Achieve Supports the Work of District Educators

The Achieve Foundation awards two rounds of Educator Grants per year, as well as Riecke Teaching Fellowships for professional development.

Deborah Prinz Educator Grants: The App is Now Open 

Apply for a winter grant by December 12, 2022. Funds will be awarded by early February 2023.

Fall 2022: Achieve announces $65,000 in awards for 34 grants!

Congratulations to the 34 teachers and teams of educators whose grant applications were approved this fall. A complete list of grant awards can be seen here.

DIRECT FUNDING OF GRANTS: After Achieve awards its grants, the community is invited to increase the amount awarded to partially-funded projects. We’re thrilled to announce that thanks to our generous community, all five grants that were open for additional support were fully funded this fall!

Congratulations to the SOMSD Educators who received one of 16 grants being awarded in late January 2022. See the complete list here.

Grants it Action: Check out this documentary funded by Achieve!

Fall 2021: Achieve awarded $77,481 Grants for 35 projects!

SOMSD educators received $66,037 in grants funding varied projects and programs to support students in the areas of art, equity, library materials, music, professional development, special education, STEM and  much more.

See a complete list of funded grants here: Fall 2021 Achieve Educator Grant Awards

In fall of 2021, our incredible community came together and contributed another $11,443.52 to FULLY FUND all five grants that were open for additional funding, resulting in a final tally of nearly $77,500 for 35 projects, programs and materials across the District.

2020 Achieve Grants

In October 2020, Achieve awarded 36 grants totaling $43,623 to teachers across the District. Winning proposals included technology, software, mental health supports, books and other materials intended to help students and staff across miles and laptops. 

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See a list of all Fall 2020 Grant Awards HERE.

           

 

PREVIOUSLY AWARDED ADMINISTRATOR GRANTS
 2019 Jameel Misbahuddin, STEM Supervisor: Group Learning Professional Development 2019 Shannon Glander and Sheila Murphy, SB Principal and Asst. Principal: Cafe Seth Boyden 2019 Dara Gronau, Maplewood Middle Principal: Meditation Room at MMS 2019 Kevin Mason, CHS Asst. Principal: ASCA Summer PD Book Club 2018 Damion Frye, Seth Boyden Principal: New Digital Mixer 2018 Jameel Misbahuddin, STEM Supervisor: Physics Union Mathematics at Rutgers University (PD in experiential learning techniques) 2017 Ann Bodnar, Clinton Principal: Clinton Leader In Me 2017 Dara Gronau, Maplewood Middle Principal: MMS Maker Space 2017 James Manno, Supervisor of Fine Arts: NJ Arts Festival 2016 Kimberly Hutchinson, Jefferson Principal: Teachers College Summer Reading Program 2016 Mark Quiles, Seth Boyden Principal: Bridging the Digital Divide 2015 Charles Ezell, CHS Asst Principal: Facilitators for Columbia 2025 2015 Kevin Mason, Tuscan Asst Principal: Robotics Club 2014 Bonita Samuels, Marshall Principal: “Smart” Classroom 2013 Jeff Truppo, Maplewood Middle Principal: SOMSD’s First One-to-One Team 2012 Faye Lewis, CHS Asst Principal: MAC Scholars Summer Enrichment Academy 2012 Judy LoBianco, Supervisor of Health/PE/Nursing: Linking Phys Ed Curriculum to Assessment 2011 Paul Roth, District Chief Information Officer: Algebra iPad Project for Bridge to Success 2011 Kimberly Beane, Supervisor of K-5 Math and Science: Singapore Math Strategies Conference 2010 Judith Hanratty, Supervisor of ELA: Teachers College July Writing Institute 2009 Michael Healy, CHS Asst Principal: Bridge to Success 2009 Gary Pankiewicz, Supervisor of ELA: Student-Centered Summer Reading 2008 Maryrose Caulfield-Sloan, Jefferson Principal: Grade 3 Multi-Modal Learning Center 2008 Thomas Gibbons South Mountain Principal: Reading Support Software Training 2008 Patricia O’Neill, Clinton Principal: Principal’s Center for Educational Leadership Seminar 2006 Janice McGowan, CHS Asst Principal: AVID Conference for Administrators 2005 Kristopher Harrison, Maplewood Middle Principal: Middle School Team Renewal 2004 Renee Pollack, CHS Principal: Bridge to Success

Quick links to Grants forms:

Apply now for a Winter 2022-23 Grant

Application is open thru 12/12

Direct Funding

An additional $12,447 was raised through Direct Funding this fall!

Already received a grant?

Complete your Grant Assessment Here

Questions about our grants?

CONTACT US

Riecke Teaching Fellowships

Since 2004, the Michelle T. Riecke Fellowship has provided nearly $93,000 to fund professional development opportunities that inspire excellence, innovation, and creativity in the classroom and beyond. Riecke Fellows share their learning with their colleagues to maximize the benefit to the District. Fellowships are awarded to individuals (up to $3,000) and/or teaching teams (up to $5,000).

Please note:

  • Applicants must be current members of the SOMSD teaching staff.
  • Applicants must intend to work in the SOMSD in the school year following the fellowship.
  • Proposals should be for summer professional development programs only.
  • Proposals must include a plan for sharing acquired information with SOMSD colleagues.
  • Fellowship funds may not be used toward tuition for advanced degree.
  • Applications must be signed by the applicant(s) and their principal or department supervisor.

While fellowships are awarded for both subject-specific and broader educational interests, faculty are encouraged to look for programs that nurture their professional passion. Please contact us with any questions about a program of interest at: rieckefellowship@achievefoundation.org.

In March of 2022, the Achieve Foundation awarded $5,103 for Michelle T. Riecke Teaching Fellowships, enabling five faculty members to participate in summer professional development programs. Congratulations to the following 2022 Riecke Fellows:

  • Caitlin Dennehy (South Orange Middle School special education teacher) will attend a weekend-long conference on Mindfulness & Education at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY.
  • CHS guidance counselor Karissa Handler will complete “College Advising Program” coursework through Teachers College at Columbia University.
  • Tuscan librarian and media specialist Amy Popp will attend the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. in late June.
  • Matthew Rice (CHS) received funding to participate in a “Train the Trainer” course through the Transgender Institute.
  • Elana Ris, Math Recovery specialist at Seth Boyden School, will take the “Add+VantageMR Course 2” offered by the US Math Recovery Council.

SEE A LIST OF PRIOR RIECKE GRANT RECIPIENTS AND PROGRAMS ATTENDED HERE

2021: Karissa Handler, NJ School Counselor Association’s Conference. 2021: Ray Mantes, Institute for Teaching Diversity and Social Justice. 2021: James Nugent, Project-based Learning for Advanced Placement Environmental Science. 2021: Amy Pitucco, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Course. 2021: John Trieu, Project Adventure Training. 2020: Kristin Harris, Place-based Service Learning and Sustainability. 2020: Amy Schwinder, RESNA Assistive Technology Professional Online Course and Conference. 2019: Susan Brody and Maggie Tuohy, Hog Island Audubon Camp Educators Week. 2019: Shawana Andrews and Amy Rowe, Teachers College Reading & Writing Summer Institute. 2019: Donna Friedrich, The Neuroscience of Reading, MIT. 2019: Michelle Rhodes, National SEED Project Leaders Week, Wellesley College. 2018: Elana Ris, Supporting Mathematical Discourse in the Classroom, The Bank Street College in New York. 2018: Samantha Selikoff, middle school STEM instructor, Midwest conference of the American Society of Engineering Education. 2018: Claire Sinclair, Training Teachers in Restorative Practices, Bethlehem, PA. 2018: Christy Skawinski, International Literacy Association Conference, Austin, TX. 2017: Yves Hart, Julie Matthews, and Chelsea Olsen, Universal Design for Learning – Social Justice, University of Massachusetts, Boston 2017: Line Marshall, This World Music Summer Study in Cuba, University of Massachusetts, Amherst 2016: Diane Leick, American Speech Language Association (Remote learning) 2016: Kristin Pei and Suzanne Lanzafame, Reading and Writing Project, Columbia Teachers College, NY 2016: Danielle Perrotta, National Science & Technology Association STEM Forum/Expo, Boulder, CO 2016: Claire SInclair, Melissa Koes, Christine Fischetti, Martha O’Connor, Jessica Wheeler, Rebecca Vezza, and Laura Verniero, Handwriting Without Tears, Princeton, NJ 2016: Christy Skawinsky, Summer Institute on the Teaching of Reading, Columbia University Teachers College, NY 2016: W. Scott Stornetta, Drew AP Institute in Computer Science Principles, Madison, NJ 2015: James Cotter, College Board AP Annual Conference in Austin, Texas 2015: Lynn McGlotten and Liz Harris, MathCamp: Integrating the Common Core Shifts Into Math Instruction in New York, N.Y. 2015: Bebe Greenberg and Donna Grohman, Summer Institute at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project in New York 2014: Victoria Schodowski, Universal Design for Learning, Center for Applied Special Technology in Wakefield, Mass. 2014: Debra Cecacci, Elizabeth Frascella, Susan Froelich and Mary Leocata, Authentic Feedback with Grant Wiggins, Authentic Education, in Hopewell, N.J. 2013: Arlene Aguirre and Katherine Fearon: Center for Applied Linguistics’ What’s Different About Teaching Reading to Students Learning English as ELL’s in Washington, D.C. 2013: Mark Richman, College Board AP Summer Institute in Statistics at Middlesex Community College in New Jersey 2012: Mark Harley and Heidi Welner, NASA’s Johnson Space Center Clouds Zero Gravity Program in Houston, Texas (program later postponed by NASA) 2011: Ann Bodnar, Joseph Ferriero, Yolande Fleming, Shea Levin and Marian Power, NCTM Algebra Readiness for Every Student Institute in Baltimore, Md. 2010: Patricia O’Connell, Scholastic Read 180 National Summer Institute in Nashville, Tenn. 2010: Phillip Lester, National At-Risk Conference (March 6-9, 2011) in Savannah, Ga. 2009: Mary Brancaccio: Creative Non-Fiction: Telling the Truth at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. 2009: Cathrine Evans, Maureen Davenport, Sue Donatelli, Kathy Shelffo and Lisa Heumann, Responsive Classroom Institute in New York, N.Y. 2008: Bebe Greenberg, Donna Grohman and Jennifer Smalletz, The August Institute on the Teaching of Writing at Columbia University, New York, N.Y. 2006: Peter Trebour and Thomas Whitaker, Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) Conference in San Diego, Calif. 2005: Noah Brauner, Computer-Aided Design Technology at New York School of Visual Arts in New York, N.Y. 2005: Kate Pfiefer, Counseling in Culturally Diverse Communities, Minuchin Center for the Family in New York, N.Y. 2004: Eve Kingsbury, Angela Medise and Valerie Sharp, National Differentiated Instruction Conference in Las Vegas, Nev.

2023 application will open in early January

Apply by Feb 24th for Summer 2023 programs

Already received a fellowship? Complete the project evaluation form.

RIECKE FELLOWSHIP EVALUATION

Educator Grants Awarded:

$1,417,338

for 1,139 grants from 1999-spring 2022

Riecke Fellowships:

$92,778

for 77 educators from 2004-2022

 

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Guidelines and Criteria for Achieve Foundation Teacher Grants

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Guidelines and Criteria for Achieve Foundation Teacher Grants

All projects must:

  1. Identify a clear educational objective, need or gap
  2. Support overall district goals
  3. Provide a timetable, needed materials and process for completion
  4. Include an assessment plan that will demonstrate projected outcome(s) and impact
  5. Include an itemized, verifiable budget
  6. Be reviewed, approved and signed by the teacher’s principal or supervisor to insure the feasibility of the intended project
  7. Support the advancement of current offerings or equipment for which the district insures future oversight and maintenance
  8. Be completed by submitting the required evaluation and expense report at the end of the project
Read the Complete PDF
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10 Tips for Writing a Successful Achieve Foundation Grant Application

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10 Tips for Writing a Successful Achieve Foundation Grant Application

See the tips below to find out what you can do to improve your chances of getting the funds you request. 1. SUBMIT A CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE PROPOSAL. 2. MAKE SURE THE PROJECT’S OBJECTIVES AND TIMELINE ARE ACHIEVABLE. 3. THE MORE STUDENTS WHO BENEFIT, THE BETTER. 4. COMPLETE FULLY ALL STEPS IN THE GRANT APPLICATION. 5. SELECT A DESCRIPTIVE PROJECT TITLE AND WRITE A SUCCINCT SUMMARY. 6. MAKE IT EASY TO READ YOUR APPLICATION. 7. CONSIDER YOUR PROJECT’S SUSTAINABILITY. 8. PROJECT YOUR COSTS CAREFULLY. 9. OUTCOMES ARE VERY IMPORTANT. 10.THE ONLY WAY TO RECEIVE A GRANT IS TO APPLY!

Read the Complete PDF
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Tips on Creating an Itemized Budget Teacher Grant Application

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Tips on Creating an Itemized Budget Teacher Grant Application

The tips below will help you put together a budget that accurately reflects not only how much the program will cost but also how it will be managed. 1. MAKE SURE ALL EXPENDITURES ARE ALLOWED. 2. CONSIDER ALL EXPENDITURES. 3. PROVIDE A REASONABLE AMOUNT OF DETAIL. 4. RESEARCH COSTS AND CONSIDER FUTURE COSTS. 5. MAKE SURE THE NUMBERS ADD UP.

Read the Complete PDF

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Achieve Volunteer Tutor Program

Achieve’s acclaimed tutoring program improves the academic performance of children who are struggling with their schoolwork, by pairing them with adult and peer volunteers. Begun in 1997, the initiative based on the notion that free tutoring, offered by trained volunteers, might help many children, who otherwise would not be able to afford this service, to advance toward their full academic potential. District teachers refer students, who they believe would benefit from the help of a volunteer tutor.

In a typical year, 350 adult and student volunteers are trained to assist more than 350 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Achieve’s tutors help students overcome academic challenges, gain confidence and enjoy social-emotional connections. Moreover, the students who serve as Achieve tutors reinforce their own learning and develop leadership skills. Achieve’s Volunteer Tutor Program coordinator, Shannon Kirk, ably manages the program and arranges tutor-tutee matches. Teachers in the school district lead required training workshops and supervise tutoring sites in district schools.


Testimonials

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“Achieve tutors and students make miracles happen together by reading one sentence at a time and solving one math problem at a time, week in and week out.”

Sonoko Setaishi, adult tutor in the Achieve Volunteer Tutor Program

“What makes me happy is that, no matter the party, I have received a flood of messages from guests and hosts saying how they truly had such a terrific evening.”

Lindsay Scott, 2014 coordinator of the annual Night of 100 Dinners fundraising event and member of the Achieve Board of Trustees

“There are these special moments, when working with young kids, when their faces suddenly light up, like something finally clicked.”

Zoë Crutcher, student tutor in the Achieve Volunteer Tutor Program

“Yet again, Achieve has proven what a valuable organization it is to teachers and students alike.”

Susan Brody, fourth-grade teacher at Seth Boyden Elementary School and an Achieve Teacher Grant recipient

“This is one of very few courses that allow kids to build things, to become focused on the stuff of the modern world. Without Achieve, these students would not have this opportunity. You can see it—kids love being in this class and that is a lasting legacy of Achieve’s support.”

Allan Tumolillo, founder of the Robotics Club at Columbia High School that led to the addition of robotics classes at the high school, and a member of the Achieve Board of Trustees