BEF awarded nearly $6,000 through the Student Success Grants Program to support the following projects in Belchertown Public Schools:

Personalized & Engaging Learning Spaces
Project lead: Michael Berg
School: Chestnut Hill Community School

Funds provide students the opportunity to engage in personalized instruction in diverse spaces that encourage learning and enhance comfort. This grant supports a classroom with multiple seating options, a standing desk, and apps such as an animated writing storyboard, a school-based Minecraft builder and student assessments of the learning environment. Seeking to improve student focus, engagement in learning, independence and cognitive development, this effort will provide data to the district on how a classroom tailored to specific student needs impacts student satisfaction.

Maximizing Learning in SAILS Classroom
Project lead: Amber Dutton
School: Chestnut Hill Community School

Funds improve the physical space and resources for the SAILS Program, a social emotional and self-regulation learning space that promotes the behaviors of respect, integrity, safety and empathy. Through this grant, the classroom is enhanced with flexible seating options and sensory/therapeutic tools including activity tables, a standing desk, calming light and more to maximize learning potential and support each student’s social emotional learning needs. The project aims to help students feel safer and have more ownership in their environment, and to access therapeutic resources designed to help them interact in a healthy, calming manner to maximize their learning.

Pedal Desk and Active Chairs
Project lead: Shelley Eldridge
School: Chestnut Hill Community School

Academic demands often require students to remain in one space and focused which can difficult with the growing sensory needs in children. This grant provides movement and alternative seating to 5th grade students who will have the opportunity to engage in movement and balance while participating in their academic lessons. This grant funds a pedal desk, active desk chairs, and wobble and balance ball chairs expected to reduce disruptions to their learning experience. Educators will use seating options as a way to help students understand when and why this seating can be helpful for them.