This year, the Bloomingdale PTA added an exciting new expenditure to the list of school support we fundraise for. We created a teacher grant program that would award three teachers, one each trimester, $300 to enhance classroom learning and environment. A PTA Committee was formed to handle the development of the application, correspondence with district teachers, and collection and review of all submissions. Courtney DiPiazza and Christine Aiosa chair this year's committee, with committee members Jennifer Zutterman, Leanne Scaturro, Melissa Bressette, and Dr. Nicosia.
On November 27, the committee met to review the six grant applications received for trimester one. The teacher grant requests ranged from STEM products to flexible classroom seating and a monthly therapy dog visit. While we would have loved to award all the applicants with the grant, the committee chose to award Maria Ricca the trimester one grant of $300.
Mrs. Ricca is a special needs teacher at the Samual R. Donald school.
Her grant request was for a therapy dog to come to her classroom once a month and have other SRD classes spend time with the dog. In the application, she explained the multiple benefits of a therapy dog in a special education classroom and the overall student body.
Congratulations, Mrs. Ricca. We look forward to seeing this grant in action.
As the committee sat to discuss these grants, members of the PTA board told the committee that the current fundraising status for 2023-24 was ahead of schedule, and they felt that the PTA could also cover the cost of another teacher's grant application. We are pleased to announce that the committee selected Robyn Toledo's MBD Library request for STEM equipment to receive $300 as well. Mrs. Toledo's grant application was for STEM materials that would be used in all of her MBD classes.
The Teacher Grant committee surprised Mrs Ricca and Mrs. Toledo in their classrooms. Mrs. Ricca was given a framed certificate along with a dog bed and toys to use when the therapy dog visits her classroom.
The committee also gave Mrs. Toledo a certificate and all the STEM materials she requested in her grant. Both teachers were extremely honored and thankful for the support.
The PTA Grant Committee would like to thank all the teachers who submitted grant applications. We will keep these applications on file, and if our fundraising efforts go beyond the amount budgeted for the 2023-24 school year, we can use these applications to help spend any excess funds.
The grant application process for trimester two will open on January 26, 2024. The committee will accept submissions through March 1st and will review applications on March 25, 2024.