Nine MERSD Programs Tapped for $27,000 in Spaulding Education Funding


Nine grants totaling $27,000 to fund programs spanning art education, robotics, library collections, and extracurricular enrichment, among others have been awarded to Manchester Essex Regional School District as part of the Spaulding Education Fund’s (SEF) spring grant cycle.

SEF, an independent, non-profit organization that supports local public school programs for more than 30 years, has returned to its funding schedule after a four-year break during COVID.  In 2019, SEF donated $29,890 and the year before that the organization donated $39,234 in grants to MERSD.  SEF funds projects across all four schools and grade levels in the district, helping students in Manchester and Essex access programs that can’t be funded through the tax-supported school budget. 

“Grants from Spaulding Education Fund make it possible for our teachers to dive even deeper into our academic curriculum with students,” said Pam Beaudoin, Superintendent of Manchester Essex Regional School District. “Innovative programs like these reflect our commitment to our district-wide Vision of the Graduate.”

In a year where budgets are tight, these grants offer much-needed resources to teachers.  This latest grant round recipients include:

  • Funds to update the library collections at Essex Elementary School and Memorial Elementary School with new reference materials in areas that “age” quickly, such as computer systems, life sciences, and maps;
  • Fan carts, tracks, and motion sensors to support STEM education in the middle school;
  • Tickets to a Broadway play for students in high school band and chorus;
  • Toolkits to help students at Essex Elementary School build math fact fluency;
  • Tools and supplies to support the high school Robotics Team’s competition robot;
  • Art supplies for elementary school students to learn about monoprinting with gel printing plates;
  • A visit to UN Headquarters in New York for the high school Model UN Club;
  • Specialized graphing calculators for math and science students in grades 6-12; and
  • “Brain bins” to engage students at Essex Elementary School at the start of the school day.

 “These grants pump more than $27,000 into our school district and benefit more than 1,000 students in all four MERSD schools,” said SEF Steering Committee Member Lindsay Banks, who spearheads the grant process. “We were pleased to see strong applications from teachers across many disciplines, from printmaking to performing arts to STEM education.”

Claudette Yutkins, art teacher at Essex Elementary School and Manchester Memorial Elementary School, applied for a SEF grant to purchase gel monoprint plates. “With this grant, all elementary students in the district will have the opportunity to explore this kind of printmaking,” Yutkins said. “I am very excited to be able to introduce my students to this innovative way of making art.”

One grant application was submitted by a student, Charlie Langendorf, a junior at MERHS and the founder of the high school’s Model UN Club.  “Model UN is a new club for our school, and a lot of people are interested in finding out more about what the UN does,” Langendorf explained. “This trip to visit UN Headquarters in New York will show us how one of the most important decision-making bodies in the world works and let us explore current issues, so we can be contributing members of the global community.”