Royal Educational Foundation Provides for New School Initiatives

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With the support of the Royal Educational Foundation of Port Jefferson, students and staff throughout the district have access to a number of new educational resources.

Helping to build connections between the science curriculum and the outside world, the district has created a raised garden bed for students in grades 3-5 with the funds provided by the Foundation. This space, which is being used by life skills classes and the Edna Louise Spear Elementary School’s Garden Club, is allowing students to experience firsthand the lessons learned in the classroom – particular those on the life cycles of plants – and the opportunity to sample an array of locally grown produce.

One activity that is promoting teamwork, encouraging new friendships and has been met with enthusiasm during recess at the elementary school is the GaGa Ball Pit, which was constructed thanks to the support of the Foundation. Similar to dodgeball, the fast-paced game provides students with a safe and supportive environment.

“I have seen how inclusive and fun this game is for all students,” said Amy McClelland, speech and language teacher at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School. “It gives the non-traditional athlete an equal chance of winning, does wonders for students’ self-esteem and many children who were at first reluctant to try it have become the most eager players.”

In addition to these donations, the Foundation has historically supported a number of programs designed to enrich the educational experience of all students. These included helping to facilitate “food for thought” lessons which foster a sense of security by sharing meals and helping sixth- through eighth-grade students develop into healthy adults; a Google Expeditions grant which is used in Spanish and Foreign Language sixth-grade classes where students can take virtual field trips using Google cardboard viewers; and making fifth grade curriculum instructional videos available 24 hours per day, especially important when a student is absent from school. As part of their goal to encourage excellence through creative learning, grants were also awarded for a Chess Club grant to purchase chess sets and a chess clock for students in the middle school.

The Foundation has awarded more than $10,000 in grants since the 2016-17 school year.