achieve has historically supported flexible seating across the South Orange-Maplewood School District. These flexible seating initiatives have positively impacted both classroom environment and student focus.

Additional funding to complete this year’s grant request will benefit 5th Graders at Tuscan School for years to come.

“Students were given the opportunity to make smart seat choices in the classroom. They relished the idea of having the freedom and flexibility of sitting in different ways.”
– Prior elementary school flex seating grant recipient

Students self-reported the chairs allowing them to stay focused while moving, and having less stress than in the past when they were being told to sit still or stay in their seats.
– Prior flex seating grant recipient

“I really love the swivel chairs. I could not sit still before, and while I still have trouble, I can stand at the high tables if I need to.”
– Student reaction to flex seating options




MMS Mindfulness Program Expansion


The highly-acclaimed Mindfulness Room at MMS is being utilized daily by students who need a break during the day to reduce stress or calm heightened emotions. This grant request will expand this program at MMS by creating additional mindfulness space, developing a yoga program, and training more staff members in the use of emotional regulation techniques.

Achieve partially funded this grant in November, and we are asking the community to add to that funding.

“I used this mindful strategy when I was about to play my soccer game.”    – Student reaction to Mindfulness programs

“Our kids are so appreciative of the space to experience their feelings, and I am eternally grateful…”
– MMS Staff Member and grant recipient