Education foundation awards $22K in grants

Education foundation awards $22K in grants

The Coginchaug Valley Education Foundation recently announced their 2021 grant recipients. With a record-setting number of grant applications received, CVEF awarded 16 grants totaling $22,000.

“It was great to see so many applications,” grants committee co-chair Tina Gossner said. “After living through this difficult pandemic year, it was extremely uplifting to see folks submit a record-number of applications with such creative and forward-thinking ideas.”

Grants committee co-chair Anne Doyle concurred, noting, “We were inspired that many grants were aimed at educating our community on diversity in every age group. We were also excited to see innovative, world-related projects from the amazing teachers and students in RSD13.”

The grant recipients:

Two grants were awarded to study slavery in our communities, one from Strong School and another as an Eagle Scout project. Both will study local history to pinpoint and honor either a slave or abolitionist from Durham/Middlefield.

Complete Streets Durham will use their grant funds to present an education and safety campaign. Complete Streets is a group formed by Sustainable Durham, with plans to enhance walkability and safety on a planned pedestrian loop.

The Coginchaug Area Transition Team will start a pilot program with the assistance of the Durham Middlefield Interlocal Agreement Advisory Board aimed at educating 100 families about composting. A drop-off spot at the Transfer Station will be provided. The goal is that the program will be a model to transfer costs and help green our communities.

Durham Public Library and Levi Coe Library received funding for creative projects, including monthly DIY Take and Make Creative Kits and Stamping Craft Kits. Levi Coe will also offer Conscious Kids Reading Kits with books that will cover topics such as social justice, women in science and belonging.

The Durham-Middlefield Racial Justice Team, in conjunction with the town libraries, will continue to offer monthly conversations about racial justice issues and how to create a comfortable and equitable place for all.

Strong Middle School plans to offer monthly Open Mic Nights for residents of Durham and Middlefield.

Durham-Middlefield Youth & Family Services will offer creative art kits based around themes such as kindness, gratitude and affirmation. For a second year, Distance Theater will allow local youth to produce a live musical.

Also, grants were awarded to several RSD13 projects: Memorial School will have access to a Cricut machine, allowing students to create paper prototypes of creative projects. CRHS students in Probability and Stats courses will partner with a nonprofit in Africa to perform real-life data analysis of success rates of their programs, and students will be able to make recommendations based on their findings. Flexible seating will be purchased for kindergarten students at Brewster School, allowing work station options for children. Also, goatscaping will be added to an ongoing project at Brewster School aimed at clearing invasive plants on school property. Informational programs on the project will be held for both students and the community. Memorial School will offer a new program called The Snowshoe Squad, teaching students how to snowshoe during recess.

Each year, CVEF awards grants to local groups or individuals who plan to offer a program which includes innovation and creativity and promotes lifelong learning for community members of any age. Over the past 13 years, CVEF has awarded 112 grants, totaling more than $150,000. For more information, visit

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