2022 Westfield Teacher Grant Winners

Community First Bank has partnered with the Westfield Education Foundation to offer two teacher mini-grants for the 2022-23 school year. Each mini-grant will provide a teacher with $400 – $600 for their classroom’s needs. The winners were presented with their awarded grants in October: 

Amy McClelland – Maple Glen Elementary School

Sustainable and environmentally responsible garden: “Our elementary school garden has evolved greatly since its inception nine years ago. We were once a small plot of land that grew crops for local food pantries while teaching environmental science concepts such as soil types, life cycles, plant adaptations, and environmental responsibility.

Today, we are a significantly larger garden with a greenhouse and dwarf apple orchard. Post COVID we developed partnerships with the WHS Culinary Arts program, the WHS Environmental Club, and the SFE dietician. Our garden is now busier and more productive than ever. Not only do we donate produce to our local food pantries that serve WWS students; our produce is being utilized in the Culinary Arts program at the high school. In return, the high school students provide the much needed services of weeding, harvesting, and mentoring elementary students as they plant and tend our garden. In addition, our SFE dietician has coordinated a compost bin for our garden by working with the school cafeteria to collect organic materials that become natural fertilizer for our garden.

Our goal is to be a sustainable and environmentally responsible garden that provides countless opportunities for students at both the elementary and high school levels to learn. This grant proposal seeks funding for much needed tools that will maintain our garden at high levels and render us self-sustaining. 

In particular, we hope to continue fostering connections between elementary and high school students, to pair science and culinary arts, to provide examples of scientific understandings and real world applications, and to develop attitudes of sustainable and conscientious stewardship of our environment.”

Photo of Westfield teacher grant recipient, Amy McClelland, and her classroom
Image of Ashley Knott WEF Executive Director, Amy McClelland Grant Winer, Mary Beth Riley Maple Glen Elementary School Principal.

Lara Burns – Virginia F. Woods, Early Learning Center

Enriching the classroom with an inviting reading nook: “Students currently have designated times each day that they can independently look at books as well as be read to by teachers. I would love to have a designated area apart from the circle time carpet where they could be read to and explore books independently. Reading promotes brain development, imagination, and language skills in early childhood.

This reading nook will include teepee reading tents, seat cushions, new books, and leaf canopy décor items. Through reading, students’ use of language improves, as well as their imagination skills and ability to connect with teachers and classmates.”

Photo of Westfield teacher grant recipient, Lara Burns, and her classroom