Grants in Action – January 2018

Enhanced Health and Wellness Learning!

By Katie Fiorello, Health and Wellness Teacher, Reading Memorial High School

With funding from both REF and the RMHS PTO, the Health and Wellness Department purchased 28 HP ProBooks and a laptop charging cart. This quarter, students have used the ProBooks to access online health textbooks, complete class activities, and conduct research.

Freshmen Health students access information from their online health textbook:






Next quarter, students will use the laptops to create presentations on health related topics, create Public Service Announcements on anti-tobacco and vaping via video-based software, and create presentations about newborn needs and infancy.

Junior Health students conducting research:






“This reliable, accessible, innovative laptop technology has greatly enhanced all of our lessons and activities in class and has allowed us to create more project-based and hands-on learning activities for our students!” -Katie Fiorello

Expanded Core Values Literature Collection!

By Kim Adamo, JW Killam Elementary School Librarian

Reading elementary school libraries have new resources to help teachers and librarians develop student’s social, emotional, and mental health. The libraries purchased Open Circle books to enhance the collections and assist with Open Circle lessons.

First grade Killam teacher Mrs. Catherine Rice visits the Open Circle collection weekly to prepare for her lessons and recently used the newly purchased book Too Shy for Show and Tell. After sharing the book with students and having them draw a picture and complete a worksheet, the students no longer felt too shy to share their work and showed their drawings to their classmates.  This lesson was so successful that the book is being passed along to other first grade teachers!

Killam Elementary School Open Circle Book Collection:

Earlier this fall, Killam Elementary School used the Open Circle book The Empty Pot  at an all-school assembly on the core value ofTrustworthiness and discussed what it means to be trustworthy.

This Killam library book display on the core value of Trustworthiness features many of the newly purchased Open Circle books:

“The REF grant money has been a huge benefit to our staff and students.”  -Kim Adamo

Mindfulness Community Speaker!

By Chris Lotterhand, Joshua Eaton WASH committee member

REF, in conjunction with Reading elementary schools’ PTOs, sponsored Mindfulness speaker Dr. Christopher Willard.

Dr. Willard presented a program about helping both children and adults be more mindful in their lives.  The presentation was filled with information about the benefits of mindfulness, examples of easy and inexpensive mindfulness activities, and tips on how to select mindfulness activities that various age groups will enjoy. The presentation was well attended by parents, teachers, librarians, doctors, nurses, and community members.

“Thank you for your support!” – Chris Lotterhand

Internet/Social Safety Media Speaker!

By Richele Shankland, Parker Middle School Principal

REF sponsored Internet/Social Media speaker Katie LeClerc Greer, a technology safety expert.  She spoke to middle school students during the school day and also gave an evening presentation to parents about internet safety. Topics included updates on technology trends and dangers, privacy settings, digital tattoos, cyberbullying, and using technology responsibly.


“Thank you to the Reading Education Foundation for their funding of this important cause!” – Richele Shankland

NEW! Rolling Admissions Professional Development Fund!

Reading teachers are taking advantage of a new funding opportunity for professional development.  In its first five months, REF has distributed $15,000 to Professional Development initiatives across the district.  REF funded 8 grants, affording 34 teachers and staff members training in programs such as literacy intervention, discipline strategies, technology, and administrative leadership training.

Kara Gleason, a History Teacher at RMHS, used Professional Development funds to attend a summer technology course at Simmons College and found the course materials “exceptionally relevant” to her teaching.

“Thank you again for your support of my professional development which has not only impacted me but will influence my students and colleagues as well. I am very grateful for all of the resources and supports than the REF provides for the Reading Public Schools.” – Kara Gleason