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Imagination Playground

Submitted by John Griffiths (GUFS)

$5,755 - All Grades

This one time grant allows for GUFS to purchase an Imagination Playground 105 piece big block set and storage.  Imagination Playground is a mobile block-based play system that transforms children's minds, bodies and spirits through active, creative play.  This set is designed for play in large indoor or outdoor spaces and includes bricks, cylinders and parts that suggest motion or connectivity. Children are inspired to design their own inventions, environments and activities, and enjoy a variety of play patterns including construction, pretend play, role-playing and inventing their own games. This set is made of highly durable, biogradable waterproof foam so that GUFS will enjoy it for many years.

Society of Educational Arts

Submitted by Idalia D'Antuono (GUFS)

$1,175 - All Grades

This grant partially covers the cost of bringing the Society of Educational Arts' production of "Dia de los Muertos" to GUFS.  This one-hour production explores the true meaning behind the Mexican holiday and promotes a deeper understanding of this important Mexican tradition of honoring the memory of past family members and ancestors.  The program includes a teacher resource guide in preparation for the presentation as well as a Q & A session after the production.  The Society of Educational Arts is a bilingual Arts-in-Education organization and Latin Theatre Company for young audiences.

This project is a collaboration between GCEF and GUFS-PTA.


Hudson Valley Seed

Submitted by Ava Bynum (Hudson Valley Seed)

$6,000 – Grades K-5

Hudson Valley Seed establishes educational school gardens and runs weekly curriculum-integrated garden lessons for 1,500 students across Putnam, Dutchess and Orange Counties.  Through weekly visits to the garden, students experientially learn math, science and more while being provided with the knowledge, skills and environment to make healthy choices.  By uniting academic achievement and wellness education, healthy eating and hands-on learning is integrated into the weekly schedule of students.  HVS works closely with teachers to integrate nutrition education with core curriculum studies.

100th Anniversary Museum Display 

Submitted by John Griffiths (GUFS) 

$2,476 - All Grades

This one time grant allows for GUFS to purchase three display cases that will be prominently placed in the GUFS Library. These display cases will become the venue for a student-created school museum that provides students with an opportunity to research and connect with their school’s past.


Hudson Valley Seed Community Garden

Submitted by Ava Bynum (Hudson Valley Seed) 

$2,840 - All Grades

The garden will give students increased opportunities to learn math, science and more in the garden. The enhanced space will leave room for pollinator plants and work stations as well as a gathering space. Classes will have more room to conduct long-term garden experiments than in the existing garden. K-5 students will directly benefit from this project and will learn in the new garden. Middle school students will also be able to use the space and eventually will partner with HVS to have garden time.  

PTA After School Program - "Imagination Lab" with Kate Daley

Submitted by Julia Wynn (GUFS - PTA)

$480 - Grades K-2 (Spring)

​This grant partially covers the cost of bringing Kate Daley to GUFS to teach an after school art class for grades K-2.  Kate Daley is an artist and teacher with the Garrison Art Center.  She will explore our art and science lab, inspired by the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art & math) movement. Students will perform simple chemical reactions, make their own paint, and sculpt with amazing, handmade concoctions!

PTA After School Program - Ukulele

Submitted by Julia Wynn (GUFS - PTA)

$440 - Grades 2-6 (Fall + Winter)

This grant partially covers the cost of bringing Beacon Music Factory to teach ukulele as an after school class.


PTA After School Program - "All About the Book" with Kate Daley

Submitted by Julia Wynn (GUFS - PTA)

$480 - Grades K-2 (Fall)

This grant partially covers the cost of bringing Kate Daley to GUFS to teach an after school art class for grades K-2.  Kate Daley is an artist and teacher with the Garrison Art Center.  She will explore all the exciting possibilities of bookmaking, using recycled, marbleized paper and will include concepts such as pop-ups and roll ups.  These handmade books can be used as journals, sketchbooks, scrapbooks, and photo albums.


PTA After School Program - "Creative Constructions" with Kate Daley

Submitted by Julia Wynn (GUFS - PTA)

$360 - Grades K-2 (Winter)

This grant partially covers the cost of bringing Kate Daley to GUFS to teach an after school art class for grades K-2.  Kate Daley is an artist and teacher with the Garrison Art Center.  In this class, students will learn a variety of ways to combine images and objects into unique works of art, working both in 2D and 3D.  For inspiration, works by artists such as Joseph Cornell, Louise Nevelson and Purvis Young will be explored.  The students will be creating imaginary cities using recycled objects, making figures from natural materials and making surrealistic landscapes.


Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival PTA After School Program

Submitted by Julia Wynn (GUFS – PTA)

$480 – Grades K-3 (Fall + Winter)

$480 – Grades 4-8 (Fall + Winter)

This grant partially covers the cost of bringing the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival to GUFS After School.  Two programs will be offered: "ImagineNATION!" for grades K-3, includes theater games and basic acting techniques to introduce characters and language.  Children will learn what it means to be part of an ensemble and work together to create their own version of a Shakespeare scene.  "TheaterMANIA" for grades 4-8 involves theater games, improvisation activities and exploratory exercises to learn basic acting techniques. They will work together to explore characters, language and more by rehearsing and performing a Shakespeare scene.  Both classes are taught by Laura Brackley, a professional actress and trained Teaching Artist for the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival.

Jazz Ensemble

Submitted by Karen Bresnan (GUFS)

$3,350 – Grades 6-8

Jazz Ensemble provides students an opportunity to learn about jazz music style and technique.  Students explore the jazz idiom and repertoire in a large jazz ensemble format.  In addition to reading jazz band arrangements, students are encourage to improvise solos and address the basic rhythms and scale choices that are part of the jazz vocabulary.  Students are further encouraged to explore areas of syncopation and rhythms that are common in jazz and contemporary music.  This grant allows Eric Star to direct the group.


Percussion Ensemble

Submitted by Karen Bresnan (GUFS)

$1,200 – Grades 4-8

Percussion ensemble provides students grades 4-8 the opportunity to work with a professional percussionist/teacher who will share the nuances and knowledge of percussion playing and music.  The Percussion Ensemble is another way for students to take their skills to a new level and expand their horizons musically.  This grant allows Chris Hugh to bring his talent and insight in this area to the students. Students will become more proficient at their instrument and excited about music performance, that will hopefully lead to life long participation in music.

Constitution Marsh Eagles Program

Submitted by Amy Kuchera (GUFS)

$500 – Grade 4

This three-part program for our fourth graders is done together with Constitution Marsh.  The program starts with an assembly where educators from the Marsh visit our classroom and teach our students about Eagle’s habitats and adaptations.  The second part is a trip to the Marsh where students observe eagles on the Hudson through binoculars and telescopes.  The third and final part is another classroom visit from Marsh educators, where students play a game in which they play the part of an eagle and try to take a successful journey to a particular point, facing real life obstacles along the way.  They also use longitude and latitude coordinates to track routes of certain eagles.  This program is directly linked to the life science section of the fourth grade science curriculum.

Challenger Space Center

Submitted by Kevin Keegan (GUFS)

$350 – Grade 6

On this trip to the Challenger Space Center, the 6th graders will go on a simulated mission to Mars!  Working in teams at the Mission Control Center and Spacecraft simulators, students transform themselves into astronauts, scientists, engineers and researchers by participating in the Center’s simulated space adventures.  They work at navigation, life support, robotics, geology, communications and medical stations.  The Challenger Center uses a student's natural curiosity and enthusiasm for space to create innovative problem-based learning experiences for young minds. The Mission Control and Spacecraft simulators within the Center allow students to apply Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) concepts to an authentic, real-world experience that is truly out-of-this-world!!

Clearwater Sloop Sail – The Sailing Classroom

Submitted by Robin Waters, Jennifer Kirkpatrick, Karen Bresnan and Coulter Young (GUFS)

$1,250 – Grade 5

This grant covers the cost of the annual 5th grade sail on the Clearwater Sloop, as part of their study of history, ecology, art and music through the Hudson River.  Students have the opportunity to help raise the sails, navigate the boat, visit learning stations to examine river life, perform water quality tests, and study plankton and other invertebrate life under field magnification.



Philadelphia Constitution Convention Center

Submitted by Chris Caliendo (GUFS)

$400 - Grade 8

As part of the 8th grade field trip to Philadelphia, this grant covers the cost of their visit to the National Constitution Center and the Betsy Ross House. At the National Constitution Center, they will participate in the Living News Program, a performance and discussion around controversial constitutional issues which encourages students to explore their own points of view. They will have the opportunity to cast votes in a voting booth or take the Presidential Oath of Office, as well as visit the Liberty Bell. This one day trip is aligned with their American History curriculum, specifically their studies of the American Revolution and the foundation of the Constitution.

Liberty Science Center

Submitted by Amy Kuchera (GUFS)

$360 – Grade 4

This grant partially covers the cost of the 4th grade visit to the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey.  In addition to experiencing the regular exhibits at the Center, students will participate in a hands-on lab workshop called Bee-bot Robot Challenge, where they will learn to program robots using algorithms and a variety of math skills.

Revolutionary War/Colonial Day Living History Reenactment

Submitted by Chris Caliendo (GUFS)

$2,350 - Grades 4, 5 and 7

With the guidance of the Living History Education Foundation, the 7th graders will recreate a Colonial Day/Revolutionary War reenactment camp site (at the South Redoubt of the school forest), complete with cooking fires and tents. They will participate in drills and experience battles fought in the Revolutionary War acting as typical soldiers during that time.  The 4th and 5th graders will visit the campsite and participate in activity stations including candle making, cooking, drilling, playing military music, sewing haversacks, creating cartridges and tin tapping.


Much Ado About Anything - Swing Dance Instruction for 8th Grade Production

Submitted by Ian Berger (GUFS)

$1,000 - Grades 8 

This grant covers the cost of a dance instructor, Belle Ritter to teach the 8th graders swing dance as part of their production of Much Ado About Anything. She will also help choreograph two dances for the play.

SAT Prep Course - Kaplan

Submitted by Jen McCreery (Desmond Fish Library)

$1,000 - Grades 10-11

This grant helps offer the Kaplan SAT Prep course to high school students, and will be used to assist with the cost of the course.  It will be offered at the Desmond Fish Library.  Additional funding to help reduce the cost of the course is provided by the Friends of the Library.

Garrison Art Center - Community Resource Series

Submitted by Coulter Young (GUFS)

$3,700 - Grades K-4, 6-8

This multi-discipinary art program is organized in conjunction with the Garrison Art Center.  Each grade has the unique opportunity to work with an experienced artist provided by GAC, and work with techniques and materials not typically used in the classroom.  This rich program also offers an opportunity to connect with our local community of talented artists.  Mediums include clay and pottery, stained glass, sculpture, stamping, drawing/writing/book making, paper mache, textile design, and paper marbling.  Project themes include nature (forest floors, butterflies, animal tracks),  Native American traditions (traditional Iroquois pottery design), locally found objects, and medieval stained glass.   All programs will take place at GAC.  
Click here for detailed project descriptions.


Constitution Marsh Program

Submitted by John Griffiths (GUFS) 

$1,700 - Grades K-3 and 5

Through this program with Constitution Marsh/the Audubon Society, each grade participates in age appropriate activities during their visit to the Marsh and experience tidal marsh ecology first-hand.  Activities include a Nature Scavenger Hunt (designed to discover the sights, sounds and feel of the wildlife sanctuary), boardwalk hikes (where students use binoculars and other learning tools to identify marsh and forest birds including the residential Eagle's nest), stream studies (where students collect and identify organisms from Marsh), and canoe trips (students canoe from Indian Brook Road into the Marsh and through the wildlife sanctuary).

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